commerce bank merchant services review

CardMax Payments Review 2024

A U.S.-based merchant account provider, CardMax was established in 2015 in Portland, Maine, offering full-service payment processing solutions to domestic and overseas businesses. The company is a verified ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank and a Fiserv reseller. It has partnered with multiple national and international banks to serve medium and high-risk companies running mobile and online businesses.  

CardMax aims to maintain a steady transaction flow and enhance customers’ shopping experience while enabling merchants to avoid getting their funds held. It minimizes the risk factors for new merchants and assists them throughout the onboarding process. Merchants are counseled by dedicated account managers and offered the best solutions suitable for individual business needs. The provider promises competitive customer support and industry-leading solutions for a business to stand out in the marketplace. 

The company claims to have the highest approval rates for its internal and third-party banking solutions. Merchants are given a free quote duration in which the company tries to understand their unique needs and leads them through the application process. After the approval stage, a business is provided with comprehensive equipment and unique features designed to optimize a company’s performance. Below is a CardMax Payments review to grant merchants a better understanding of the benefits it offers and the drawbacks they may face. 

Products and Services

The company accepts all credit card brands and facilitates overseas merchant accounts and various payment gateways to match each business’s requirements. Merchants are provided with loyalty programs, ATM cards, and cash advances. They can accept ACH, Carte Blanche, MOTO, and e-check payments and offer customers the convenience of cash transactions. 

The company does not hint at offering credit card terminals, POS systems, or mobile card readers and focuses on providing online payment solutions, primarily virtual terminals. It may offer equipment leases through First Data and other third-party processors, but there is no information on the official website about any hardware available by the provider. 

ACH Payment Processing

CardMax Payments reviews indicate that the company offers ACH payment processing which is highly recommended for routine transactions. This service allows merchants to set recurring billing to avoid delayed payments, and customers do not have to transfer the amount manually.

In ACH payments, funds are transferred electronically through the Automated Clearing House Network instead of a credit card network. It allows faster processing and is more cost-effective as the credit card processing fee is excluded. Since ACH payments involve eChecks, it reduces the risk of tempering and forgery. Furthermore, merchants can reduce human error and avoid multiple trips to the bank.

MOTO Payments

CardMax Payments reviews show that the provider facilitates MOTO (Mail Order/Telephone Order) for card-not-present payments. It allows merchants to manage transactions remotely and enable their customers to pay for purchases without being present at the point of sale. MOTO payments are accessible from anywhere and easy to set up, accepting all credit card brands. Allowing MOTO payments enable merchants to reach a wider range of customers who don’t have an internet connection but want to avoid paying in person. 

Cash Advances

The provider distributes merchant cash advances with trouble-free approvals and customized interest rates, enabling small businesses to receive funding to grow their business. They are lent instant cash on flexible terms without defining the purpose of requesting the advance or putting up personal assets as collateral. 

Merchant cash advances are better than conventional business loans since their interest rate is flexible and directly proportional to the processing amount. Merchants can either pay a percentage of each card transaction or set a date in the future to clear the advance.

Gift and Loyalty Cards

Merchants can increase retention and encourage customer loyalty by offering loyalty programs through gift cards. It is the best marketing tool to increase sales and attract new customers while creating a long-standing relationship with regular buyers. Merchants can customize the gift cards to match their brand and issue different cards for specific promotional campaigns. 

Offering gift cards enable merchants to design a clever sales strategy by using the customers as brand advocates. Customers are motivated to spread the word when given reward points based on their purchases and offered discounts on gift cards. Moreover, customers visiting with gift cards may splurge while buying discounted products and purchase not-on-sale items. This way, a business will gain an immediate increase in sales.

CardMax Rates and Contract Terms

According to the CardMax Payments reviews, the company offers variable contract terms depending on business types, processing history, and size. Its rates also vary in relevance to the payment gateway chosen for online transactions and the partner bank. High-risk merchants will receive higher rates and may face fund reserves. The provider does not maintain information regarding its fees on the website, and its contract details are not accessible to the public. 

Deduced from the limited available information, the company charges 1.00% to 4.99% for swiped and keyed-in card transactions. A business that requires hardware will have to sign a second contract with the partner company leasing the equipment. Merchants are advised to understand every aspect of the contract before signing. 

Sales Practices

The company trains its private sales team and avoids outsourcing the services of independent sales agents to market its services. There is no evidence of CardMax being a scam or displaying dishonest quotes. However, since the provider does not grant any insight into its pricing and contract and backs out from offering all the necessary information, this claim is not completely proven true.

CardMax Payments Reviews and Complaints

The company has maintained a low complaint rate, and a limited number of negative reviews are posted on consumer protection sites. The most common complaint cited against CardMax concerns its customer support. The provider does not have a BBB profile, and no FTC reports or lawsuits have been filed against it in the past years.

However, it should be noted that merchants have not posted any mentionable positive reviews for the provider either. So, the lack of complaints means merchants prefer to address their concerns in person rather than posting them online. CardMax is partnered with multiple banks and uses third-party processors for its payment solutions. In such cases, consumers tend to direct their complaints against the affiliated company. Payment facilitators use this common tactic to keep a clean online reputation.  


The limited CardMax Payments reviews available online indicate that the provider keeps its reputation intact and protects it indirectly with its partnership with multiple companies. For example, since merchants are offered equipment on request through third-party processors and utilize the services of various domestic and international banks, merchants won’t know where to direct their complaints. The provider does not offer information about its services and keeps it a mystery, but there are a few visible drawbacks to choosing CardMax as your payment facilitator.

Unrevealed Information

The company deprives merchants of any necessary information and keeps its contract details from them. The website provides no insight regarding CardMax pricing and only contains a basic, scripted overview of the company. Merchants contemplating signing up with the provider cannot know how the company will benefit their business or if they can afford it. There is no information regarding the services and features offered to consumers, and the very few reviews posted by merchants on the review sites do not provide any clear explanation. 

Unreachable Customer Service

The provider has offered limited customer support options that are mostly unreachable, considering the company’s size. A company with a large clientele is expected to have an exceptional customer service team to hear out all the concerns and answer the queries sent in by merchants every day.

Limited support options mean that most complaints will go unnoticed, and the provider will not have enough sources to satisfy all the clients. As reliable consumer service is important in choosing a payment service provider, merchants will likely get frustrated after choosing CardMax. 

Inadequate Services

CardMax Payments reviews indicate that the company limits its expertise to online and mobile payments and is only suitable for online businesses. It does not offer any equipment directly and provides restricted features and services that may be inadequate for most business types.

Merchants signing a contract with CardMax will have to sign another agreement with a third-party company if they require credit card terminals or other equipment. This will be heavy on their pocket and troublesome in the long run. Moreover, signing two separate contracts can never go smoothly for long-term contracts and will eventually strain the merchant’s daily business.

Final Words

As concluded by this CardMax Payments review, the company is an average service provider with limited services and a bounded approach. Its rates fluctuate, and merchants are deprived of price transparency. The provider claims to be a high-risk payment facilitator, but the reviews hint at its low-risk tolerance. Furthermore, it is restricted to companies conducting online payment processing. 

Merchants are advised to look for a better-suited provider that offers complete transparency and gains merchants’ trust by providing an honest overview of its services. Consumers looking forward to signing a contract with CardMax should hire a third-party audit to eliminate hidden charges, compare the company with other available options, and weigh the pros and cons before deciding.

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