A Review of Sam’s Club Merchant Services

After switching credit card companies several times due to rising fees, downgrading of rates, or too high of a PCI compliance fee, I thought i found the solution with First Data Bank offered by Sam’s Club. With rates as low as 1.98% for manually entered cards and .20 a transaction, I loved that I would also get a Sam’s Plus membership ($100 value) for free. While the rates were virtually the same as my current card company, the PCI compliance fee being half that of what I was paying and the free membership is what prompted me to make the switch.

Then my charges for the credit cards were debited. I was surprised to see that I was charged double of what I was paying before the switch. After all they were the same credit cards used so why weren’t they the same rates? First Data Bank is set up to downgrade any and all rewards cards to the non-qualified rate of an additional 2.89%! While some credit card companies charge a higher rate than 1.98% they do get most (if not all) rewards cards to go in at the qualified rate. Infact, two prior companies only charged the higher rate for corporate and international credit cards.

The other downside with First Data Bank is that you have to sign up online to receive the actual statement as they don’t mail the statements to you. After going through that whole process, the system won’t recognize my login so I still have yet to be able to view my statement. However, speaking with representatives, this is how I found out that all my cards were downgraded, which is why I paid the higher fees. So long story short, stick with your current credit card company. The $39.95 PCI compliance fee and free Sam’s Plus membership do not make up for paying twice as much in fees as you should be.

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