I used charge.com to secure a Merchant Account. I ended up with an Authorize.net gateway at a reasonable rate and my monthly fees are reasonable. There was no application or setup fee. It took 2 weeks to get everything setup.
I did this when charge.com first started up and I have to admit, they had absolutely no clue what they were doing. I felt like their guinea pig during the whole process. I went thru a little pain with them, but all in all, thru my persistence, I ended up with exactly what I wanted. I am able to accept ACH checks, Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover. All at reasonable rates.
Hopefully, the process has now been streamlined and charge.com has their act together. I suggest using them for a low cost solution to getting an online merchant account.
Just use good common sense, follow up with them, and read everything carefully so you understand everything. If you have a question....Call them....There is a live person there to help you....not all of them are rocket scientists.....but at least there is someone there to answer the phone.
Hope This Helps,