What happens when a hotel takes a credit card imprint?

MICHAEL GEBICKI
Last updated 09:02 25/11/2013
Credit Card Landscape
Jessica Shapiro

COMMON PRACTICE: What happens when a credit card imprint is taken?

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It's common practice for a hotel to take an imprint of your credit or debit card at check-in and put a hold or a block on funds in that account.

The usual practice is to charge the room rate for the duration of your stay plus an estimate to cover incidentals.

This guards against the possibility that a guest might leave without paying their bill, or might not have sufficient funds to cover the cost of their stay.

The blocked funds will be released when the bill is settled on check-out, but in the meantime, it creates a potential problem in that your card might be pushed close to its credit limit, causing subsequent transactions to be declined.

The only way around this is to use a credit card with no limit, or deposit funds to your card account to cover the blocked amount.

When you check into a hotel, ask if funds are being blocked and how much, and be sure to settle the final bill with the same card used at check-in or the original card might not be unblocked until days or even weeks later.

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- FFX Aus

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