Costco Credit Card Processing

costco credit card processing

Many people wonder if Costco’s credit card processing is a good value. The retail giant has captured quite a market share of personal shoppers seeking free food samples, bulk discounts, cheap gas, quality merchandise, high-calorie pizza, jumbo dogs after checkout, and consumer protection through their excellent return policy. But does Costco’s excellent retail chain carry over the same customer experience into their business services department?

What Costco Will Tell You

 “We trust our providers to deliver the same level of quality and value as Costco itself. So go ahead — Think Costco First.”

Wait a minute…”our providers?” Yes, that’s right. Most of Costco’s business services are not handled in house. So Costco is not actually directly involved with the fulfillment of the services. They are basically acting as a marketing face for these service providers. Costco knows they have brand name recognition and a member base of nearly 45 million, so they set up profit-sharing deals with 3rd party companies to handle these complicated services for them. So you’re not actually dealing with Costco or their employees when you look into getting Costco credit card processing. Bummer.

What Previous Clients Will Tell You About Costco Credit Card Processing

“Who is Elavon?”

Costco credit card processing is done through a company called Elavon. The customer service, installation, and payments are all made with Elavon, meaning the Costco experience we all know and love will have nothing to do with the payment processing service you will be getting. Now, you may object, “But Costco is an honest and reputable company so I’m sure all of their providers will be too.” So let’s examine to see what people are saying about Elavon. There’s no better credible source than the Better Business Bureau. Here’s part of Elavon’s BBB Page:

Costco Credit Card Processing

You can read on in detail about specific Costco Negative Reviews if you choose.

Another online review site called Card Payment Options reveals the following ratings for Elavon, the Costco credit card processing provider:


So here’s a recap on Costco’s trusted credit card processing partner:

  • Overall Rating: C
  • 72% of complaints filed through the BBB were not resolved to the clients’ satisfaction
  • 100% of reviews are negative

“These prices aren’t what I signed up for”

Costco advertises very low processing rates: Some close to 1.38% for a retail account, 1.99% for internet accounts, and 1.22% for mobile accounts. You might jump to sign a Merchant Application upon being promised these prices, but these are only for businesses that meet Elavon’s strict transaction qualification requirements. The processing rates double or triple for those who cannot meet these qualifications. Additionally, a single desktop terminal can cost you nearly $550. For a piece of equipment that is actually much cheaper, this price tag adds insult to injury.

Hidden Fees - Costco Credit Card Processing

“What is this fee for?”

Being one of the most expensive processors in the business, Costco can get creative with what is FEE-sible. Non-qualified surcharges, statement fees, per-item fees, and failure-to-meet-minimum-charge fees could be a monthly reality for your business. You will be surprised to see just how much of your sales they take from you in fees when all is said and done. It will be much higher than the teaser rates that they advertise on their website.

What You Can Do About It

It is possible, and much more convenient to sign with a provider that doesn’t bind you into a contract, reel you in with false promises, and doesn’t hide behind the brand appeal of a large company. If you’re interested in learning more about such a company, then check out PayFrog.

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