Looking for a way to offset the cost of accepting credit cards? Our compliant credit card surcharge program recoups the cost associated with non-cash paying customers, so you earn 100% of your published price.
What is surcharge?
Instead of your business paying for a credit card transaction, the user pays a 3.5% program fee. This helps you retain more revenue while offsetting your cost of credit card acceptance in a way that doesn't break the rules.
The Heartland surcharge program ensures your business is registered and compliant with the card brand regulations. Surcharge fees can only be applied to credit cards — debit, gift and prepaid cards are excluded.
Save thousands of dollars annually by recouping credit card processing costs from your customers. Your Heartland merchant statement will show you exactly how much you recover through surcharge revenue.
Seamless and simple
Ensure accuracy with our smart, surcharge-enabled terminals that calculate and apply the correct amount on eligible transactions and avoid accidental surcharges on debit and prepaid cards.
Keep your prices and margins competitive while accepting all the ways customers want to pay — and provide customers with an itemized receipt of all surcharged transactions.
Compliant and secure
U.S-based payments experts ensure your surcharge program is compliant with card brand rules and state and federal regulations. All transactions are protected by Heartland’s high-level security to guard against fraud and breaches.
How it Works
The customer enters their credit card into the terminal and is prompted to confirm the sales amount.
The transaction will go through on a smart terminal, charging the customer a 3.5% Surcharge on their credit card transaction.
The 3.5% Surcharge covers the business credit card processing fee, and is reflected on the customer’s receipt.
Funds are deposited the next day. The surcharge revenue earned is shown on the Merchant Statement.
Surcharge vs. Cash Discount
Does the distinction really matter?
It does, for three reasons:
Debit is Never Credit
Surcharges cannot be applied to debit cards, even if the PIN is not being used and the card is swiped for the transaction. Merchants that don’t remove the surcharge fee for debit cards can face fines or other repercussions.
Adding a fee makes it a surcharge program. Surcharge programs are prohibited in a handful of states.* This means improperly implementing a surcharge in those states could land merchants in legal trouble.
Posting cash prices and charging a “service fee” that is removed for cash customers is not a discount. Programs using this model are not compliant, which lead to repercussions from the card brands.
It’s not worth the risk. Instead, merchants can implement a fully compliant surcharge program with the help of Heartland.
*As of early 2021, only Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico continue to prohibit surcharging. Note that surcharging laws have been overturned by court decisions in several other states but are still on the books.
Learn more about surcharge
Discover additional information about surcharging practices and the rules which major card brands laid out to help our merchants remain compliant.