Preferred Payments Review: Fees, Comparisons, Complaints & Lawsuits

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Preferred Payments
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Preferred Payments

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Serving Most Business Types

Founded in 2009, Preferred Payments is a merchant account provider that offers credit card processing solutions for several industries, including restaurant, retail, healthcare, fuel, and non-profit organizations. The company was previously known as “Exclusive Payment Services,” before being rebranded.

Preferred Payments Payment Processing

Preferred Payments processes all major credit and debit cards for all business types. Their services include EMV terminals, ACH and e-check processing, POS solutions, mobile solutions, access to virtual terminals and the Prizm payment gateway, MOTO, e-commerce solutions including shopping carts, PCI compliance, fraud protection, recurring billing, gift and loyalty programs, recurring payments, a customer vault, and data reporting and analytics.

Preferred Payments Location & Ownership

Preferred Payments is a registered ISO/MSP of Elavon, Inc. Georgia; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California; and Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio. The company is headquartered at 5655 Lindero Canyon Rd #430, Westlake Village, CA 91362. David Anderson is the CEO of Preferred Payments.

Preferred Payments Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Preferred Payments appears to offer tiered or interchange plus pricing under contract terms that do not include an early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Preferred Payments has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Preferred Payments has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 0 complaints in the past 3 years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Preferred Payments does not appear to hire independent sales agents and has not received any complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Preferred Payments
Preferred Payments payment processing
Preferred Payments offers most standard payment processing solutions
these processors announce that they now sync with quickbooks

Preferred Payments Reviews and Complaints

Here's What Their Clients Say

Complaint Summary

Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint

No Merchant Complaints

We are unable to locate any negative Preferred Payments reviews in the usual consumer protection forums. This absence of complaints indicates that the company is not a ripoff or a scam, and it seems that the company does an excellent job of resolving complaints in-house. It is possible that some complaints intended for Preferred Payments have instead been posted to Elavon’s online profiles, but we have found no evidence that this is occurring.

Preferred Payments Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Preferred Payments. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Preferred Payments Customer Support Options

Preferred Payments features a live chat support feature, a phone number, and a “Frequently Asked Questions” page. Given the overall lack of merchant complaints filed against the company, we will award Preferred Payments an “A” rating at this time, but its customer support options do not qualify it as a top-rated customer service payment processor.

Preferred Payments BBB Rating and Report

Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment

BBB Summary

Product & Service Complaints
Billing & Collection Complaints
Advertising & Sales Complaints
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
Delivery Complaints

No BBB Complaints

The BBB currently awards Preferred Payments accreditation and an “A+” rating. The BBB has received 0 complaints in the last 36 months. The company has not received any informal negative reviews filed against the company either.

An “A” Performance Overall

Although the BBB has only maintained a profile for Preferred Payments since December 2013, it lists the company’s founding date as April 15, 2009. In light of the company’s apparent time in business and complaint rate, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time, but merchants should note that there is reason to be skeptical of the BBB’s reviews.

in the news apple versus banks

Preferred Payments Fees and Rates

A Closer Look at the Contract

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Cost Summary

Swiped Rate
Keyed-in Rate
Virtual Terminal Rate
Payment Gateway Fee
Early Termination Fee
PCI Compliance Fee
Equipment Lease Terms

Preferred Payments Contract Terms

Preferred Payments clearly discloses contract pricing information on its website and offers a comparison tool between its own and other processors’ services and fees. The pricing page mentions a free set-up, zero monthly minimum fees, no PCI compliance fee, and no early termination fee. The company offers tiered or interchange-plus pricing. However, exact pricing is not disclosed.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Preferred Payments also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing is not disclosed on either of those services. However, the company’s website states that it does optimize its virtual terminal with interchange-plus pricing. The website also conveys that the company does not charge batch fees.  Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, and additional transaction rates may apply to these e-commerce services.

Interchange-Plus Pricing

Preferred Payments exclusively offers interchange-plus pricing to merchants and does not lock merchants into long-term agreements. Merchants can purchase but not lease equipment through Preferred Payments, which is a favorable policy for business owners. These terms are much more competitive than those found in the standard Elavon contract, which typically include a tiered pricing plan with a $10 monthly fee and a multi-year equipment lease through Ladco Leasing. Still, merchants are encouraged to compare Preferred Payments’ costs to those of the cheapest merchant account providers.

Preferred Payments payment gateway

Preferred Payments offers access to the Prizm payment gateway

Preferred Payments Jobs and Employment

Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment

Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees

Processing statements are intentionally complicated so that they can overcharge you. Get clarity before you switch.

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms

Inside Sales Team

Preferred Payments appears to market its services through online advertising and an internal sales force. We are unable to find any evidence at this time that the company utilizes independent contractors, telemarketing, or hiring mill tactics to sell its products. There are also no Preferred Payments complaints online that mention unethical conduct or nondisclosure by the company’s sales team.

Transparent Pricing

As an additional point in the company’s favor, we can find no evidence of teaser rate quotes or misleading advertising on the Preferred Payments website. The company prominently mentions interchange-plus pricing, which is the most transparent pricing model available. In light of these factors, we award the company an “A” in this category for the time being. If you suspect that Preferred Payments is charging you undisclosed fees, however, we recommend seeking an independent statement audit to spot and eliminate hidden charges.

Preferred Payments Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts and Opinions

A Good Option for Most Businesses

Preferred Payments rates as a reliable merchant services provider according to all available information. The company is showing zero complaints across all websites, but we do not have many specific details regarding its sales practices or contract terms. Therefore, merchants are advised to read all documentation before signing up for services through the company and to compare costs to those offered by top-rated credit card processors. Merchants should not confuse Preferred Payments with Preferred Card Services, an unrelated provider.

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Preferred Payments Competitors

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Customer & Employee Reviews

What Others Are Saying About Preferred Payments

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About The Author

Phillip Parker is the creator and author behind this website. He has over 15 years of experience in the credit card processing industry as a journalist, consultant, and former merchant account sales professional. He started this project as a blog to expose merchant services providers that engage in predatory business practices, such as deceptive marketing, misleading pricing, and high-pressure sales tactics. His goal is to help business owners find merchant account providers who serve their industry well while offering fair rates with no junk fees and no long-term commitments.

Phillip has researched over 1,000 payment processors and been quoted in numerous high-profile publications, including the Los Angeles Time, INC Magazine, The Atlantic, and the Miami Herald among others.

Need advice on card acceptance? Schedule a consultation with Phillip.

Phillip’s Top Processor Picks:
Retail, restaurant, e-commerce, mobile, professional services, and invoicing, Phillip recommends Helcim and CDG Commerce.

High-risk businesses, Phillip recommends PaymentCloud and Host Merchant Services.

How Our Ratings Work

Please note that our rating system was overhauled on April 26th, 2023. Reviews dated before this date may not score in accordance with the following.

Star Rating Criteria:

At the start of our research, all processors are awarded five stars. We deduct stars if the processor engages in any of the following:

– One star deduction if the processor has any junk fees.

– One star deduction if the processor does not post its pricing clearly on its website.

– One Star deduction if the processor is suffering from moderate client complaints.

– Multiple Star deductions if a processor is suffering from severe complaints, imposes unjust cancellation fees, markets non-cancellable equipment leases, engages in predatory rate pricing, or may be engaged in illegal activities.

Get all of the details regarding out rating criteria here.

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