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Does Hilton Allow Credit Card Surcharges for US Hotels?

Does Hilton Allow Credit Card Surcharges for US Hotels?

Old Jul 11, 21, 7:16 pm
  #16  
 
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Contact your CC issuer and ask them to do a charge back for the obvious fee
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Old Jul 11, 21, 7:34 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Pretzelsandpeanuts View Post
I am at this hotel right now. They wont let you pay cash so you have to pay this tax. Its patently illegal under federal law and likely under Vermont law. Also, only a government entity can charge a tax. Its too bad as the hotel itself is pretty nice, but I will be calling Hilton corporate as soon as I check out and they will likely be sued and sanctioned
Just a question, would you upset if they just raised the prices 3%?

Seems weird to have a compulsory fee like this when it's so small. Why not just bake it into the base price? Maybe they're avoiding agent/Hilton fees by doing this? Seems like such a small net gain no matter how you spin it.
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Old Jul 11, 21, 8:08 pm
  #18  
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What a ridiculous policy, especially since they don't take cash (which is actually more costly than taking credit cards thanks to mistakes and risk of theft).

I'm actually fine with hotels charging whatever fees and surcharges they want, as long as they quote only the complete and all-in total at booking and nothing else. If, at check-out, they want to give you an itemized bill that shows how they broke down the total you were quoted upfront into a million categories - credit card fees, resort fees, water surcharges, electricity supplements - then that's great. As long as you were quoted the accurate upfront.

Years ago the airlines used to have big billboards with "$1 fares NY - London" kinds of claims, but then $900 each way "fuel surcharges" and whatever. Congress finally put a stop to it and now you're quoted an accurate price upfront, with a receipt that breaks down all of the nuisance fees and legitimate taxes.
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Old Jul 11, 21, 9:24 pm
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When you booked and the details of the charges presented, were these charges listed? Interestingly, a quick booking attempt shows the below, where there are numerous "taxes", but they are not clearly delineated.

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Old Jul 11, 21, 9:32 pm
  #20  
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Heh. I posted a thread about this specific property (Hilton Burlington) in May.

I was -- more irritated than I can say in FT -- to find on a points stay -- where the fees were not disclosed during booking -- that I was hit with a CC surcharge on a parking fee -- for a city garage that actually wasn't charging anyone for parking the weekend of our stay anyway.

Was told at check in that parking was $16 -- no mention of a CC fee anywhere. Parked, stayed, checked out at the front desk because the app wouldn't let me. Nothing said about a CC surcharge... got folio by email an hour later and there was a surcharge (and another random fee I didn't recognize) making what I expected to be a $16.00 folio just under $20. And the gates for the garage were up so had I just parked and not stopped at the FD first it would have been a $0 (or whatever-random-fee-only) stay

Add to that the room we got had a broken window and I'm definitely not recommending that property to anyone -- but I decided it wasn't worth my time to call and complain especially since the stay was part of a birthday roadtrip through new England and I was trying to focus on all of the happy thoughts instead.
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Old Jul 11, 21, 10:19 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Lots of places charge a cc surcharge. Especially small businesses.
There's a big difference between a Hilton and a local takeout restaurant though. Or even between a Hilton and a small bed and breakfast. The reason I would choose a chain is for it being consistent, and that certainly includes not being surprised with a CC fee.
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Old Jul 11, 21, 11:51 pm
  #22  
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It really isn't a matter of Hilton allowing this or not. It is a matter of whether or not the hotel discloses such a fee. If they do not do so on their website, or via the booking process, then they definitely have to do so at any point-of-sale location on their property (front desk, restaurant). However, if they are doing this and not allowing any other form of payment to be used, then they are getting into legal issues. And as I have said just recently in another thread about a specific hotel's money-grab scheme, a GM should absolutely know better to not do things this way.
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Old Jul 12, 21, 2:52 pm
  #23  
 
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I check out tomorrow, I will specifically ask about whether I can pay another way to avoid the charge (I know its not allowed as I saw someone ask at checkin). A letter to the Vermont AG will be sent soon afterwards along with a call to Hilton corporate and a call to AMEX disputing every single credit card fee charge. These people are criminals and its now the principle of the matter.
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Old Jul 12, 21, 2:55 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
There's a big difference between a Hilton and a local takeout restaurant though. Or even between a Hilton and a small bed and breakfast. The reason I would choose a chain is for it being consistent, and that certainly includes not being surprised with a CC fee.
Maybe the owner is a small operator
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Old Jul 12, 21, 3:04 pm
  #25  
 
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I was under the impression that Visa (at least) had a clause in their merchant agreement that such surcharges for using their credit card were not allowed (even though I know this has become widespread).
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Old Jul 12, 21, 3:23 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
I was under the impression that Visa (at least) had a clause in their merchant agreement that such surcharges for using their credit card were not allowed (even though I know this has become widespread).
That was the case up until 4-5 years ago but there were a series of lawsuits/settlements and law changes that generally made them permissible -- there are some jurisdictions in North America that still explicitly forbid them (don't ask me to name them off the top of my head though) but as a general rule -- as long as they are disclosed and most favored nations are respected (e.g. you can't charge no fee for Amex and a 5% fee for Visa, or a 3% fee for a Visa personal card but a 5% fee for a Visa business card (even though typically the latter has higher fees for merchant acceptance)

I find it objectionable and tend to avoid most businesses that try to pass off their overhead costs on a nickel-and-dime basis (what's next "overhead lighting convenience fee"?) but in most of the US there is absolutely nothing wrong with it from a legal or contractual perspective as long as it is disclosed.

This property, in my specific case, most certainly did not disclose it during any of the opportunities given to them -- and had they I would have likely stayed at the HGI around the corner instead.
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Old Jul 12, 21, 3:23 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by xooz View Post
When you booked and the details of the charges presented, were these charges listed? Interestingly, a quick booking attempt shows the below, where there are numerous "taxes", but they are not clearly delineated.

I looked at the HGI around the corner from it, and it is missing the $1 and one of the 2% items. Assuming that is the $1 'service fee' and 2% 'CC surcharge' OP referenced, they are technically disclosing all of the mandatory costs, BUT I have a feeling the State AG office would not be too thrilled with a hotel calling pure fees a "tax", which hilton.com is very clearly doing here.
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Old Jul 12, 21, 3:26 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
I looked at the HGI around the corner from it, and it is missing the $1 and one of the 2% items. Assuming that is the $1 'service fee' and 2% 'CC surcharge' OP referenced. If they are, they are technically disclosing all of the mandatory costs, BUT I have a feeling the State AG office would not be too thrilled with a hotel calling pure fees a "tax", which hilton.com is doing.
For a cash reservation, perhaps -- but for a points reservation the only fee disclosed was the "optional" (in the sense that if you aren't parking a car you don't pay) $16/night parking fee. The fact that there would be a $1 "service fee" or a credit card surcharge on both the parking and the service fee were never disclosed. The fact that they charged for parking I can say with some certainty they didn't pay for is a completely different issue -- but all of these combined just left a really bad taste in my mouth for this property. (The broken window in the room being a cherry on top)
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Old Jul 13, 21, 7:38 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
They are charging a surgcharge and won't let you pay cash?????



Hilton isn't a small business and most people use a credit card for a hotel. Its also assinine since Am Ex issues a Hilton Branded card.

And I think it has to be disclosed which it sounds like it wasnt in this case.

If I were a hotel I wouldn't want the liability of having cash laying around anyway.



And also contact Am Ex and contest the charges since it's not disclosed and not a tax and against Am Ex's terms of service. Also leave a bad review on yelp and TA.
Since President Carter, ALL businesses can add a credit card fee. AmEx is the most expensive with Debit Cards being the least. It overrides any credit card policy (such as AmExs - but some cards refund it

Last edited by Canarsie; Jul 13, 21 at 11:05 am Reason: Consolidation.
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Old Jul 13, 21, 8:10 am
  #30  
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Do they charge the fee if you use their own credit card? Whether legal or not, that's dirty pool of the highest order and I would 100% contest that charge.

It's a perfectly valid customer expectation that we use credit cards at hotels. That shouldn't be an "add on" fee at any major chain hotel, ever.
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