Disclosure: Our editorial staff write reviews independently. We may be compensated if you sign up for a service through our affiliate links.

Our rating(4.5/5)
Low-cost card readers for chip, contactless and swipe cards with a fixed rate of 2.75%.
Small businesses, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors can accept card payments in person with SumUp’s very affordable solution. The sign-up is easy, free and designed to put merchants at ease with only the cost of a card reader and transactions.
  • Highs: Competitive rate without monthly fees. One reader for all types of cards. Very easy to use. Remote payments included.
  • Lows: Customer support can be slow. POS features limited. No accounting integration.
  • Buy if: You need an affordable and straightforward solution for taking card payments on the go.

Looking for the UK review of SumUp? Or the Irish SumUp review?

Best SumUp offer

Get the SumUp Card Reader for $35. No monthly fees or contract to worry about. Free delivery in 4-5 days.

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  • SumUp Plus
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Card reader specs

Why would anyone in their right mind choose an obscure German company over Square to handle their card payments?

SumUp card readers are the result of years of work, designed and produced in-house. They are good quality with the latest EMV (chip), magnetic stripe and NFC (contactless) technology in the same device, yet come at a very low price.

Cards accepted

VisaMastercardMaestroDiscoverAmerican ExpressDiners ClubContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

In addition to a wide range of accepted cards including Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, Discover and Diners Club, SumUp accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Payments can only happen while connected via Bluetooth to a mobile device running the SumUp app, so you do need an iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet as well.

The app-based SumUp Plus reader has a wipeable, flat keypad and long battery life at 500 transactions from a full charge.

Payouts – minus the transaction fee – are initiated daily, but the SumUp deposit time to your bank account is about 1-2 business days.

SumUp Pro terminal with its box and cable

Want a standalone card reader that works without an app?

See our review of the new SumUp Pro

Transparent, fixed card rate

SumUp doesn’t have monthly or other ongoing fees – you simply pay a fixed rate of 2.75% per card transaction after buying a card reader. All card types incur the same transaction fee, even premium and foreign cards. Cash payments are free to process.

If you don’t sell anything, there are zero costs. Neither is there a requirement for a monthly minimum card volume like many payment companies have. The service is completely ‘pay as you go’ with no lock-in or setup fee.

The SumUp Plus card reader costs $35 through our link, which includes free delivery and a 1-year warranty. A freestanding card reader, SumUp Pro, is available for $69 on its own or $119 with a receipt printer.

SumUp cost
SumUp Plus card reader $35
SumUp Plus Bundle with charging dock $49
SumUp Pro card reader $69
SumUp Pro Bundle with receipt printer $119
Commitment None
Monthly fee None
Swipe, tap, dip transactions 2.75%
Payment link, virtual terminal, gift card transactions 3.25% + 15¢
Invoice transactions 2.90% + 15¢
Refunds Free
Chargebacks $10
SumUp cost
SumUp Plus card reader $35
SumUp Plus Bundle with charging dock $49
SumUp Pro card reader $69
SumUp Pro Bundle with receipt printer $119
Commitment None
Monthly fee None
Swipe, tap, dip transactions 2.75%
Payment link, virtual terminal, gift card transactions 3.25% + 15¢
Invoice transactions 2.90% + 15¢
Refunds Free
Chargebacks $10

All SumUp merchants can accept payments via QR codes and payment links sent via text, email and social apps. Electronic gift cards can be sold and redeemed as well. These remote payment methods all cost 3.25% + $0.15 per transaction. Alternatively, you can send unlimited email invoices to clients. The only charge for that is 2.9% + $0.15 per transaction.

SumUp merchants can also apply for a complimentary virtual terminal for over-the-phone payments in the app and web dashboard.

There is no charge for payouts or processing refunds, but every chargeback incurs a fee of $10.

Refunds are free to process. There is no chargeback fee, in the event a customer or cardholder’s bank disputes a payment.

How to get started

The online registration for a SumUp account is quick and easy. After completing the online form, it takes a few days for SumUp to approve your business and bank account. You can order the card reader in the meantime, delivered by post within five business days.

Then download the free SumUp app for iOS or Android if using SumUp Plus. The wireless card reader connects to your cell phone or tablet via Bluetooth. The app then uses the internet (3G, 4G or WiFi) to process card payments while connected to the card reader.

How payments work

The credit card processing is straightforward. First, enter a payment amount in the app. You can also add products to a simple inventory library in the app (best done before any transaction) so you can quickly tap items in the app to add them to the bill.

Credit: SumUp

Illustrations of the SumUp app

SumUp App is easy to understand, with a simple user flow.

After picking cards as the payment method, the customer can dip an EMV (chip) card into the reader – or swipe a magnetic stripe card – and confirm with a signature on the cell phone or tablet screen. Alternatively, tap a contactless card or smartphone with Apple Pay or Google Pay an inch or two from the card reader. Purchases below $25 won’t require a signature or PIN code. Tips can be added during this process as well, if activated in settings.

Cash transactions can be accepted instead of cards in the app, in which case you enter the amount received. The app then shows you the amount to hand back to the customer. Cash sales are included in sales reports for a complete overview of transactions.

When a payment has gone through, an email or text receipt can be sent to the customer, or you can print a receipt from a connected printer.

Remote and online payments possible as well

Through SumUp App, you can send payment links directly from the checkout. It has options to paste a transaction link into a message, send it as a free text message or generate a QR code that the customer can scan in person to open the payment page. It is then up to the customer to complete the transaction on their cell phone or computer.

Credit: SumUp

A printed SumUp invoice with QR code

SumUp invoicing is sufficient for most sole proprietors.

You can also send and manage itemized email invoices in SumUp App through simple steps on your phone. Electronic gift cards can be sold through a unique web page shared with customers for later redemption in your store. Some merchants can access a virtual terminal for over-the-phone payments where you enter card details on behalf of the customer.

None of these remote payment options have a monthly fee, just a pay-as-you-go fee per successful transaction. This is great value for money matched by few payment providers.

Receipt printers

Receipts can be sent by email or text message straight from the app. Those who want to offer paper receipts need to buy a compatible Bluetooth printer.

SumUp recommends three mobile receipt printers. The most popular one is Star Micronics SM-L200. You can get it for around $280 and has been the go-to mobile printer for SumUp over the last several years.

Another great portable option is Bixolon SPP-R210iK/BEGE. This is a lightweight printer at 266 grams including paper roll, which can either be fixed to a belt or slid into a bag. It will cost you around $260.

The Bixolon SPP-R200lliK/BEGE is another mobile receipt printer, which you can find for around $200.

Photo: SumUp

mobile Bixolon receipt printer

Receipt printer Bixolon SPP-R210iK/BEGE looks good with SumUp.

SumUp US is not yet geared towards connecting with a cash drawer or barcode scanner, though. If you’re looking for a checkout with more than a portable receipt printer, we recommend looking for another card reader company.

SumUp Pro vs. Plus

If you’re looking for a freestanding credit card terminal, there is also the SumUp Pro card reader. This can be purchased as a card reader only (SumUp Pro: $69) or together with a receipt printer attachment that is also a charging dock (SumUp Pro Bundle: $119).

The payment process is simple on SumUp Pro: you enter a transaction amount and optional description (it’s not linked to a product library), add a tip if applicable and accept a chip or contactless card/digital wallet. Swipe cards are not accepted.

Pro Bundle’s unique receipt printer can be detached, but the whole thing works anywhere with a cellular connection or WiFi. It includes a free SIM card with unlimited data so you never run out.

SumUp Plus SumUp Pro
SumUp Air SumUp 3G front side
Price $35 $69
Requires app to work
Connections WiFi, 3G, 4G WiFi, GPRS, EDGE, 3G
Size 3.3″ x 3.3″ x 0.9″ 5.2″ x 2.8″ x 0.7″
Battery life 500 transactions 50 transactions
POS system integrations SumUp App only n/a
Receipt printing Connects to compatible Bluetooth printers Requires SumUp Pro Printer
SumUp Plus SumUp Pro
SumUp Air SumUp 3G front side
$35 $69
Requires app to work
WiFi, 3G, 4G WiFi, GPRS, EDGE, 3G
3.3″ x 3.3″ x 0.9″ 5.2″ x 2.8″ x 0.7″
Battery life
500 transactions 50 transactions
POS system integrations
SumUp App only n/a
Receipt printing
Connects to compatible Bluetooth printers Requires SumUp Pro Printer

SumUp Plus, on the other hand, is cheaper because it’s dependent on a mobile app. It has a higher battery life because it is only switched on during credit card processing, whereas SumUp Pro requires ongoing power since you are entering transactions on the terminal itself.

If you’re not fussed about whether your terminal is standalone or app-dependent, you do get more features with SumUp Plus through the app. SumUp Pro is just for straightforward transactions without a connection to a product library, payment links or other surplus features.

Photo: Emmanuel Charpentier, Mobile Transaction

SumUp Pro receipt printer bundle

SumUp Pro Bundle has an efficient thermal heat-based receipt printer.

Some reporting functionality

The web-based merchant portal (SumUp Dashboard) is a nice feature for accounting and business decisions, but it is also a given with any card reader today. You can view sales data and export your entire sales history – or daily, weekly and monthly reports – to Excel.

After each payout, SumUp will send you an email with a PDF attachment of your sales. You can also view sales and payouts in the SumUp App instead of logging into SumUp Dashboard.

However, you can’t integrate SumUp transactions with accounting software like most other card reader platforms allow.

Customer service and SumUp reviews

SumUp has an online Support Center answering most of people’s questions. Otherwise, you can call customer service between 9am – 7pm (EST) on weekdays, or email support with less urgent questions.

Email queries tend to take days – sometimes over a week – to get an answer to, so it does require patience to deal with SumUp support. The service is geared towards businesses who do not require much in the way of customization. For that reason, the support is mainly geared towards technical queries, payment issues and matters pertaining to your account.

It is limited how many customer reviews there are in the US, but common complaints have alluded to Bluetooth connectivity issues and the inconvenience of requesting a signature for some transactions. Moreover, some merchants have experienced withheld funds due to SumUp’s security protocols, or later-than-expected payouts.

Who is SumUp best for?

Merchants who want the cheapest credit card reader that also accepts contactless cards and mobile wallets should look to a SumUp card reader. Other payment companies tend to give away credit card swipers and charge the most for a swipe, chip and NFC (“all-in-one”) reader, but SumUp keeps the price down for its all-in-one readers.

The pay-as-you-go structure makes it the perfect option for delving into card payments as a new startup, cautious sole proprietor, small business and non-profit organization.

Photo: SumUp

SumUp card reader swipe

SumUp Plus fits nicely in your hand and has a long battery life.

It can feel daunting to venture into card payments for the first time, but SumUp is made to put any newbie’s mind at ease with its user-friendly app and no-fuss pricing.

Square will better serve businesses needing a more sophisticated app with point-of-sale features. For example, SumUp does not connect with a cash drawer, nor can it produce (or even integrate with) advanced sales reports beyond the bare minimum requirements for accounting purposes.

Instead, SumUp is very good for traveling merchants like at market stalls or professionals providing services at the client’s location. On the other hand, it can be used with a team of employees by creating different user logins for the same SumUp account.

Our verdict

SumUp has a broad presence in Europe and was the first mobile card reader to cross the Atlantic. Does that mean Square has met its match? For the payment part, SumUp more than measures up. The single all-in-one reader leads with its technology and ease of use. As for advanced features and integration possibilities – not yet.

That being said, recent developments in socially distanced payments like mobile payment links, gift cards, invoicing tools and key-in transactions are signs that SumUp is keeping up with the world, so it will be interesting to see how fast new features are added over the next year.

But it really depends on what you need. If you are primarily looking for a way to get paid rather than, say, schedule appointments, manage inventory and integrate with payroll, SumUp wins the prize for being simple and cheap, hands down.