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Honeymoon

credit card on file at the hotel?

My fi and I do not have credit cards anymore, only a debit card. We are going to Mexico for our HM to stay at an AI resort. With your past experience do they require a credit card to have on file, or will they take a debit card? ( The room and AI have already been paid for). I am asking our travel agent tomorrow, but I feel as though I might lose sleep over this, if I find out I need to get a credit card within the next 3 weeks. I cannot believe this has not occurred to me until now. TIA
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Re: credit card on file at the hotel?

  • ElleB87ElleB87 member
    1000 Comments
    edited May 2012
    Every hotel I've ever stayed at required a credit card. In case you skip out on the bill or damage the room, etc...  I've even offered to pay in cash up front but I've always been told no. You can get a prepaid "credit card" (I have one through BMO) - it works just like a CC but you load your own money on it like a debit card.

    Edit - if you have a relative or super close friend who trusts you with their life you can maybe ask to use their info.  The hotel doesn't actually charge the CC (unless you skip out on the bill or damage the room), they just need the info on file. Your friend/relative can give the info to the hotel over the phone when you're going to check-in or fax it to them. I had to do this the first time I stayed in a hotel.
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  • That's where I'm confused. Most hotels do require this, but normally you don;t pay the bill until after you check out. We have already paid... hmmmm

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  • ElleB87ElleB87 member
    1000 Comments
    Yeah it's a sucky policy for people without CC's.  I get why hotels have the policy nowadays but it's still sucky for those of us who don't want CC's.
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  • Yeah. I have also stayed in hotels in Vegas where they just put a 300 dollar hold on your account until check out. I know its best to just check with the hotel, but I cannot until tomorrow and its driving me crazy! How long did it take you to get your prepaid CC?
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  • When hotels request a card on file, I have always just given them my debit card. I'm not sure if they even know its a debit, I think they're just satisfied to have the number. As long as you don't do anything to the room it probably won't matter...hope it helps!
  • ive worked in lots of hotels in the us and usually if somone wants to pay cash up front (or in your case has already paid) and doesnt have a cc we take a cash deposit, for standard rooms its usually like 100 or 150 and then suites are usually 250 and we just hold onto the cash until check out we just have a housekeeper walk your room for damges or lost items. also, we can take a debit card as a deposit on the room, as long as there are funds available, like if we can put a pending auth through for 500 to know your card is good that is really all that matters. If you are stressing, i'd just jump online and apply for a card. Then you have it, if you need it now and if you dont use it, you can cancel it when you get home, or keep it for the next time you travel!!
  • In Response to Re: credit card on file at the hotel?:
    ive worked in lots of hotels in the us and usually if somone wants to pay cash up front (or in your case has already paid) and doesnt have a cc we take a cash deposit, for standard rooms its usually like 100 or 150 and then suites are usually 250 and we just hold onto the cash until check out we just have a housekeeper walk your room for damges or lost items. also, we can take a debit card as a deposit on the room, as long as there are funds available, like if we can put a pending auth through for 500 to know your card is good that is really all that matters. If you are stressing, i'd just jump online and apply for a card. Then you have it, if you need it now and if you dont use it, you can cancel it when you get home, or keep it for the next time you travel!!
    Posted by shanliann
    Thank you for the information! We have done a cash deposit before, so I did not even think twice! We are going to call tomorrow and make sure. This is a great lesson and we will be getting a credit card asap! I am leaving town in a few days to get everything ready for our wedding in Chicago, so I really wanted to get this out of the way.  
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  • Every time they've asked for a credit card, I gave them my debit card.  I've never had a problem.
  • Maybe I'm just overly cautious about stuff, but I wouldn't use my debit card anywhere where I didn't have full control over what was being charged.  Having it on file would make me uncomfortable, especially if a "hold" was put on it as a deposit (this is why I don't use a debit card at gas stations, since there is usually a hold on it until the charge clears).

    I rarely use my debit card--I have three different credit cards (one mostly because I've had it since I was 16 and having it open for 12 years is good for my credit, one Amex since it gets great points, and one mastercard that gets good points because not everywhere takes Amex) and I pay the balance in full every month.  The points I've accumulated on the Amex and the Mastercard would cover a luxury hotel for our next vacation, or something else cool.  

    I totally understand why people don't like to use credit cards--but just remember, with a credit card, its not "your money"until you pay the bill-if someone mischarges you, it didn't come out of your account.

    I realize that didn't answer your question, but I'd just be cautious of using your debit card at a hotel if they put any hold on it.
  • You should be able to use a debit card without a problem.
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  • Just got off the phone with them.... they will take a debit card! Thanks ladies for helping my not stress too much over this!
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  • I'm glad everything worked out, but i'd get a credit card for these cases in the future :)
  • I have worked in a few hotels as well and for the most part they will all take debit cards.  However, be sure to ask how much of a hold they will be placing on your card upon check in.  Even though you have paid in full ahead of time they will most likely authorize the card for a certain amount to cover any additional charges that you may incur.  For example, the property I am at now would authorize $50.00 per night upon check in which on a debit card places a hold on your account for that amount and it can take 5-7 business days for that amount to be released by the bank.  If you do incur any additional charges it can actually appear to be a double charge through your account.  This happens because the hold has been released by the hotel and the correct amount has been charged, but the bank has not released the hold (unfortunately there is no way to speed that up either).  As long as you have money in your account and know in advance how much they will be holding you will be fine with the debit card!
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