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Booking.com fees: Complete guide for hosts

  Posted in Resources  Last updated 24/06/2024

What are Booking.com fees?

Booking.com fees refer to the various charges that hotel owners and hosts incur when listing their properties on Booking.com. These fees are primarily based on a commission model, where Booking.com takes a percentage of each booking made through their site. 

Understanding these fees is essential for effectively managing your hotel’s revenue.

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How much are Booking.com fees?

Booking.com typically charges a commission fee that ranges from 10% to 25% per booking, depending on the location and agreement with the host. This commission covers the cost of listing your property on their platform, accessing their extensive customer base, and using their marketing tools.

Does Booking.com include resort fees?

Resort fees are not included in the standard commission charged by Booking.com. If your hotel charges additional resort fees, these need to be clearly communicated to guests and managed separately.

Can I negotiate the fees or get a custom rate?

While Booking.com generally operates on a fixed commission model, there may be opportunities to negotiate lower rates based on the volume of bookings or long-term partnership agreements. It’s worth discussing your options with your Booking.com account manager to see if custom rates can be arranged.

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Booking.com fees for hosts and hotel owners

Like many OTAs, Booking.com charges some fees to hosts and hotel owners, and some to guests. It’s crucial to know which is which so you don’t end up with bill shock on your next invoice. Here’s what to expect:

Commission fee

The primary fee you will encounter is the commission fee, which is a percentage of the total booking amount. This fee can vary but is typically in the range of 10% to 25% of the total cost of the booking, including any additional fees added at the time of booking (such as cleaning fees and service charges).

Credit card processing fee

In addition to the commission, Booking.com may charge a fee for processing credit card payments. This fee varies depending on the payment method and the terms agreed upon with Booking.com. The cost for virtual credit card payouts is the same as you would pay to your credit card company for charging guests directly, while the cost in case of bank transfer payouts varies between 1% to 3.1%.

Cleaning fee

For properties that offer additional cleaning services, a cleaning fee might be charged. This fee is usually added to the booking cost and should be transparently communicated to guests to avoid any surprises. This is not charged by Booking.com; rather, this is a choice for you as a hotelier to charge to your guests. Some hotels do, some hotels don’t – it all depends on your revenue strategy and preferred risk.

Cancellation fee

If a guest cancels a booking, Booking.com might charge a cancellation fee to that guest. This fee policy helps protect your revenue and ensures that cancellations do not significantly impact your income. 

There are some scenarios in which Booking.com won’t charge a cancellation fee. You may do this on the request of a guest, or in one of the following situations:

  • The guest didn’t show up.
  • Invalid credit card.
  • No deposit or prepayment received.
  • Overbooking.

In the first three scenarios, you also won’t have to pay commission to Booking.com (though you may need to in the case of overbooking).

booking.com fees
Booking.com Fees | How much does Booking.com charge hosts?

How do Booking.com fees impact my hotel’s overall revenue?

Booking.com fees directly affect your hotel’s profitability by reducing the net revenue from each booking i.e. paying the commission. However, the platform’s vast reach and marketing capabilities can lead to increased bookings, potentially offsetting these costs. This is why so many hoteliers choose to continue listing on Booking.com, as they feel that the revenue outweighs the costs. After all, there’s only a cost if a booking is made.

However, it’s hard to turn down the opportunity to cut out the middleman through a strong direct booking pipeline. Online travel agents and hotel metasearch engines have their place in any hotel’s revenue generation strategy, but it’s crucial to balance this with building a network of loyal customers that will book with you directly and avoid the commission fee.

Best practices for handling Booking.com fees

While the fees charged by OTAs like Booking.com can take a chunk out of your bottom line, there are a few ways that you can more effectively grow your revenue faster through the platform.

Use dynamic pricing

Dynamic pricing allows you to adjust room rates based on demand, seasonality, and local events. This strategy can help you stay competitive and ensure you are maximising revenue during high-demand periods. 

Negotiate better rates

If you are generating a high volume of bookings through Booking.com, consider negotiating better commission rates. A lower commission rate can significantly impact your bottom line, especially for larger properties or chains. Build a strong relationship with your Booking.com account manager to explore potential for customised rates.

Maintain a strong direct booking strategy

While Booking.com is a valuable channel, encourage direct bookings through your hotel’s website. Offer incentives for direct bookings, such as discounts or exclusive perks, to reduce reliance on third-party platforms and avoid commission fees. This is a big part of why SiteMinder’s booking engine is so popular: we make it easy to offer guests better deals that they won’t get through an OTA. You can even set mobile-only pricing to really bring in the demand.

By Shine Colcol

Shine is the SEO and Content Manager of SiteMinder, the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels. With 5+ years of experience in content strategy, Shine has produced informational content across various industry topics, mostly about operations management and continuous improvement. She aims to share well-researched articles for hoteliers to discover how to optimize their time and increase room revenue.

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