Prohibited Merchant List



SPG does not onboard merchants that are directly or indirectly engaged in the following:


Prohibited Merchant List

All Card Brand and Bank Prohibited items not listed

Age Verification


Alcoholic Beverages

Any Product/Service Considered Illegal

Any Product/Service or Activity Prohibited by MasterCard and/or Visa

Artifacts, Graver-Related and Native American Crafts

Astrology/Tarot card/Fortune telling/Spells/Sorcery

Auctions of any type (penny auctions are prohibited)

Authenticity Disclaimers

Bail bonds

Bankruptcy lawyers

Business physically located outside the U.S.A. (offshore acquiring)

Business/Investment opportunities operating as “get rich quick schemes” (e.g. real estate purchase with No. Money Down, government grants)

Businesses selling age or legally restricted products or services

Cell phones/pagers (billing services only), Prepaid Phone Cards, Phone Services and Cell Phones, Phone Unlocking Services and Unlocked Cell Phones

Centralized reservation services

Chain Letters

Charities without 501 (c )(3) or equivalent status

Child Support/Alimony


Credit Cards/Credit Card and Identity Theft Protection/Credit Repair or protection services

Currency (in and out of circulation), Commodity Exchange

Debt Collection

o Mortgage Reduction Services/Mortgage/Loan Modification

o Collection agency services recovering/collecting past due receivable, Payment of last resort where prior method of payment has been difficult to collect or has been uncollectible

o Debt consolidation, interest consolidation services or reduction services

Decryption and descrambler products including mod chips

Direct Marketing – Subscription Merchants (including Lifetime subscriptions-any product or service)

Door to Door Sales


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Embassy, Foreign Consulate, or Other Foreign Government

Essay mills/paper mills (i.e., ghostwriting services that sell essays, term papers, etc. with intent that purchaser will submit documents as their own)

Fake references and other services / products that foster deception (including fake IDs and government documents)

Fantasy Sports

File hosting/sharing services including Cyberlocker and similar storage entities

Financial transactions, including but not limited to:

o cash advances (by non-financial institutions)

o check cashing

o currency exchange or dealer

o foreign currency sales or exchange

o money orders/wire transfer

o money transmitter

o Provider or seller of prepaid access/stored value, including both open- loop and closed-loop* exceeding $2,000

o quasi cash or stored value

o securities

o traveler’s checks

*Closed-loop prepaid access includes gift cards, phone cards, subway cards, college campus cards, game cards and other limited-use prepaid access devices when the value can exceed $2,000

Fireworks and fire crackers

Foreclosure protection/guarantees (including “how to” guides”)

Gambling – including but not limited to

o Betting

o Casino Gaming

o Contests

o Illegal gambling including internet gambling

o Internet Gaming

o Legal gambling where the Cardholder is not present when the bet is made as well as for direct purchase of wagers/chips via payment card

o Lotteries

o Lottery clubs

o Odds Making

o Off Track Betting

o Online

o Poker Chips or gambling credits

o Skill Games

o Sports Forecasting

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o State Lottery Merchants

Golf Clubs/Accessories (online only)

HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc Decryption Devices

Human/Animal body parts, remains, cells, tissues, etc.

Illegal products and services

o Amyl Nitrite Inhalants

o Any service providing peripheral support of illegal activities (i.e. drugs)

o Bath salts (containing mephedrone, methylone or MDPV)

o Bootleg Recordings

o Counterfeit, Imitation or Knock-off Items

o Drugs and Paraphernalia

o Embargoed Goods, Prohibited Countries

o Good or services in violation of intellectual property rights

o Marijuana, marijuana dispensaries, marijuana products, marijuana services and marijuana related businesses (excluding hemp)

o Psilocybin Mushrooms and Spices

o Psychoactive Herbal Products

o Stolen Property

o Substances designed to mimic illegal drugs and/or other psychoactive products (e.g., K2, salvia divinorum, nitrite inhalers, bath salts, synthetic cannabis, kratom, herbal smoking blends & herbal incense)- Non- pharmaceutical synthetic Drugs

o Substances made to closely resemble or look like illegal substances

o Substances marketed as producing effects similar to effects of illegal substances

o Unauthorized Copies

Jammers or devices that are designed to block, jam or interfere with cellular and personal communication devices/signals (e.g., GPS)

Loan payment and loan underwriting

Medical Devices

Merchants engaged in any form of UDAAP practices

Merchants engaged in Data Pass (i.e., merchants up-selling or cross-selling products or other merchants and then sharing the cardholder data with the third party or receiving cardholder data from third parties)

Merchants engaged in deceptive marketing practices (e.g., hidden disclosures, bogus claims and endorsements, refund/cancellation avoidance, poorly disclosed negative option, pre-checked opt-in boxes for payment or upsell without cardholder’s active consent)

Merchants engaged in unlicensed aggregation and factoring (defined as charging your own personal credit or debit card)

Merchants Offering Prizes, free gifts, Sweepstakes, incentives or enticements or the winning of a contest as an inducement to purchase a product and/or service

Merchants or principals on MATCH

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Merchants that have ransom-like or extortion-like basis for their business model

Merchants that use tactics to evade Card Brand excessive chargeback or fraud monitoring programs

Money laundering or the Financing of Terrorist Activities

Money Transfer businesses, money transmitter, other money service businesses

Multi-level / Affiliate Marketing Businesses

Negative response marketing techniques by any type of merchant (i.e. customer is automatically charged if merchandise is not returned at the end of a free trial period

Nutraceuticals (i.e, food products or other digestibles marketed via- unsubstantiated and/or unlawful health or medical claims, frequently associated with weight loss claims, anti-aging, sexual stimulants, increased energy, etc.)

Offensive, Racially or Culturally Insensitive Material

Online and/or Non-face-to-face Pharmacy or Pharmacy Referral

Pay Day Lenders, payday loans and unsecure loan/lines originating from non-FDIC insured banks, Predatory lenders

Payment Facilitators

Payment Processors with transactional processing


Ponzi/Pyramid Schemes

Prescription Drugs and Devices

Products/services that promote hate, violence, harassment or abuse

Programs on how to apply for low interest credit cards

Real Estate Agents and Brokers

Real estate purchase with no money down

Recalled items

Resale of social media “click farms” (e.g. the sale of clicks/likes/reviews/endorsements) and other activity

Sales leads/lead generation

Security brokers

Sexually Oriented or Pornographic Products and Services – including but not limited to

o Audiotext/Videotext

o Adult Book/Video Stores

o Adult Telephone Conversations

o Adult websites and content

o Any products on the internet containing graphic or nude content

o Bestiality

o Companion/Escort Services, Dating Services

o Fetish Products

o Gentleman’s clubs, topless bars, and strip clubs

o Mail order spouse/international match making services

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o Modeling Agencies

o Massage Parlors

o Rape Violence

o Topless Bars/Clubs

o Prostitution

o Sexually oriented dating services

o Video (web-based sexually oriented video)

Shipping/Forwarding Brokers

Software/Downloadable Software/Spyware/Malware

Splitting transactions to circumvent account limitations

Structuring (defined as processing the same credit or debit card multiple times within a 24 hour period)

Telemarketing companies involved with the following methods of operations:

o Inbound telemarketing companies that receive calls as the result of post cards or similar mailings (as opposed to catalog or media advertising)

o Inbound Telemarketing with an Up-Sell

o Offering a free gift, prize or sweepstakes, contest entry as an inducement to purchase their product or service

o Outbound Telemarketing (all)

o Selling products/services as an agent for a third party

Tobacco Products, tobacco-less cigarette or e-cigarette (online only if you are ok with face to face tobacco shops)

Travel related merchant to include:

o Airlines (including airlines “nested” under another entity)

o Cruise lines

o Timeshares and Timeshare Programs

o Travel Agencies and Clubs

o Vacation rentals/Lodging

Unqualified Multi-Level Marketing Companies

Unqualified Pseudo Pharmaceuticals/Neutraceuticals (e.g., anti-aging pills, colon cleansers, detox products, muscle-building, sexual stimulants, weight loss, diet, etc.)

Used Vehicles

Virtual currency that can be monetized, re-sold, or converted to physical/digital goods/services or otherwise

Warranty Companies and Extended Warranty Companies

Weapons and ammunitions, and firearm parts, Internet/MOTO