Vacation Rental Management for busy people!

Compare Credit Card Providers

I've been searching for the best independent merchant account providers for VR owners so that I can integrate them into the management tools. I believe that I have found the best solution and you can see how I got there by taking a look at the comparisons page - this shows popular providers (including HomeAway Reservation Manager).

HomeAway Reservation Manager

HomeAway provides Credit Card payments for those that list with them at a 2.5% transaction charge (up to 3.75% for non-US card transactions) and no other fees (except listing fees). This is a good deal if you think you will always list with HomeAway and pay (their ever-increasing) listing fees.

You need to note that HomeAway is not an advertiser-independent ccard provider. To use the payment system they require that you provide your guest details to them (even if the inquiry did not come via their sites) - this will undoubtedly go into their marketing machine. Nor do they provide a real, independent merchant account - there's also no way to integrate their payment system with Management tools or 3rd party payments system in order to get this onto your own website - any payments made would need to be manually entered into any payment tracking system that you use. If you do want to unlist with them then you'll need to find an alternative provider.

The rest of this article will ignore the Reservation Manager and leave it to you to decide if you want to use it.

Summary

You'll see that CDGComm, eCom and PayPal offer integrated solutions - using any of them with MyVRZone gives you a Free VR-centric online payments page (that can be embedded in your own site if you want to.

One thing to note is that the charges are not the only consideration. The convenience and amount of your time needed to process a transaction is (often even more) important than the rates. all of the following take your time and are error-prone when copying information:

  • Processing a transaction yourself - you need to collect the ccard info and enter the details
  • Entering guest info and amount due into a payment processing system
  • Entering a transaction into another tracking system

... factor in how much easier and safer it is to have the guest enter all their own info once and have the transaction recorded automatically.

CDGComm (a preferred provider) - more here

  1. No setup/up-front fees
  2. Month-to-month contract, 30-day cancellation
  3. No minimum monthly transaction fees
  4. 2.25% qualified rate
  5. $10 per month fixed fee + per transaction fees

eCom (a preferred provider) - more here

  1. No setup/up-front fees
  2. Month-to-month contract, 30-day cancellation
  3. No minimum monthly transaction fees
  4. 2.29% qualified rate
  5. $25.99 per month fixed fee + per transaction fees

PayPal (regular account, NOT Virtual Terminal)

  1. No set-up fee
  2. No fixed or minimum transaction fees
  3. Flat 2.9% per transaction
  4. Have been known to hold/refuse some transactions

Integration

For Platinum Plan subscribers using the Guest Zone the amount due is inserted automatically and the guest contact information is pre-filled - when processed each payment is recorded with the reservation. Depending on the provider you choose, you can void/refund payments directly from the reservation. This works for any PayPal accounts too (no need to pay for their Virtual Terminal).

For anyone thinking of doing this for a Credit Card merchant account, try a solution with no up-front fee and no minimum transaction amount (eg. any of the preferred provers) for a low risk option. After a few months see if it is working out for you, and if not then just cancel it without losing any significant payment.

All users (including the FREE Silver Plan) can offer online Credit Card payments though MyVRZone with these Preferred Providers:

Users must sign up for one of the "Preferred Providers" (eCom or CDGComm) from the links above to enable free setup of online payments in the Guest Zone. Otherwise a $49 one-time setup fee is required.