Have you lost a booking because you don't take a particular credit card?

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Morticia's picture
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Nothing to do with not taking credit cards at all, just not taking certain ones. ie- You don't take AmEx, or you don't take Discover.

I've had guests who reserved with card type A walk in the door with card type B at which point I tell them I don't take card type B and they get all huffy. OR, girlfriend X books room and girlfriend Z has the card I don't take so they stand there and whine about how are they going to work this out if they want to split the bill? (OK, I can solve that problem for them, just wondering if guests are SO attached to ONE card that they don't have any other card at all?)

Or, guest wants to reserve and you say you don't take the card they have. I could always take a check in advance.

So, basic question is, ever lose a booking because you don't take the card they want to use?

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Update the last 8 reservations I have taken online were AMEX. I really started noticing it after this thread began.

None of them here for business, either.

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greyswan's picture
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We have lost a couple of stays due to not taking Amx when we first opened.  We now take everything - the Amx guests are very pleased and hopefully will return. 

Proud Texan's picture
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Yikes,  we had to turn down renting both our cottages for a week because we don't have our credit card machine yet and the individual calling couldn't afford to pay by check.  I can understand that because that's over $1000 with room tax added.

She and her family were looking to escape the Hurricane heading for the Texas coast.   I hated to turn down that business.

As consolation, we have a very nice young couple staying with us this weekend.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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ProudTexan wrote:

Yikes,  we had to turn down renting both our cottages for a week because we don't have our credit card machine yet and the individual calling couldn't afford to pay by check.  I can understand that because that's over $1000 with room tax added.

She and her family were looking to escape the Hurricane heading for the Texas coast.   I hated to turn down that business.

As consolation, we have a very nice young couple staying with us this weekend.

Even if I had the cash in my acct, I would never give you $1000 when I could gain valuable points on my cc for that amount.  I think this is what the non credit card accepting B&B's do not get.  You get it. You are getting the cc machine.

Even using Paypal can put people off.  Those who do not GET paypal - like many older guests, would never sign up or use it.  It is not the norm for lodging.  Altho I understand how it all works, it is sending guests away that you will never know about. 

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

I think every B&B needs to operate like a business and accept credit cards.  Your example was a GOOD ONE! $1000 is hard loss to swallow.

CC fees are the cost of doing business.

YellowSocks's picture
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There's a town I'm planning to visit in November... two B&B's.  Cash or check only.

=)
Kk.

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I find that very unusual in these times.  I'm with JBJ - I track everything with the credit cards.  I also take full advantage of the 30 day float with my money.  tee hee....

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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YellowSocks wrote:

There's a town I'm planning to visit in November... two B&B's.  Cash or check only.

=)
Kk.

I wouldn't stay there.  JMNVHO

Every aspect of my life is on my visa.  I track everything that way.

YellowSocks's picture
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Well, it's two twin beds in my cousin's house, two B&B's who don't take cards, or a chinzy chain motel.

=)
Kk.

seashanty's picture
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i take all four but i don't publicize that i take amex.

so if i've lost a reservation because they don't see that option, i don't know it.

i take a deposit ... so am collecting the balance at checkin. sometimes they present the amex card, but very rarely.  and i ask if they have a different card. it is usually a walkin that pulls out amex and, again, i ask if they have another card. most will just pull out another.  i don't say why i am asking for a different card. i think i have taken four amex payments this year.

 

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"....processing fees may not be passed on to the customer."

Well in a way don't we all?  I know I add processing fees in the equation when I am calulating our rates and whether they need to be increased.  And as those smile or dance a little when giving me a Discover or other rewards card I simply chuckle to myself, because I have added those in to my rates too. 

Oh, I do take all 4.  I very seldom get a Discover but most businesses use AMEX - they may have V or MC but they are personal cards while the AMEX is a business card.  Sometimes that will be the difference for us getting or not getting a reservation.  I will swallow that extra fee - which is built into my rate, rather than loose those midweek business guests. 

 

 

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Just had a booking come in tonight with AmEx as the card.  I've had several leisure travelers use them too - a couple had some kind of rewards mumbo-jumbo on the card.  Heck, I use my rewards cards, so I figure other folks are smart enough to use them too.  Like you said, we have to figure that into the rate equation. 

I do a little happy dance when someone gives me cash instead, though   Well....not in front of the guests.  haha!

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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We are required BY LAW to take all these cards per our cc vendor agreement.  We could not just take one out, or have a lawsuit on our hands.  They warned us clearly, take one take all.  AMEX was a must do for business guests.  If we didn't take it we would not get those bookings.

The best we could do is say to a guest "We prefer visa if you have that"

We must display them and accept them.

You can offer a DISCOUNT FOR CASH.  It is illegal to charge a fee to use a cc.

swirt's picture
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Why not use a different processor that is not so restrictive?  THere are tons of them that don't force you to take all 4 cards.  Unless they are offering you killer rates, there is no reason to put up with being BOUND to take all 4.

Proud Texan's picture
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swirt wrote:

Why not use a different processor that is not so restrictive?  THere are tons of them that don't force you to take all 4 cards.  Unless they are offering you killer rates, there is no reason to put up with being BOUND to take all 4.

Our processor advised us NOT to take certain cards because of the fees.  If possible we will encourage cash, debit cards or checks.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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swirt wrote:

Why not use a different processor that is not so restrictive?  THere are tons of them that don't force you to take all 4 cards.  Unless they are offering you killer rates, there is no reason to put up with being BOUND to take all 4.

The answer to that question is this - even with all the calls I get to look into our fees and beat them, I cannot be bothered.  There is a more preferred bank in town I would like, but have all this going into our acct and bills coming out etc etc and I can't be bothered changing it.  Remember I am a young whipper snapper on this forum, so for me it is too much work, too much stress, when it is all in place and is working.  That is the truth. As lame as it is.

Just like refinancing, we finally did it before it was too late and our commercial loan had come up so we had to do something. It was NOT EASY as everythng tightened up with the market falling at that point in real estate.  But given the option of messing around for days and weeks (like we did) I would rather do nothing.  We HAD to so we did.

Went to a restaurant last night, they charged us for drinks when we ordered water.  It became a BIG issue, the clerk in full head wagging attitude, manager was called over and looked in our DDx2 cups.  Who were drinking water.   I HATE THIS CRAP.  Some days I have the energy to fight the ignormouses of the world, other times I say "stuff it" and walk away. You know what I mean.  Pick your battles.

So for the merchant account, we are where we are and it is working and we have 100 other projects that are more pressing.

Like the health dept inspection yesterday we passed with no violations, YEAH!  It will take me a week or two to get over that massive energy burst to get everything perfect here when they just called and said we're coming!

It is one fire after another.  This cc machine and acct works for now. 

Lame excuse, but it is what it is.

Maybe I should tell guests NO MORE AMEX! NO MORE DISCOVER!

swirt's picture
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Not a lame excuse at all.  There are only so many things we can undertake in a day.  I understand it 100%  Eye-wink

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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swirt wrote:

Not a lame excuse at all.  There are only so many things we can undertake in a day.  I understand it 100%  Eye-wink

The good news?

I just saved a bundle on my car insurance.

nawwww, already did that, but thought some good news was warranted.

Proud Texan's picture
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JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

  It is illegal to charge a fee to use a cc.

AMEX's fees should be illegal.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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ProudTexan wrote:

JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

  It is illegal to charge a fee to use a cc.

AMEX's fees should be illegal.

AGREE!

Proud Texan's picture
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Why not take AMEX and DISCOVER, and add $5.00 dollars to the room rate when they use those cards? We don't want to pay their ridiculous fees either, but as is repeated in this forum often, "A booking is a booking!"

I say that, but we don't take them.

swirt's picture
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It is against the agreement you make with the processor.  Technically, so is offering a discount for paying in cash. 

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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swirt wrote:

It is against the agreement you make with the processor.  Technically, so is offering a discount for paying in cash. 

Where is a discount for cash illegal? 

swirt's picture
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I never said a discount for cash is illegal.  There is a difference between something being against an agreement and being illegal.  The wording on the three credit card processors I have used all say something to the effect of "prices for cash and credit card users may not be different" or "incentives can not be offered for using cash" as well as "processing fees may not be passed on to the customer."

Given that your processor is forcing you to use all 4 cards, I would be think it a safe bet that they have similar or even more restrictive language in your contract. 

Of course the sidebar that applies is, its in your house behind your doors, who is going to say anything?

Morticia's picture
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ProudTexan wrote:

Why not take AMEX and DISCOVER, and add $5.00 dollars to the room rate when they use those cards? We don't want to pay their ridiculous fees either, but as is repeated in this forum often, "A booking is a booking!"

I say that, but we don't take them.

I think if you tried adding a fee to use a credit card you might find yourself in a pickle with both the card holder and the card issuer should anyone choose to make a deal out of it. However, anyone is welcome to try and let us know the results.

egoodell's picture
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We only take MC and V. Some have tried to pay with AMEX but understand we can't afford to use it.

Riki

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Hate discover.  Everytime I accept it they JUMP FOR JOY and tell me why...then I tell them, YES we are the ones giving you that $$ back.  It is NOT Discover.

We accept everything, it is what it is.

"Cash gladly accepted with id"

josh's picture
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I know I have lost bookings over  not taking Amex, Its so complicated to get them added to my CC machine. I have no desire to call 4 different numbers and sit and wait, We used to take them, But there was a swrewup, and to wait 3 weeks for my money. I cancelled them.

I applied for 2 of there cards, But was turned down because of lack of income (Many years ago) so why should I give them respect and use them?

 

Most guests pay with Visa or Mastercard, a few in checks and some with cash.

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I forgot to add that almost all of our business travelers to date have used American Express & we've had plenty of other folks use Amex.  I have yet to have anyone use a Discover Card. 

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06/18/2008

2 of the main cooperations in town use AMX so I take it.  They have been switching to Visa /MC  for which I am forever grateful.

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Muscatine,Iowa

 

YellowSocks's picture
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No.

I take a deposit at time of booking, VISA/MC... guests always have one of those.  Several times they've asked about AmEx or Discover, but when I say don't take them they always have the VISA/MC ready.

=)
Kk.

swirt's picture
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We only take V and MC and to my knowledge we have never lost a reservation because of it.... but it is one of those things where absence of proof might not be proof of absence.  I won't have any idea how many don't reserve online because the site only accepts V&MC.  I won't know how many don't call because our site clearly says that we only accept V&MC (and check and cash). 

As a card user I like to use my Discover, but I have a Visa in my wallet for those times when I am in a place that does not take Discover.  If I had an Amex I would certainly carry a back-up.

Proud Texan's picture
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If they want to pay the balance on a card that you don't accept, that's their problem.  It's easily resolved by putting it on the card they reserved with in the first place.

Our guests can pay by Visa, Mastercard or any Debit card with a pin.   Cash is fine too.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

No, I have never lost a booking because I do not take Amex or Discover. I do take checks (preferred over Debit Cards), they do not cost me fees and I have not had a bad check in all these years. Cash, hiwever is my favorite color (and it all goes on the books).

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Many use their "specific" card because they are collecting their "reward" points. We took amex so that was a good thing as lots used it. But never had anyone not book because we did not take Discover. They usually had a wallet full of cards...just take your pick they saidSmiling

Morticia's picture
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catlady wrote:

Many use their "specific" card because they are collecting their "reward" points. We took amex so that was a good thing as lots used it. But never had anyone not book because we did not take Discover. They usually had a wallet full of cards...just take your pick they saidSmiling

I called AmEx to see if they would lower the % I pay in commissions (discount fee in cc-speak) and was told that because I had reached a certain point (over $24k/year) that I no longer qualified as a 'small business' so could not get any lower discount fee. What? I would think the more I brought in, the better the rate. I guess I start asking for V/MC and get that back below $24k for AmEx cards.

My SIL is saving up to buy a car with her GM card. Good luck on that one!

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Seems to me that when I called AMX for a better rate they told me that I did not make enough to get a break percentage.What they told me and what they told you are direct opposites. 

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I take them all except Diner's Club Smiling  Bookings, what are bookings????  Ack!!

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