Processor Directory > Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services Review

Host Merchant Services, sometimes just called HMS, is a credit card processing company located in Delaware. It serves almost all industries, both for-profit and non-profit companies. If you’re looking for a new processor or just want to know about the company’s services and reputation, this Host Merchant Services review will tell you what you need to know.
About this processor:









First Data, TSYS, TransFirst

Acquiring Bank(s)


Synovus Bank, Wells Fargo

Features and Services

HMS offers payment processing, gift card and loyalty card programs, and equipment. What the company doesn’t offer directly (like business financing) it offers through partners that it says are carefully vetted.

As a signup bonus of sorts, HMS offers a website and business email addresses for new accounts. If you don’t already have a site, you can get started with the basic website creation package offered by HMS.


The free website lets you choose and customize a design, adding text and photos. The user-friendly online portal makes it possible for those with no tech experience to create a professional site, while those with more knowledge can add HTML, Javascript, or CSS to implement more advanced design elements. If you’d like, you can add premium features down the road or as your business grows.

Payment Processing

Host offers payment processing for multiple business types, including food service, retail, non-profits, health and fitness, and online businesses. The company has different solutions to fit the specific needs of your business. Retailers can offer loyalty programs, while health clubs can set up recurring billing for memberships and non-profits can benefit from lower pricing.

You can take all major credit and debit cards, as well as EBT cards issued by the government.

Online payment processing through an ecommerce website can be set up using your preferred combination of gateway and shopping cart. (HMS supports multiple options.)

Or, if you prefer to take cards by phone or mail, you can use the Host virtual terminal. A virtual terminal lets you turn your computer into a secure payment processing option, letting you enter card information into a web form.

Related Article: Credit Card Processing for Non-Profit Organizations.

High Risk

In addition to traditional credit card processing, HMS supports some high risk industries. The company has confirmed to CardFellow that it supports online firearm sales, nutraceuticals, and more. In some cases, HMS may be able to provide merchant accounts to CBD and kratom businesses. (Note that the company does not serve marijuana businesses even in states where the substance is legal, as it is still illegal federally.) 

Gift Cards and Loyalty Cards

Encouraging repeat business is key, and gift and loyalty cards can help you achieve your goals. HMS offers turnkey solutions for gift cards, loyalty cards, or a combination program. The company doesn’t offer much information about costs of the program(s), whether cards are reloadable, or what options are available for card customization, but you can get answers using our message board in your CardFellow account.

Business Financing

Host Merchant Services partners with cash advance companies. If you need funds for business expenses, HMS has one application that you can fill out to get cash advance offers from multiple companies. You may be eligible to receive funds in as little as 24 hours. Just remember that cash advances, while easier to obtain, are still a serious financial obligation. Be sure to weigh all your options when making a decision on funding.

Related Article: Should you get a merchant cash advance?

Host Merchant Services Rates and Fees

HMS claims to offer interchange plus pricing, the model we recommend at CardFellow. Interchange plus pricing is usually the lowest cost option, but pricing is specific to your business, which is why it isn’t published on a processor’s website.

That doesn’t mean you can’t see pricing before you commit, though. Host Merchant Services will give you a quote for free (and with no obligation) right here through CardFellow so you can compare it with other processors that you’re considering.

To get started, fill out the quote request form.

(Don’t worry, HMS and other processors won’t get your contact info unless you say so.)

What about equipment?

HMS offers a free Verifone Vx 510 terminal, but it’s important to note that it isn’t an EMV chip card compliant terminal. Additional models, like a chip-capable Vx 520 are available for purchase. If that’s not what you want to use, you can also get wireless terminals, or use your tablet or smartphone with the HMSPay app.

The company also offers full point-of-sale systems for businesses that need something more comprehensive than countertop terminals. Features of the systems vary, but can include integrated credit card processing, inventory management, reporting, and more. The company lists three POS packages (Starter, TouchStarter, and Plus) as well as a custom package option, but doesn’t provide details on what’s included or the costs of the packages.

However, the company does have a “hardware” section on its website where it lists available choices. Currently, you can choosen between tablets (8” or 11” models are available) or touchscreen monitors (available in 15” and 17” models) as well as select a receipt printer. HMS states on the POS/hardware pages that installation is included.

For internet payments, Host Merchant Services supports popular gateway Authorize.Net, as well as multiple other platforms. It can also support popular shopping carts for easy integration. If you’re already using a payment gateway or shopping cart that you’d like to keep, be sure to check for compatibility with the HMS systems before signing up.

Related Article: Is “free” equipment really free?

Host Merchant Services Reviews

Despite the fact that Host Merchant Services has been around for several years, there isn’t a lot of information available in terms of reviews. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but also doesn’t give us as much to go on with regards to understanding if clients are actually happy with HMS, or just not upset enough to leave a bad review. If you’ve worked with them, help us (and other businesses!) out by telling us about your experience.

Host Merchant Services, LLC does have a profile with the Better Business Bureau, where it has been accredited since 2011, and currently has an A+ rating. That’s all the help we’ll get from the BBB’s website, however, as Host has not had any complaints or reviews (good or bad) in the past 3 years.

A search of the other common places for reviews (Yelp, Ripoff Report, Google Reviews, etc.) also brings us up empty-handed.

By contrast, on the HMS website, you’ll find several testimonials that include the reviewer’s full name and business name. Reviews praise the company for providing great support and for saving them money, as well as for making it easy to accept credit cards and for creating a seamless process for switching from other companies.

What’s your experience? Leave a review!


Unlike general web reviews, verified reviews are posted by businesses that have chosen the processor's quote through CardFellow's marketplace, and CardFellow has confirmed with the processor that the business is using its service. Businesses can update verified reviews at any time to ensure the review accurately reflects the processor's performance over time.

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Posted by Louis r on Jun 10, 2019


After being locked in with my previous processor, I did a lot of research and spoke with a lot of companies. I ended up deciding to go with Host Merchant Services. I'm happy that I did. It has been much better than before!

Posted by Sandra on Jun 07, 2019


I was referred to HMS by a good friend. They found hidden fees my other company was charging me! I get better pricing too. I like that they don't have a contract or a fee for closing the account. They also gave me a free card terminal. I recommend them to all of my friends.

Posted by Christian Tewis on Jun 07, 2019


I couldn’t be happier with host merchant services! They gave the best rates and the best service. They are always there! StyleMoxy are big fans! Thanks everyone at HMS!

Posted by Jennifer Eckis on Jun 06, 2019


I've been with HMS for a couple years now and have had nothing but good experiences. They gave me my cc machine and have good rates. Their customer service is really, really good. I would highly recommend them.

Posted by Julia Drexel on May 13, 2019


Host Merchant Services has been fantastic since I started working with them. They gave me a free chip card terminal that another company wanted to charge me $200 for. They also beat the rates that I was quoted from the other company, so I'm really happy with the pricing. I have called into their support line a couple of times, and always got my questions answered immediately without having to sit on hold. They have been really friendly and helpful so far.

Posted by Neil Campbell on May 10, 2018


Great rates, excellent point of sale. Highly recommended.

Posted by Donovan Obrien on Apr 05, 2018


Host Merchant Services has got to be hands down the worst company I’ve dealt with since opening my business. I’ve been constantly told conflicting stories and my money has been held hostage by this company. Aside from their rates being great I wouldn’t recommend this company to anyone doing business. Use them with a high level of caution.

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