Hello there,


Recently I had my website update with a 'book now' feature.  I also set-up the payment solution with my bank.  Now I have gotten my first online booking and I am not sure where I should be charging their credit card when I get the booking or on the day my guest arrives?  Any comments welcome.


I would be so grateful to hear from other innkeepers to know what they think is kosher.



Jeremy @ www.jaresplace.ca

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  • Hi Jeremy,

    My name is Marc, I work with Bescover.com and have talked to many numerous innkeepers about this topic.I think you should create a policy on when you will charge the card and go from there, perhaps a 50% payment to hold the room, and the other 50% upon check in; but really it should be whatever makes you comfortable as an accountant and innkeeper. As far as payment processing you may be interested n using Square which is a popular credit card app for smart phones and tablets. Square does not have monthly fees, you are only charged a small percentage per charge, and it is paperless, so that you are not spending money on paper and ink. Receipts can be emailed or texted to your customers, and charges can be deposited directly into your bank account.

    Welcome to nginx!
  • I always charge when the reservation is made.  Most people expect that, since hotels do that.
  •  We have a policy that states we charge credit cards for the deposit at the time of reservation. For us this means 100% for one night stays and 50% for longer stays. We also charge in full for reservations made within our cancellation period.What is crucial is that you have a posted policy as well as a written one and that you are consistent. The policy should also be verbally explained at the time of a phone reservation and in your confirmation letters.


    Amy, Innkeeper/Proprietor

    The Rookwood Inn

    Lenox, MA


  • Jeremy,

    we have a "7 day cancelation plocy" clearly published on our web site. At time of booking we charge 1 night accommodation and the balance at time of arrival. The guest also signs a registration form at that time.


    From my point of view it is important that you have a policy in place that the guests can read through before they transmit their credit card details.


    Hope that helps,


    Hans J. Gisch

    Panorama Blue B&B, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

  • Hi Jeremy,

                   As stated by some others, you can define you own policy in regards to deposits and payments etc and so that is up to you to decide what is right for you. The only thing I would like to add, is to check with you credit card provider how much you are being charged for those transactions. I know that for my machine, they charge me a much higher percentage if I ''key in'' the credit card number, and the lowest charge is if the person is there and uses their card through the machine. It may not sound a big difference on one transaction but adds up to a lot over the year.

    All the best


    Canyon Ridge Lodge


  • Based on your question you are not using a system for reservation.  This will help with marketingg taxes and tracking your customeres (guests) quite easily.  It's not only to get them to book online.

    You should be using a verified system such as Rezovation.com or ResNexus.com.  according to ResNexus.com "Guests prefer our easy-to-use, secure, and attractive booking engine to any other system on the market. You will capture more reservations, period!" They are the largest and we've been using then now for 5 years without any problem.

  • Hello,

    My innkeeper charges our guest to hold the reservation and the guest chooses to pay all before check-in date or on check-in date.

    hope it helps,

    NY Renaissance

  • Dear All,

     have my own hotels, tours in bali and beyond.

    Now I have difficulties to set up online payment for my clients. It's difficult to have this application.

    Is there any cheap online payment installation and easy to be used? is it also valid at leas to authorize Visa, Master Card .

    Help me Please



    Yongki Pratikno



    • Yongki, there is nothing cheap about credit card payment processing services. It's a cost of doing business. You can compare prices, like anything there is a range. You might look at paypal as an option, but this isn't cheap either and not as widely used as Mastercard and Visa.
  • As others have noted, you must state your polices online making sure they are very clear, and you must get them to agree to those policies when they book online.  This helps if there is ever a chargeback attempt. 

    As you have seen by other postings, there is a wide array of deposit policies used in our industry.  Since mine is a little different than others mentioned, here ya go adding more to the thought process.

    "Cancellations must be made by 5PM on X Date (my cancel date is 14 days prior to check in) , at which time your Credit Card on file will be charged a deposit of 1 night rental, which is non-refundable, with balance due on arrival.   Cancellations made after the above date will be charged for their entire stay unless we are able to rebook the room for the entire period.  A 10% fee will be deducted to all refunds. It is suggested that guests look into travelers insurance to cover any costs that may be lost due to unexpected travel problems."


    It is wise to check around in your area for the policies others are using especially if they have been in business for a while.  They have grasp what the market needs in your area. 

    Best of luck!


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