Circle Credit Card Processing 2023: Reviews & Complaints

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Company Overview

Launched in October 2013, Circle is a peer-to-peer payments technology company. The company offers payment processing, automatic payout services, ACH, and other related services through its online API. The company utilizes the USD Coin for all transactions, a so-called “stable coin” that is reported to be backed by actual dollar investments. Circle is the creator and primary issuer of the USD Coin.

Previously the company operated like Venmo or Square Cash, and offered a free mobile app called Circle Pay that enabled its users to pay each other via linked bank accounts, debit cards, or credit cards. Circle advertised its vision of a crypto-backed payment platform that enables transactions, investments, and financing through Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies. Since its inception, the company has come to host over 8 million customers and more than 1,000 organizations, which have made transactions totaling over $200 billion dollars worth of the 60-plus financial assets its platform supports.

In 2023, Circle acquired merchant and developer-first payments orchestration platform Elements.

Circle Payment Processing

While Circle previously focused on cryptocurrency-oriented services, it now advertises credit and debit payment processing. This service is a part of their Payments package, and costs $1,000 dollars monthly. There are still the usual transaction fees associated as well, making it a costly option for most businesses looking for payment processing services. However, for those looking for easy access to crypto-based payments as well as ACH and bank wire services, Circle’s payment processing services might provide merchants with more options than other providers. Circle also provides a Payouts package priced at $250, however, this package does not feature payment processing services.

Circle APIs for Developers

Circle offers a suite of APIs for developers, allowing businesses to integrate digital currency payment processing into their existing platforms or create custom payment solutions. These APIs provide flexibility and customization options, enabling merchants to adapt their payment systems to their specific needs and requirements.

Wallet and Account Services

With Circle, businesses can create digital wallets and accounts to manage their digital currency transactions. This feature provides merchants with an organized and secure way to store, send, and receive digital currencies, streamlining their payment processes and reducing the need for manual management.

International Payments

Circle enables businesses to expand their reach by accepting payments from customers around the world. By leveraging digital currencies like USDC, merchants can process international transactions quickly and with lower fees compared to traditional payment methods. This can result in a more seamless cross-border payment experience for both businesses and customers.

Circle Business Account

The Circle Business Account is a comprehensive solution designed to help businesses manage their digital currency transactions. With features like multi-user access, advanced reporting, and transaction tracking, this account allows merchants to effectively handle their digital currency payments and maintain clear records of their financial activities.

Payouts and Mass Payments

For businesses that need to send multiple payments to vendors, suppliers, or other stakeholders, Circle offers payout and mass payment solutions. This feature enables merchants to send digital currency payments to multiple recipients simultaneously, reducing the time and effort required to process individual transactions.

Security and Compliance

Circle places a strong emphasis on security and compliance, ensuring that businesses can process digital currency payments safely and in accordance with regulatory requirements. The platform employs advanced security measures and adheres to industry standards, such as KYC and AML policies, to protect both merchants and their customers.

Location & Management

Jeremy Allaire is the CEO and founder of Circle, which is headquartered at Keystone Building, 99 High St #1701, Boston, MA 02129.

Table of Contents

Circle payment processing

Circle offers an online payment solution similar to Square

Circle Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Item Result
Total Online Complaints 500+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Fund-holds
Recent Lawsuits Yes

High Complaint Total

We have found more than 500 negative Circle reviews, some of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. At the time of our last review, Circle had an overall rating of 4 out of 5 on the Google Play Store based on 10,486 reviews and an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 on the iTunes App Store. However, the app is no longer available on the Apple Store and the version on the Google Play Store does not seem to be current. Despite the positive rating on the Google Play Store, the Circle Pay app had more than 500 complaints. The complaints range from poor customer service to fund-holds to failed transfers. If you have your own Circle review to make, please do so in the comments below.


By far the most common issue cited by complainants is Circle’s decision to freeze accounts or withhold payments without warning. This practice is widespread throughout the payment processing industry, but Circle appears to be struggling with it more often as its user base grows. Users describe sending payments only to have them placed “under review” for an indefinite period of time. When they attempt to contact Circle to fix the issue, they are unable to achieve a timely resolution.

Other Circle Complaints

The remaining complaints include software malfunctions within the app, the inability to buy or sell Bitcoin, unexpected fees, unhelpful or rude customer support, and scam operations conducted by other users of the app. A large number of complaints in recent years seem to be tied to the company’s temporary decision to no longer allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin, but Circle has since reversed this policy.

Circle Lawsuits

Circle announced in 2021 they set aside $10.4 million to settle a case related to their former ownership of company Poloniex. Poloniex is under federal investigation for the potential processing of transactions to embargoed countries.

Circle is also in the midst of an investigation by the IRS concerning the names of users who have made large cryptocurrency transactions. The company itself is not accused of wrongdoing, but rather, the IRS is attempting to tax those who have made money through crypto.

Dissatisfied clients who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Circle Customer Support Options

Circle’s overall complaint total is low-to-moderate for a free service, but we have lowered its score in this section due to the middling user consensus it has developed in the past year. Circle offers email support, chat support, and phone support from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.

Circle Customer Service Number

  • (800) 398-7172 – Toll-Free General Customer Service

Other Support Options

Circle Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
Item Result
BBB Reports 5

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

Fewer than 5 Complaints

Circle currently has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited with the BBB. The company has received 4 complaints in the last 36 months.

What Merchants Say

Circle has also received 1 informal review from users, which was negative in tone. The review describes held funds and poor customer service:

Circle Internet Financial, Inc. has not been answering any of my emails regarding my blocked access to poloniex crypto coins. I just need to withdraw them but so far no luck. It seems like they would love to claim them as their own assets. I will update my review if i get ant resolution for my case.

Customer satisfaction is imperative for any business. This makes the quality of customer service an important consideration when choosing a merchant account provider.

A “C” For Declining Performance

Given Circle’s size, complaint total, and resolution efforts, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”

Circle Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Item Result
Cancellation Penalties No
Processing Rates Variable
Monthly & Annual Fees Yes
Equipment Leasing N/A

Monthly Plans

Circle offers two tiers of monthly plans. The first, called the Payments package, will cost you $1,000 per month with additional transaction fees associated. This plan includes payment services for cards, bank wires, and ACH’s. It also advertises fixed-rated yields on all accounts holding in USD Coin. The cheaper monthly service still offers payouts from wire transfers, ACH, and soon-to-be Visa Partner Wallets.

Circle Mobile App Limitations

Circle Pay was not intended for business transactions and imposed individually set limits on its accounts. Circle also stated that cashing out to a linked debit card or bank account can take from one to four days. The Circle user agreement grants the company the right to terminate accounts that operate in violation of its terms, so users are advised to review Circle’s list of prohibited activities before processing large amounts through the app.

Increased Contract Complaints

Overall, there are no public complaints about Circle’s pricing, but there are a growing number of reports of sudden account cancellations. Circle’s free service makes its pricing competitive with even the cheapest merchant account providers, but reports of fund-holds have lowered its rating in this section.

Circle Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Item Result
Uses Independent Resellers No
Telemarketing No
Misleading Marketing No
Discloses All Important Terms Yes

In-House Marketing Team

Circle appears to market its service through a combination of traditional advertising and strategic partnerships. The company does not use independent sales agents, and it appears that its focus on Bitcoin has attracted a user base that its competitors are unable to serve. The company’s marketing materials repeatedly state that its service is free, but this claim is only partially true. While the company does not generate revenue by charging users, it’s possible that some users may encounter small fees when paying with credit cards. Circle maintains, however, that it does not charge a markup on any transfers.

Third-Party Cash Advance Fees

Some users who purchase cryptocurrency through the app using a credit card have encountered cash-advance fees from their credit card issuers. Circle currently does not allow users to link their Circle accounts to credit cards, but at least one Circle review has stated that the company allows users to link business debit cards and that fees may be charged when these cards are used.

Circle Pay Pricing Disclosure

Circle does not prominently identify or warn users about these potential costs on its website. Circle users should be aware that not all uses of Circle are completely free. We cannot locate any Circle Pay complaints that mention unexpected or hidden fees, which is more than can be said for even the top-rated mobile credit card processors.

Circle payment pricing

The Circle pricing page

Our Circle Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Circle rates decently as international and domestic money transfer and credit card processing service. Its most useful and unique feature was the ability to instantly and cheaply send payments to users in other countries. For domestic purposes, however, it did not outperform Venmo, Square Cash, or any of the top-rated mobile apps for sending money.

As a payment processing company it will be interesting to see how Circle fares in its new market territory. The introduction of the USD Coin appears to be the company’s primary focus, and it has yet to be seen if customer service and actual payment processing will be a secondary priority for Circle. Stiff monthly fees will also likely impede most businesses from using Circle unless attracted to their niche use of blockchain-based technologies.

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Your Comments & Reviews

How Did Circle Treat You?

25 Responses

  • Dustin L Smith

    I have been using Circle for quite some time. This year I deposited a good sum of funds into my account and bought $500 dollars of numerous crypto back in Feb. My account went “under review” a few days later. I still can not access my account today. I have contacted them numerous times “only asking for someone to get back to me and let me know someone saw my problem”. Circe can’t even respond with a simple message telling me they are aware of my issue. 3-5 days of account review (who knows why it is being reviewed) has become 2 months of account lockout.

  • David Arroyo

    I use the circle invest app to invest in bitcoin I have a large investment in bitcoin that suddenly I cant deposit or withdraw I can’t link or relink my banking information this has been going on a month none of my request for help are being answered other than a automatic email acknowledgment they got the email. in the meantime I can’t deposit or worst withdraw. Dose anyone have a phone number or email. Address not their help email.

  • I was recently logout of my circle app by the system. I could not remember the password so I had the reset link sent 2 my phone it never came. 24 hours later I did it again still never got a reply I contacted Circle they have been giving me the run-around so far. I keep telling them that I cannot access my account and I’ve tried everything possible but yet and still they tell me to go through Facebook ,go through my email and that there is no reason why I should not be getting this link. instead of helping me they keep telling me the same thing over and over I cannot talk to a live person they do not offer me any other way. I’ve sent screenshots of the app telling me there’s a problem I’ve told them that the app said my number is invalid even though they say I’m using the correct number I can not get in it would not send the link to my phone or my email account

    This post will help: Best Mobile Apps for Sending Money


  • robert j preston

    circle has their software set to super sensitive knowing and hoping a bank teller will make 1 typo giving circle the right to decline the wire transfer and fine me and many others out of $50.00. probably dosnt sound like much but add it up a thousand times. its in the millions of dollars. also you loose the wire fee from the bank and they fine you too. im out $100.00 usd over one typo of which circle requires 17 lines of wire instructions to perform the translation. buyer beware

    This post will help: Best Mobile Apps for Sending Money to People


  • Aidee Bautista

    I would not recommend this app. This app is useless. They hold your money for more than 3-5 days and cannot contact the. This is very frustrating because the money from the sender has been deducted from her account and now we don’t know were is the money. She cannot get it back and I cannot cash out the money. DO NOT USE THIS APP, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Here is a phone number I found 1-800-398-7172 call then and get your money back

    This post will help: How to Make Your Payment Processor Release Your Money


  • will hold payment for days while they verify you account , useless to make payments if you in a hurry and dont feel like providing 3 types of id every other payment and way 3 days

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: How to Make Your Payment Processor Release Your Money

  • They closed my account that I had had for several years without warning. They also refuse to give me a reason. I am fortunate that I had no funds in it at the time. Their terms and conditions do state that they can terminate an account at any time for any reason they deem fit without telling the account holder why. And I had to sign the agreement to have the account. However, when I accepted the agreement, I also expected good faith behavior on their part, which has not happened. I feel like I have been pronounced guilty without a trial and without being able to defend myself against any accusations. For this reason, I would stay very clear of them! I have done nothing illegal and nothing against their Terms and Conditions. I had just gotten one of my clients to sign up so he could pay me through Circle. I am very, very glad that my client had not yet sent the money!

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Best Mobile Apps for Sending Money

  • Yelena Palich

    There isalady Anna D who isselling fancy bags on Poshmark but offers a lot cheaper on CR . I hadthis conversation with her via texts that after i send her the paymeny of 700$ she will sendme the invoice and tracking number. Assoon as i sent her the money she disappeared. She blockedme completely. I trued contacting Circle pay no one replyed back to me. It says contac us via phone i click on that but dont see any number to call.i needto get my money back and they need to make it a safe place for transaction

  • Candice Deslandes

    So disappointed from using this app, this is only my second day using and may never again. Was using this Circle app so others could send me money for a cruise that we had to book today by a certain time. Money was sent and when I went to Cash Out, I got a message saying account is under review for 3-5 days and can’t get the funds. This has caused a big issue since we will not be able to book cruise, now everybody is very upset with me for suggesting this app. The number they have is useless, I sent three urgent emails with no reply as well. I thought this app would be better due to no fees but has turned into a family disaster. Never have had this issue with Cash App

  • Willard king

    Poor service, stalling tactics to recover my money to my bank,
    Stalling tactics include reviewing my account.
    Poor service, holding my money
    I should be paid interest!
    Been holding my money for near a month.
    Had to finally write a check to my boss for money Circle was to cover(they are using our money probably for collecting interest)crooks!

  • Circle pay app.. “funds will be available withon the hour” yeah been over an hour still not in .. i needed that £25 FOR BABY MILK!!!

  • This website is either a scam, or pretty close to one.
    After using the app for about a month without a glitch, they locked up my account and required documentation to release money I had received. When I sent in the documentation they requested, they said that I wasnt the owner! The nerve!

  • Katherine Twigg

    I have recently added Circle pay application to my phone. My daughter just sent me some money and for no reason whatsoever they put a hold on it. Telling me it will be 3 to 5 days before they release it. That is illegal they have no right to confiscate people’s money for no reason. I will be uninstalling this application and going back to the cash app. I use that for over 2 years and never had a problem. I have sent them emails and responded back to them through their application and yet they do not answer me back directly.

    • Did tou get you money refunded though? Please let me know at [email protected]

    • Candice Deslandes

      Same here but I had people send me money for a cruise. When tried to cash out I got the 3-5 day account review. Unfortunately today was the last day to have money to book our cruise. Everybody is devastated that we will not be able to go on this family cruise now. I am in tears because everybody is upset for me choosing this circle app. They don’t even reply to emails for 3-5 days

  • I would not recommend this app. The worst ever app. Don’t wast your time by using this app. Useless app.

  • My experience with Circle was horrible. They say you don’t get charged for debit card transfer however I got charged $11 for $400 transfer. Come to find out it was because it is a business card. They don’t specify business debit card is different. To me not being in the financial sector a debit card is a debit card.

    They are horrible at follow-up. You make request or submit things on their website and it seems to just disappear with no follow-up on their side. Customer server has a very condescending tone my experience with 3 different individuals about 2 different issues. That is culture of a company not a specific individual’s personality.

    They quit supporting bitcoin but never sent a notice to me. They said it was sent 12/6/2016 but I don’t have it. I am an IT Director so I can see the email server logs to search for anything submitted from anyone with a email address. I have no email showing that it was sent.

  • is a complete scam.
    I added bitcoins to my account without the need for a ID.
    When I wanted to use the bitcoins for payment, they needed a ID, selfie and debit card.
    I send my ID and selfie, but EU debit cards aren`t accepted (they say the do).
    I can`t ad my credit card, paypal isn`t accepted.
    Now they stopped all bitcoin payments.
    My bitcoins are gone,I`ve got about 80 euro on their account which I can`t use.
    They won`t transfer it manual to a IBAN (internatial bank number) bank account.
    They don`t do anything, only send you links to articles on their scam site.

    • I heard that they have support for IBAN accounts; I have a friend who was in the same situation. THey sold their bitcoin but couldn’t convert back, but was able to within the last week or so

  • This app is useless now you can’t send bitcoins to a bitcoin address.

  • Elinor Saunders

    This site is a scam site. I put in $300 into the site and then they said I had to be verified. I sent in my driver’s license and selfie, and then they wrote back said they couldn’t allow me to use the site. I have not been able to get my money back…they stole $300!

    • They also allow scam artists to perform illegal services on their site. I sent someone some money for a product. And never received it. And they won’t refund my money or cancel the other party.

  • Joshua Carter

    Horrible app, way too many restrictions, i ended up depositing money in there and they wont let me take it out, Do Not Get this app!!!!!!!

  • Be aware of these Scam Artist. They are the first Bitcoin Dictatorship.
    This is my experience: I am very new to bitcoin and still learning but I already had several experiences good and bad I would like to share. One of my first experience and with no idea how to purchase or where, I found this website called I saw how easy it was to acquire Bitcoins there so I decided to purchase $100 usd. The purchase experience was ok, a little long but I guess since I was a first time user. I finally received my bitcoins on the 4th business day and got on email telling me to please cash them out. I was a little confused since I just recently purchased them. On the whole Idea that I wanted to have my first Bitcoins, not to loose money stupidly by doing what they we’re obligated me to do. I wrote to them and received information that they wanted to verify my account. To me this is becoming suspicious! They sell bitcoins but they also make you unwilling sell your bitcoins. I guess they can be called the first Bitcoin Dictatorship! Since I am completely against this I decided to just leave my bitcoins and wait a little so I can get my money’s worth back and leave far far away from this company. At the moment I was loosing 11% already do to bitcoin devaluation. After a couple of days I received and email saying my account has been closed, and go wonder….. I can’t obtain my bitcoins. Please be aware of this company and there narcissism! Do not let your money get stolen here. I will be posting email proof and could send to you directly if needed.

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