Try Our Free Price Quote Request Tool!

Credit Card Terminals Basics

Credit card terminals let businesses such as retail stores and restaurants process credit cards efficiently and securely. They can be set up to accept credit cards, debit cards, and even gift cards. An essential addition for any new business and, thankfully, adding the ability to process credit cards is now relatively straight-forward.

Credit Card Terminals

Start Now

Most credit card terminals share basic features and functions. You can purchase different types of terminals based on need:

The costs of a credit card terminal are relatively inexpensive. Most of your expenses will be the ongoing fees you pay a merchant account provider to process transactions. Make sure you select the best merchant account provider with the best mix of price and customer service. As you evaluate different merchants and offers, you may be tempted by very low introductory pricing and even completely free credit card terminals — these can indeed be excellent offers but it’s important to weigh the complete offer carefully, inclusive of all fees and pricing over the lifetime of your agreement with the merchant.

Straight Talk from Other Credit Card Terminals Buyers

“I own a tanning business. We will sell tanning packages along with retail accessories and we would like to offer monthly billing, so we need a few credit card terminals for this.”
Business Owner in Virden, IL
“Well I started a small wholesale business and also work at a flea market on weekends, can you provide the tools needed to allow customers to pay by credit cards? Quotes on credit card terminals and credit card processing rates too.”
Designer in Kihei, HI
“We are a general contractor and sometimes have customers that will put progression payments or change order payments on their credit card. These charges are between 2k and $30,000, so we need credit card terminals that can handle that amount. Please discuss processing rates too.”
General Manager in Orange, CA
“I'm looking for a Hypercom Merchant Pro 3. Is there such a credit card terminal available? Please forward any information on the machine if possible.”
Buyer in Salem, NJ
“I offer psychological counseling and therapy services. Patients pay on a per treatment hour basis. There are currently 5 providers in the office. We need only basic credit card terminals, nothing fancy.”
Physician in Dover, DE
“This is a new daycare business, opening up near the end of January 2007. I don't know what equipment is required -- an analog phone line? Please inform.”
CEO in Bedford, IN
“Our transactions are under 5k a month currently. We plan on accepting only the major credit cards (Mastercard & Visa). We will however need to see all fees. With the credit card terminals’ prices, we’d like to know the monthly surcharge, rates, and application or setup fees if there are any.”
Business Owner in Saint Paul, MN

Related Articles

Credit Card Terminals Buyer's Guide
Learn about types of merchant accounts available, who offers them, and how to improve your chances of getting accepted. (Source:

Review of the top credit card machine manufacturers
A detailed look into the credit card terminal manufacturers that dominate the market. (Source: USA Merchant Solutions)

Selecting the right credit card equipment
Seven questions you should ask yourself before entering a credit card terminal purchase. (Source: Merchant Warehouse)

Protect your business from credit card fraud
What you should know about the dangers of credit card fraud and how to report it. (Source: NFIB)

Common Terms

  • credit card equipment
  • credit card machine
  • credit card processing equipment
  • credit card processing machine
  • credit card reader
  • credit card terminals
  • credit terminal
  • payment terminal
  • wireless credit card equipment

Leading Suppliers

  • 1st American Card Service
  • 1st National Processing
  • Applied Merchant Systems
  • Cynergy Data
  • Encore Payment Systems
  • Hypercom
  • iMax Bancard
  • Merchant Warehouse
  • Nurit
  • PayOne Solutions
  • Pivotal Payments
  • Talento
  • Verifone

Points to consider when purchasing: