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6 Best Providers of Free Credit Card Readers in 2024

Kamso Oguejiofor Kamso OguejioforFinance Specialist June 05, 2024
June 05, 2024
POS equipment can significantly impact a business’s budget, often involving high upfront costs and monthly fees that can add up quickly and eat into your profits. While many credit card processors offer free equipment, in most cases, you’ll have to sign a long-term contract with an early termination fee before you get the free device. And this can make you feel trapped in a deal with no way out.

Therefore, you want to carefully investigate different payment processors before deciding which one to use. But don’t worry. I’ve done all the groundwork for you by researching multiple service providers and narrowing down the top 6 that offer the best free credit card readers. These services also offer competitive processing rates, saving you money in the long term.

During my hunt, I found Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) to be the best, as it offers free equipment and negotiable rates to minimize costs further. Check out LMS’ rates or keep reading to see the 5 other payment processors that provide free credit card readers.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Providers of Free Credit Card Readers in 2024

  1. Leaders Merchant Services1 – Free POS with contract paired with negotiable, industry-low rates.
  2. Paysafe1 – Best for businesses with international walk-in clients and high-ticket item sales.
  3. Stax1 – Best for high-volume businesses that process at least $8,000 monthly.

See 3 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in Providers of the Best Free Credit Card Readers

Finding the best free credit card reader providers involves focusing on features that enhance your business operations. During my tests, I prioritized the following essential features to ensure you get the most value:
  • Zero cancellation fees. I ensured none of the service providers on my list came with early termination fees, as you want to avoid being locked into a service that penalizes you for leaving.
  • Month-to-month contracts. Flexibility matters. Most of my listed services provide month-to-month contracts, so you aren’t tied to long-term commitments.
  • User-friendly interface. A straightforward interface lets you quickly set up and start processing payments without technical hassles. My listed services offer this, and some even offer help setting up your device.
  • Low transaction fees. While getting a free credit card reader can help keep costs low, I also ensured these card reader providers offer competitive payment processing rates to help you save even more money.
  • Cash discount plan. With a cash discount plan, you can pass on payment processing fees to customers who pay with their card, while those who pay with cash pay the original lower price. Most of my recommendations include a cash discount plan so that you can evade the transaction fees entirely.

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is the best option for minimizing your costs as much as possible. You get free POS equipment from LMS when you sign a long-term contract with the credit card processor. However, unlike other payment processors, there are no early termination fees, so you can cancel your plan anytime.

Not only does LMS offer free POS equipment, but it also allows you to negotiate rates that are suitable for your business. It promises to either meet or beat the pricing of your current payment processor, or you’ll receive a $200 gift card. LMS fees generally start from ~0.15% + $0 per transaction.

One thing I like about Leaders Merchant Services is its loan program. If you’re looking for a cash advance to grow your business, LMS can help. LMS provides extra capital, which you’ll repay through small commissions on your future sales – no collateral or payback deadlines involved.

Features and Benefits

  • High approval rate. Leaders Merchant Services has a 98% approval rate. If your industry or credit score is causing payment processors to reject you or mark up your credit card fees, you should give Leaders a go.
  • Chargeback management team. There’s a dedicated fraud protection department that helps you resolve any issues if something goes wrong. The team is available 24/7 and provides fast solutions.
  • Payment gateway. Leaders Merchant Services integrates with Authorize.net, a widely trusted payment gateway for online payments. You can use Authorize.net’s robust security features to sell products or subscriptions online.
  • CartManager. LMS integrates with CartManager, which lets you add “add to cart” buttons and checkout pages to your website. You can also use it to calculate tax and shipping costs and retrieve customer statistics to analyze your business operations.
Read our expert Leaders Merchant Services review for more details.

Long-term contract Yes, but there are no
cancellation fees, so you
can cancel your plan
anytime
Cash discount plan ✔️
Customer support 24/7 phone support
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
~0.15% + $0
Monthly fee on cheapest
plan
$9.00

Paysafe offers a free mobile card reader that accepts payments in 40+ currencies, including USD, GBP, AUD, MXN, and NGN. So, if you have a global clientele, you can offer them the convenience of paying with their local credit card.

Paysafe is also a good option for taking international payments online, as it supports over 250 payment methods. These include ACH, EFT, Venmo, Skrill, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, virtual wallets, bank transfers, and local payment methods like Alipay and ePay.

Paysafe is great for businesses selling high-ticket items thanks to its low transaction fees, which start from 0.50% + $0.10. It also has a Cash Discount plan where you transfer all the processing fees to customers that pay via card – though this plan comes with a $16.00 monthly fee.

Features and Benefits

  • Multichannel payment options. Paysafe offers digital invoicing, recurring billing, MOTO, and pay-by-link. It even supports QR code payments for restaurants through its partnership with Applova, an order-ahead, self-service technology provider.
  • Dedicated account manager. Every Paysafe merchant gets access to their own account manager to guide them through onboarding. Your manager will help you set up your payment processing infrastructure, which includes POS systems and online terminals. They are there to provide tailored support throughout the process.
  • Tracking and reporting. Merchant Back Office is Paysafe’s comprehensive online dashboard, where you can view your payment transactions, generate reports, receive orders through a virtual terminal, and process refunds – all in one place.
  • Paysafecash. This is a tool that enables your customers to make online payments with cash. They simply generate a QR code, present it at the nearest in-store payment point, and complete the transaction with cash.
Our full Paysafe review has more details.

Long-term contract
Cash discount plan ✔️
Customer support 24/7 technical support
line for customers
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
0.50% + $0.10
Monthly fee on cheapest
plan
$7.95
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3. Payment Depot: Free Dejavoo Terminal for All Businesses1

Payment Depot offers a free Dejavoo terminal on all its plans. The terminals are basic but modern, with touchscreens and the ability to take contactless payments. Plus, you could negotiate with the service provider for multiple free Dejavoo terminals if your business needs them.

If you’re willing to pay for a more robust solution than the free Dejavoo terminal, Payment Depot is a certified reseller of Clover equipment. These include the Clover Station Pro, Mini LTE, Flex, and Station POS. You can use these devices to manage several aspects of your business, including inventory, taxes, reporting, discounts, and much more.

Payment Depot offers both flat-rate and interchange-plus plans. The flat-rate plans start from $79.00/month with a flat fee of 0% + 10¢ (in-person) per transaction and are more suitable for high-volume businesses. Meanwhile, small to mid-sized businesses will benefit more from the interchange-plus pricing that includes zero monthly fees and a minimum per-transaction fee of 0.2%-1.95%.

Features and Benefits

  • Next-day payouts. Regardless of your customer’s payment method, Payment Depot will deposit your funds into your bank account within 24 hours.
  • Comprehensive payment dashboard. Within your Payment Depot dashboard, you can create and send payment links and branded invoices, run promotions, manually input payments, and monitor sales performance.
  • Chargeback monitoring team. Payment Depot lets you dispute chargebacks directly from your account dashboard. Plus, it has a 24/7 standby risk monitoring team to help minimize your risk of chargebacks and fraud.
  • Custom shopping cart. Payment Depot lets you create your own custom shopping carts for your apps and websites. Alternatively, you can install a pre-built template and start selling immediately.
Check out our full review to learn more about Payment Depot.

Long-term contract
Cash discount plan ✔️
Customer support 24/7 technical support line
via phone and ticket
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on cheapest
plan
$79.00

After onboarding, Square will mail your business a free mobile credit card reader. You’d need to install the Square Point of Sale app on your mobile device and connect the card reader to your device via your headphone jack (for Android) or lightning port (for Apple products). It’s great for casual/informal settings, like pop-up stalls at local markets.

Another free offering from Square is a payment plan with zero monthly fees. This plan even comes with an online store builder, which is great for simple online shops. It streamlines the whole process of setting up and selling online, and you don’t need any coding experience to use it.

Square’s paid plans offer more e-commerce benefits, such as a custom domain, abandoned cart recovery, a real-time shipping calculator, and customer reviews. The paid plans start at $89.00/month and 2.5% + 10¢ per transaction. However, the free plan, which charges 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction, is also a good starting point, especially for a new business. I just wish Square’s contact support weren’t so difficult to reach.

Features and Benefits

  • Wide variety of other hardware. Apart from the free mobile card reader, Square sells several hardware devices. These include a fully-featured card terminal, a compact contactless and chip reader, and a dual-screen POS register. Each of these devices comes with a 30-day refund policy.
  • Free business tools. Square gives you multiple free tools to manage your business, including team management, as well as dashboard and reporting tools. There’s also an app marketplace where you can get free apps and integrations.
  • Sell online without a website. With Square, you can sell your products and services online without having a website. You can just create Square links or buy buttons/QR codes and share them through social media or email to your customers to make payments.
  • E-commerce integrations. To further support your e-commerce ventures, Square integrates with several e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, WordPress, Wix, and Ecwid.
To learn more, check out our comprehensive Square review.

Long-term contract
Cash discount plan ✔️
Customer support Phone and email support
available Monday – Friday
(24/7 on some plans)
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
2.5% + 10¢
Monthly fee on cheapest
plan
$89.00

5. Sekure: Free Payanywhere Device and Same-Day Funding1

Sekure is one of the industry’s most generous credit card processors, well known for giving multiple freebies. It provides free equipment, regardless of your plan or contract length. This is usually a Payanywhere device, which could be a credit card reader, contactless POS system, or tap-and-pay terminal. Plus, if you’re a larger business, you may be eligible for more than one free device.

Signing up with Sekure is easy, and you can be fully set up within 48 hours. You also get access to same-day or next-day payouts for free, allowing you to maintain a steady cash flow within your business. Most payment processors charge a premium for this feature, so I’m pleased Sekure includes it by default.

Sekure’s per-transaction fees are a bit costly, so I won’t recommend them for high-volume businesses (Payment Depot is a better option). Transaction fees start from as high as 3.5% + 19¢ (in-person & online), though Sekure doesn’t have monthly fees. Sekure’s Edge Program lets you pass the transaction fees to your customers, but it comes with a $39.95 monthly fee.

Features and Benefits

  • Discounted payment gateway. As a Sekure merchant, you’ll get access to Authorize.net at a much lower price than the standalone price. In some cases, Sekure might give you free access to the payment gateway.
  • Free virtual terminal. Sekure offers a free virtual terminal for businesses that collect Mail-Order/Telephone-Order (MOTO) payments.
  • Automatic payments. Sekure saves the card details of your repeat customers, so they don’t have to re-enter payment details each time they want to make a purchase. You can even create personalized invoices for subscriptions to improve customer engagement and brand loyalty.
  • Personal payment expert. You’ll receive a payment expert to guide you through onboarding as you navigate Sekure’s tools and features.
Read our full Sekure review for more benefits.

Long-term contract ✔️
Cash discount plan✔️ ✔️
Customer support 24/7 phone support, email
and live chat
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
3.5% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
Monthly fee on cheapest
plan
N/A

6. POS Pros: Free POS Equipment With Free Virtual System Demo1

POS Pros will give you a free Clover Mini LTE, Clover Flex terminal, or Dejavoo Z11. Although there are no early termination fees, you must return the free equipment if you cancel your plan. However, any device you purchase is yours to keep, even if you leave POS Pros.

One of the things I like about POS Pros is its personalized approach to credit card processing. Not only do you get a free device, but you’ll also get a free live virtual demonstration of any other device you may want to purchase. This way, you can test the features of the POS systems in question and know if they are a right fit for your business.

Despite its name, POS Pros also caters to e-commerce needs. It integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, and many more e-commerce platforms. It also gives you access to Authorize.net as both a payment gateway and virtual terminal. POS Pros isn’t very transparent about its pricing, but I spoke with a sales rep who gave me a quote of 0.30% + 10¢ (in-person) for in-person payments and 1.95% (online) for online transactions.

Features and Benefits

  • Multiple hardware brands. True to its name, POS Pros provides an extensive range of credit card readers from over 25 brands, including Clover, Revel, SmartSwipe, and TouchBistro.
  • Free consultation. POS Pros understands that various businesses have unique point-of-sale requirements. After signing up, you’ll receive a complimentary consultation with a specialist who will suggest a credit card reader tailored to your industry’s needs.
  • Next-day payouts. POS Pros will transfer funds to your linked bank account within 24 hours, no matter which plan you select or how your customers pay.
  • Free payment gateway. POS Pros typically charges a monthly fee of $7.95 or $14.95 to use Authorize.net. However, you may qualify for a fee waiver if your business processes $250,000 or more.
Our full POS Pros review has more pricing information.

Long-term contract
Cash discount plan ✔️
Customer support 24/7 support and POS
technical help desk
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
1.95% (online)
Monthly fee on cheapest
plan
$5.00

Maximize Savings With the Best Free Credit Card Readers

Getting a free credit card reader can significantly lower your expenses by eliminating monthly hardware fees. However, it’s important to choose a service provider that offers features that enhance the functionality of the free device.

LMS is the best overall option1 for obtaining free POS equipment and negotiable transaction fees. With LMS, you can negotiate a rate that fits your business, enhancing your cost management while benefiting from free hardware.

Go with Paysafe if you have international customers1. Its free mobile card reader accepts payments in more than 40 currencies. Plus, it supports 250+ payment methods, including local payment software like China’s Alipay e-Wallet and international solutions like PayPal or Skrill.

I recommend Payment Depot for high-volume businesses1 that want a free Dejavoo terminal. It offers a simple subscription-based pricing model that includes extremely low flat-rate transaction fees, ensuring you don’t lose a massive chunk of your profits to processing fees.

Below is a brief comparison of the best providers of free credit card readers.
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee
on cheapest
plan
Transaction
fees on
cheapest
plan
Leaders
Merchant
Services
Free credit card
reader paired
with negotiable
rates
Businesses
looking to
minimize costs
$9.00 ~0.15% + $0
Paysafe Free mobile
card reader and
support for 40+
currencies
Businesses that
operate worldwide
$7.95 0.50% + $0.10
Payment
Depot
Free Dejavoo
terminal and
flat-rate pricing
High-volume
businesses
$79.00 0% + 10¢ (online)
Square
Payments
Free mobile
card reader and
website builder
Brick-and-mortar
businesses
looking to open
an online store
$89.00 2.5% + 10¢
Sekure Free
Payanywhere
device and
same-day funding
Businesses that
need fast access
to funds
N/A 3.5% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
POS Pros Free POS
equipment and live virtual
demonstration
Businesses that
want a
personalized
approach to
payment
processing
$5.00 1.95% (online)

FAQ

Who offers free credit card readers?

Several credit card processors offer free credit card readers. One is Leaders Merchant Services, which gives you free POS equipment and allows you to negotiate a rate that benefits your business.

Can you get a card reader for free?

Yes, you can. If you sign up with a merchant provider like Paysafe, you can get a mobile credit card reader for free – no long-term contract, monthly fees, or early termination fees.

Can you get a Square card reader for free?

Yes, when you sign up with Square, you’ll get a free mobile credit card reader mailed directly to your business. You’ll need to install the Square Point of Sale app on your mobile device and connect it to the card reader to process credit card payments from anywhere in the world.

Can phones read credit cards?

Yes, phones can read credit cards if they are connected to a mobile card reader, such as the one Paysafe and Square give their merchants for free. Many phones can also take payments without any extra equipment if they have a tap-to-pay app installed.

For more options, check out our complete list of the best credit card processing services in 2024.

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