How To - Use this guide to understand the difference between Convenience Fees and Surcharges, How to Create a Convenience Fee, and How To Apply Convenience Fees in different applicable scenarios.

What is a Convenience Fee?

Convenience Fees are fees charged by businesses for payment processing when a customer pays by credit card.

How are Convenience Fees different from Surcharges?

Convenience Fees differ from a Surcharge in that they are included in the total amount that a customer sees in a credit card transaction, whereas a Surcharge is added to the total amount of the intended transaction amount charged by the Merchant to cover the cost of a credit card transaction (as closely aligned to interchange costs as possible).

As legal complications can occur, Payrix does not recommend applying Surcharges.

Creating and Applying Convenience Fees in the Portal

Step 1: From the Portal Dashboard, click Groups (located in the left navigation bar under Management).

Step 2: Select the Group to apply the fee to -

  • Existing Group: Select the Group from the page list.

  • No or New Group: Create a new Group with the + ADD GROUP button and select the new merchant from the list.

Step 3: In the Group Profile, select Fees from the left hand menu.

Step 4: Within Fees, click the + ADD FEES button located in the upper right.

Step 5: Set up the fee by setting up the fee trigger, how much the fee is, and the numerical fee amount.

  1. Set “When to trigger the fee?” to Capture.

  2. Set “How much is the fee?” to Percentage or Surcharge.

Percentage should be used in Transaction Fee configurations with amount set to 100%.


A fee’s calculated percentage is set using basis points for the percent value. (e.g. 200 = 2%, 500 = 5%, 1000 = 10%.)

Surcharge should not be used in a Transaction Fee configuration.


With Transaction Fee disabled, set the percentage to the desired actual percentage calculated. (e.g. 2 = 2% or 5 = 5%).

Note: The Portal’s ADD FEES feature will designate a convenience fee as a surcharge. This is because technically both a surcharge and convenience fee take a percentage of a transaction’s total based on the specified fee trigger event.

Note: Although the “How much is the fee?” option will need to be set to Surcharge, it operates identically to a convenience fee. The designation of terms is purely for Merchants and their customers to avoid potential legal complications.

Step 5: Set the “Amount” to the desired percentage, written in basis points to represent a percentage up to 100% (Example: 2.50 = 2.5%)

Step 6: Set ”Fee start date” to the desired start date or set today’s date to implement your convenience fee immediately.

Step 7: Click ADVANCED OPTIONS and toggle the Transaction Fee check box to make sure it is enabled.

Step 8: Set up any conditional rules that determine which transactions your Convenience Fee should apply to. (See the example below)

Step 9: Click Add

Example: Setting up your Convenience Fee to only apply for transactions below $100.

Under the ADVANCED OPTIONS section of the Add Fees popup, setting the Conditional Rule for “Transaction is less than” allows you to set up a Convenience Fee for any amount less than $100, and the fee will only apply to transactions below the amount of $100 after applying this conditional rule.

Creating and Applying Convenience Fees via the API

When applying a convenience fee, the total of a transaction should include the fee amount, the fee amount is not added to the total.

The convenience fee works by setting a fees.schedule to trigger when a monetary event happens, such as authorization, capture, or refund. A fees.schedule is the trigger schedule or event on which a fee is assessed (such as authorization, refund, or capture).

Request Body Example - Applying 2.5% Convenience Fee to Transaction

    "entity": "{{entity_1}}",
    "forentity": "{{entity_11}}",
    "type": 1,
    "name": "Convenience Fee 2.5%",
    "schedule": 6,
    "scheduleFactor": 1,
    "start": "20220216",
    "um": 1,
    "amount": 250,
    "currency": "USD"

Applying Convenience Fees for PayFields

When utilizing PayFields, you set a transaction amount and set the PayFields.config.mode value to 'txnToken', as shown below, to submit a payment transaction and generate a token at the same time:

Request Body Example - Creating Transaction Token to Apply Convenience Fee via PayField

PayFields.config.amount = '0';
PayFields.config.mode = 'txnToken';

With this txnToken, you can apply the same convenience fee you created using the standard transaction method by connecting to the /txns endpoint (where your fee field has already been configured).

More Information

Convenience Fee vs Surcharge – Know the Difference

A convenience fee is a charge added when your customers make a purchase using a nonstandard payment type. A surcharge is a fee you can add to every credit card purchase made by your customers.  

  • A surcharge is calculated fee requested by a Referrer for credit card purchases made by a customer. A surcharge covers the credit card fees associated with the transaction, as closely aligned to interchange costs as possible.  

  • A convenience fee is a fee implemented by a Referrer for the ability to pay for a product or service using an alternative/non-traditional payment method (in our case: a credit card) where normally a Merchant would only accept cash or check as traditional payment methods in transactions charging the customer for its products and/or services.

    The Referrer then charges the Merchant a fee for facilitating the Merchant’s ability to accept an alternative payment method (a credit card).

Both surcharges and convenience fees are regulated by credit card companies and governments. Surcharges, for example, can only be assessed to a Merchant’s customers when surcharges are legal in the customer’s state.