Hotels and Credit Cards: A Reader’s Story

By | Category: Travel rumblings, Travel tips & opinions

When you book a hotel in advance, you reserve it by passing details of a
valid credit card. Sometimes to get a good deal the hotel or its booking
agency debits your card there and then. In which case you would have
thought that would be an end to the matter but no, or at least not in
one case.
A person booked a stay at a Radisson hotel and the card was immediately
debited. 2 weeks after this date she was forced to cancel the card in
question as it was believed to be stolen.  Upon checking her booking the
day before arrival, she called to talk to the hotel to inform them that
she no longer had the card, and to ask how to proceed.  After nearly an
hour of being passed too and fro, she was informed that providing she
had ID, she would be fine, as the room was already paid for.

On arriving at the hotel, she checked in and went to her room to freshen
up, before meeting yours truely for lunch.  Upon her return, the plastic
card key did not work. The hotel, despite allowing her entry earlier and
being aware that all her bags were in the room, refused her entry for
nearly two hours while she argued. Now the person concerned had
cancelled the card after paying off all the outstanding balance. Despite
the fact that she carried her passport for ID purposes and, to repeat
myself, the bill had already been paid, she had to argue with the
reception for the hotel for 2 hours before being allowed to her room.

I can understand security issues and I can understand a hotel being wary if there was a possibility that the bill might not get paid. What I can’t understand is why there should be an issue if the bill had been paid prior to arrival and the hotel had received the money and secondly, that the person had means of identification. The patience of the person concerned is greater than mine would have been and, despite being in the right, no apology was made.

The warning to all of us is that if you book a hotel on one credit card don’t cancel the thing until after you have stayed and left. And it seems that you should always remember to take the credit card that you made the booking with to the hotel although I have often been asked whether I want to leave the bill on that credit card or substitute another one.

And has any reader out there suffered anything like this? E-mail and let us know.




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