Costco Nova-Elavon credit card processing price review revisited

If you use Costco’s credit card processing partner, Elavon, which acquired Nova in 2009, or another processor, then your price plan likely includes prices tiers such as qualified,  mid qualified, and non-qualified. This is where merchants have a difficult time comparing processor quotes and get upset when the bills come in.

We reported the latest 2011 rates in the Costco program with Elavon earlier this year. They offer a low Visa/MasterCard qualified rate. It’s an attention getter, no doubt. Here are some 2010 statistics about cards being used by consumers:

  • Visa’s overall volume is 60% check cards, MasterCard 35% check cards.
  • Only 10% of all card volume is traditional cards- no business or rewards.

Here are the Costco member Elavon published 2011 rates  again:

Visa/MasterCard Qualified (Traditional Credit & Signature Debit) 1.48% plus $0.20 (reduced)
Visa/MasterCard Qualified Rewards 2.20% plus $0.20 (increased)
Visa/MasterCard Partially Qualified 2.96% plus $0.33
Commercial Non-Qualified 2.96% plus $0.33
MasterCard Non-Qualified 3.80% plus $0.33

As previously reported in April 2010 Costco, Elavon, Nova and merchant rates, I’m still neutral for accounts processing under $100,000 annually. Qualified means retail card swiped in the above numbers. Why neutral? As I’ve said before, if you process $5000 or $10000, there’s not much difference in suppliers if you saved even .5% in fees.

At $20,000/mth, the difference in what you’re really paying- remember most cards are rewards related-on the Elavon plan vs a plan we can put you on can start making a difference.

3D Merchant Services specializes in mid-size businesses. As part of our  giving back to Help American Businesses Prosper program, we’re now accepting up to four small businesses per month into our partner portfolio. After all, we were a small business at one time too. Businesses will receive preferred partner credit card processing terms and education to make their businesses secure while controlling costs.

2 thoughts on “Costco Nova-Elavon credit card processing price review revisited

  1. Even though these companies like costco and sam’s club offer deals on peanut butter and bacon the fees for processing are not that great a bargain. If one was to consider even better terms say 10-20 basis points over interchange and .10 a transaction they would see significant savings month over month. Even for a small business.

  2. 10 basis points on $100,000 annual for a small business is $100 or about $8.30 per month gross profit. Small businesses tend to need more maintenance and switch processors more often. The time to recoup the start up investment of labor to set up an account is only about a year. It can take a processor up to 20 hours for all the steps needed to open a new account from the initial sales call to live retail merchant account. Then there is paperwork, PCI, customer care and other ongoing communications through the year. If you are a business owner, what is the rate of return you’d like on your time?
    Just a thought.

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