Downgrade Fee Definition

Merchant Account Downgrade Fee Explained:

What is a Downgrade Fee? In the credit card processing industry, a Downgrade Fee is a blanket term used to signify surcharges added to the “Qualified Discount Rate” of the processing fee. In particular, the “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” surcharges are the most common Downgrade Fees. However, there is no standard on what a Downgrade Fee must be called, or how it can be applied, and the terminology can vary from provider to provider. Downgrade Fees are often the fees that merchants report as “hidden fees” because they are rarely disclosed before the merchant account activation. Downgrade Fees generally cost merchants an additional 1%-3% per transaction on top of the Qualified processing rate. The fee may be assessed for a variety of reasons including a customer’s card type, issuing bank, how the transaction is entered and other merchant actions. On average, more than 50% of a merchant’s credit card transactions experience Downgrade Fees when set up under the tier/bucket rate pricing model – which is the pricing model that most merchants receive. Downgrade Fees can be eliminated through proper negotiation prior to establishing a merchant account with a provider. To learn how to eliminate them from your processing costs, read Fee Sweep.

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Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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