Checking in a hotel is a business transaction. You should pay upfront or provide a security deposit upon booking. It guarantees your reservation and serves as insurance in case of damages when you check out.
Hotels ensure that they can issue a refund for the amount you deposited. They can process the refund within 24 hours, or it can take a week or month for the amount to go to your account. The refund varies depending on the hotel and the card you used.
Before booking a hotel, it is vital to read thoroughly about its booking and refund policy. Do not be afraid to ask queries on how the hotel handles security deposits and refunds. It would help if you kept yourself well-informed before finalizing your transactions with the hotel.
What is the deposit fee for the hotel?
A deposit fee or advance deposit is money issued by a guest to the hotel via check or credit card. It guarantees your hotel reservation and your capacity to pay for the accommodation. The fee is usually less than $100 per day of your hotel stay.
In this way, they can put the room charges on your credit card and put a certain amount on hold as a deposit. Deposit fees can cover room service, damages, phone calls, and other expenses. In case the guest leaves without paying these charges, the hotel can use deposit fees.
Along with the deposit, the hotel will also inform you about other charges during your stay. The hotel should notify you of incidental fees and other extra fees. It includes parking, pet charges, cleaning fees, among others.
All these fees should also be available on the hotel’s website. Hence, the guest will not get any surprises of the accommodation fee and charges on their stay.
Do hotels ask for a deposit?
Not all hotels would ask you for a security deposit. Requesting for a deposit is a common practice among luxury or expensive hotels. Before handling your room keys, a concierge or the front hotel desk will ask for your credit or debit card.
Some low or mid-range hotels will not ask you to issue an advance deposit. They would normally guarantee your room for a particular date and time. If the guest fails to arrive, they will make the room available for other guests.
Some hotels will ask you about the following upon your booking:
A hotel will ask for your credit card number and will not charge any amount when booking. It is a guarantee that if you violate any cancellation policy, the hotel can charge you fees.
The deposit can be in the form of a credit card or check. A credit card charge can correspond to one night stay of the guest—the same when you use a check.
A hotel can request you for a pre-payment. It is the actual amount the hotel collects at the time of your booking. The payment corresponds to your entire accommodation expenses.
You can pay them in full or in part, depending on your transaction with the hotel.
The hotel will hold a certain amount to verify that your credit card is valid. The establishment has the right to charge the amount later if you did not show up but reserved a room.
Do hotels give you your deposit back?
Hotels automatically give your deposit back after check-out. If you paid using your debit or credit card, it would take a few days for the amount to reflect in your account.
Paying thru cash is the easiest way to get your deposit back. The hotel will normally hand in the cash to you after confirming your check out.
For debit card users, you need to wait for a few more days to get your deposit back finally. Your bank needs to process the charge first before returning the amount to your fund.
For credit cards, the hotel will put an amount on hold but not charge against your account. Upon check out, the amount will revert to your fund. You can get a notification from your credit card company about the hold.
How does a hotel holding deposit work?
Upon check-in, the hotel will ask for your credit card to perform a routine credit card ‘hold.’ It means that the hotel can charge you once a staff swiped your card. The hotel system will automatically deduct an amount for any possible incidental fees.
The hotel can charge a guest an amount thru a credit card as a security deposit hold. It will be in place throughout the guest’s stay. If a guest incurs incidental expenses, the hotel can place a charge against the deposit hold.
The security deposit hold protects the hotel from damages caused by the guest. If there are no damages, the hotel can easily release the holdback to the guest’s account.
In case there are incidental charges or damaged property, a hotel can charge the guest thru hold. The hotel will coordinate with your bank and request to post a charge against your account. The bank will require the hotel to submit a deposit request.
Once there is a deposit request, the bank can now transfer the money to the hotel’s account. Then, the bank will now deduct the same amount from your account.
Do hotel deposits get refunded?
Hotels automatically refund security deposits. If confirmed that no incidental charges or damage occurred, you can get your deposit back.
Depending on the hotel and mode of payment, these are the number of days you can get the refund:
- Paying thru credit card or debit card
The hotel will be able to process your deposit refund within 24 hours after your check out. The hotel will coordinate with your bank to revert the chargeback to your account.
It will take around seven days for the bank to post the credit back to your account. Then, there will be two billing cycles for the transaction to reflect on your statement.
In case there is no amount reverted to the account, you can both contact the hotel, bank, or card company.
If you use online booking and Paypal, it will only take 24 hours to process the refund.
For mid-range hotels requiring a deposit, you can ask the front desk to pay thru cash. Upon check out, the hotel will return the amount given that there are no incidental expenses.
Can a hotel keep my deposit if I cancel?
Hotel room cancellations are an unavoidable part of the hospitality industry. Hotels have the right to keep your deposit or charge you a cancellation fee if you retract your booking.
If you book a refundable rate, hotels must automatically give your deposit back. Your refund varies depending on the establishment’s cancellation, prepayment, and deposit policy.
We recommend reading the hotel’s cancellation policy first before confirming your booking. It can provide you with an estimate of how much a hotel can charge you once you cancel.
Can I dispute a hotel charge?
There are incidents where a guest books a hotel using a credit card but fails to show up at the hotel. The hotel charges the credit card given that they expect the guest to show up at the time of reservation.
Yet, the guest could not enjoy the hotel services and will file for a charge dispute. The guest will claim that there are no services rendered and would request a chargeback. To protect the consumers from this kind of incident, disputing a hotel charge is possible.
Disputing hotel charges is very common in the hospitality industry. You can dispute fraudulent charges, billing errors, and services not rendered. Dissatisfaction with the services is also a valid reason to dispute a hotel charge.
But there are processes to follow to dispute a hotel charge and get claims formally. Normally, you have 60 days to file a dispute after the receipt of your current billing statement.
Here are the essential things that you should know when filing for a charge dispute:
- Fraudulent or unauthorized credit card charges
- Billing errors
You can file a dispute for a fraudulent or unauthorized credit card charge anytime. It is vital to contact your credit card issuer and inform them of the unauthorized charges. The charge should be $50 and above to be able to file a dispute.
Also, you can report the incident to the police to prevent these cases from happening in the future. In this way, the police can track this kind of crime and investigate the matter.
Billing errors are also very common in the hotel industry. You have the right to dispute charges made by the hotel as long as it follows the criteria below:
- Hotel charges with the wrong date or amount
- Hotel charges for services not delivered as agreed
- Hotel charges for goods not delivered as agreed
- Math errors/wrong computation
You can write a formal letter to your creditor and dispute these hotel charges mentioned. During the time of investigation, you have the right not to pay the disputed amount.
It is important to send the letter to the creditor within 60 days. Based on the law, your creditor should respond within 30 days.
For bad service or services not rendered, you also have the right to dispute the said charges. Based on the Fair Credit Billing Act, you can file a dispute and undergo the process of Claims and Defense. You should file a report within 60 days after you receive the billing statement.
For you to dispute such charges, it also must follow certain criteria:
- The transaction must exceed $50
- The charge must be in the same state or within 100 miles of the address
- Ensure that the claims are true and correct
After satisfying all the criteria mentioned, a formal letter is also necessary. You can send the letter to your creditor, so they can start investigating the matter.
You should include supporting documents validating your claims. It can be a copy of sales slips, pictures of goods, and any form of communication between you and the hotel. It can fast-track the investigation, as well.
How do you fight hotel charges?
Receiving a badly computed hotel bill is common nowadays. You might be paying for services you did not get and settle for insurmountable hotel charges. You can protect yourself from hotel overcharges by keeping yourself informed.
You can fight unreasonable hotel charges by keeping tabs on all your transactions. Knowing the hotel rates at the time of your booking and its surcharges is very important. With the right information and receipts, you can prevent hotels from overcharging you.
- Request a written confirmation from the hotel
- Always keep all the records of transactions
- Request for an itemized bill upon check out
- Never be afraid to ask about any disputed transactions
You can request for confirmation letter indicating the rate of the hotel you are booking. It is also important to ask for any surcharges like processing fees against your card. In this way, you can determine the actual charges the hotel will make once you confirm the booking.
It is important to ask for a receipt for any transaction you made during your stay at the hotel. You should keep a record of everything to have proof when disputing charges. You should also monitor your consumption and orders while at the hotel.
Some hotels only issue the total bill and do not categorize charges or transactions. Always demand an itemized bill showing all the orders and services incurred on your stay. Before paying your hotel bill, review the statement thoroughly. You must also pay attention to any extra charges.
If problems arise due to wrong computation or human error, never be afraid to talk to hotel staff. You can diplomatically deal with the incident without causing too much trouble to the staff. Mistakes can happen, and the most effective way to deal with them is by communicating the error to the hotel. There is a fair chance that the staff will remove the charges from your bill.
Dealing with hotels can be such a hassle, especially for first-time travelers. It is necessary to ask for the right information before confirming your transaction. You should keep yourself knowledgeable about any hotel charges. In this way, you can easily ask for a refund or chargeback in case a mishap happens.