Frequently Asked QuestionsDo you have options to help offset credit card fees?
Yes. We have a product AscentZeroCost which can be integrated into your rental management software that allows most processing fees to be passed along to your guest (consumer) instead of you or your owners paying the fees. Check out the surcharge FAQs and more details here.
We always recommend that you consult with your legal counsel to ensure that your choice is in line with all federal, state, and local laws, as well.
Here are some additional options:
1. Ask for Debit Cards
Debit card rates are considerably lower than normal credit card rates and Ascent Processing passes those savings along to you.
Offer your guest the option to pay by ACH, which is a way to move money directly from one bank account to another. The cost depends on the processor but in many cases consists of a low monthly fee and a flat fee per transaction. When compared to a percentage rate for accepting credit and debit cards, a flat fee can add up to quite a significant savings.
3. Booking Fees
You can charge a “booking fee” on every reservation. You can name this fee how you wish but we recommend steering way from “processing fee”. An additional fee like this can help offset credit card processing costs indirectly by bringing in additional revenue on every reservation. Specific regulations are listed below.
- The fee can be either a percentage or a flat dollar amount
- It must be charged on every reservation, regardless of payment method
4. Cash Discounts
You can offer a discount to your guests that use a different means of payment, such as cash, check, or ACH. Specific regulations are listed below.
- The discount can be either a percentage or flat dollar amount
- The advertised price MUST be the credit card price, so the cash price is an actual discount
5. Pass on to the owner all or part of the average credit card cost
To calculate the average credit card cost (aka “effective rate”), to pass to your owners, take your total credit card fees and divide by your total credit card sales volume.
6. Convenience Fees
You can charge a “convenience fee” on credit card payments. This gets a little more complicated than previous options. The complete list of regulations is below.
- It must be a flat fee (not a percentage)
- It must be associated with a bona fide convenience in the form of an alternative payment channel (not just the convenience of using a credit card)
- It must be charged on all forms of payment within the payment channel
- You must accept some face-to-face credit card transactions AND
- It can be assessed only on non-face to face transactions.
- It cannot be charged by a third party – only by the merchant that provides the good or service to the cardholder
- It must be disclosed as a charge for the alternative payment channel convenience
- It must be disclosed prior to the completion of the transaction with an option to cancel
- It must be included as part of the total amount of the transaction and not collected separately
- It must not be charged in addition to a surcharge
- It must not be charged on recurring or installment transactions
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