Hotel Payment Concerns/Question

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Moxitoxis's picture
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Joined: 2015-06-21 02:19:14 pm
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So I keep seeing people saying not to use a debit card when booking the hotel room for the con? Why? What about a mastercard? That's what I'm going to be using, is that alright? 

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Nicona Shadowwolf's picture
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Taken from the FAQ at http://www.anthrocon.org/faq/debit-card

  • Can I use a debit card to pay for my hotel room?
  • We do NOT recommend using a debit card to pay for your hotel room. At the time you check in, a "hold" will be placed on the card for the full amount of your stay, plus a little extra for incidentals. This is standard practice and is designed to protect the hotel from chargebacks and other discomforts. While this poses no problems if you have a credit card, using a debit card will cause the entire amount of the "hold" to be unavailable to you for the entire course of the convention, and depending on your bank, for several days after the convention is over. If you really want to use a debit card to pay for your room, we recommend that you check in with a regular credit card, and then pay for the room with your debit card when checking out.   If you have only a debit card, make absolutely sure that you have at least $200 per each day of your stay available in your account (AVAILABLE, not just 'deposited'), as well as enough money to tide you over for the duration of the convention.

  • How much is the hold for incidentals on a debit card?
  • It varies by hotel (and possibly by individual guest), so it is difficult to say. We've heard reports of anywhere between the total expected bill plus $50 to the total expected bill plus an amount of up to 40%. If you do intend to use a debit card, please make sure you have sufficient money on your card to cover such a hold.

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Moxitoxis's picture
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I'm very sorry, it's probably way more simple then I think, but I am a bit confused with the first bullet point? So if we use the mastercard to book the room, we won't be able to use it at all during the convention, and maybe a few days after? So you're suggesting we use a regular card (like the one we use for everyday purchases?) for the reservation? Cause we use the MC for big things, like hotels and such, not for everyday use. Again, my apologies.

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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I am assuming your 'mastercard' is a debit card and not a credit card in this discussion.

So, let's simplify. Let's say you have $1000 in your debit-card-linked account. You use it to make your hotel reservation, and the room costs $200 for a night (after taxes, fees, etc). Now you have $800! That's all good.

Now, you arrive at Anthrocon to check in, and you still have $800 in the debited account. The stay at the room is four nights. You've paid for one night already, and the cost of the other three is $600. That leaves you with $200. However, the hotel will want $40 a day set aside in case the room is damaged, you order room service, etc. Suddenly, that $200 available is down to $40.  You still have $200, but for the duration of the convention- and depending on your bank, maybe a month more- you can't spend the $160. It's 'held' in place until the hotel and bank agree to release the hold.

Now, if you use that debit card for deposit, then use a regular credit card at check-in: The credit card company sets your credit card limit at $1,000. Your rooms costs ($600) are held, as are that $40 a night set aside ($160).  There's still a hold, but it goes against your credit limit, not your bank account. unless you're ridign close to your credit limit,t his is generally not a problem.

 

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Moxitoxis's picture
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Are mastercards not a thing in the states? Wow, that's unexpected. But, I talked it over with my dad and the mastercard is a credit card, not a debit. Besides, we've always used the MC to book hotels, whether they're in Canada or China. It was my mistake, I simply had the two confused.

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charlieg's picture
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Here in the States, MasterCard is a very popular card.  The problem is that many banks issue debit cards branded as MasterCard and VISA here and AFAIK, only the banks and the person to whom the card is issued know whether they're credit or debit.

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To avoid problems with parents, read this before you talk to them about furry:  http://www.anthrocon.org/node/25587/age-questions-how-talk-parents-general-other-things

Kaylin's picture
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Joined: 2015-11-12 08:08:21 pm
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this explains a lot to me.. one question though.. since my debit card is attached to my checking etc they let me run as credit or debit.. could i have the hotel run it as credit like i do sometimes at the grocery store? or does that option not really change things? i cant get a credit card unfortunately so unless i go out and buy myself multiple visa giftcards its not an option..though i am budgeting to have over 1k in addition to the 600 estimate anyway as emergency/unexpecteds and play time so i should be covered anyway

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charlieg's picture
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Again, here in the US, a card is debit or credit, one or the other.  No inbetweens or boths (AFAIK).  If it's attached to your checking acount, it will probably be treated as a debit card.

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To avoid problems with parents, read this before you talk to them about furry:  http://www.anthrocon.org/node/25587/age-questions-how-talk-parents-general-other-things

Kaylin's picture
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mmk.. ive always been able to run it either way so i just figured it can function as either

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VernonOnFM's picture
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Running it as credit or debit is not the issue, it's the account type that's behind the card.

Credit cards are backed by credit accounts. Debit cards are backed by your checking account. It's the difference in the accounts that causes the hold troubles, not the way the card is processed by the vendor.

A hotel will (in my experience) always run the card as credit either way, because that is what their financial processes are set up for. The problem comes when a hold is placed on a checking account, as those can be MUCH slower to get released, thus holding your money hostage for a longer period of time.

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Bazer's picture
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yea, but thats when you check into the room, not when you make the reservation.

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bigsiouxwolf's picture
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You can use any accepted card when making your reservation, credit or debit. You will simply be charged for the non-refundable one night deposit out of your checking account.

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Salem Wolf's picture
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At check-in you can have your reservation switched over to another debit/credit card to be charged at check-out time, instead of whatever you used to book the room in advance; the one-night deposit will be on the original, but the balance owed will then be charged to the other card you switched over to.

Did this last year for the Westin.

 

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