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The Guide to Accepting Credit Cards for Vacation Rental Owners - Part 2

Copyright 2017

Part 2: The Advantages of Accepting Credit Cards

This is the second part of a five part series providing helpful information to vacation rental owners about accepting credit cards. In this part we'll examine the benefits of accepting credit cards for your vacation home.

Part 2

Let's take a look at some of the advantages vacation property owners receive by accepting credit cards for guest reservations.

Accept last-minute bookings

One of the top reasons to accept credit cards is so you can accommodate last minute guests.

Vacation owners know that the more bookings they receive, the more money goes into their pocket; and every night or weekend that goes by without a guest is lost rent. It's easy to accommodate the "early bird", but to generate the most money from your vacation home you need to accommodate the late bird as well.

To see how much money you're losing by not accepting last minute guests, you could count the number of guests you turn down per year and multiply it by the average rent paid per guest. However, the buck doesn't stop there. You also need to realize that the majority of vacationers pressed for time will specifically shop for a vacation home that states "We accept last minute reservations" or "We accept credit cards."

Increase rentals with convenient, hassle-free payment

What isn't convenient about paying with a credit card? Compared to personal checks, cashier's checks, and money orders, paying by credit card is a dream for both guests and owners alike. For the guest, there's no need to write a check, take a trip to the bank, or pay $4-$5 for a cashier's check, and then address and mail an envelope to you. Simply put, you'll increase your rentals by accepting credit cards because it's the easiest way for guests to pay.

As an owner, there's no need to wait days for the post office to deliver payment, no opportunity for lost or stolen checks/certificates, no need to take a special trip to the bank to cash the payment, and there's no need to monitor your checking account for bounced checks (which by the way can occur up to 8-10 days after the deposit date).

Lends credibility and security

By providing card services to guests, you enlarge your renter audience two ways. First, it lends credibility to your vacation home by instilling confidence in guests that you are in fact a property owner and that your home is legitimate. Second, you make guests feel safe from renting from you because they know they won't be held liable for fraudulent charges or charges in which they don't receive the services promised. Please see article X to learn more about how important an issue this is.

Travelers are used to paying for vacations by credit card

Hotels, motels, rental cars, vacation packages, event tickets and dining are the most common expenses paid by travelers with their credit card; and it makes sense that vacation rentals should fall into this category as well. Many people earn frequent flyer miles or special rewards by using their credit card, so they'll more often than not choose an owner that accepts them.

Fast Deposits

When someone makes a credit card payment to you, the transaction is instantaneous. Once their card is approved, the money is yours; it's secured from the card holder and directly deposited into your personal checking account within 2 to 3 business days. It's easy to see that this makes for better and faster cash flow. There's no need to worry about rent checks bouncing a week after they've been deposited and then being out of luck.

Easy Security/Damage Deposit Returns

If you charge a security deposit for your property, returning it to the guest is a breeze. You simply perform a "credit" rather than a "debit" on the guest's card. The money is sent back to the guest instantly. There's no need to write and mail a personal check back to the guest, and no possibility of the guest losing it or cashing it months later to cause you bookkeeping nightmares.

Improved Peace of Mind

Every owner has nightmares about guests causing damage to their property. Although many owners try to eliminate the problem by requiring a modest security deposit, what happens if the damage caused by a guest exceeds this amount? We've found that on average, owners will only require a $250 security/damage deposit – hardly enough to cover significant damage to their furnishings, electronic equipment, or household appliances. By having a guest's credit card number, you can feel much safer that you'll be able to recover the full amount of damage done to your property in an unfortunate event because you can charge the guest's card for the balance.

Continue to Part 3

Part 3: What is a Merchant Account?

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