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Credit Card Processing Fees & Merchant Account Fees

Credit Card Processing Fees & Merchant Account Fees

Get to grips with the different types of card processing fees and what you’ll pay when accepting American Express payments. Request a call back to hear more about American Express Merchant rates for your business.

What are card processing fees and why are they applied?


Card processing fees are charged by payment processing providers when a merchant accepts a card payment. These costs cover the handling of card transactions and, depending on your provider, could vary according to the value of the sale, the type of card used and any merchant account fees.


As different providers charge different components and variables – from credit card transaction fees to monthly service fees – overall costs can feel unpredictable. Here’s a breakdown of the credit card merchant fees that payment processing providers could charge:

  • Authorisation fee – this covers the amount it costs for a processing provider to authorise each transaction with a customer’s bank.
  • Minimum monthly service charge – this could be charged by a payment processing provider if your monthly credit card transaction fees don’t meet a minimum agreed amount. 
  • Payment method fee – an amount charged to cover ‘higher risk’ payments, for example online or when a card is not present in the transaction (paying over the phone).
  • Chargeback fee – this is charged by some payment processing providers to cover costs when a customer requests a chargeback (reversing a money transfer).
  • Account set up fee – a one-off amount charged to get your business set up with the provider’s services. 

American Express® Credit Card processing rate


At American Express, we understand that you want to pay as few fees as possible, and for anything you do pay to be clear from the off. So we keep it simple…


We charge a flat Card processing rate. That’s one cost, on a pay-as-you-go basis, charged only when a customer makes a transaction with their American Express Card. No extra set-up costs or additional monthly account fees that some providers charge; no surprises when your statement arrives.


American Express Merchant rates are competitive and transparent, based on your industry and annual account activity. These rates are consistent across all of our Credit and Charge Card products to help keep acceptance simple.


By accepting American Express, you’ll welcome exceptional customers who spend
more, more often. Compared to other credit and charge card holders in the UK…

Spend more


UK American Express Cardmembers spend on average 3.2x more per year

Spend often


And they spend on average 2.7x more frequently1


Start accepting American Express Card payments


Get in touch with our team to find out more about Merchant rates for your business. Call us on 0800 339 911 (Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 18:00) or request a call back from one of our Sales Representatives. We don’t charge a penny to get you up and running.


Are there different American Express Credit Card processing fees for small businesses?

In short, yes. Your rate will be based on your industry and annual Account
activity. Contact a member of our team to find out your rate. 


Our rates are competitive, and accepting American Express online and in store helps

you build valuable relationships with our loyal, high-spending customers. Small
businesses could also be eligible to join our Shop Small campaigns at no extra
cost. These campaigns encourage our Cardmembers to shop local with small

small business

How are card processing fees calculated?


When accepting American Express, there’s just one percentage rate to work with. So you’ll always know exactly how much you’re paying.


But when providers charge many different fees, calculating your total card processing costs can be a little confusing. It may be easier to work this out as total cost per transaction. Just add up the total amount of fees you’ve paid in a statement period and divide this by your total number of transactions. 


Already accept American Express? Set up an American Express Online Merchant Account here. And download the

American Express Merchant App to access your payment information on the go.




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Useful links

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Here’s how accepting Card payments in store could help grow your business.


Accepting Credit Card payments online

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How to take online payments

Discover how to get set up and how online payments work.