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6 Best Credit Card Processing for Travel Agencies in 2024

Ivana Shteriova Ivana ShteriovaFinance Specialist March 19, 2024
March 19, 2024
Accepting payments for your travel business is risky. Trips that require a lot of planning ahead come with higher-than-usual chargebacks. If you process high-ticket transactions (airline tickets, hotel stays, cruises), you’re also at a greater risk of falling victim to cybercriminals. This means you also need advanced fraud detection and protection tools.

Unstable cash flow can also be problematic. For example, your sales might skyrocket in the summer and drop in the winter. You need a payment processor with affordable fees that won’t burden your budget when travel slows down.

I spent over a month analyzing high-risk-friendly merchant services. I also specifically looked for processors that allow you to take mail/phone (MOTO) payments, in addition to processors with subscription-based pricing and low transaction fees ideal for high-ticket/high-volume businesses.

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) stood out from the rest with its low fees and dedicated fraud and chargeback team. Its flexible pricing allows you to keep costs at a minimum when business is slow. Call LMS for a quote today, or keep reading to see five other excellent options for travel merchant accounts.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Credit Card Processors for Travel Agencies in 2024

  1. Expert’s Choice
    LMS_Monogram Leaders Merchant Services
    Leaders Merchant Services is a popular choice with our readers
    Personalized merchant accounts for travel agencies at the industry’s lowest rates.
  2. Paysafe Lockup Off-Black RGB Paysafe Low transaction fees for high-ticket sales and international processing in 120+ markets.
  3. sekure-small-logo Sekure Payment Solutions Free virtual terminal for MOTO payments and an abundance of e-commerce integrations.

What We Look For in the Best Credit Card Processing for Travel Agencies

By considering the needs of travel agencies and travel agents, I have narrowed down the list to credit card processors that excel in the following key areas:
  • Support for in-person and online payment processing. My recommendations offer support for various types of card-present transactions. Some will even provide one free piece of hardware. I also found processors with robust e-commerce support, allowing you to take payments on your website, through payment links and digital invoices, and more.
  • Various payment methods. The ability to accept multiple payment methods provides convenience, ultimately leading to increased bookings. All my recommendations support a wide range of payment options.
  • Security and chargeback mitigation. I selected credit card processors that offer advanced security and fraud prevention tools like end-to-end encryption, tokenization, and automatic fraud alerts. I also included processors that offer robust chargeback mitigation tools to protect you from potential financial losses.
  • Mail order/telephone order (MOTO) payments. To expand payment options for customers who prefer alternative methods, I also included processors that securely accept mail and telephone payments.
  • Low transaction fees for high-ticket/high-volume transactions. Do you book luxury accommodations or organize group tours? The processors on my list offer the most competitive transaction fees for high-ticket/high-volume transactions.

Thanks to its custom pricing model, Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) stands out as a top choice for travel agents. Monthly fees are just $9.00 and cover the essentials, making it an ideal solution for budget-conscious agencies. You can personalize your LMS travel merchant account, ensuring you only pay for the services you need.

LMS is a certified reseller of high-quality Clover equipment, and some plans also include free Clover devices. Clover Mini, for example, allows you to pre-authorize credit cards. This hold feature will help you filter serious bookers from lookers and ensure you’re not left empty-handed, even in the case of a canceled trip. With a competitive rate of ~2% + 0¢ for swiped cards, LMS will keep your transaction costs low.

LMS gives you access to the secure and reliable Authorize.Net payment gateway. This payment gateway incorporates advanced security features such as 128-bit SSL protocol, Address Verification Service (AVS), and Card Code Value (CCV). You can also take payments over the phone with Authorize.Net’s virtual terminal. LMS’s low fees of ~2.9% + 30¢ allow you to process online payments efficiently while keeping transaction costs manageable.

Features and Benefits

  • Same-day approval and onboarding. LMS approves 98% of applications and can set you up for credit card payment processing in as little as 24 hours.
  • Advanced chargeback assistance. LMS has an entire department dedicated to fraud and chargeback management. You’ll have one of the largest teams in the industry at your disposal.
  • Flexible funding options. LMS offers cash advances that don’t require collateral and can come in handy in the slow season if you need to boost your cash flow. You can repay this loan with a commission from your future sales.
  • Subscription and loyalty programs. You can use LMS to schedule payments and send personalized offers to customers. You can also create a VIP program for regulars to drive repeat business.
Read our expert Leaders Merchant Services review for more details.

Supported payment methods Credit and debit cards, ACH, digital wallets, bank transfers, MOTO
Security PCI-compliant, end-to-end encryption, tokenization, advanced fraud detection, prevention, chargeback assistance
Payout time 48 hours
Transaction fees on cheapest plan ~2% + 0¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $9.00

PaySafe’s lower-than-usual fees make it ideal for travel agencies processing high-ticket transactions. It PaySafe supports payment processing in 120+ markets and handles over 40 different currencies. This makes it an excellent option if you’re conducting cross-border transactions or receiving a significant volume of payments from international clients. The ability to handle international transactions in customers’ currencies can give your agency a competitive advantage, especially when dealing with high-end clientele.

If you process a lot of online payments, Paysafe’s affordable Online plan could translate into significant savings. Online rates start at $16.00, with a monthly fee of 0.99% + 25¢ (debit cards). Its interchange-plus rates are even lower–$7.95 per month and 0.30% + ¢10 per transaction. More advanced features like the Vindicia payment recovery and subscription management software are available for an extra fee.

PaySafe has a dedicated risk management team working around the clock to ensure the safety and security of every transaction. It also uses cutting-edge technology to prevent fraud, like address verification, encryption of customer data, and tokenization. For an extra fee, you can opt for its Enhanced Security Package, which protects your agency in case customer information is compromised.

Features and Benefits

  • 250+ payment methods. On top of standard payment options, PaySafe offers an array of alternative methods like digital wallets, electronic funds transfer (EFT), Venmo, Skrill, and even QR code payments. QR payments, for example, can speed up the booking process and result in more business for your agency.
  • PaySafe Mobile Pay app. With this app, you can turn your mobile device into a POS terminal to take payments on the go. Thanks to features like real-time payment tracking and invoicing, PaySafe’s app will significantly simplify financial management.
  • Chargeback program. Instead of paying a fee for every chargeback, you can pay a small fixed monthly fee for Paysafe’s Encytro Advantage program, which allows you to submit claims and receive reimbursement for covered chargebacks of up to $250.
  • Free mobile card reader. PaySafe provides one mobile credit card reader as a welcome gift. This versatile tool will allow you to process card-present transactions securely.
Read our detailed PaySafe review for more information.

Supported payment methods 250+ payment methods including credit and debit cards, ACH, digital wallets, bank transfers, EFT, Skrill, Venmo
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant, EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant, tokenization, end-to-end encryption, dedicated risk management team
Payout time 1-2 business days
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 0.99% + 25¢ (debit cards)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $16.00
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3. Sekure Payment Experts: Best for Online & MOTO Travel Agencies

Sekure leverages a wide network of e-commerce partners for online-first travel agencies, including e-commerce platforms, shopping carts, and gateways. You can create a seamless customer checkout experience in a few clicks, simplify online invoicing, and more.

If you need to take payments over the phone, either deposits or full payments, Sekure offers a free virtual terminal for MOTO payments. You also get discounted access to the trusted Authorize.net virtual terminal and payment gateway.

Sekure offers versatile pricing plans to suit travel agencies of all sizes. Most agencies can benefit from Sekure’s interchange-plus pricing, which includes no monthly fee and an average transaction fee of 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online). Alternatively, very small or new travel agencies, which might not qualify for a merchant account or prefer predictability, can choose simplified pricing with a flat transaction fee of 3.5% + 19¢ (in-person & online) for all payment types.

Features and Benefits

  • Zero-cost processing. Sekure’s zero-cost processing model allows you to pass approximately 4% credit card fees to your customers for a small fixed monthly fee. This model can significantly reduce processing expenses, especially if your transactions are typically high-volume or high-ticket.
  • Support for multiple currencies. Sekure supports multiple currencies by integrating with various gateways, including Cybersource, NMI, Payeezy, Payflow Pro, and Authorize.net. This is ideal for businesses in tourist-heavy areas, allowing you to cater to a global customer base without the hassle of currency conversion.
  • Flexible automatic payments. Scheduling payments for future dates or setting up installment plans with Sekure is straightforward, especially through the Payeezy gateway. For travel agencies, this capability ensures timely payments and maintains a healthy cash flow for travel arrangements booked in advance.
  • Breach forgiveness. Sekure offers breach forgiveness of up to $100,000 for businesses classified under PCI Level-3 or PCI Level-4. In the unfortunate event of a data breach, you won’t be liable for any breach-related expenses unless those expenses exceed $100,000. This feature offers peace of mind, especially for small travel agencies where security incidents can significantly impact operations.
See our Sekure Payment Experts review for more details.

Supported payment methods Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant, advanced fraud detection, breach forgiveness
Payout time Same or next day
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

Chase owns one of the largest online travel agencies, giving it an insider look into what travel agencies need from a payment processing solution. It stands out for travel agencies requiring quick access to their funds to aid common cash flow challenges in the travel industry. One of these is paying vendors before receiving full payment from travelers. Additionally, the fluctuation between slow and peak periods can complicate your agency’s financial stability.

Chase’s structure, which imposes fast funding and no monthly fees, lowers the financial burden and ensures resources are immediately available for your essential operations​​​​​​. Chase’s next-day funding is a standard feature, but same-day funding is also available if you use a Chase business account. This rapid access to funds can be a lifeline for travel agencies that operate on tight margins and face immediate payment obligations.

Chase Payment Solutions charges 2.6% + 10¢ for in-person transactions and 2.9% + 25¢ for online transactions – pretty standard fees in the industry. If you operate only in person, it’s worth noting that Chase offers only five POS devices with limited POS programming, meaning you might not be able to use your existing equipment or any equipment purchased from Chase if you decide to switch processors.

Features and Benefits

  • Multicurrency support. Chase supports transactions in over 130 currencies through various payment methods, including credit and debit cards, ACH payments, and digital wallets.
  • Pre-built BigCommerce integration. Chase offers a pre-built integration with BigCommerce, meaning you need zero technical expertise to establish an online presence and collect online payments. Its partnership with BigCommerce ensures same-day access to funds, even for online sales, provided you use a Chase banking account​​.
  • Chase POS app. Chase’s POS app allows you to accept payments, manage disputes, create and send payment links, and more directly from your smartphone. It’s also useful for managing your business banking​​​​​​.
  • Business analytics platform. Chase’s proprietary Customer Insights platform is a powerful tool for tracking sales, understanding customer demographics, and gaining other crucial business insights. This analytics platform empowers you to make data-driven decisions and optimize strategies for growth and customer engagement​​.
Check out our Chase Payment Solutions review to learn more.

Supported payment methods Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant, advanced fraud detection, breach forgiveness
Payout time Same or next day
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

5. Square: Best for Seasonal Travel Agencies

Square is suitable for seasonal travel agencies primarily because it offers plans with no monthly fees, and you can use its services on month-to-month basis. On lower-tier plans, you only pay transaction fees when you make a sale, which is crucial for agencies with fluctuating sales.

Square offers competitive transaction fees for in-person payments at 2.5% + 10¢ per transaction and online payments at 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction or lower, depending on your plan. However, it’s important to note that Square has a reputation for closing accounts deemed risky without prior notice.

Square is excellent for travel agencies selling across multiple channels. You can receive a free card reader and every subsequent reader for only $10 for on-the-go payment processing. Agencies selling short trips and tours in tourist areas can collect payments through various methods, including QR codes, which are increasingly popular for their convenience and speed​​​​. Additionally, Square lets you build a simple travel agency website for free.

Features and Benefits

  • Instant approval. Square doesn’t have a traditional vetting process, so you can create an account online and start taking payments immediately.
  • Plenty of e-commerce integrations. It offers integrations with WordPress, Wix, WooCommerce, Ecwid, and Shopify. This flexibility allows you to choose the best e-commerce platform for your needs and ensures that your payment technology and e-commerce solution will work together seamlessly.
  • Square App Marketplace. The marketplace includes various integrations, such as the Checkfront booking system for managing tours and accommodations and Bookeo for tour booking – perfect for agencies offering local tours.
  • Integrated email and text messaging marketing. With Square Email Marketing and Square Text Message Marketing, plus the free CRM tools, you can efficiently manage customer relationships and engage with them through personalized marketing campaigns. You can send targeted travel recommendations via email and notify your customers of promotions and new travel offers via text.
Check out our expert Square review for more details.

Supported payment methods Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH
Security PCI-compliant (handles PCI compliance for you), end-to-end encryption, tokenization, two-factor authentication
Payout time 48 hours as standard, optional same-day payouts
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 2.5% + 10¢
Monthly fee on cheapest plan N/A

POS Pros stands out with its personalized POS assistance, making it an excellent option if you’re primarily taking in-person payments. Once you become a customer, a POS Pros specialist will advise you on the best POS equipment for your unique needs. On top of that, you’ll get free virtual demos of the suggested POS systems. This allows you to test their performance and features before making an investment.

POS Pros has the most impressive range of hardware in the industry, offering devices from 25+ brands. You can even qualify for a free Dejavoo Z11, Clover Mini LTE, or Clover Flex terminal. If you opt for any Clover device, you can set up a loyalty program to drive repeat business through Clover Rewards.

Despite POS systems being the primary focus for POS Pros, the processor provides solutions for processing online payments at competitive rates. While its pricing structure lacks transparency, you can expect to pay 1.95% (online) per online transaction and $5.00/month for a basic online merchant account. For a lower-than-usual fee, you can get access to Authorize.Net’s payment gateway and virtual terminal to take payments via your website, phone, email or fax.

Features and Benefits

  • Negotiable fees. If you’re looking to switch from another processor, POS Pros will offer lower processing fees or give you $500. Even if you’re stuck with a long-term contract with your current processor, POS Pros promises to cover your cancellation fees to win your business.
  • Advanced security features. You’ll get access to additional fraud protection and security tools if you use Authorize.Net through POS Pros. These include fraud detection filters, blocking high-ticket transactions from the same or suspicious IP addresses, address verification, and device/browser detection.
  • Next-day deposits. If you’re looking for a processor that offers reasonable payout times, POS Pros releases funds to your bank account within 24 hours as standard.
  • Quick loan approval. Whether you need capital to extend your travel offerings or hire more staff ahead of your busy season, POS Pros can come to the rescue. It offers loans of up to $500,000. You can get approved in minutes, provided you’ve been in business for at least a year and make at least $50,000 in annual revenue.
To learn more about this processor, see our full POS Pros review.

Supported payment methods Credit and debit cards, ACH, digital wallets, bank transfers
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant, fraud prevention, chargeback management, tokenization
Payout time Next day
Transaction fees on cheapest plan 1.95% (online)
Monthly fee on cheapest plan $5.00

These Are the Best Credit Card Processing Company for Travel Agents

You don’t need to feel as if you’re suffering through a 10-hour economy flight when looking for the top credit card processor for your business. We’ll give you a rundown of all the important information to speed up your trip to first class.

If you’re an agency with high and low seasons, Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) offers a fair pricing model with the flexibility to add or remove services as needed. It has one of the industry’s largest chargeback and fraud teams, offering unparalleled expertise and assistance.

If you’re a travel agency that sells expensive packages or processes international transactions, you should consider Paysafe. Its global processing solutions covering 120+ markets and 40+ currencies, coupled with lower-than-usual transaction fees, make it ideal for processing high-ticket sales globally. Plus, it offers one of the most advantageous chargeback programs in the industry.

If you primarily take MOTO or online payments, Sekure offers a free virtual terminal and an abundance of e-commerce integrations, along with other freebies like equipment and same-day or next-day payouts. You can pair it with Authorize.net for less than its usual price or integrate with other gateways if you need access to travel-specific integrations and additional fraud mitigation tools.

Here’s how the best CCPs for travel agencies compare:
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee on cheapest plan Transaction fees on cheapest plan
Leaders Merchant Services Affordable custom pricing that ensures you only pay for features you need Budget-conscious travel agencies looking for a custom plan $9.00 ~2% + 0¢
PaySafe Low transaction fees with international payment processing support Travel agencies processing high-value transactions at a lower volume $16.00 0.99% + 25¢ (debit cards)
Sekure Payment Experts Free virtual terminal, discounted gateway and a range of e-commerce integrations Online and MOTO travel agencies N/A 2.99% + 19¢ (in-person & online)
Chase Payment Solutions Free same-day funding and pre-built BigCommerce integration Travel agencies that need fast access to their funds N/A 2.6% + 10¢
Square No monthly or cancellation fees, no contracts, and a free online store Best for seasonal travel agencies N/A 2.5% + 10¢
POS Pros Personalized POS assistance and a wide range of hardware Travel agencies that primarily take in-person payments $5.00 0.30% + 10¢ (in-person)


What is a travel merchant account?

A travel merchant account enables businesses in the travel industry to accept online and in-person credit card payments securely. These accounts may offer support for international transactions, refund and chargeback management tools, and integrations with travel booking systems. For example, Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) offers advanced chargeback assistance, which is particularly helpful for travel merchants.

How do travel agents collect payment?

Travel agents collect payment through various methods to cater to the diverse preferences of their clients. Nowadays, it’s rare that anyone heads to the travel agency with a pile of cash, which means that accepting credit card payments is essential for travel agents. Payment processors like PaySafe allow travel agents to also accept payments through alternative methods like digital wallets and cryptocurrency.

What is the best payment processing company for travel agencies?

Leaders Merchant Services stands out with its affordable pricing, personalized travel merchant accounts, dedicated chargeback and fraud team, and reliable 24/7 phone customer support.

What is the cheapest credit card processor for travel agencies?

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) offers affordably priced plans for low- to mid-volume travel agencies. However, if you’re a high-volume travel agency, Paysafe offers great value with its low monthly and among the industry’s lowest transaction fees.

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