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Klyne

Credit Card Charges

24 posts in this topic

Not sure this is a rant but I do wonder if Bolsover are somewhat out of touch when it comes to surcharging the use of credit cards to pay for cruises. I had thought that recent EU regulation changes means that merchant charges to companies accepting credit cards has been reduced to no more that .03% of the transaction yet Bolsover are still charging 1.5%. For my cruise that is a difference of about £36.Now I can use a debit card for free where the merchant charges are only marginally less that a credit card or I can pay by cheque. The problem I have is that using a bank card either online or over the phone is less secure than a credit card. I could understand a charge being made to process a cheque as it involves Bolsover in a much more manual process which must be quite expensive in time if nothing else. I would appreciate if someone from Bolsover could provide an explanation to justify the surcharges for using a credit card.

 

David

Balernocalling and gerrymed1 like this

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I think your spot on Captain Kidd. When booking some cruise lines I have noticed there is a credit card charge but not when booking others. I was advised by staff at Bolsover when booking my last Celebrity cruise that there was no credit card charge hence I decided to put the full amount on my card in order to gain the benefits I receive from using it.

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hi, when i paid for my mini cruise on britannia with bolsover they clearly said they charge came from p&o. i thought the new regs meant that companies could not charge more than the base charge, eg making profit from charges

hturtle likes this

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I also believe you to be spot on Captain Kidd, when I booked my recent voyage I was advised by Bolsover that the card charge was made by P&O as Bolsover had the facility to pay the company direct, they also went on to say that debit cards carried no charge. I am aware also from enquiring elsewhere that the standard credit card charges is 2% and in some places more than that online. I'm sure though that they will be happy to reply on this.

Portside likes this

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It is interesting that if you pay a deposit to P&O online or phone you pay a fee yet do not get charged it if you book on board ship for a future cruise. Double standards I think. I am glad Bolsover are so good as I am happy to use my debit card rather than have the additional financial cover provided by credit card companies which I might consider if the TA was not as able.

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I hope they come back to see your comments guys, but as its his first post and a whinge, my guess is they wont

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Be it Bolsover or P&O that are responsible for the surcharge is in some ways neither here nor there. Someone seems to be adding an extra slice to the cost of the cruise if you pay by credit card which if I understand current merchant charges is not justified. All I am interested in is an explanation/justification for the charge. It seems to be something which is widespread within the travel industry for some obscure reason. If I go into John Lewis and buy some furniture to the same value as my cruise I don't expect them to add a surcharge because I prefer to pay by credit card. This is my second P&O cruise booked with Bolsover. The previous time was before the rules on what could be charged to merchants by credit card companies changed. It would be nice to see some transparency?

 

I should add that of both occasions I booked cruise with Bolsover  the booking staff have been really excellent so I have no issue per se with either Bolsover or P&O, I would just like a proper explanation. 

 

David

 

PS I am sorry if some of you think its a whinge but I would have thought it was in all our interests to know the reasoning?

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I understand your point, Klyne, but at the end of the day there is a servicing charge for the use of your credit card. Shops are prepared to accept reduced profits on their sale whereas P&O do not. If the charge was dropped then there shoukd be a discount available for those who prefer to pay in cash. As I said earlier, for the service charge you do get additional protection as any issues fall back on the creditcard company which is not available when using a debitcard or cash. If we do not watch it all th cruise companies will do is add 2.5% to the cruise cost and then cut out the card charge which is not a scenario that I woukd like.

ron likes this

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Hi there

I pay any deposit with the credit card then the rest on Visa..that way I still get the Section 75 cover for the holiday.

And on most of the cruises I've taken I always managed to negotiate that they pay the CC charge.

Depends how much they want your business.

Captain Kidd II likes this

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Hi Klyne, I appreciate your explaination however try buying a car or even paying a deposit for 1 on your card. Different companies have different rules, solething we have to live with until banks & credit card companies remove their charges that shops & businesses have to pass on then transparancy will never happen.

Ask yourself the question who starts the charge process - THE BANK- not the retailer or consumer we are just the ones who have to suck it up!!!!

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Payed with debit card to Bolsover so there was no charge. But last time we paid for P&O cruise with Thomas Cook we paid part on credit card and they did not charge us any extra. Did TC absorb the charges from P&O ?

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I'm not sure, but i don't think anyone should charge credit card charges. I know it's a small price to pay considering you're receiving some kind of protection but not all retailers charge it, so its a bit of a grey area for me.

Captain Kidd II likes this

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Not sure this is a rant but I do wonder if Bolsover are somewhat out of touch when it comes to surcharging the use of credit cards to pay for cruises. I had thought that recent EU regulation changes means that merchant charges to companies accepting credit cards has been reduced to no more that .03% of the transaction yet Bolsover are still charging 1.5%. For my cruise that is a difference of about £36.Now I can use a debit card for free where the merchant charges are only marginally less that a credit card or I can pay by cheque. The problem I have is that using a bank card either online or over the phone is less secure than a credit card. I could understand a charge being made to process a cheque as it involves Bolsover in a much more manual process which must be quite expensive in time if nothing else. I would appreciate if someone from Bolsover could provide an explanation to justify the surcharges for using a credit card.

 

David

 

 

Hi David,

 

As always the answer is not straight forward. In most cases we have taken the commercial decision to process client credit cards directly with cruise operator, thereby no pipeline monies are held by ourselves at any time during the booking process. This means that we offer clients maximum protection for their money, a level of confidence that is not generally available elsewhere. As a consequence, when booking via ourselves, the card transactions are subject to the fee imposed by the cruise operator, which is generally 1.5%. A small number of operators such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises build the credit card fee into the gross price, so they do not make any charge at the credit card payment stage and I see one of the forum posts makes mention of this. In the smaller number of cases where we actually take the credit card payment ourselves on behalf of the cruise operator, we charge 1.5% and do not make any profit from this in accordance with current legislation.

 

The original post is referring to recently reduced bank “Interchange fees” and not “merchant charges” and so any reference to these charges is misleading in a discussion about the level of credit card charge being passed on by an agent.  It is also misleading to compare different industries. A purchase from John Lewis for furniture is likely to be subject to a mark-up of at least 100%, when a travel agent margin will be less than 5%.

 

In the end the cost of using a credit card has to be borne by the consumer. It can either be built into the product cost, or added as a fee. Research and experience tells us that clients generally prefer the latter as this means they are free to use alternative methods of payments such as a debit card to avoid charges altogether. 

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Hi David,

 

As always the answer is not straight forward. In most cases we have taken the commercial decision to process client credit cards directly with cruise operator, thereby no pipeline monies are held by ourselves at any time during the booking process. This means that we offer clients maximum protection for their money, a level of confidence that is not generally available elsewhere. As a consequence, when booking via ourselves, the card transactions are subject to the fee imposed by the cruise operator, which is generally 1.5%. A small number of operators such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises build the credit card fee into the gross price, so they do not make any charge at the credit card payment stage and I see one of the forum posts makes mention of this. In the smaller number of cases where we actually take the credit card payment ourselves on behalf of the cruise operator, we charge 1.5% and do not make any profit from this in accordance with current legislation.

 

The original post is referring to recently reduced bank “Interchange fees” and not “merchant charges” and so any reference to these charges is misleading in a discussion about the level of credit card charge being passed on by an agent.  It is also misleading to compare different industries. A purchase from John Lewis for furniture is likely to be subject to a mark-up of at least 100%, when a travel agent margin will be less than 5%.

 

In the end the cost of using a credit card has to be borne by the consumer. It can either be built into the product cost, or added as a fee. Research and experience tells us that clients generally prefer the latter as this means they are free to use alternative methods of payments such as a debit card to avoid charges altogether. 

Nicely put!!

DavidH

cruise chef, LadyG and hturtle like this

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If you book a foreign operator such as MSC, are they converting the card sterling payment straight into euros, accepting whatever the exchange rate is at that particular time?

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Thank you for taking the time to reply and explain the reasons (For the sake of others I won't multi quote). I can perfectly see that if its an extra charge levied by the cruise operator, Bolsover have no real option but to pass that on or increase overall prices accordingly. As we tend to buy our cruises via Bolsover you will understand that you will be the first place to ask the question. It is clearly the Cruise operator that needs to be tackled on this issue as I still don't understand why when the relative costs of processing a credit card compared to a debit card is literally pence per £100 spent the surcharge is there at all. But hey ho its not something I am going to be able to change.

 

David

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It is interesting to note that P&O charge when booking by phone or through the TA but do not make a charge when booking onboard during a cruise! Double standards I think and just ask for consistency.

dancefloordemon likes this

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Very simple David thats how the credit card companies make their money by overcharging both retailers & clients, to make any change it would have to start with them

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Tj42 - the credit card companies, which are owned by the banks, make the charge but there us an option by the retailer to pass the charge on or not. It woukd appear that if you are on dry land when you pay P&O by creditcard then there is a charge. If you pay for a cruise at sea then there is not. I supose you coukd say it is a loyalty benefit if you have a vivid imagination.

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Tj42 - the credit card companies, which are owned by the banks, make the charge but there us an option by the retailer to pass the charge on or not. It woukd appear that if you are on dry land when you pay P&O by creditcard then there is a charge. If you pay for a cruise at sea then there is not. I supose you coukd say it is a loyalty benefit if you have a vivid imagination.

 

or different law/legislation whilst at sea in international waters?

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Very simple David thats how the credit card companies make their money by overcharging both retailers & clients, to make any change it would have to start with them

Cruise Chef

 

As I pointed out in my original post the financial regulations have recently changed which puts quite tight limits on the charge for processing credit and debit card transactions. The difference in charges between a debit card and credit card is 0.01% of the transaction and yet P&O (as it turns out, not Bolsover) add a surcharge of 1.5% but no charge for using a debit card. I was just trying to get to understand why this surcharge is 1) required or 2)  not charged on debit cards when the transaction costs are virtually the same. There may be more to it that happens behind the scenes. I was just asking for a little bit of transparency to help me understand the situation.

 

David

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Before any new legislation merchants were charged a percentage on credit transactions and a fixed amount on debit ones. Eg £1000 on a credit card at say 2% would cost the merchant £20 & £100 would cost them £2 but on a debit card they might be charged say 50p whether the transaction was for £5 or £5000.

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