The ability to accept credit cards provides a number of advantages for both homeowner and tenant. Payment is immediate, eliminating the delay of waiting for checks to clear as well as allowing for last-minute reservations and impulse bookings. Damages can be charged directly to the renter's account as needed, so advance security deposits are no longer necessary. The renter may also enjoy incentives associated with credit card purchases, such as frequent flyer miles, which will in turn lead to repeat bookings. Additionally, credit cards make it easier for tenants to make payments in periodic installments rather than in a single lump sum. For international clients, credit card payments are less expensive and time-consuming than wire transfers or other methods. The hassles of currency conversion disappear, and the client is assured of the best possible exchange rate. Potential tenants will be more likely to book with a homeowner who accepts credit cards because of increased security against fraud and perception of the homeowner as a legitimate, professional business. Finally, both homeowners and renters are provided with immediate confirmations of transactions, as well as improved receipts for record-keeping.
A common concern among homeowners regarding credit cards is the cost. Luckily, this concern is largely unfounded, as research shows that renters are willing to pay extra for the convenience of using their credit card. Another fear is that clients will claim dissatisfaction and refuse to pay the charge (charge-back). It is imperative to provide a contract/rental agreement to your tenants in order to minimize the risk of a "charge-back". Using Econtracts as a rental agreement should be an essential component of accepting credit cards in order to protect both owner and consumer.