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Proud Texan

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When we take a reservation, we pre-authorize the card for the full amount. This is not an actual charge, but the guests funds are temporarily unavailable for the specified amount.
We say we take "one-night's" fee up front as a deposit with the balance due on departure. We have had a couple of people question this because I'm guessing that they are using debit cards and are living off a small balance. I can see how a hold on funds would impact them.
How do others handle credit card deposits. Do you pre-authorize or actually make the charge?
 

Penelope

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We make the charge. Seems "cleaner" that way.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We charge 1 night the day they make the reservation. 50% for 4 or more nights. If you're holding the funds, you might as well just go ahead and take them. The bottom line is that the guest doesn't have access to their money either way. Sometimes a guest will ask us to not charge their card for a few days until they get paid and we will do that only if their reservation is way in advance. I figure if they don't have $200 or less on their credit/atm card, shouldn't they really be looking for a cheaper place? A little cold hearted I know, but I want to make sure they will also have the funds for the rest of their stay.
 

Copperhead

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We take the deposit of 1 night the night the cancelation policy takes affect. That way the $ is ours no refunds.
I may be reading your post wrong, are you pre-authorizing for the full stay or just the deposit? Authorization just lets you know that as of the time of booking they had that much available, that does not insure that when they arrive that the money will be!
If you just want to make sure the card is valid, you can pre-authorize for $1, thus not holding hostage so much $. Otherwise I would TAKE the deposit just as your policy states! Not taking it could add another problem - them thinking you did and think they only owe for one night and not have enough to cover both.
 

Don Draper

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We charge 50%. Most of our reservations are well in advance of stay so this system works for us. We've had a few guests recently describing how hotel stays have been affecting their card balances...I suppose it's authorizations that are holding funds, and in the case of the hotel it seems they were holding the amount of the entire stay.
To prevent theft and because we do not like to carry balances, we use only one credit card, and it intentionally has a very low limit because it gets paid in full each month. Often if we've made a big purchase we need to wait until a payment clears before we can use it again. So it's possible I could afford to buy your entire Inn, but on the day I make my reservation I only have a few hundred dollars available on the card! But I wouldn't ask anyone to wait to bill me, I'd just wait to book.
 

JBloggs

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"We say we take "one-night's" fee up front as a deposit with the balance due on departure."
Then why are you pre-auth the card for the full amount? Is this in your policies as well when they reserve? Do you tell them you will pre-auth? Nxt question is WHY? Why are you pre-auth'ng the whole stay? A hotel or Inn better not PRE-auth my credit card for the whole stay, they have no right to do that.
 

Generic

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We charge 50%. Most of our reservations are well in advance of stay so this system works for us. We've had a few guests recently describing how hotel stays have been affecting their card balances...I suppose it's authorizations that are holding funds, and in the case of the hotel it seems they were holding the amount of the entire stay.
To prevent theft and because we do not like to carry balances, we use only one credit card, and it intentionally has a very low limit because it gets paid in full each month. Often if we've made a big purchase we need to wait until a payment clears before we can use it again. So it's possible I could afford to buy your entire Inn, but on the day I make my reservation I only have a few hundred dollars available on the card! But I wouldn't ask anyone to wait to bill me, I'd just wait to book..
As I have said before, this is a phenomenon that Canadians don't understand because it is illegal to have a MasterCard or Visa logo on anything except for a credit card in Canada. We see the new MC/Visa debit cards as credit cards only and treat them that way, beacause legally to us they are credit cards. (MasterCard and Visa are not allowed in the debit card business because of anti-trust).
The city commuter bike system takes a hold of $250 when you rent a bike and returns it a day or two later. I try to warn my guests, because it can throw them into overdraught.
For most Canadians, holding part of our balance isn't a major concern, it's not real money, it's just credit limit. We just don't think of it in that way at all.
 

JBloggs

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We charge 50%. Most of our reservations are well in advance of stay so this system works for us. We've had a few guests recently describing how hotel stays have been affecting their card balances...I suppose it's authorizations that are holding funds, and in the case of the hotel it seems they were holding the amount of the entire stay.
To prevent theft and because we do not like to carry balances, we use only one credit card, and it intentionally has a very low limit because it gets paid in full each month. Often if we've made a big purchase we need to wait until a payment clears before we can use it again. So it's possible I could afford to buy your entire Inn, but on the day I make my reservation I only have a few hundred dollars available on the card! But I wouldn't ask anyone to wait to bill me, I'd just wait to book..
As I have said before, this is a phenomenon that Canadians don't understand because it is illegal to have a MasterCard or Visa logo on anything except for a credit card in Canada. We see the new MC/Visa debit cards as credit cards only and treat them that way, beacause legally to us they are credit cards. (MasterCard and Visa are not allowed in the debit card business because of anti-trust).
The city commuter bike system takes a hold of $250 when you rent a bike and returns it a day or two later. I try to warn my guests, because it can throw them into overdraught.
For most Canadians, holding part of our balance isn't a major concern, it's not real money, it's just credit limit. We just don't think of it in that way at all.
.
Eric Arthur Blair said:
As I have said before, this is a phenomenon that Canadians don't understand because it is illegal to have a MasterCard or Visa logo on anything except for a credit card in Canada. We see the new MC/Visa debit cards as credit cards only and treat them that way, beacause legally to us they are credit cards. (MasterCard and Visa are not allowed in the debit card business because of anti-trust).
The city commuter bike system takes a hold of $250 when you rent a bike and returns it a day or two later. I try to warn my guests, because it can throw them into overdraught.
For most Canadians, holding part of our balance isn't a major concern, it's not real money, it's just credit limit. We just don't think of it in that way at all.
When my sister in law went to Canada and the USA on an extended trip they pre-auth'd the heck out of her and she was insane over it, she did not get it, as it was like a double charge on her credit card for her whole trip, it really screwed her up. Being intl it was not as quick to process as just a local card.
 

Don Draper

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We charge 50%. Most of our reservations are well in advance of stay so this system works for us. We've had a few guests recently describing how hotel stays have been affecting their card balances...I suppose it's authorizations that are holding funds, and in the case of the hotel it seems they were holding the amount of the entire stay.
To prevent theft and because we do not like to carry balances, we use only one credit card, and it intentionally has a very low limit because it gets paid in full each month. Often if we've made a big purchase we need to wait until a payment clears before we can use it again. So it's possible I could afford to buy your entire Inn, but on the day I make my reservation I only have a few hundred dollars available on the card! But I wouldn't ask anyone to wait to bill me, I'd just wait to book..
As I have said before, this is a phenomenon that Canadians don't understand because it is illegal to have a MasterCard or Visa logo on anything except for a credit card in Canada. We see the new MC/Visa debit cards as credit cards only and treat them that way, beacause legally to us they are credit cards. (MasterCard and Visa are not allowed in the debit card business because of anti-trust).
The city commuter bike system takes a hold of $250 when you rent a bike and returns it a day or two later. I try to warn my guests, because it can throw them into overdraught.
For most Canadians, holding part of our balance isn't a major concern, it's not real money, it's just credit limit. We just don't think of it in that way at all.
.
This had nothing to do with debit versus credit (we process both the same), and in the particular case I was mentioning it was a Visa credit card and the Marriott hotel in Virginia where the guest had stayed before us had pre-authorized her entire stay, and despite her paying cash when she checked out, the hold was still on her credit card.
This is also why we do not run a LODGING setup on our cc machine (where you swipe, and then have to go back and "check out"). We just run it as straight up retail, no muss or fuss and no worrying about going back to do something else later. It gets processed more quickly on the guests' card as well this way, no holds on anything.
 

Proud Texan

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O.K., so for those of you charging 50% up front, do you run the card again when they arrive/depart and have them sign that slip or none at all?
Have you encountered any difficulties when refunding due to cancellations?
 

Joey Camb

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When I worked in a big hotel on check in we preauthrised for the whole stay plus $50 a day for extras people did not listen to you at all when you explain what you are doing so had one woman do this with my colleague and then it had held all the money she had ie no money for food or getting a taxi to the event she had come for. It was her mistake but every time she went through reception she had a go and made a scene for 2 days. The hotel even comped her food in the restaurant to try and help. Your other choice was to pay in full on arrival and then you couldn't charge anything to your room which was a sensible alternative.
 

Generic

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We charge 50%. Most of our reservations are well in advance of stay so this system works for us. We've had a few guests recently describing how hotel stays have been affecting their card balances...I suppose it's authorizations that are holding funds, and in the case of the hotel it seems they were holding the amount of the entire stay.
To prevent theft and because we do not like to carry balances, we use only one credit card, and it intentionally has a very low limit because it gets paid in full each month. Often if we've made a big purchase we need to wait until a payment clears before we can use it again. So it's possible I could afford to buy your entire Inn, but on the day I make my reservation I only have a few hundred dollars available on the card! But I wouldn't ask anyone to wait to bill me, I'd just wait to book..
As I have said before, this is a phenomenon that Canadians don't understand because it is illegal to have a MasterCard or Visa logo on anything except for a credit card in Canada. We see the new MC/Visa debit cards as credit cards only and treat them that way, beacause legally to us they are credit cards. (MasterCard and Visa are not allowed in the debit card business because of anti-trust).
The city commuter bike system takes a hold of $250 when you rent a bike and returns it a day or two later. I try to warn my guests, because it can throw them into overdraught.
For most Canadians, holding part of our balance isn't a major concern, it's not real money, it's just credit limit. We just don't think of it in that way at all.
.
Eric Arthur Blair said:
As I have said before, this is a phenomenon that Canadians don't understand because it is illegal to have a MasterCard or Visa logo on anything except for a credit card in Canada. We see the new MC/Visa debit cards as credit cards only and treat them that way, beacause legally to us they are credit cards. (MasterCard and Visa are not allowed in the debit card business because of anti-trust).
The city commuter bike system takes a hold of $250 when you rent a bike and returns it a day or two later. I try to warn my guests, because it can throw them into overdraught.
For most Canadians, holding part of our balance isn't a major concern, it's not real money, it's just credit limit. We just don't think of it in that way at all.
When my sister in law went to Canada and the USA on an extended trip they pre-auth'd the heck out of her and she was insane over it, she did not get it, as it was like a double charge on her credit card for her whole trip, it really screwed her up. Being intl it was not as quick to process as just a local card.
.
We don't like to preauth because it can hold for up to 30 days, unless we process for EXACTLY the same amount. There is no way to actually cancel the hold.
The other problem is credits. If we do a void, it's immediate as long as it is in the same bath. But when we do a credit, the CC company rules allow them to process it as much as 30 days later. So they do that, in order to collect more interest. And I have to deal with the phone calls asking why it hasn't appeared.
 

Paradise

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Good morning,
We take a 50% deposit, or (100% non-refundable on a one night stay) & charge it at the time that the reservation is made. If the card is declined, we contact the potential guest to let them know that we need a valid card in order to proceed with their reservation.
We charge the balance upon checkin. Cancellations within 30 days-deposit is non-refundable. Cancellations within 48 hours & they are responsible for the balance, which means we charge the card.
The local car rental companies put a $500 hold on cards & folks often don't realize that this hold stays on for several days after the return & have had difficulty with lack of available credit as a result.
 

Alibi Ike

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We take the money. We were advised to do the pre auth as a way to save the charges but the pre auth is only good for a week.
 

Alibi Ike

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O.K., so for those of you charging 50% up front, do you run the card again when they arrive/depart and have them sign that slip or none at all?
Have you encountered any difficulties when refunding due to cancellations?.
Proud Texan said:
O.K., so for those of you charging 50% up front, do you run the card again when they arrive/depart and have them sign that slip or none at all?
Have you encountered any difficulties when refunding due to cancellations?
We have them sign everything. The deposit, the remainder and the reg form.
If we need to refund we just do everything in reverse. Haven't had any problems with that.
 

Don Draper

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O.K., so for those of you charging 50% up front, do you run the card again when they arrive/depart and have them sign that slip or none at all?
Have you encountered any difficulties when refunding due to cancellations?.
Yes, we swipe the card for the balance due at check-out. They sign the slip and get the copy of their slip and invoice.
I'm trying to understand your question about refunds, just not sure what you are asking? We do refunds less a $25 processing fee if they cancel more than 14 days out. We get very few cancellations.
Also, we were the first in our area to charge this fee, and now everyone does.
 

Copperhead

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O.K., so for those of you charging 50% up front, do you run the card again when they arrive/depart and have them sign that slip or none at all?
Have you encountered any difficulties when refunding due to cancellations?.
When guests arrive, swip their card for the remaining balance and present both slips (deposit & remaining bal) for signature and provide them copies.
Refunds are not instantaneous except on YOUR end! The processor and bank can take several days to return the $ to the CC. Many people just do not understand this and call relentlessly. This is why I wait to take the deposit until the cancellation period has expired, there is then no refunds to deal with.
 

Alibi Ike

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O.K., so for those of you charging 50% up front, do you run the card again when they arrive/depart and have them sign that slip or none at all?
Have you encountered any difficulties when refunding due to cancellations?.
When guests arrive, swip their card for the remaining balance and present both slips (deposit & remaining bal) for signature and provide them copies.
Refunds are not instantaneous except on YOUR end! The processor and bank can take several days to return the $ to the CC. Many people just do not understand this and call relentlessly. This is why I wait to take the deposit until the cancellation period has expired, there is then no refunds to deal with.
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copperhead said:
This is why I wait to take the deposit until the cancellation period has expired, there is then no refunds to deal with.
That's what we're doing, too.
But I would refund if we rebooked. So I do know that the refund process works on this end. I tell guests that they may not see the refund until their NEXT statement and that is because once the processor has the money they don't like to give it back. No one has called to say they didn't get their deposit back.
 

Red Handed Jill

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Coming in real late here...
We take one night at the time of the reservation. In fact, I don't confirm until I make the charge.
I have never had a problem with refinding the deposit. We also haven't done a service fee outside 14 days, but we're changing that. We've had one too many cancellations who turned right back around (when circumstances changed again) and re-booked the same room for the same dates. Nice to have them come, but I hate to pay double the fees. <eyeroll> Lesson learned.
 
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