Is ASCENT Surcharging Right for Your Business? 

Reduce your credit card processing fees to almost 0%

Sounds great, right? ASCENT Surcharging allows most credit card processing fees to be passed along to your guest (consumer) instead of you or your owners paying the fees. You just pay for debit transactions. We make sure you are 100% compliant.


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Which reservation software do you currently use, if any?

Which payment solution product are you interested in?

Do you have any additional questions or comments we can assist you with?

Let’s look at the pros and cons via our FAQs below to see if this program to keep more of your revenue is for your business


Frequently Asked Questions to see if Surcharging is Right for Your Business

to Accept Credit Cards at Almost 0% Cost, while Being 100% Compliant.

  • What is Surcharging?

    A surcharge is an additional fee that a merchant adds on a transaction when a consumer uses a credit card for payment. It is used to recover the cost of credit card acceptance.

  • Why should I consider surcharge?

    Surcharging is a solution that has cost-saving ripple effects throughout every part of your business.  Here’s a short list explaining this ripple effect:

    • Consumers (guests) have the option to use another method of payment, such as their debit card, which costs a merchant considerably less to process compared to credit card fees.
    • Property Managers can use the saved funds to invest in other areas of business.
    • Take out the cost of card processing fees calculated in your pricing. Now, you can advertise at a much lower price than before and increase your SEO with lower price points.
    • Most importantly, now you’re doing something different than your competitors, who are still doing the same marketing and social media campaigns.
  • Why should I trust ASCENT?

    ASCENT Processing is the last independently-owned payment processor in our space. We utilize our 25 years of experience in the lodging payment space to offer a dedicated support team to expertly handle any issues your business may have. Customer Service is what our reputation is built on. Our technology allows us to separate ourselves from our competition to offer this Surcharging Program.

  • What should I consider when determining whether or not to assess a surcharge on card transactions?

    Before choosing to surcharge, U.S. merchants may want to consider a number of factors.  How are your customers going to react?  What are your competitors doing?  This program is not designed for every merchant out there.  Please contact us so we can thoroughly go through any questions you may have about the program and the process.

  • How do I communicate to my customers why I’m doing this?

    Merchants can’t simply increase their prices when costs go up.  They have to find new ways to cut expenses or transfer costs.  Passing your credit card fees along to the consumer is one way to operate without raising your fees.

  • What is the process that a merchant must follow in order to surcharge credit cards? How hard is the process to start?

    The card brands (MC/V/Disc/Amex) have specific rules for merchants to follow in order to be 100% compliant.  ASCENT, with its expert support and technology solution, makes this a simple process for you.

  • Can I choose which types of cards I add a surcharge to?

    While U.S. merchants currently have the option of applying surcharges at the “brand level” or just to particular types of cc transactions at the “product level”, the ASCENT Surcharge Program is designed to support Brand Level Surcharging.

  • Can I assess a surcharge on both credit and debit card purchases?

    No. The ability to surcharge only applies to credit card purchases, and only under certain conditions. U.S. merchants cannot surcharge debit card or prepaid card purchases.

  • How does a merchant calculate their “cost of acceptance?”

    The “cost of acceptance” is also known as the merchant discount rate. Our program uses a bundled flat rate for credit cards to make this as easy as possible.

  • Am I required to disclose the surcharge to my customers?

    Yes.  For ecommerce transactions, very specific language must be disclosed on the first page that references credit card brands and again on the checkout page.  For phone call interactions, the reservationist must give verbal notice of the surcharge amount.

  • I operate stores in multiple states. I understand that state law prohibits me from surcharging in some states where I operate, but not others – does that mean I can’t surcharge in any of the states where I operate?

    No. If a merchant is prohibited from surcharging in one state, Card Brand rules do not prevent the merchant from surcharging in other states that allow the practice.

  • When processing any chargebacks can the surcharge amount be included?

    Yes. The chargeback can be for the full amount of the transaction, including the surcharge amount.

Surcharging is highly complex – there are a lot of rules that a merchant has to follow and you need to be sure that you are set up with a processor and technology that will keep you compliant – and a decision that each merchant must make for themselves.

Will you lose bookings over guests being unhappy about the additional fee? This is an important question. The card brand regulations require you to alert the consumer about the surcharge before charging it. Offering alternative payment methods (debit, ACH, cash, check, depending on the situation) to clients who start to book but do not want to pay the surcharge allows you to still move forward with the booking. And those other payment methods all carry a much lower processing price tag for you as a merchant.

In the vacation rental industry, a benefit to surcharging is that it allows you to differentiate your management company from others that pass the processing fees – or part of them – to the homeowner. You might win more owner contracts by offering surcharging. Property owners prefer a management company option with lower or no processing fees in their program.

This is a decision that each merchant needs to make for their business. If you have questions or want more information on ASCENT Surcharging, contact us at

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