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accommodation payment options

Perth, Australia
2 posts
accommodation payment options

Hi there I have booked accommodation at Kalk Bay Majestic Village and have been requested to send the deposit via a bank transfer as they have no credit card facilities. Does this sound okay? is this common practice in Cape Town?

20 replies to this topic
Cape Town
Level Contributor
10,320 posts
1. Re: accommodation payment options

Does this sound okay?


Is this common practice in Cape Town?


Level Contributor
963 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: accommodation payment options

This always makes me nervous, but I suppose it also depends on the establishment (how long in business, etc). When I've been asked to do a bank transfer, I always press a little about payment by credit card online. Sometimes the recipient has a way of doing an online payment if you're willing to pay 3% service charge for the credit card fee. Even Paypal would be better than a bank transfer, IMO. At least then you are covered for any problems by your cc bank.

Cape Town
Level Contributor
10,320 posts
3. Re: accommodation payment options

For a 100 percent paymnet maybe press - but you may not get anywhere. For a deposit what's the problem? That's to protect both of you.

As I say it's absolutely normal. In South Africa you need a minimum turnover to be allowed Credit Card merchant facilities. Many smaaler esblishments don't have them.

Edited: 11:41 am, February 10, 2014
Level Contributor
1,293 posts
31 reviews
4. Re: accommodation payment options

we do bank transfers regularly when we go to southern Africa and have never had any problem!

Hazyview, South...
Level Contributor
3,844 posts
19 reviews
5. Re: accommodation payment options

It seems the establishment is trying to avoid unnecessary overheads like:

3-5% for credit card fees (although international transactions are not cheap either)

15-20% for third party commissions

At the end it will be reflected in the rate. Positive I would say.


-Owner Abangane-


Maun, Botswana
Level Contributor
532 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: accommodation payment options

I would be very concerned. It is NOT "absolutely normal" in South Africa for a commercial business to not accept Credit Cards.

The question is whether the accommodation at Kalk Bay Majestic Village you are booking is a seasonal house rental. If it is, you may be dealing with the owner - and that would explain why they can't accept CC

However, see http://www.safarinow.com/go/majestic If this is the same place, then you can book directly with SafariNow and use credit card.

The problem with bank transfers is:

A. The cost of bank charges

B. The cost of converting AUD to Rand

C. You lose the protection included with a credit card payment if anything goes wrong.

I agree with RBdreamtripper - press them harder to accept payment by cc

Cape Town
Level Contributor
10,320 posts
7. Re: accommodation payment options

I know The Majestic in Kalk Bay very well. It is a large old hotel which in the past 5-6 years has been converted into a large complex of individual appartments some of which were sold in groups and others to individual buyers. Of course many of the buyers are renting off the appartments as holiday lets and using them themselves for part of the year. A very normal way of operating all over the world. Some of the individual appartment owners rent their properties through third part agents - who, of course, add a significant percentage to the rental. Part of the service they provide may well be to handle the payment transactions and to take credit cardbookings and deposits. Sometimes, with large companies like safarinow, with fully automated on-line systems.

HOWEVER many of the owners do not want to pay a significant part of their investment to a third party company who may offer payment facilities but otherwise very little added value - either for the customer or for the renter.

If you chose to go with one of these renters there are many places, as safarichild mentions. It is your choice if you want to follow this route.

Let me then repeat for the thrid time, despite what the poster from Botswana says, Here in the Cape it is VERY NORMAL for small individual renters and B&B establishments to NOT have credit card facilities. I have stayed in dozens of places over the years where they are only able to take cash, not credit cards. For an individual appartment renter, if this is the case, then they have NO guarantee that the renter is genuine. So what do you expect them to do? Wait until the day of the rental to see if the person who has promised to turn up actually does? Some are trusting and do just this. However to me it would seem very appropriate to ask for a reasonable deposit.

Despite what safarichild says I have frequently been asked for a deposit using Electronic Funds Transfer. I repeat for the fourth time that this is an absoluttely normal way of doing transactions in South Africa and, for South Africans is the cheapest way for both parties to process the transaction. For customers from overseas it does add an extra foreign exchange and transaction charge, rather than passing these charges to the owner. Which as Klaus mentions is what happens with a credit card transaction.

If you don't want to do this just go and rent with another renter in the same appartment complex who uses a third party agent - and probably has a higher price (and possibly less personal service).

It's your choice. But then to make a comment that someone would be "very concerned if a renter did not accept credit cards" means nothing.

BTW I am not a property renter and am simply passing on what has been my experience in many similar transactions here in South Africa over many years. Like caviar, who I know has been to South Africa many times, I have never had a problem.

Edited: 5:01 pm, February 10, 2014
Bristol, United...
6 posts
8. Re: accommodation payment options

I have never been asked to make a deposit, or full payment by bank transfer when booking in South Africa. If a company can't accept credit cards, I don't want to deal with them, as it reduces trust completely.

It may be as Abangane says - "trying to avoid unnecessary overheads" - but why should the customer take all the risk?

As Safrichild says - it may be that you are dealing with a private owner of a house they are renting out, that may be different, and you could possibly trust the owner, BUT it is guaranteed they have had this problem before, and should have made arrangements to rent through a 3rd party who accepts Credit Cards.

Wherever you go in South Africa, VISA and MasterCard are accepted everywhere that offers tourism services, and despite what VDC says, I did not find it normal to find they didn't


At the end of the day you must decide.

Cape Town
Level Contributor
10,320 posts
9. Re: accommodation payment options

"I have been to South Africa and stayed in X different places. They all accepted cards and therefore everyone does."


I have just checked through my copy of the Greenwood Guide. A UK publication which includes many of the best individually run B&B and self catering accommodation in South Africa.. It is my, and many other regular visitors posting on here's bible of South African accommodation. It has establishments all over the country. From large many room boutique hotels and Private Game Reserves charging over R10,000 per couple per night, to small farm, town and city B&Bs, and self catering places with only a couple of rooms. I quickly scanned through the whole guide. Every entry may have a symbol which indicates "Cash Only - No credit cards accepted". 207 showed that they do accept credit cards. BUT 62 do not!!! I personally have stayed in quite a number of these and they have been some of the nicest and friendliest places I have stayed in South Africa.

You obviously have never stayed in any of these and as you say "I don't want to deal with them". And of course no one is forcing you to.

But your loss. You are missing out on great experiences.

Maybe "Wherever YOU go in South Africa VISA and Mastercard are accepted everywhere". But the reality is where I go they are NOT!

Edited: 6:51 pm, February 10, 2014
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,644 posts
29 reviews
10. Re: accommodation payment options

Well Aussie bank customers doing international transfers whether direct deposits or bank cheques for foreign currency means forking out $30 or more for each transaction. If someone wants to pay that exorbitant amount because the merchant has no alternative facility in place or wants to avoid overhead costs by doing so, the only winners are the bank and the merchant, certainly not any Aussie consumers. Poster 4’s banks fees must not be in that bracket if he or she does regularly or money isn’t an issue. But if you want to add to the bank’s profit margins so be it , hopefully it is one of the two I have shares in.

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