Do you have to pay on check-in at a hotel?

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Alibi Ike

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The least you have to do is hand over your credit card so they can make an imprint, correct? Why, oh why, then do guests at a B&B just show up (4 hours early) and say, 'Can we pay later we don't have any money until we find an ATM.' And/or, 'Oh, our friends are paying but we can't get them on the phone so we don't know where they are.'
I think this is really just a 'group-think' attitude. It rarely happens when it's not a group or an event weekend.
 

Joey Camb

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in the uk you have to pre-authorise a card with money extra held in case of extras not that people listen to what that means. we had a woman blatently not listen and it then held all the money on her account so she couldn't get any money out and even if you cancel it right away it can still not undo for 48 hours so she was furious but if you don't listen!
 

Red Handed Jill

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The last few times we've stayed in a hotel we've paid at check-in - and this was booked directly with the hotel, not through Trave locity or anything. No deposit, though. Just a cc to hold the reservation.
As far as the group think...since I take a deposit, unless the person making the reservation tells me they're going to use a different card for the balance (when they arrive) or we have made other arrangements in advance, I usually run the balance before they arrive. They've agreed to our policies, and including that they're responsible for the balance of the stay once they're within the 24 hour window of check in. Everyone I've done that for so far has really liked being able to walk in, sign a paper, and be shown their room, and be done with check-in.
I don't think I'd show anyone to their room unless I had payment.
 

Generic

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How much is your processor charging you for having run the charge through with card-no-present? This would not only cost me extra, but eventually raise all my rates and increase my chances of a charge-back. I can run an authorization at no cost or risk to myself. It ensures that the money is there and can be processed, later. Most hotels do this and only charge when you leave.
It's a bit different in the US than this is Internationally. I can certainly run a pre-authorization on the card if I needed to, but I need the physical card to properly process the transaction now that we have EMV. EMV is sometimes called chip & pin. Basically, I don't need a signature anymore, I need the transaction authorized by a PIN, so the physical card needs to be in the physical reader. (I can authorize without the card and I can process without the card, but it costs me more and is still subject to charge-back.)
On the other hand, I also no longer need to hold the physical card (the guest can place it into the reader themselves). I don't have to retain any credit card information. And it's almost impossible to do a chargeback when it's verified by PIN. How do you deny that you keyed in the right four digits?
What I do have a problem with is US banks that think that everything everywhere in the world is exactly the same. We had a guest who's bank had decided that it was too risky to allow her to use her credit card outside of the US and decided she needed to use the debit part of the card with a PIN. All fine and dandy until you realize that we do not allow branded debit cards in Canada because it is a violation of current Canadian law. We have no Credit/Debit button because it would be a violation of anti-trust laws. The card would work in an ATM, because it can be read as an ATM, but to use as a debit card in Canada it would need to be unbranded and part of the NYCE network. Anything MasterCard or Visa has to go through the credit card system. Luckily she had another card on her, but when talking to the bank in the US they just didn't want to understand that Canada... isn't in the United States and isn't subject to US banking rules.
 

agoodman

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That depends on the type of hotel and how you booked - if you booked through a 3rd party website and it was not prepaid, in general they will charge at check in. If your hotel has amenities such as room service, restaurant and bar charging, recreation etc, they generally run your card through as an AUTH for the number of nights x rate + taxes, PLUS an additional % based on how much people generally spend UNLESS you elect for no charging priveledges in which case they don't add on the % auth
This is the ONLY way hotels can cover themselves and having worked on 4 continents and an island, it's the universal way of doing things
The fact that some of us B&B's may be a little more lenient should not be "compared" to hotel operations, we are not hotels.
 

Marignybud

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For a while we didn't take a deposit(just the credit card info to hold the reservation). After some experiences with guests who arrived exhausted from their travel and chasing them for a day or two to process the payment, we decided to change our policy.
Now, we take a deposit and send a confirmation letter than explains that the same card will be charged for their balance on the day of arrival(unless they contact us with a different card). When they arrive, we have them sign our copy of the receipt and hand them a Welcome packet with their receipt.
If they are interested, we give them a quick orientation...marking up a map and pointing out the best restaurants, jazz clubs, and tours available nearby...Otherwise, they can go directly to their room. The guests seem to really like this approach
And to take it one step further, when we have a quest that books 3 or 4 rooms for a family or group of friends, we take one credit card for the deposit and follow the same procedure of charging the balance for all 3 or 4 rooms to the one original credit card on the morning of the arrival. The guests settle the payment for each room between themselves usually before they arrive.This seems to satisfy most of the groups. However, if they request separate payment, we wait until they arrive to collect the balance for each room.
Having the payment out of they way before they arrive has streamlined our check-in process. And the guests seem more relaxed and ready to have a good time.
 

JBloggs

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How much is your processor charging you for having run the charge through with card-no-present? This would not only cost me extra, but eventually raise all my rates and increase my chances of a charge-back. I can run an authorization at no cost or risk to myself. It ensures that the money is there and can be processed, later. Most hotels do this and only charge when you leave.
It's a bit different in the US than this is Internationally. I can certainly run a pre-authorization on the card if I needed to, but I need the physical card to properly process the transaction now that we have EMV. EMV is sometimes called chip & pin. Basically, I don't need a signature anymore, I need the transaction authorized by a PIN, so the physical card needs to be in the physical reader. (I can authorize without the card and I can process without the card, but it costs me more and is still subject to charge-back.)
On the other hand, I also no longer need to hold the physical card (the guest can place it into the reader themselves). I don't have to retain any credit card information. And it's almost impossible to do a chargeback when it's verified by PIN. How do you deny that you keyed in the right four digits?
What I do have a problem with is US banks that think that everything everywhere in the world is exactly the same. We had a guest who's bank had decided that it was too risky to allow her to use her credit card outside of the US and decided she needed to use the debit part of the card with a PIN. All fine and dandy until you realize that we do not allow branded debit cards in Canada because it is a violation of current Canadian law. We have no Credit/Debit button because it would be a violation of anti-trust laws. The card would work in an ATM, because it can be read as an ATM, but to use as a debit card in Canada it would need to be unbranded and part of the NYCE network. Anything MasterCard or Visa has to go through the credit card system. Luckily she had another card on her, but when talking to the bank in the US they just didn't want to understand that Canada... isn't in the United States and isn't subject to US banking rules..
But remember many of our guests are intl as well.
 

JBloggs

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For a while we didn't take a deposit(just the credit card info to hold the reservation). After some experiences with guests who arrived exhausted from their travel and chasing them for a day or two to process the payment, we decided to change our policy.
Now, we take a deposit and send a confirmation letter than explains that the same card will be charged for their balance on the day of arrival(unless they contact us with a different card). When they arrive, we have them sign our copy of the receipt and hand them a Welcome packet with their receipt.
If they are interested, we give them a quick orientation...marking up a map and pointing out the best restaurants, jazz clubs, and tours available nearby...Otherwise, they can go directly to their room. The guests seem to really like this approach
And to take it one step further, when we have a quest that books 3 or 4 rooms for a family or group of friends, we take one credit card for the deposit and follow the same procedure of charging the balance for all 3 or 4 rooms to the one original credit card on the morning of the arrival. The guests settle the payment for each room between themselves usually before they arrive.This seems to satisfy most of the groups. However, if they request separate payment, we wait until they arrive to collect the balance for each room.
Having the payment out of they way before they arrive has streamlined our check-in process. And the guests seem more relaxed and ready to have a good time..
Welcome to the forum Marigny!
I agree with you, the other thing the deposit does is stop "willy nilly" cancellations, it makes the confirmation firm on the side of the guest. Not always, but it helps.
We take payment or balance of payment at check out. I wish we could do it at check in, but it isn't that feasible here. #1 eithr they arrive super late and I am not waiting up all hours anymore, being up at 6am and waiting til 11pm and them being irate over my "trying to get my money" is not a good combo. #2 the buffy bus arrives and as I am checking in one room the next next next next next arrive. I can't manage that, most check ins are just me, and if my husband is here doing check ins, then it is usually just him.
 

agoodman

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each to his own, I do it on check out, don't take advance deposits and I never have ... and I seldom have cancellations. It is a liability on the books that I don't want to have as well as an added expense for manual swipes. I have never had one issue, had 3 chargebacks in 6 years (no show or cancel charges) and won all 3 of them. Again this is a personal decision that works for me
 

Alibi Ike

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So, this AM we got: a check, a cc (for $12-her share of the balance after the deposit) and cash. All trying to do this as we're trying to finish serving breakfast.
 
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