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Old Dec 17, 04, 11:26 pm   #1
 
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Credit Card holds for Incidentals

A friend was talking to me about credit card holds when you check into a hotel. I guess when the hotel swipes your credit card, they place a hold on the lodging amount PLUS an estimated daily incidental expense for hotel dining, room movies, etc.

While I knew about the holds, does anybody know the average hold per night (in addition to lodging) at Hilton chains? For example, while staying at the HHV, would it be lodging plus say, $250/night? And would it vary among the Hilton family (i.e. Hilton vs. Hampton Inn)?
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Old Dec 18, 04, 6:28 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Condition One
A friend was talking to me about credit card holds when you check into a hotel. I guess when the hotel swipes your credit card, they place a hold on the lodging amount PLUS an estimated daily incidental expense for hotel dining, room movies, etc.

While I knew about the holds, does anybody know the average hold per night (in addition to lodging) at Hilton chains? For example, while staying at the HHV, would it be lodging plus say, $250/night? And would it vary among the Hilton family (i.e. Hilton vs. Hampton Inn)?
I have also wondered about this and at one point started monitoring the holds to see if I could detect a pattern. IIRC, held amount is lodging plus some percentage that varies by hotel. At most Hilton, again IIRC, it seemed like 20%. Obviously, YMMV.
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Old Dec 27, 04, 5:09 pm   #3
 
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Although it does vary by property, mine have typically run Room + tax + 20-25% per night. Of course, if you are an extended stay the hold may drop before you even check out, which happens often when I use my Check Card since my bank only keeps the hold for 2 biz days.

Peace!
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Old Dec 27, 04, 10:24 pm   #4
 
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I find it varies greatly by hotel and desk clerk. I just spent 2 nights at the Guam Hilton at 75 $ a night and they put a 600 dollar hold on the card! The clerk who checked me out couldn't believe it and thought 60 would have made more sense. What were they expecting me to do? Take the mini bar fridge and all?
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Old Dec 27, 04, 11:44 pm   #5
 
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I often check my balances in my cc account since both HHonors and *W give such low limits, it's a joke!

I have never had any amount put on hold at properties in the US or most of Asia. I have only experienced that in China, I think around one night I was charged.
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Old Jan 1, 05, 2:02 am   #6
 
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I have never had a hold, that I have noticed, put on any credit/debit cards at a Hilton.

But I have with a Westin (Copley Place) in BOS. Was staying for 8 nights and the morning after my check-in I got a confusing to me call from Amex saying, "You have gone over your limit". I called back and said no way, they said check with hotel, re hold, I did and hotel had put a hold on my Amex (Optima type). As it was I could not use my Amex for anything else and the hotel would not remove it. Fortunately I had another cc. Going back there in a couple weeks for another week long stay, will see what happens.

Although now that I think about it if a Hilton was to put a hold on my credit card I think I would have a problem with it. Having status I think that should afford you some trust.
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Old Jan 1, 05, 2:28 pm   #7
 
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I recently had the Hilton Huntington Beach hit my Visa debit card again and again for about $50 a pop as our incidental charges grew -- even though they only totaled about $400. They said the computer calculates a percentage of the incidentals and dictates additional hold amounts as the stay progresses.

I now use my corporate credit card even for personal stays, then switch back to my personal card when it's time to pay.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Condition One
A friend was talking to me about credit card holds when you check into a hotel. I guess when the hotel swipes your credit card, they place a hold on the lodging amount PLUS an estimated daily incidental expense for hotel dining, room movies, etc.

While I knew about the holds, does anybody know the average hold per night (in addition to lodging) at Hilton chains? For example, while staying at the HHV, would it be lodging plus say, $250/night? And would it vary among the Hilton family (i.e. Hilton vs. Hampton Inn)?
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Old Jan 1, 05, 6:48 pm   #8
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I've found at some Hilton's when you use a debit card, they charge you the entire amount when they swipe it and don't get an approval hold. At the places that do get a hold, I've seen it in the area others have reported, 20 to 25% of the expected bill.

I worked with one guy who never had any room on his card for the holds, so he would settle his bill every day and have them do the next night, night by night, so he only had one nights hold at a time.
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Old Jan 1, 05, 7:30 pm   #9
 
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I worked at a hotel many years ago while in school, and this is how it was then (though things have probably changed a little)

When you checked someone in, you had to place an authorization (or hold as some people are referring to here) on the guests card to ensure the card would cover all chages to the folio (guest account).

The amount was entirely up to the desk clerk, but the amount authorized would be entered into the system. Sometimes it would be $50 per day, sometimes $100 per day, it didn't matter, we usualy just picked a round number. For example a guest coming in for 4 nights @ $80 would mean $320 and I would typically choose to authorize for $600 or so.

Each day the system would print out a report for guests who were over or close to going over their authorized limit. The clerk(s) then had to go in and manually attempt additional re-authorizations for these guests which is a pain in the @#!. So, the clerks would typically be on the safe side and authorize the card for more than the guest would ever likely spend.

This became a problem if the guest had a credit card with a lower credit limit, or was approaching their max. I assume it is a big problem now with people using debit cards because it ties up "real" money rather than a credit line.

If a guest specifically asked for a low authorization amount then it was never a problem and always done as requested.

I think the highest I ever authorized for was $50k. There was a guest who walked in off the street and asked me how many rooms I could get him for a whole month. There had been some type of disaster and his construction company had received an emergency job in the area. We gave him a nice corporate rate and I swiped the card for $50k which was a rough estimate on what I thought it was going to cost them The little terminal said "CALL AMEX" or something like that. I picked up the phone and they asked me what in the world I was doing - I explained it to them and they authorized it
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Old Jan 2, 05, 11:40 am   #10
 
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Ah-ha! This makes more sense than any other explanation I've heard. Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by omegadeal
Each day the system would print out a report for guests who were over or close to going over their authorized limit. The clerk(s) then had to go in and manually attempt additional re-authorizations for these guests which is a pain in the @#!. So, the clerks would typically be on the safe side and authorize the card for more than the guest would ever likely spend.
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Old Aug 25, 06, 3:53 am   #11
 
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Pre Authorize for Incidentals?

Just a question to those that have travelled on award stays before.

I will be staying at the Trafalgar Hilton in London and the Arc D'Triomphe in Paris on award certificates. I do not intend on charging anything to the room in the way of incidentals. Do you know how much they will pre auth my credi t card for incidentals on a 7 day stay?
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Old Aug 25, 06, 4:05 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhorst
Just a question to those that have travelled on award stays before.

I will be staying at the Trafalgar Hilton in London and the Arc D'Triomphe in Paris on award certificates. I do not intend on charging anything to the room in the way of incidentals. Do you know how much they will pre auth my credi t card for incidentals on a 7 day stay?

There is a formula for each hotel brand but it is generally in the range of $40-$50 per day. If there is a parking charge for the hotel that would also be pre-authorized. My guess is about $350.00 for 7 days. It does not matter if you do not "plan" to charge anything they will still need to do it. The Pre-Auth will come typically off your card within 2 business days, so the funds will be available to you while you are still on vacation.
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Old Aug 25, 06, 1:09 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avidflyer
There is a formula for each hotel brand but it is generally in the range of $40-$50 per day. If there is a parking charge for the hotel that would also be pre-authorized. My guess is about $350.00 for 7 days. It does not matter if you do not "plan" to charge anything they will still need to do it. The Pre-Auth will come typically off your card within 2 business days, so the funds will be available to you while you are still on vacation.
I think it is higher overseas. I know I did not charging anything on our vacation this summer, but still had a $200 bill from drinks at the pool and the gift shop, room service etc.
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