Non-Qualified Rate Definition

Non-Qualified Rate Explained:

What is a Non-Qualified Rate? The Non-Qualified rate is most often found in three-tier merchant account pricing schemes, with the other two tiers referred to as “Qualified” and “Mid-Qualified.” This fee is often referred to in the credit card processing industry as a “Non-Qualified Transaction Fee” or “Non-Qualified Downgrade Fee,” or just as “Non-Qual.” This fee is actually a surcharge that is added on top of the base tier (Qualified Rate) for certain card types, transaction methods, and merchant mistakes.

The Non-Qualified surcharge is the most expensive of the tiers and can cost merchants an average of 1.5% -2.5% on top of the Qualified rate. Generally, merchant account providers apply Non-Qualified fees because of the customer used a corporate card, foreign credit card or a certain rewards card. The Non-Qualified is also often used as a “catch all” tier for card types that cannot be identified correctly during the transaction processing. Additionally, the Non-Qualified surcharge may be applied to retail merchants that type in a transaction instead of swiping it, and/or to all transactions if a merchant fails to “batch out” at the end of the business day.

Learn how everything thing you need to know about rates and how to get the lowest fees from any provider in “Fee Sweep: How to Get the Merchant Services You Need Without Getting Scammed.”

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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.

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