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'Reload Cards' - Can someone enlighten me?

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The Farmers Daughter

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Happy Holidays Everyone.
I have a question about a reloadable credit/debit card. A potential guest inquired if he could use one to hold a reservation but then pay cash on arrival. I have never heard of a reload card.
Can someone explain them to me? Are they a different animal than a credit or debit card or do they process the same way.
Thanks for any help.
 

agoodman

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A reload card is like a credit card except you can "add" money to it rather than having a fixed amount when you buy it (say $100) and then throwing it away when its used. Saves the issuer (like Visa) the cost of a new card ... but it is NOT linked to a bank account NOR does it have a "line of credit" over and above what is on the card at the time
The ONLY way I would accept this is as follows
1. That is has a Visa / Mastercard / Discover or Amex Logo
2. That she allows you to process an advance deposit on the card NOW so you know it has money on it. That way you have the money.
If she wants to give you cash when she checks out you can refund the card, however keep in mind you pay 2 tran fees on it
No you CANNOT accept the card just to "hold" the res because she can use up all the money and throw it away or never reload it and then you are $crewed.
Depending on how far in the future she is arriving, if she does not like option 1, then I would ask for a check or money order so you have time to make sure the check clears ... ie like 3 months LOL
 

Copperhead

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Yes they are different.. You can purchase these for set amounts and use them as a CC and they can reload the card with additional funds. The main problem I see is that they are asking you to 'hold' the room on the card... They could be giving you a card that has very little on it. If you just authorize it for a dollar or 2 it may appear fine, but IF you had to take the money for a no-show, there would not be enough funds.
If you take this reservation, I would only do so if they understand you will be charging the card the full deposit amount and they can pay any difference in cash when they arrive.
I have taken one of these ONCE as the person did not have a CC to hold the room, the stay was too close to booking to get anything in the mail and I was too busy to take their word for it that they would not be a no show.
These cards can have issues in using them as we are disucssing on the thread regarding new GC rules.
www.innspiring.com/node/7880
 

JBloggs

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What a strange guest to ask this. That is like saying I have a credit card that is totally maxed out, my wife chopped it up with the scissors, but I have the # on the cc statement, can I give you that number? Just don't try to charge it.
A VALID CREDIT CARD IS REQUIRED TO MAKE A RESERVATION.
Welcome back FD!
Oops sorry I sidetracked...yes run them the same way, if there is any $$ on them, go get it. :) I took a couple here last week. Swiped them though, they had them at the last minute.
 

InnBloom

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Maybe this is a stupid question, but how exactly do you know it's a reload card rather than a regular credit card when they give you the number if they don't tell you?
 

Mini

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Most of those reloadable cards are ones you buy at Walmart or wherever and you actually need the card to be put through your machine for it to actually work. I learned the hard way. I hate those cards. They are ones people give for gifts at Christmas time and they may only have had $25 on them to begin with.
 

agoodman

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They also have totally different "Bin" numbers (cc sequence numbers) - not something WE would recognize BUT I have to wonder if our online res systems recognize these bins and reject them ... I would say they probably would (should?) come up with "invalid card" - maybe the systems only recognize them for "payment" and not for "auth"
 

Copperhead

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They also have totally different "Bin" numbers (cc sequence numbers) - not something WE would recognize BUT I have to wonder if our online res systems recognize these bins and reject them ... I would say they probably would (should?) come up with "invalid card" - maybe the systems only recognize them for "payment" and not for "auth".
agoodman said:
.. I would say they [res systems] probably would (should?) come up with "invalid card" - maybe the systems only recognize them for "payment" and not for "auth"
I do not see why they should be invalid, that is IF they have the funds on them to handle the charge. I do agree that they should not accept them just for authorization.
But thinking this all the way through - what guarntees us that ANY card would be good for full payment when they are due to pay? Unless you take a deposit, there could be the same problem with any card. It is our belief in our guests.
 

Alibi Ike

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They also have totally different "Bin" numbers (cc sequence numbers) - not something WE would recognize BUT I have to wonder if our online res systems recognize these bins and reject them ... I would say they probably would (should?) come up with "invalid card" - maybe the systems only recognize them for "payment" and not for "auth".
agoodman said:
.. I would say they [res systems] probably would (should?) come up with "invalid card" - maybe the systems only recognize them for "payment" and not for "auth"
I do not see why they should be invalid, that is IF they have the funds on them to handle the charge. I do agree that they should not accept them just for authorization.
But thinking this all the way through - what guarntees us that ANY card would be good for full payment when they are due to pay? Unless you take a deposit, there could be the same problem with any card. It is our belief in our guests.
.
copperhead said:
agoodman said:
.. I would say they [res systems] probably would (should?) come up with "invalid card" - maybe the systems only recognize them for "payment" and not for "auth"
I do not see why they should be invalid, that is IF they have the funds on them to handle the charge. I do agree that they should not accept them just for authorization.
But thinking this all the way through - what guarntees us that ANY card would be good for full payment when they are due to pay? Unless you take a deposit, there could be the same problem with any card. It is our belief in our guests.
I think the idea is that the reloadable cards have different kinds of numbers on them than the usual credit card- i.e.- Visa's start with a '4', MC's with a '5', etc. It might be what ag was saying was that the reloadables do not and the online reservation system won't recognize it as a valid number.
 

Samster

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The answer should actually be "no" because the card is almost treated like a cash debit card. They need to give you a valid credit card number to hold the room and then pay with that or cash when they arrive.
 

Breakfast Diva

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A few months ago I got an online reservation for a 1 night rez in our most expensive room. Why is it that those with the least amount of money always rent the most expensive rooms???
We charge their card their deposit when they make the reservation. The credit card was declined when I tried to put the deposit through. I contacted the guest and she said, oh, there's no money in there! After I was very firm about our deposit policy, she went to WallyMart and purchased one of those reload cards. I was able to charge her deposit and add-ons, so she was paid in full.
So, the day of her reservation came and I waited and waited for her to show...by 9:00, I called her and she was very confused because she said her reservation wasn't for 2 months! Well, to make a very long story shorter, I treated it like a no show, had absolute proof that she had put through the reservation for that date. I refunded back the special add-ons she had ordered since I could use it again and kept the $ for the room. The next day, her boyfriend called and threatened to write awful things all over the internet about us if we didn't give the money back. I didn't cave.
2 months later, I received a phone call from the processing service for the card saying that they had been notified by the card holder says the charge was unauthorized! I explained to them exactly what happened and when they learned that I could produce the proof that the woman had checked on our system that she read and agreed to our policy, that was all that the card processor needed to know. I didn't have to do any forms or formal process. Whew!
My advice is that if you know it's one of these cards, go ahead and accept it, but definitely charge it for the deposit whether it's your policy or not. Make sure you have the money. If they want to pay the balance in cash when they get there, no problem, but never take one to just hold the room.
 
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