A Complete Guide to Discover Interchange Rates and Pass-Through Fees

Discover is popular among many cardholders for various reasons. Discover offers a generous cashback program for many of its cardholders. It also offers more fraud protection features than what most other credit card networks provide. The brand’s system is trusted among many cardholders, especially as Discover provides general protection for everything a customer requests.

You can accept Discover credit and debit cards at your business, but you will spend money on interchange rates for each transaction. But Discover doesn’t provide direct information on its interchange rates. Discover can provide you details on the specific rates you will cover when you request a quote.

You will find Discover’s rates to be very affordable and useful for many purposes. The company even has better rates for recurring payments, which works if you offer a product or service that people subscribe to and support.

A Note About the Listed Examples

This guide covers general details on the interchange rates you might spend when accepting Discover cards. Your rates will vary surrounding your industry and business size. You can contact the Discover organization for details on the specifics you’ll manage when accepting Discover cards.

The Main Types of Discover Cards and Their Rates

The interchange rates for Discover cards will vary by the type you accept. Here are a few of the more prominent types of credit cards you’ll find:

  • Standard
  • Rewards; the card offers increased cashback opportunities
  • Premium; this is available only by invite
  • Premium Plus; this is also only through invite
  • Commercial

The interchange rates are higher as you go further down the line. A standard Discover card will have an average rate of 1.56% plus 10 cents. The total rises to 1.71% plus 10 cents for Rewards and Premium cards.

Premium Plus credit cards have a rate of 2.15% plus 10 cents. A Commercial card will have a rate of 2.3% plus 10 cents.

All of these rates are for card-present transactions.

CNP or Keyed Rates

The CNP or keyed rates for Discover credit cards are slightly higher than they are for card-present deals. You can expect to pay at least 0.2% more for each keyed or CNP deal. A traditional card will have an average keyed rate of 1.87% plus 10 cents, for example. The higher rate comes from the added risk for accepting these cards when the actual cardholder may not be present.

Rates For Recurring Payments

Discover has separate rates for recurring payments. These rates are significantly lower than traditional payments, as you are establishing trust with your customers here.

A regular card will have a recurring rate of 1.35% plus 5 cents. The total rises to 1.8% plus 5 cents for Premium Plus cards. The same 2.3% plus 10 cent rate applies for Commercial cards.

The lower rates for recurring payments make Discover cards ideal for businesses that offer subscriptions or other recurring options.

Rates For Debit Cards

Discover has debit cards, but it doesn’t have any that feature reward programs. The interchange rate for Discover’s debit cards is still less than what you’d spend for a charge card.

A Discover debit card’s rate is 1.1% plus 16 cents. The value drops to 0.05% plus 22 cents if the card is regulated, meaning it is backed by a bank with assets of at least $10 billion.

The rate for a keyed debit card rises to 1.75% plus 20 cents.

Recurring debit payments are charged at 1.2% plus 5 cents. The rate is unchanged for regulated cards.

What Fees Apply?

Discover will charge various rates for its cards. These pass-through rates can add up and may be too expensive for some parties.

Here are a few of the more prominent fees you will find when accepting Discover card payments:

  • Brand Acceptance Fee – 0.13%
  • Data Usage Fee – 1.95 cents; Discover has plans to drop this to 0.25 cents soon
  • Data Transmission Fee – 0.25 cents
  • International Charge – 0.8% extra for international transactions
  • International Processing Fee – 0.5% for each international payment
  • Ticket Retrieval Fee – $1 for each request
  • Network Authorization Fee – 1.9 cents

Discover’s fee structure is one of the easiest to follow in today’s credit card world. The simplified structure makes it easier for people to accept the Discover card, as they don’t have to worry about lots of complicated terms to go alongside the rates they are already managing.

Added International Considerations

Discover has an average interchange rate of 1.65% for international purchases. But the 1.65% rate goes alongside the additional charges and processing fees Discover will impose on international payments. Discover cards are useful if you plan on accepting cards within your own country, but you will have to spend more to manage payments if they come from outside where you live. The extra costs come from security concerns and efforts to exchange the currency to the proper total.

Should You Accept Discover Cards?

Discover is not as prominent as other card brands in the United States, but it is a worthwhile choice to consider. People who use Discover cards enjoy getting rewards on their purchases. They also like how Discover has a customer service team that is on hand to help them with any concerns they might hold.

You can accept Discover cards at your place of business today. But be sure when getting Discover transactions ready that you know what their rates are and that you are prepared for them. You can talk with Discover for details on the specific rates you will spend when accepting their cards at your business or website.

Don’t forget about the merchant service provider who will help you accept Discover cards. You’ll have to spend a merchant fee alongside whatever interchange rate you will manage. Remember that you can negotiate a lower merchant fee with many providers, but you won’t be able to negotiate whatever rates Discover imposes on your business when trying to make it work. Be careful when getting your plans ready here and that you have an idea of where you’ll go with Discover cards.

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