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Cardsave Review: UK Features and Fees

Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

Founded in the UK by current Payzone chief executive and Travelex founder Clive Kahn, Cardsave has become one of the most reputable brands in the business - and you’d certainly hope so, since they’ve been running since 1999! 

You can be forgiven for not hearing the name 'Cardsave' too often now, as the company was bought over and rebranded by WorldPay in 2010. Despite this, the name has stuck around with loyal customers. 

Cardsave is one of the bigger payment processing companies, but don’t think that means they don't cater to small businesses too. The company has something to offer businesses of all sizes, whether it's a small business just beginning to turn a profit, or an experienced company with a consistently good turnover. 


What Cardsave products are available? 

Cardsave isn't just for E-commerce businesses. If you like, they can sort you out with a point of sale system and a mobile card machine. This lets you sell to your customer the good old fashioned way… face to face! 

Here are the 3 Cardsave merchant account options available: 

Pay as you go: This option is ideal for a small business that wants a flexible payment provider with no commitment, like startups or seasonal businesses. The fees are 2.75% + 20 pence per transaction (same for debit and credit cards). This is a good option for those who don't make many card payments. Instead of paying a monthly fee when you only occasionally use the services, this route lets you only pay for what you use! Also, there are no contracts, so you can leave whenever you want with no early termination charge.

Fixed Monthly: A monthly option is helpful for medium businesses, as it streamlines their fees. A minimum monthly service charge typically starts at £49.99 (you'll need to contact them for an exact quote) and includes transactions up to a threshold you agree to. The benefit of paying monthly is that your transaction fees on debit cards are quite a bit cheaper, at 0.75% instead of 2.75%. For credit card processing, the fee is the same as with pay as you go. 

Standard: If you fancy a bit of both, then this option is for you. The standard merchant account is perfect for businesses that have varying transaction volumes. You’re charged using a combination of monthly fees and transaction charges, which lets you get the best value for money.


Card Terminal


What features does Cardsave have? 

There’s a few handy optional features that are available for all Cardsave accounts:

  • Virtual terminal: A virtual terminal lets customers make payments to your business by phone for an extra £9.95 per month. 
  • Pay by Link: Email payments give your customers more options to pay, so they’re worth including if it fits your budget. Naturally, this also comes with an extra charge - £9.95 per month. It’s worth noting that payments have anti-fraud measures, like PCI and 3D secure checkout! 
  • Recurring payments: Recurring payment functionality lets customers set up an automatic payment each month, instead of having to checkout for each individual transaction. 
  • Risk manager: This tool monitors all transactions made to you and will let you know if there's anything suspicious about the buyer. This is an additional 10p per transaction.
  • My business dashboard: This provides a business performance insight for businesses, big and small. This has a cost of £4.99 per month but comes with a 3 month trial period so you can see if you like it. 


What are the reviews for CardSave like? 

Review scores for Cardsave aren’t the best - with a score fluctuating between 2/5 and 3/5 on TrustPilot. However, it's worth noting that many of these negative reviews are from customers who have made a payment on a scam site and have lost money after paying through Cardsave’s payment gateway. 

Unfortunately, this is a flaw of the platform as a whole and not necessarily a fault of Cardsave, so don’t be too turned off by the poor reviews.

We're interested in the merchant experience - so let's check out the main takeaways from the reviews: 

Merchants were impressed by: 

  • 24/7 customer service.
  • Reasonable transaction fees and monthly rates. 
  • Cardsave's account systems are easy to use.
  • Faulty hardware is usually replaced very quickly.

Merchants were not too happy with: 

  • Withdrawal times are too long. 
  • The setting up process is tedious and many merchants felt they weren't supported enough. 
  • Automatic contract renewal has caught out a few merchants. 


Customer Service


Why should I go for Cardsave over competitors? 

As a pay as you go service, Cardsave is great value for money. For comparison, PayPal charges 2.9% + 30p per transaction, as opposed to the 2.75% + 20p that CardSaver offers. 

However, if you pay monthly, it's a little harder to compare. Cardsaver gives you a custom quote based on your business transactions. As such, they don't really advertise exact fees online. 

To make sure you're getting the best deal, contact various merchant services for quotes, to see who can give you the best service at a low cost. 



When it comes to online payment providers, it’s worth checking out as many providers as you can to see who has the best rates and features for your business. This is where our card processing fee comparison tool comes in handy.

Staying blindly loyal to your payment solution company is leaving money on the table, so make sure to check out the competition. 

If you're opting for a pay as you go system, Cardpay is a great alternative to PayPal and will save you money. If you need a monthly payment to streamline your fees, you should contact both to get an exact quote!

Perhaps you’d rather stick with smaller companies that might be inclined to pay you more attention. If so, why not check out Nochex

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Written by:
Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

Stephen brings a wealth of experience honed through years in the financial sector, particularly in the card processing payments industry. His illustrious career spans key roles at PwC, Natwest, and the role of CFO at WorldPay, before going on to found card processing comparison site, CardSwitcher. He is passionate about helping growing businesses to understand the card processing landscape so they can make savvy financial decisions.