Compare Tide card readers 2024

Looking for a card reader for your business? Find out what business financial platform Tide has to offer.

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Tide

Investing in card readers has become increasingly important for businesses as more and more consumers switch to using card payments instead of cash. When looking for a card reader, you need to think about the features it offers as well as how portable it is, particularly if your business is mobile. And of course, you need to factor in the fees.

Business financial platform Tide has two types of card reader – the simply named Tide Card Reader and the Tide Card Reader Plus. This review looks at both of them in detail.

The Tide range

Name Product Initial cost Monthly cost Transaction cost Contract Networks Key benefits Link
OFFER
Tide Card Reader Plus
£99
£0
1.5%
google pay iconapple pay iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Get £100 cashback when you receive £500 in payments with your Tide Card Reader within 60 days of opening an account. Use code CARDREADER100 when you sign up. T&Cs apply.
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OFFER
Tide Card Reader
£89
£0
1.5%
google pay iconapple pay iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Get £100 cashback when you receive £500 in payments with your Tide Card Reader within 60 days of opening an account. Use code CARDREADER100 when you sign up. T&Cs apply.
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More about Tide card readers

Below are the key features of each of the Tide card readers:

Tide Card Reader

  • Upfront cost of £89 plus VAT
  • 1.5% transaction fee
  • Requires the Tide app to take payments
  • Lifetime free 4G connectivity and also connects via WiFi
  • Email transaction proofs only
  • Touch display
  • Battery life of 1 day
  • Takes contactless, chip and PIN and digital wallet payments
  • Payments clear in your Tide account within 1-3 working days
  • Easily portable
  • 4-month device warranty

Tide Card Reader Plus

  • Upfront cost of £99 plus VAT
  • 1.5% transaction fee
  • Ability to take payments directly from the device
  • Lifetime free 4G connectivity and also connects via WiFi
  • Paper and email transaction proofs
  • Touch display
  • Battery life of 1 day
  • Printer available
  • Takes contactless, chip and PIN and digital wallet payments
  • Payments clear in your Tide account within 1-3 working days
  • 4-month device warranty

Types of payments Tide accepts

Both Tide card readers accept Visa, Mastercard, ApplePay and GooglePay payments. American Express (Amex) payments are not currently accepted. The Tide Card Reader Plus can take payments directly via the device, while the Tide Card Reader requires the free Tide app to take payments.

How to order a Tide card machine

To order a Tide card machine you’ll need to first download the Tide app and open a Tide business bank account. You can open a business account whether you’re a sole trader or limited company and there are 4 different pricing plans to choose from, including a free option. After your first 90 days of holding an account, you’ll be able to order your card reader within the app and it should arrive within 5 working days.

Note that there is currently a restriction on one Tide card reader per company registered by Tide.

Pros and cons of Tide card readers

Pros

  • Accepts contactless, chip and PIN and digital wallet payments
  • No contracts or monthly fees
  • 4-month device warranty
  • Ability to print receipts with Tide Card Reader Plus
  • Works in conjunction with free Tide app

Cons

  • Restriction on 1 Tide Card Reader per company registered
  • Transaction fees apply
  • Can take up to 3 days for payments to clear
  • Tide Card Reader only offers email receipts
  • Neither device accepts Amex payments
  • You’ll need a Tide business account

Our verdict

If you’re happy to open a Tide business account, the two card readers available from Tide are pretty competitive. Transaction fees are some of the lowest on the market and you won’t have the hassle of being tied into a contract. The Tide Card Reader is a smaller device, making it more practical for businesses on the go, while the Tide Card Reader Plus is slightly larger and includes a printer.

On the downside, payments can take up to 3 days to clear in your account, plus both card readers currently only accept Visa and Mastercard cards. And, unless you can get by with 1 machine for your business, there is currently a restriction on 1 Tide Card Reader per company registered by Tide.

To help you make the right choice for your business, it’s worth looking at our handy guide to compare a range of card machines and see what else is available.

Tide customer reviews

We haven’t found any specific customer reviews for Tide card readers. However, Tide as a whole scores highly on Trustpilot, with a score of 4.3 out of 5 from more than 18,300 reviews (updated January 2024). This is considered an “excellent” rating.

Many of the positive comments focus on the excellent customer service, with reviewers stating it’s fast and efficient. Other reviewers say the Tide app is easy to use and helps support small businesses with bookkeeping and accounts. On the other hand, some of the negative comments cite difficulty opening a business account.

On Google Play, Tide has a rating of 3.5 out of 5 from more than 16,100 reviews (updated January 2024) and on the Apple App Store, it has a score of 4.7 out of 5 from more than 64,800 reviews (updated January 2024).

Name Product Initial cost Monthly cost Transaction cost Contract Networks Key benefits Link
OFFER
Tide Card Reader
£89
£0
1.5%
google pay iconapple pay iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Get £100 cashback when you receive £500 in payments with your Tide Card Reader within 60 days of opening an account. Use code CARDREADER100 when you sign up. T&Cs apply.
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View details
Square Reader
£19
£0
1.75%
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
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Square Terminal
£149
£0
1.75%
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
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OFFER
SumUp Solo
£79
£0
1.69%
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
When you buy a SumUp card reader with a SumUp business account, get reduced transaction fees from 1.69% to 1.49%.
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OFFER
SumUp Air
£39
£0
1.69%
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
When you buy a SumUp card reader with a SumUp business account, get reduced transaction fees from 1.69% to 1.49%.
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Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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Written by

Rachel Wait

Rachel Wait is a freelance journalist and has been writing about personal finance for more than a decade, covering everything from insurance to mortgages. She has written for a range of personal finance websites and national newspapers, including The Observer, The Mail on Sunday, The Sun and the Evening Standard. Rachel is a keen baker in her spare time. See full profile

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