The 10 Best Travel Merchant Accounts

With the travel industry showing no signs of slowing down, an estimated six million Brits flock to warmer climates every month. Since absolutely no one pays for their big-ticket items (a packaged holiday, round-trip flight) with a big wad of cash, you certainly want to make sure you find yourself a merchant account with a solid company who deeply understands this high risk business. Travel businesses have unique demands and require a way to process payments without the hassle of dealing with chargebacks. Take a look at these 10 merchant account providers who make their mark by providing value, efficiency, and safety.

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Host Merchant Services

Based in Newark, Delaware and founded in 2008, Host Merchant Services provides customizable payment processing solutions for travel businesses.

Host boasts that their merchant accounts team exceeds their sales team by four times. This is to make sure they provide first-rate customer service.

The Pros

Their features include a guaranteed lowest rate, free mobile options, affordable point of sale, free equipment for qualified accounts, transparent statements, online marketing tools, multiple payment gateways (Transaction Express and Authorize.NET), virtual terminals, online shopping carts, PCI compliance, and merchant cash advances

The Cons

Only a handful of complaints have been reported and were related to merchants being denied an account or malfunctioning hardware. The others were about a misrepresentation of rates and an unexpected equipment lease. It is imperative that merchants read the fine print thoroughly to avoid these unnecessary charges.

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Cash Flows

Founded in 2010 and with offices in Cambridge and London, UK, Cash Flows provides payment gateways, business accounts, and merchant accounts.

The Pros

Some of the benefits of working with Cash Flows include: no minimum or maximum transaction amounts (there are exceptions), more first time sales, fewer declines and disputed sales, PCI-compliant virtual terminal, hassle-free sign up, speedy on-boarding, acceptance of all major credit cards and currencies, online, phone & mail order, recurring billing, chargeback prevention, and real-time reporting.

They also offer Voice Pay and prepaid card services.

The Cons

The only way to get answers is to use the “self-serve” Support Knowledgebase, a customer phone number and a contact form. Although they do not offer 24/7 customer service, they can be easily contacted via their Twitter handle for any updates relating to maintenance or service issues.

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eMerchantBroker

Based in Los Angeles, California, eMerchantBroker offers high risk processing solutions, including Travel Merchant accounts.

The Pros

EMB offers custom-made paid solutions, excellent customer service, approval rates between 24 and 48 hours, chargeback management tools, PCI-compliant payment gateways, as well as fraud filters. Another great option is that EMB offers rapidly growing merchants the opportunity to request new higher volume ceiling caps in three months.

The Cons

Very little information available about the standard contract. This could only mean that the contract terms vary widely from merchant to merchant. There are early termination fees that are up to $295 for 1 year contracts and up to $595 for 3 year contracts.

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Allied Wallet

Founded in 2006, Allied Wallet is one of the leading online payment processing companies in the world. Providing payment solutions in 196 countries all over the world,
the company is headed by CEO Andy Khawaja and is headquartered in London, England.

With a 98% approval rate, they guarantee to get merchants up and running in less than one day.

The Pros

The features and benefits offered by Allied Wallet include a comprehensive solution for travel merchant businesses, digital eWallet solutions, accepts over 100 currencies in 196 countries, rates starting at just 1%, settle profit directly into merchant’s bank account, secure data transfers with PCI Level 1 compliance, reduced declined payments with Fraud Scrub Technology, and track transaction with robust reporting system.

The Cons

Allied Wallet seems to have a host of fees including: monthly maintenance fees, transaction fees, refund fees, retrieval fees, chargeback fees, wire fees, a rolling reserve, and if that’s not enough, they also are known for fund holding. Merchants really should evaluate what is most important in their business as these fees will inevitably affect the bottom line.

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Durango Merchant Services

Founded in 2004 and located in Durango, Colorado, Durango Merchant Services works with many gateway processors and suppliers with sponsor banking relationships that offer credit processing solutions for both the US-based and internationally based companies.

Durango also provides assistance to startups/existing businesses and both high ticket merchants and merchants with bad credit.

The Pros

Features in the contract include: variable contract lengths (month-to-month), free application processing, direct financing with regular deposits (daily or weekly, depending on whether onshore vs offshore), recurring billing, competitive rates, acceptance of multiple currencies and deposits, compatibility with major gateways and shopping carts, integration assistance with more than 100 shopping carts, chargeback prevention tools and advice, eCheck processing, gateway includes fraud detection and prevention tools.

The Cons

The only complaints received about this company were about Durango’s inability to get approval for a high risk merchant account and about a partnering bank withholding a merchant’s funds.

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Instabill

Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and with an EU registered address in Lija, Malta, Instabill has been covering the high-risk merchant space since 2001. With constant change within the high risk merchant space, it has remained current with shifts and regulations within the industry.
Some of the approved business types include:airline tickets, hotel reservations, vacation home rentals, and more.
Instabill offers accounts with offshore acquiring banks, providing affordable rates.
The fees that Instabill offers depend on the merchant’s processing history, type of industry (high or low risk), and/or projected sales volume. Instabill will not charge any fees until the acquiring bank approves the merchant account.
While each merchant account is different, fees include: chargeback fees, discount rate, merchant account fees, merchant account registration fees, monthly statement fees, refund fees, and transaction fees.

The Pros

Tech support merchant benefits include the following: easy person to person transfers, no debit/credit card or PIN use, a convenient storage solution on your PC or smartphone, traceable transactions to deter fraud.

The Cons

Due to Instabill’s focus on high risk accounts, it may feature tiered pricing, early termination fees, and PCI Compliance fees. Most complaints against Instabill are about the company’s fraud prevention policies. Merchants report cancellation of their merchant accounts or withholding funds.

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iPay Total

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in London, iPay Total is a travel payment processor that also offers end-to-end high risk merchant solutions to customers around the world.

iPay Total approves: travel merchant accounts, travel credit card processing, vacation club merchant accounts, travel club merchant accounts, timeshare vacation membership, high risk travel merchant accounts, and online travel merchant accounts.

The Pros

Some features offered on online gambling merchant accounts include: multi-bank processing (including offshore), secure payment gateway, chargeback alerts, chargeback disputes, ACH/Check 21 processing, fraud prevention and protection, and competitive processing rates (below 6%), as well as 24/7 support online or by phone.

The Cons

High risk merchant account contract terms are not disclosed to the public. iPay Total also claims to charge a set up fee of up to £4,500, an incredibly exorbitant and prohibitive amount, especially for small businesses starting out.

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Connected.co

Situated in beautiful Santa Monica, California, Connected.co’s CEO, JW Epply is an accredited Certified Payments Professional (CPP) from the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA).

Known for developing the first payment gateway on the Internet, Connected.co services all high risk industries. Their motto is, “If it’s legal, we can get it approved!”

The Pros

Connected.co’s features include a state of the art electronic application process, creating a hassle-free experience. The application is also cloud-based, digitally capturing the merchants information and submitting it to their vast network of high risk banks both domestically and internationally.

The Cons

There is no contract information available to the public at this time, but it’s to be expected that their pricing is largely attributed to business type, location and processing history. Also, the company does not provide a specific and dedicated customer support number, which is not something a merchant can do without.

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Payline

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and founded in 2009, Payline offers its merchants the following benefits: access to a virtual terminal, no cancellation or termination fees, next day deposit of funds, direct integration with Quickbooks, and a chargeback prevention platform.

The Pros

Their virtual terminal alone, as a vast array of features, including: invoicing, a hosted payment page, billing plans and scheduled payments, shopping cart integrations, ACH payments, Mobile App, securely stored customer data, in-depth reporting, emailed receipts, void and refund capabilities, free PCI compliance, and unlimited users.

The Cons

The few complaints filed against the company include withheld funds, product malfunctions, and slow customer service.

Provider of the Month

Why Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services was founded in 2008 and was structured around a strong backbone of customer service. 11 years and thousands of happy merchants later, customer service is still their number one priority.