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Old May 18, 09, 8:23 am   #1
 
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How much money should be put on hold during a stay

Hi I was wondering if anybody knows of any set rules regarding how much money is put on hold during a stay and when it should be credited back to your credit card? I recently stayed at the IC Melbourne on a reward stay and asked how they worked out what to put on hold. I was told it was the the nightly rate paid multiplied by the number of nights plus $100 AUD per night. As this was a reward night, it was charged at $79.95 AUD per night (I am assuming this is what PCR is charged by the hotel for the reward stay) as it is normally approx $200 AUD+ per night. It is the second time they have done that 2 me in the last couple of weeks. Last stay was 2 nights at $220 p/n + $100 p/n totaling $640. It seems to be a very expensive authorization and they are very slow at crediting it back to my credit card. The hotel told me it should be back in my account in 5 -7 days. I really think that is not good enough so I rang my bank and got them to reverse it as they agreed it was ridiculous to hold onto it so long after checkout. Any suggestions?

Cheers

Last edited by Newbie downunder; May 18, 09 at 8:24 am. Reason: totaling error
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Old May 18, 09, 8:41 am   #2
 
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I do not think this was done on my US award stays. ???
Sounds goofy. Was this security deposit? Something only done in AUS?
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Old May 18, 09, 8:55 am   #3
 
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Yeah it was a security deposit im guessing. I think the amount and time taken to refund it is ridiculous. You would think it could be refunded on the day of check out once they realise I hadnt emptied the mini bar or trashed the room.
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Old May 18, 09, 8:56 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Newbie downunder View Post
The hotel told me it should be back in my account in 5 -7 days. I really think that is not good enough
Obviously you never heard of Russian banks which keep holds for at least 30 days.
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Old May 18, 09, 9:00 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by paulmoscow View Post
obviously you never heard of russian banks which keep holds for at least 30 days.
wow, what a scam!
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Old May 18, 09, 9:00 am   #6
 
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It wasnt the bank doing it though, when I rang my bank to ask where the money missing from my account was, they told me that IC had it on hold. This was 4 days after I had checked out. They agreed it was slow and released it back to my account. Maybe they shouldnt have until the hotel released it but I think they felt sorry for me and agreed it was a long time after checkout for the hotel not to have released it I guess?
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Old May 18, 09, 9:09 am   #7
 
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The hotel has your credit card information when you check-in. If needed that can put charges incurred during your stay, even damages if applicable. I thought at check-out the charges are applied and your good to go. Even if days later they find you damaged the hair dryer you can be notified and charged, so what is the need to hold money?
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Old May 18, 09, 9:12 am   #8
 
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That was my understanding as well. I guess they see things differently to most other hotels as I havent had this problem before. Its really annoying when your card is nearly maxed out cos there are hundreds of dollars locked away for no reason.
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Old May 18, 09, 9:31 am   #9
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This can be especially irksome on a trip involving several hotels and car hire.

Even on prepaid rates, hotels block some credit - sometimes only £0.01 or $1 - which should be cancelled on checkout, though it can take several days to take effect. The result can be a decline on subsequent transactions elsewhere, though that's not happened to me.

Because of this, I normally use my AmEx platinum card (theoretically no limit but ...) to secure the reservation and use another card to pay.
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Old May 18, 09, 9:34 am   #10
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Sounds most bizarre. I have heard of the usual hold put on credit cards but it is not an actual amount debited at the time of the hold, just the amount of funds frozen from use on your remaining credit limit. However, it appears you used a debit card, not a regular credit or charge card, and thus an actual amount may well have been taken and held in reserve from your banking account.

In all the years of my travel, I have never had an actual amount of money charged and refunded when hotels put a hold on my credit or charge card, for a paid or award stay. For those of us from outside the country, this would also mean a currency exchange occuring and thus the loss of both the reate of exchange difference between the two dates (charge and credit) plus the 1% ccs generally charge on foreign exchange.

I will be doing an award next month at the IC Melbourne so will be most curious to see how this matter is handled. However, of the many who have already taken advantage of the 5K award, none other than you have posted about this occuring. Most curious.
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Old May 18, 09, 10:17 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Shareholder View Post
Sounds most bizarre. I have heard of the usual hold put on credit cards but it is not an actual amount debited at the time of the hold, just the amount of funds frozen from use on your remaining credit limit.
Indeed. Here in the UK its know as a pre-auth and it happens all the time. In fact I have my credit card details in my PC account, which is necessary at some of the properties I stay at for them to check me in using priority check-in, and the pre-auth is done before I turn up.

I don't ever see these value except on my online statement where my available credit limit goes down by the amount for a few days. They never charge it to my card, and it they did I'd be complaining loudly.
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Old May 18, 09, 1:46 pm   #12
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Nothing has been charged from OP's CC. It is an authorization that will clear in few days or weeks depending of the OP's bank. This has nothing to do with the hotel itself.

Normally if OP had charged something at the hotel the charge that the hotel would have put through at the end of the stay would have cleared the pending authorization.

It is modus operandi for hotels and car rentals always authorize more than the actual hotel stay. Depending of the hotel this could be extra $200 per night or more.

OP should just get a higher credit limit from his/her CC so that there would not need to worry such insignificant thing like when a credit card authorization will lapse.
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Old May 18, 09, 2:36 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by Newbie downunder View Post
. Any suggestions?

Cheers
When leaving, get the hotel to send a fax to the bank to release the authorisation on the funds

Dave
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Old May 18, 09, 2:39 pm   #14
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Originally Posted by sobore View Post
The hotel has your credit card information when you check-in. If needed that can put charges incurred during your stay, even damages if applicable. I thought at check-out the charges are applied and your good to go. Even if days later they find you damaged the hair dryer you can be notified and charged, so what is the need to hold money?
Just having a credit card does not mean that there is enough funds on the card to cover the cost of the room plus incidentals. Taking a hold on the expected room rate cost plus a bit is normal procedure ime, not just in Australia

When I was in Dallas recently, the hotel took an authorisation for the 31 nights room rate plus a bit when I checked in.

Pre-Authorisations fall off automatically after a number of days depending on the bank

Dave
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Old May 18, 09, 5:27 pm   #15
 
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Sometimes I've just deny the CC swipe and offer them the cash deposit.
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