PROS / Flagship Merchant Services does not require a long-term contract.
CONS / The costs and fees are not posted on this company's website.
VERDICT / This above-average credit card processor offers month-to-month service for both interchange-plus and tiered pricing options.
Flagship Merchant Services is an ISO/MSP of iPayment, one of the largest direct processors in the country. Flagship Merchant Services provides credit card processing to small businesses as well as large clients, such as Subway, Verizon and Avon. It boasts strong customer support and good service terms as well as multiple pricing options.
This credit card processor offers both tiered and interchange-plus rates. Having multiple pricing options can be helpful to new businesses, and its tiered rates may be a good choice for some businesses. Flagship's tiered rates, especially the 0.38% for qualified debit cards and 1.58% for credit cards are very good. Rates for mid-qualified cards, which are what rewards cards are usually considered, are higher. Flagship's interchange-plus rate has a markup percentage of .30%, which is average compared with the other processors we reviewed. It should be noted that these are the basic rates and Flagship can offer customized quotes depending on your business's monthly processing volume.
Flagship has a relatively low monthly fee of $7.95, but it does require a monthly minimum of $25 and an annual PCI-compliance fee of $99, both of which are in line with industry averages. This minimum comes from the processing fees, so you need to process a certain dollar amount of sales each month in order to meet the minimum and avoid paying the fee.
Transparency and consistency are qualities we value highly in our review of credit card processors. Although some of Flagship Merchant Services' terms are posted online, information about fees and pricing is scant. However, Flagship was consistent with the information it provided when our testers contacted it by phone and email, and we received the same rates and information from multiple points of contact.
Flagship boasts excellent setup speed and service terms. You aren't required to sign a long-term contract, which means that you have the flexibility of a month-to-month service plan that allows you to change services quickly should the need arise. There is no cancellation fee if you choose to move on from Flagship. If you choose to receive free equipment, the company requires you to sign a 12-month contract. At the end of the contractual term, your service continues on a month-to-month basis. This is among the most reasonable contract requirements we've seen.
Once your application is approved, your account can be set up the next day, and once you begin processing, your funds clear the account and are deposited into your business bank account within two business days, both of which are well within the industry average.
Flagship offers excellent customer service, with dedicated account reps who are knowledgeable and helpful. Our contacts were quick to follow up on the emails we sent and consistently provided helpful information about rates and terms.
Flagship Merchant Services is a good choice for your credit card processing service. Though the company isn't as transparent with its costs, fees and terms as other companies we reviewed, it offers both tiered and interchange-plus pricing plans with consistently good rates. It charges low monthly fees and doesn't require you to sign a long-term contract.