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What are card association fees?

Card association fees are the fees paid back directly to the card brands - Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Just like interchange, all merchants pay these fees.

The card-associations (sometimes called "card brands") consist of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. They each have a unique set of fees that they charge for the acceptance of their card brand.

To be clear - these are separate fees from interchange fees. Interchange fees are paid back to the card's issuing bank. Card association fees go directly to each card association, and it's how they make their money. 

Since each card association is a different/separate entity who makes their own rules, they all have unique fees. They end up being very similar! But, there are small nuances between each brand's fee structure that are worth noting. Below, we'll outline the four major card brands' fee structures. Please note; these lists aren't all-inclusive, as each card-brand has some unique/unusual fee structures for specific MCC codes, industries, and circumstances. Like many financial products, the list is long! But, the below represent all the fees that a typical merchant could expect to encounter. 

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  • 0.14% credit assessment of gross credit volume.

  • 0.13% debit assessment of gross debit volume.

  • 1.00% international service assessment of US-dollar sales on cards issued outside the US.

  • 1.40% international service assessment of non-US-dollar  sales on cards issued outside the US.

  • $0.0195 acquirer credit fee per credit transaction.

  • $0.0155 acquirer debit fee per debit transaction.

  • $0.0018 base II fee per settled transaction.

  • $0.10 transaction integrity fee applies to any keyed sale without AVS information.

  • $0.09 misuse of auth fee applies when an authorization doesn't include a subsequent capture.

  • $0.20 zero floor limit fee applies for any settled sale without an authorization.

  • $0.025 zero dollar verification fee applies when AVS/CVV data is verified without authorizing a transaction.

  • VARIABLE Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF) is a flat fee, charged based on previous month's Visa volume. Will range from $2.90 to as high as $160 or more per month for high-volume merchants.

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  • 0.13% acquirer brand volume fee (ABVF) of gross volume.

  • 0.0075% acquirer license fee (ALF) of gross volume.

  • 0.01% high-volume assessment of transactions > $1,000.

  • 0.60% cross border assessment fee (domestic) of US-dollar sales on cards issued outside the US.

  • 1.00% cross border assessment fee (international)of non-US-dollar  sales on cards issued outside the US.

  • 0.01% digital enablement fee on card-not-present transactions for signature debit, consumer credit, and commercial credit cards.

  • $0.0195 network access and brand usage fee (NABU) per credit transaction.

  • $0.01 AVS fee (card-not-present) per card-not-present transaction utilizing the AVS service.

  • $0.005 AVS fee (card-present) per card-present transaction utilizing the AVS service.

  • $0.025 account status inquiry Fee (intraregional) applies when AVS/CVV data is verified without authorizing a transaction, on a card/merchant that are in the same region.

  • $0.03 account status inquiry Fee (interregional) applies when AVS/CVV data is verified without authorizing a transaction, on a card/merchant that are not in the same region.

  • $0.045 processing excellence fee applies for any transaction not properly cleared/settled within proper timeframes.

  • $1.25 merchant location fee applies monthly for all merchants accepting MasterCard.

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  • 0.15% volume assessment of all sales.

  • 0.30% card not present fee on all card-not-present volume.

  • 0.40% international fee on all international volume.

  • 0.75% non-compliance surcharge assessed when authorizations are not captured same day.

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  • 0.13% volume assessment of all sales.

  • 0.55% international processing fee assessed on international volume.

  • 0.80% international service fee assessed on international volume.

  • $0.0195 data usage fee per authorized transaction.

  • $0.025 network authorization fee per authorized transaction.

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