Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don't Get Held Up at Hotels - By the USAToday

We are having a heck of time with people complaining about authorization holds on debit cards these days. Using a debit card for travel is a terrible way to go. As I have traveled around, I have noticed very large signs advising guests about the authorization holds at Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels and more. However, we constantly are told that "I have never experienced this before..." I was in the Hotel Rex, part of the JDV Hospitality Hotel Group, right around the corner, the other day and they have a sign right at their front desk. USA Today printed the article below a year ago, but it seems to be taking a long time for the travelling public to get educated on this one. The problem for us is that there is no way to tell a debit card from a credit card unless you read the small print on the card. However, the computer processing does not know the difference. Well, here the article again in my simple attempt to help educate the traveling public:

DON'T GET HELD UP AT HOTELS == To avoid trouble when using cards at hotels:Use a credit card. Unless you're up against your credit limit, a hold won't affect your ability to charge more. A hold on a debit card is like you've written a check; that money isn't available until the hold is lifted, and that could take a week.Know when you will be billed. Some lodgings, particularly in vacation destinations, charge for one or more nights when you make your reservation. You may be paying for the room before you sleep in it.Ask what the hotel plans to do. Will it put a hold for a certain amount for incidentals on the card you present at check-in or merely keep a card imprint until you check out? If you're using a debit card, make sure you have extra money in your account to cover holds.To see when a hold is released, contact the bank that issued your card. Occasionally, you may have to push a hotel to lift a hold as soon as possible.
Source: USA TODAY research

Pre Authorizations can be done by gas stations and car rental agencies as well as others. A weeks vacation going from hotel to hotel could rack up a lot of holds.

No comments: