Holiday home payment methods | Accepting credit cards

To successfully rent a holiday home time and time again, it is absolutely critical to build trust into your dealings with renters. So when taking credit card payments, what are the best ways to make sure both parties are getting what they want; peace of mind?

Richard Speigal is the Managing Director of Espana Breaks and in this post offers his words of wisdom on taking credit card payments.

He comments: “Rather than relying on sheer force of personality to bridge the trust gap, we recommend owners squash the issue from the outset by offering a safe and transparent method of payment to all their customers: you must accept card payments.

Card payments still offer the highest level of protection for both the customer and supplier, especially should a dispute arise. This way your customers need not fear booking with you and it’ll be a whole lot easier to close a sale with wary new punters.

The good news is that these days you don’t have to be a registered business to accept card payments and you don’t need an expensive card processing solution for your website. The most popular solutions for owners include these user friendly and affordable options:

  • PayPal ( – typical transaction cost 3.4% + 20p
  • Google Checkout ( – transaction costs from 1.5% + 15p
  • WorldPay ( transaction costs at 4.5% + .50p
  • Protx ( flat £20 tariff per month
  • No Chex ( transaction costs from 2.9% + 20p

(US and Canadian owners should also look at’s in-house solution.)

Some owners gripe about the cost of the payment processing and so pass it directly to their customers in the form of a surcharge. Avoid this approach at all costs! It is short sighted and liable to make you look penny-pinching; customers loathe people who state one rate then start charging unavoidable ‘extras’. Instead build the cost into your overall price. If your prices can’t take an increase of a few percentage points, look elsewhere at your pricing and cost base.

Just remember this simple sentence: The most successful owners are the ones who are easiest to buy from. Have a safe and easy payment mechanism and your customers will love you for it, and more importantly they will return time and time again.”

Thanks to Richard Speigal, Managing Director of España Breaks, for taking time out of his busy schedule to give us all a little more useful info on making our home away from home a rental success!


7 Responses to “Holiday home payment methods | Accepting credit cards”

  1. 2 Josh April 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Nice post.
    The cost of accepting credit cards can be annoying for small business owners, but I agree that accepting cards and making it easy for customers to buy is very important. Here is a nice blog post about what comprises the discount rate, or the cost of accepting credit cards.

  2. 3 Cara November 30, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I heard that accepting PayPal isn’t 100% safe for vacation rentals. I heard that the person paying can take back theor money at anytime, even if you have moved it into your personal account.

    Any advice?

  3. 4 Lorenzo December 3, 2009 at 10:41 am

    It looks like your article displays incorrect data.

    If you take a look at this page:

    it doesn’t mention anything about
    Google Checkout ( – transaction costs from 1.5% + 15p

    Am I looing in the wrong page? There’s a big difference between 1.5% and 3.4%

  4. 5 Schofields December 3, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Thanks Richard for outlining the different credit card solutions and the associated costs.

    As you say accepting credit cards builds trust with guests and offers them protection.

    I expect most people booking holiday homes still pay by check. Surely including credit card charges in your rates makes the price more expensive for cheque payers? Surcharging those who wish to pay by credit card can make sense (airlines do it) as this can help keep your rates down.

    Although, if most of your guests book by card then incorporating charges into your rates makes sense.


  5. 6 iowners December 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you everyone for your comments.

    Lorenzo, you are correct. Google checkout outlines the following:
    Monthly sales under £1500 3.4% + £0.20 per transaction
    £1500 – £5999.99 2.9% + £0.20
    £6000 – £14999.99 2.4% + £0.20
    £15000 – £54999.99 1.9% + £0.20
    £55000 or more 1.4% + £0.20

    Cara, thank you for your question. We are currently doing research on your behalf and will feature all of the pros and cons of using PayPal in an upcoming edition of CaMIO. In the meantime if anyone has advice or personal experiences to share with Cara and the entire IO community please leave a comment.

    IO Support Team

  6. 7 Blair Geddes January 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Google checkout has the added bonus for smaller holiday letters, where you can receive adwords credit depending on the amounts you put through! Free Marketing!

    Paypal although very convenient, are very biased towards the payer. One complaint and they will freeze your account until it’s sorted out. Could be crippling to an individual who has multiple deposits or payments sitting in an account.

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