I've been stung by this too...and whilst overseas! I try to pay a cash bond if I can....what you can do though is ask for the mini bar to be cleared as a lot of the time it's to cover what u might use. We've done it a few times but doesn't always work.
thing is its not always in fine print when u book.
This has been the norm most places I have travelled. We increased our credit card limit before we went to Europe just to cover the bonds for hotels & hire cars. In my experience it takes 1-2 weeks for the hold to come off the card so if you're travelling around it can really add up! We would use the c.card for the bond then settle the bill using cash or debit card.
we've had a few different processes but this is pretty standard, internationally as well:
- process the transaction 'offline' so you get the receipt but it never shoes up on your card (same as the old in print of your card, they process it if needed).
- 'hold' the money on your card - so the balance is down but no transaction ever shows (this is annoying as you can't work out what is going on as there is no transaction and then one day your balance just goes back to normal).
- take the full bond off your card and then do a reconciliation on check out minus any extra spending (eg, take $100 off your card, you spend $15 and when you check out they do a reverse transaction for $85).
Most say they're taking a bond but can't always explain how it will show up on your card. Usually take 3-14 days to get the money back.
Worst I had was a hire car company wanting to 'hold' the whole $6000 accident bond on my credit card
Yikes! We obviously haven't stayed in a hotel in a while! We used to stay in a lot of fancy ones BC.
I'm glad I know this is a standard now- I often don't have much more than a couple if hundred dollars in my savings account which just so happens to be he account my visa debit card is attached to. I would be up a certain creek if that happened to me!
I have always handed over my credit card but never been charged!
The only time I've been stung is a hotel saying they would deduct the money on the day we would be staying but it was deducted just after we booked. I don't mind but was peeved that they lied :/
Another who hasn't heard of this, well, not actually charging the card anyway. I am glad I have the head's up now though for in future!
This has been standard at the hotels we have stayed at for the last two years or so I reckon. It certainly caught me by surprise the first time, and left me broke!
Thats what an imprint is. I used to work in a hotel, we would only do the imprint for $5 most of the time unless it was some who had a history of skipping out with charges (we had flight crew staying who did this regularly). So say you have $500 in your account and an imprint has been taken for $100 if you check your account it will say account balance $500, available funds $400 (or something along those lines) for a few days until the imprint expires. This was in 2004 so it's not a new procedure.
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