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What is a no-transaction-fee honeymoon fund? Here's how to set one up

Ollie, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Ollie from Hitchd
Jan 13, 20228 min read

If you and your partner have done your research on the different honeymoon registry platforms out there, then you know that there will almost always be a fee to be paid.

But what if that wasn't the case? What if there was a way to eliminate fees from transactions, allowing your guests to pay the amount for the gift and then very little or even no more on top of that?

Hitchd has been working hard on this problem, and now we've found a way to give couples a no-transaction-fee honeymoon registry. Here's how we did it and what you need to know before getting started.

What are the different payment types?

Every honeymoon fund platform has some type of payment structure. This is how they make money and provide customers with a service. While some sites advertise their services as ‘free,' there's always a catch.

The more you know about these fees, the better you'll feel about making a decision on which site to choose for your honeymoon fund. Here's a little more about these fee types and what to expect from them.

Per-transaction fees

Sites that charge per-transaction fees will tack on an additional charge each time someone gives you a gift on your honeymoon registry. Each honeymoon registry site that uses this method will charge a slightly different amount, but they usually fall somewhere between 2-6% of the total gift amount. That means for a $100 gift, your guest will pay an additional $2-$6 on top of the $100 dollars.

Couples can also decide to pay this fee themselves. If that's the case, then the fee will be taken from the total amount when the couple goes to withdraw the money. For some couples, this isn't a big deal, but for those couples juggling wedding and honeymoon expenses at once, it can be difficult to account for an additional fee being taken out of the total gift money, and that can mess with budgeting.

This money goes directly back to the website, and it's used to pay their staff and web service bills. Some sites will allow couples to decide whether they want guests to pay that fee or they will take on that fee themselves. It varies per couple, and it often depends on how many guests you plan to invite and how many big-ticket items you plan to include on your registry.

One-time fee

A one-time fee functions exactly as it sounds. It's a fee paid once before the honeymoon registry launches, and it's almost always paid for by the couple. Once it is paid though, you and your guests won't be charged an additional fee for any gift transaction. The fee goes to the site, which then pays staffing expenses as well as web service fees.

One-time fees, like what Hitchd uses on its website, can be helpful to couples on a budget. There's no variable on how much you might pay, depending on who gives what. It's one number that you can add to your budget, and you won't have to worry about facing the myriad $4 charges that come from people giving you gifts just before your wedding. You'll have those fees out of the way so you can have peace of mind as your big day approaches.

Credit card fees

All honeymoon registry sites that accept credit cards as payment will also charge a credit card fee. This amount is usually pretty miniscule, about 30 cents per transaction.

Unlike the other fee, however, this money does not go to the honeymoon fund site. It goes back to the credit card companies and is usually unavoidable. Some sites will let couples choose whether they want to pay this fee or have their guests pay it, but it's almost always much smaller and less invasive than the other fees, so there's less controversy about who pays this fee.

Additional fees

As you have likely heard millions of times, there really is no such thing as a free lunch. Many honeymoon registry sites advertise their accounts as free, but that free comes with some major caveats. If you want your site to look a certain way or if you want your guests to have a certain kind of experience, then you might have to pay for it.

Here are a few additional fees that you could end up paying if you don't research the honeymoon site first:

  • No-ads site: Nothing makes a site more difficult to navigate than a ton of ads cropping up all over the page. If you want to have an ad-free site, then you'll have to pay a fee for it. Otherwise, you can keep your “free” account, but it's going to look like a billboard and create a negative user experience.

  • Fees for accessing your money: When a guest give you a gift, the money will sometimes go into an account controlled by the honeymoon registry, and they can determine when you are allowed to access your money. Some sites block you from withdrawing money — unless you pay them a fee. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to pay off your honeymoon expenses and being barred from accessing the money to pay those expenses.

There may be other fees to launch your site or to put so many gifts on your registry, so make sure you read the fine print when you set up your honeymoon registry.

How Hitchd allows for payment customisation

At Hitchd, we're big fans of helping couples design a honeymoon registry and a payment combination that fits their needs. Our registry allows for some of the best customisation, giving couples the freedom to build the perfect registry that asks for exactly what they want and need. Now we're taking that same concept to our payment types.

Hitchd operates on a one-time-fee payment, so all couples using our services will pay a one-time fee in order to launch their site. But we wanted to try and make the process as fee-free as possible outside of our service fee. That means trying to eliminate all third-party transaction fees such as credit card fees.

To do this, we've expanded how guests can buy gifts from honeymoon registries on our site. We hope this will give guests more flexibility and make the process easier for couples. Here's how we're doing this.

Pick and choose your payment types

Now on Hitchd, we've made it easier for couples to give their guests as many payment options as possible.

When you're nearly ready to launch your site, you and your partner will be able to choose from the different types of payment methods listed above. This means that guests will be able to pay in a way that makes them comfortable, and they can also avoid fees if they want. Some of these payment methods include:

  • Direct bank transfers: This will connect to the guest's bank account so they can pay directly. Some guests won't want to give out personal banking information, but others won't mind as they usually won't be charged an additional fee.

  • Payment apps (PayPal, Venmo, Cash App): Many of your guests, especially the younger ones, will almost certainly have one or more of these apps on their phones. Most of them don't charge for transactions, and they're easy to use. Some guests may find these apps a little informal, but for those who use them often, this will make paying for your gift that much easier.

  • Bitcoin: Have a relative who's a Bitcoin devotee? Then you can allow them to pay for your wedding gift with their Bitcoins. Again, not everyone will use this method, but if it's popular in your family or friend group, then it will be a welcome surprise for them.

Direct payments

If you want to make things a little more uniform for each guest and allow them to pay by either debit or credit card, then we highly recommend you add direct payments with Stripe. When you set up an account with Stripe, your money will go straight to it once the guest can paid for the gift. You can then access your money when you need it without any additional charges.

As credit and debit cards are the preferred payment option for most guests, we strongly recommend all couples create a Stripe account to give guests these options. There will be a small transaction fee to be paid, but that money will go to Stripe, not Hitchd. Many guests do want peace of mind when paying for gifts online, and with Stripe, they'll feel secure knowing that their money will get to you and their credit card number will remain secure.

Custom instructions

Want to really wow your guests? Let them pay by cheque.

Under the “Custom Instructions,” you can tell your guests that they can “reserve” a gift and then bring a cheque to the wedding. This works on two levels. On the one hand, you and your partner know what to expect as wedding gifts, which will help you balance your honeymoon budget and stop you from either overspending or missing out on honeymoon experiences. On the other hand, guests who don't like paying online or don't have an account at all (think grandparents) will still be able to pay by cheque.

Why you should provide guests with options

So why does it matter that you provide guests with payment options at all? Does it really matter that guests can use their PayPal account to give a wedding present?

Providing guests with lots of payment options can go a long way towards making your wedding more enjoyable. Here's how.

Keep fees low

For most people who regularly shop online, extra fees are somewhat expected. Sales taxes are usually added to just about any purchase, and rentals and other services often charge fees due to state and federal laws. It's not uncommon to find these fees, but it can annoying to find that your total amount has now increased quite a bit due to extra fees.

You're already asking your guests to give you gifts. The least you can do for them is try to minimize the number of additional fees on top of those gifts. Your guests may never know the lengths that you've gone through to do this for them, but that's okay. It'll be your good deed.

Make guests feel comfortable

There are some guests who won't even notice the additional fee on top of their gift amount, and that's great. But you will probably have guests who are on a budget. Maybe you have some friends still studying at uni or other who are planning their own weddings or trying to start a family.

An extra fee on top of their gift amount, while small, may be something they just don't want to pay or feel frustrated about paying. By eliminating or minimising those fees, your guests will feel more comfortable knowing that the amount they're giving will be very close to the final amount.

Save yourself some cash

Taking on those extra fees is a kind thing to do for your wedding guests, but let's face it: those fees can add up fast. Suddenly, your total gift amount has decreased by $20 or even $50 after all those fees have been calculated. That can be an unexpected problem for your budget if you haven't factored in fees.

Eliminating or lowering these fees will make it easier for you to plan and budget your honeymoon. If you're paying wedding expenses at the same time, then you'll sleep better knowing that the money in your account is accurate and won't see a large fee take a chunk out of it.

It's easy to set up a no-transaction-fee honeymoon fund through Hitchd. With our customisable platform, you'll find it easier to access your funds, and your guests will appreciate all the payment options available to them.

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