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Table of Contents
- What fees does Square charge? An overview
- What is Square, and who is it best for?
- Square's payment processing and transaction fees
- Square POS and e-commerce fees
- Square POS hardware: features and pricing
- Square add-on services: features and pricing
- Square financial services fees
- The bottom line
- Square alternatives
Square costs fall into one of three categories: per-use fees for payment processing, a monthly subscription cost for software and the price of any Square hardware you buy.
What fees does Square charge? An overview
Square’s transaction fees are:
2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.
2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions.
3.3% plus 30 cents for invoices.
Your rates might be lower if you sign up for one of Square's monthly plans described below.
The basic Square point-of-sale app is free; hardware and additional software features cost extra.
What is Square, and who is it best for?
Square is a point-of-sale system that includes payment processing services. Its wide range of tools makes it a good option for a variety of small business types, especially restaurants and retailers.
In addition to point of sale systems, Square’s product suite includes an e-commerce website builder, appointment scheduling software, customer loyalty programs and more. While a few work as stand-alone products (payment links, for example), most work best suited when paired with Square’s POS system.
Square's payment processing and transaction fees
Square’s payment processing fees consist of two parts: a set amount and a percentage. The fee varies depending on whether the customer uses the card in person, online or if the merchant entered the card manually without the customer present.
The total percentage of each sale you can plan to pay in processing fees depends on your average ticket size.
Some premium Square software subscription levels come with cheaper rates.
Square provides custom rates to some businesses — generally those doing more than $250,000 in business with Square per year with an average sale of more than $15.
Square POS and e-commerce fees
All subscriptions are month-to-month, and users can cancel at any time without penalty.
Create and host a website with Square. Syncs with all POS systems.
Square POS hardware: features and pricing
Square add-on services: features and pricing
Square financial services fees
You can project what it will cost to use Square by considering each type of cost:
Hardware. This is a one-time cost you’ll pay upfront (Square does offer financing options). Make sure to factor in the cost of a mobile device if you plan to use one along with any accessories you’ll need.
Software subscription. Depending on your business needs, you might be able to save money by using Square’s free software option. But as you grow or your needs change, you might want the features found in a premium version of Square POS or add-on services, like a customer loyalty program. It might be helpful to budget for both a low-end and a high-end setup.
Payment processing. Your sales volume will have the biggest impact on what you pay for payment processing. Because this fee is linked to sales, it will also fluctuate from month to month. However, another factor to consider is where you’ll accept card payments. If you accept payments in person and online, compare how your costs change depending on where payments take place.
By understanding your upfront cost, your fixed monthly cost and your variable monthly cost, you’ll have a clearer picture of your total cost to use Square.
If you’re looking for cheaper credit card processing than Square offers, here are two of many potential alternatives.
SumUp: Good for mobile
Software cost: $0 monthly fees.
$39 for SumUp Plus card reader.
$49 for SumUp Plus cradle bundle.
$129 for SumUp Solo touchscreen.
$199 for SumUp Solo Printer Bundle.
$799 for SumUp POS bundle.
Payment processing cost:
2.75% for in-person transactions with SumUp card readers.
2.90% plus 15 cents for online invoice transactions.
3.25% plus 15 cents for manually keyed card reader transactions or payment-linked transactions.
2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions with SumUp POS system.
3.5% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions with SumUp POS system.
Why we like it: SumUp lets you accept in-person and mobile payments or use a virtual terminal to process payments by phone. Pricing is straightforward with no monthly contract. Read our full SumUp review.
PayPal Zettle: Good overall alternative
Software cost: $0 monthly fees.
Hardware cost: $29 for Zettle card reader. Pay $79 for additional readers.
Payment processing cost:
2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person and QR code transactions.
3.49% plus 9 cents for manual-entry card transactions.
2.99% plus 49 cents for invoicing (payment made with card).
3.49% plus 49 cents for invoicing (payment made with PayPal).
Why we like it: This all-in-one POS system offers one of the lowest flat-rate transaction fees, making it an affordable option for starting a new business. It also integrates with accounting software such as QuickBooks. If you want a full-blown system, you can purchase a Store Kit Mini for $249 or browse other ready-made hardware kits and POS systems. Read our full PayPal Zettle review.
See how Square compares to other brands: