Credit card "swiped" vs "non-swiped" fees

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Most credit card merchant accounts have lower transaction fees (or "discount" percentage) when a credit card is present as opposed to not-present (payment by phone or online).  The way they know whether it's present or not is by extra "swipe" data that's read from the card when you physically swipe the card through the credit card terminal or computer-based swipe device.  


This difference in fees applies whether you process cards through Campground Master or though a separate terminal.  Here are a couple tips for minimizing the fees when processing them through Campground Master, but they can also be useful or separate terminals.


First of all, if you don't need to actually charge the card when they call to make the reservation but you want a card on file in case they cancel, then be sure to use the "Guarantee" function so you can enter the card information in the appropriate fields.  This is better than just using the Notes part of the reservation or guarantee info, for security and for ease of charging the card later.


Now the important part to remember is that whether or not you charged a deposit by phone, even if they want you to put it on the same card, don't just use the card information you manually entered because it doesn't have the swipe data.  When they arrive, ask to swipe their card when paying for any balance or new charges (click "Re-enter / Re-swipe" on the Enter Payment screen to clear out the non-swiped information).  This way it will count as a "card present" sale and you will avoid the higher "card not present" fees.


Once the card is swiped, Campground Master will retain that swipe data for any further credit card payments on the same reservation in case they incur additional charges during their stay -- but for future reservations it will pull the non-swiped information from the "Guarantee Info" on the Customer Details and/or Reservation Details.  So you should still swipe their card each time they arrive.



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