Credit Card Experiences

Thursday I lost out for the 4th time because I don’t accept credit cards. I stayed away from them to remain competetive with my market area and to avoid the hassels of accepting them. I could be wrong but if you accept them when you do an inspection how do you know if its a valid card and if the card holder have sufficent balance left to pay for the inspection. It would seem to me if I have to call for an authorization before I do the inspection its an insult to the buyer and if I don’t do it I can easily be on the losing end. I address this to you folks that accept to give me some advice. Is there one sevice thats better then another ?

I’ve found that I don’t get enough requests for credit cards. I have gotten a couple, but not enough to spring for the start-up costs and the monthly costs for credit card processing.

Instead, if anyone wants to pay by a credit card, I tell them to follow a link on my website and pay me through Paypal. It’s free for them to pay me and there’s no monthly fee. I can accept credit cards if they insist, but they have to pay through my Paypal.

I use paypal as well… costs under 9 bucks to collect 300.00.
No monthly fee and you can invoice via email in advance…

worth it to me…

I use the wireless system that was offered somewhere on this board. When you swipe the card, it tells you if the card is good.

I use it maybe four or five times a month. I don’t leave home without it.

I currently use pay pal but am curious, what are the fees Jeff?

I get 5-6 cards a month and I haven’t got stung yet. I’ve been taking credit cards for nearly 12 years–I clear and submit them when I get home that evening. Try Sam’s Club–fees are very low…

PayPal for those that do not do a lot of CC business. We do maybe one two a month. Cost is minimal, easy and instant. Takes only minutes to set up your account.

Pay Pal here too

Bill, I can understand the rationale for not wanting to deal with CC processing payments and hassles, etc., but how would doing so (accepting the cards) be any worse than taking a personal check from someone you don’t really know? If you use a service which provides (or through which you can get) a field processing solution (handheld, wireless communication unit), you’ll know immediately if the CC presented-to you is “good for the money.” When you accept a hand-written personal check, well…you just don’t know.

We stayed-away from accepting CC’s for several years, but recently signed-on with the merchant processing solution referred-to by Jeff Pope earlier in the thread. We have NOT been disappointed. There is a business cost involved, but it is reasonable-enough, and partially or fully-deductible as such. Frankly, I feel a lot better these days when taking the CC than when being-handed the check…

Our cost to have the CC payment acceptance capability “in the field” amounts to less than $25.00/month, plus 2% of each transaction paid-for in that manner. If you gained only one inspection each month as a result of accepting CC’s, you’d be ahead of the game, wouldn’t you?

Thanks for the comments and solutions, I’m sure I’ll move ahead with one of the options mentioned although I’m not sure which one yet. Since I only get about one or two requests a year I’ll go with the least costly option.
Again many thanks folks.

I use ProPay.

For approx. $5 per month (paid yearly) you can accept
Visa, Master, Discover and American Ex.

Plus you pay a transaction fee.

You can compare several different types of CC plans here:

Good Luck,

John McKenna
American Home Inspection

Bill -

We’ve used merchants M/C - Visa for 17 years. Easy to use. Less chancey than checks. Once you have it and ask people:

“How do you wanta pay - check, cash or credit card?” We take about 3-4 cards per week out of every 8-11 jobs. Next plus is if someone wants to Bill Closing:

“I’m sorry we don’t bill, BUT we take credit cards - so it’ll be 30 days before you get a bill and 30 more days before you have to pay it”.

Eliminates the bill to close issue & they haven’t taken money out of pocket today AND they get frequent flyer miles, etc.

Dan Bowers:

I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to share that to my classes. It is a great selling point. They don’t get the bill for 30 days and have 30 days to pay it. This way, those who are counting nickels and dimes to afford a closing can benefit from use of their credit card and it won’t be due for up to 60 days from the purchase.

Thanks for the insight-


Back from Vegas and it looks like I’ll still be workin’ for a living :wink: . Sorry I didn’t get back to this topic sooner.

I pay a $33 monthly fee for the wireless unit (I’m not sure what that includes other than the wireless service) and percentages from the CC company.

American Express is the highest, but they are all negotiable. I’m not too concerned about the fees as they are 100% tax deductible as a business expense.

Having the added option to accept CC’s is a huge plus. As I offer escrow billing, I can “secure” the payment with the CC. If escrow does not pay, I charge the card. Also, there have been those occasions when the client “forgets” the check book - that’s okay, I can take a credit card :smiley:

I’ll add my two cents. I use the CC with Homegauge Platinum service. A lot of our clients are on the mainland and the real estate agents don’t normally pay for their clients. People forget their checkbooks and when they find out that we accept credit cards they are usually happy because they can get airline miles when they purchase through their credit card company.

Works great in my marketing.


Any POS now runs an immediate check for funds in the account, even if it’s just a debit card to your bank account. It’s refused on the spot if it’s found you don’t have the funds.