Host Merchant Services Review

Rates and Fees
Truth in Advertising
Consumer Reviews
Customer Support

Best for

Retail, restaurants, and eCommerce businesses

Specializes in

Customized pricing and services tailored for specific business needs to help small-to-medium-sized businesses save on processing fees. They also work with niche businesses and tend to work with low risk businesses with the exception of credit repair, auto warranty, and travel for high risk.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: $0

Monthly Fee: $14.99

Swipe Rate: Starting at 0.20% + $0.09/transaction

Keyed-in Rate: Starting at 0.20% + $0.09/transaction

Early Termination Fee : $0

Contract Terms:

No Contract Required
Visit Host Merchant Services

A highly reviewed, Delaware based merchant services provider that has been in business since 2009.

Host Merchant Services Overview


HMS is a merchant services provider that prides themselves on transparent interchange plus pricing for their merchants: the lowest rates with the best service.  Their merchant support team is 4X larger than their sales team, which shows their emphasis on great customer service.  

In addition to a wide range of equipment to choose from, they have some offers that will be very attractive to merchants including no term commitments, free equipment programs, and lifetime rates.  Your rates are locked in and will not increase over time.  

Solutions are available for merchants in the retail, restaurant, non-profit, eCommerce, auto shops, lodging/hospitality, medical, fitness, veterinary, and firearms industries.  HMS also has flexibility to cater to high-risk merchants via their partnership with Electronic Merchant Systems (EMS).

In addition, Host Merchant Services also has a partnership program.

Quick Facts

Head Quarters

Newark, DE

Year Founded



Lou Honick



Merchant Provider Risk Tolerance

What We Like

No contract required.

No setup fee.

Zero early termination fee.

Customizes pricing and services to the businesses needs.

Has a large customer service team.

What We Don't Like

Not all pricing is available for low volume or high risk businesses.

They employ independent sales agents.

Has a monthly fee.

A gateway fee is assessed.

Requires an annual fee.

Industries Served

  • Accounting & Tax Prep
  • Airlines
  • CBD & Hemp
  • Cigars & Tobacco
  • Clothing & Apparel
  • Convenience Store
  • Credit Repair
  • Debt Consolidation
  • E-Cigarettes / Vape
  • Education
  • Educational Seminars
  • Gaming
  • Gas Station
  • Healthcare
  • Hosting
  • Hunting & Outdoor Equipment
  • Jet Charter
  • Legal
  • Marijuana / Cannabis
  • Marketing Agency
  • Moving Companies
  • Personal Service
  • Property Management
  • Restaurant / Bar
  • Self Defense, Tasers & Stun Guns
  • Smoking Accessories
  • Sports Betting Advice
  • Telemedicine
  • Thrift Store
  • Travel

Business Types Served

  • Digital Downloads
  • Discount Buying Club
  • Drop Shipping
  • Ecommerce
  • High Risk
  • Information
  • MLM
  • Mobile
  • MOTO
  • Non Profit
  • Online
  • Small Business
  • Tech Support
  • Wholesale

Host Merchant Services Products & Services


HMS claims 98% of their merchants qualify for free credit card terminal/processing equipment. They carry products from popular brands like Clover, Bonzai, Pax, Ingenico, Dejavoo, Vital, and more. 

Outside of credit/debit card processing, HMS also offers a cash discount program, gift card & loyalty programs, and small & large ticket programs.

HMS believes that eCommerce merchants are busy, so they offer to help as much as needed to get merchants up and running as quickly as possible with their simple integration process. The CEO of HMS actually ran a successful web hosting company which allows HMS to craft an eCommerce solution tailored to fit the needs of their merchants. HMS offers eCommerce solutions in the form of payment gateways, virtual terminals, online shopping carts & integrations, and mobile payment technologies.

Value-Added Services Outside of credit/debit card processing, HMS also offers a cash discount program, gift card & loyalty programs, small & large ticket programs, and partnership opportunities.

Host Merchant Services Payment Processing

  • ACH Check Transactions
  • Cash Transactions
  • Check Services
  • Contactless NFC
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Credit Card Terminals
  • Debit Card Processing
  • EBT Acceptance
  • eCheck & ACH Processing
  • EMV Processing
  • Gift & Loyalty Program
  • Gift Card Management
  • Merchant Cash Advance
  • Mobile Card Reader
  • Mobile Commerce
  • Mobile Payments App
  • Online Shopping Cart Integration
  • Payment Gateway
  • POS Equipment
  • Retail Payment Processing
  • Returns Management
  • Shopping Cart Integration
  • Shopping Cart Provided
  • Virtual Terminal

Host Merchant Services Billing & Invoicing

  • Billing Portal
  • Customizable Invoices
  • Dunning Management
  • Mobile Payments
  • Online Invoicing
  • Online Payments
  • Payment Processing
  • Project Billing
  • Tax Calculator

Host Merchant Services Advertising & Sales

HMS is generally considered to be truthful & ethical in their marketing, advertising & sales practices. They do employ independent sales agents, which can be a red-flag that you are dealing with an individual more concerned with closing deals and obtaining commissions than representing the company ethically. However, no public complaints exist regarding this issue, so it appears that HMS does a very good job monitoring & supervising their sales agents.

HMS advertises many more details about their pricing than other processors typically do. They claim to have no hidden fees and it appears they put most processing fees directly on the pricing page of their website. There are no complaints regarding the rates and fees with this processor, so it appears their merchants are happy with the pricing they receive.

Truth in Marketing

Discloses All Important Terms


Public Pricing Available

Yes, for most merchants

Host Merchant Services Pricing, Rates & Fees


HMS is much more transparent about their pricing than many other processors in the merchant services industry.  

They use interchange plus pricing and it is advertised on their website, broken down into three categories: retail, restaurant, eCommerce. Retail storefront merchants receive 0.25% + $0.10/transaction pricing.  Restaurant merchants receive 0.20% + $0.09/transaction pricing. Ecommerce merchants receive 0.35% + $0.10/transaction pricing.  

There are a few additional fees associated with HMS such as monthly fees, batch fees, gateway fees, and an annual fee, but all are made pretty clear on the website.

The pricing advertised on the HMS website is a baseline to build from. Even low volume merchants can find a competitive rate to ensure optimum credit card revenue.

High risk merchants are evaluated on an individual basis. With such a wide variety of high risk businesses, it is in the best interest of each merchant to work with on an individual basis to get the best of what Host Merchant Services has to offer. The rates depend on the merchant, underwriting and platform.

Merchant reviews suggest merchants are very satisfied with the pricing HMS offers and there are no complaints about hidden fees or misrepresentation of pricing. Host Merchant Services stresses the fact that they do not charge early termination fees. They want their customer services to stand for themselves and want merchants to feel comfortable with the contracts they sign.

Pricing at a Glance

Pricing Model

Interchange Plus

Swiped Rate

Starting at 0.20% + $0.09/transaction

Keyed-in Rate

Starting at 0.20% + $0.09/transaction

Mobile Payment Rate

Virtual Terminal Rate

Starting at 0.35% + $0.09/transaction

Monthly Fee


Payment Gateway Fee

$5.00 per month

Batch Fee

$0.20 per batch

Early Termination Fee


PCI Compliance Fee


Equipment Lease Terms

Free Equipment

Address Verification Service (AVS)


Application Fee


Account Setup Fee


Gateway Setup Fee

$10.00 per month

Annual Fee

$24 (Annual 1099 Reporting Fee)

Monthly Minimum


Statement Fee

Host Merchant Services Contract & Terms

HMS does not publicly disclose their merchant application or contract terms & conditions, though they do state they have no contracts that will lock you in because they want you  to “stay with us because you are happy with your service.”

We always encourage merchants to read the fine print on all applications and contracts.

Contract Length

No Contract Required

Early Termination Fee


Host Merchant Services Setup & Support


Setup for Host Merchant Services is dictated by the service required. The equipment takes time for delivery, but once the merchant has received their hardware they can be up and running in the time it takes to power up and link to the main servers.

Underwriting can be variable, but low risk merchants can have their merchant accounts ready within the day. Low risk accounts are handled in-house.

High risk accounts are run through a partner and can take up to seven days to complete, but the average underwriting time is 48 hours.

Setup Highlights

  • Live Online (1-on-1)

Support Highlights

  • Domestic Phone Support (Business Hours)
  • Offshore Tech Support (After Hours)

Host Merchant Services Complaints, Ratings & Reviews

HMS is highly rated by their customers.  They have over 100 very positive reviews.  Several of these reviews specify how much money they have saved after switching to HMS and how wonderful the customer service and onboarding process was.  There are only a couple negative reviews, and they appear to be isolated incidents or were resolved by Host Merchant Services. One complaint on the BBB webpage is directly addressed by a representative by HMS, and it appears that they have attempted to resolve the issue with the merchant, this appears to be an isolated event. HMS overall “A+” rating from the BBB.

No outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against HMS could be found.



A+ (1 complaint)


4.6 / 5


4.9 / 5 (116 reviews powered by




Total Online Reviews

< 200

Total Online Complaints

< 5



Host Merchant Services Alternatives


If you're in the market for a merchant account provider, be sure to check out our user reviews, our merchant accounts guide and our top popular merchant provider picks