How do I pass credit card fees onto my customer?

According to Visa, MasterCard and American Express merchant rules, merchants generally cannot charge a service fee when customers use their credit card. However, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express permit eligible merchants to charge a service fee (also known as a convenience fee) for certain types of transactions.

To pass credit card fees onto your customer, you can:

  1. Add a line item for credit card surcharge to the invoice and add a standard amount to each invoice
  2. Calculate to offset the 2.9% + 30 cents charge per invoice.

The following is a formula to calculate credit card fees:

If you want to earn $100 from a credit card payment, work backwards from that amount, which is y:

x = the amount you're going to charge
y = the amount of the invoice (in this case, $100)
x = (y + .3) / .971
= (100 + .3) / .971 x = ~103.30

In order to receive 100.00 from this credit card payment, you need to add a convenience fee of $3.30.

In some cases, you'll need to double check the total for a missing $0.01 rounding error.


This method also works for American Express payments (3.4% + 30 cents) and bank payments (1%). Because bank payments are a minimum $1 fee, this method will only apply to invoices over $100.