Payment Issue

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Jan 28, 2016
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My wife is a business traveler, too busy to write this. Has problem mainly with Hiltons but occasionally other hotels. She reserves with a CC and a hold is place upon arrival. Upon check out, the hold remains along with a credit that takes 5-7 days to drop then the actual billing. How do we avoid the temporary double billing? She needs the available credit in case of other travel emergencies while on the road.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#2
I
My wife is a business traveler, too busy to write this. Has problem mainly with Hiltons but occasionally other hotels. She reserves with a CC and a hold is place upon arrival. Upon check out, the hold remains along with a credit that takes 5-7 days to drop then the actual billing. How do we avoid the temporary double billing? She needs the available credit in case of other travel emergencies while on the road.
I have had this exact scenario to my dismay numerous times. Here is the answer, I am certain. As you know, the charge naturally falls off in several business days. The only way to remove it sooner is, for example with Amex, to have the merchant, the hotel manager usually, give a quick call to its merchant services number. The manager would then tell Amex, for ex, to remove it as the bill was settled, and Amex will remove it immediately. That process would take less than one minute for the merchant to complete. There is no way for the card issuer to remove the charge otherwise unless it sticks around longer than 10 business days.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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One caveat: Hotels are generally unaware of the ease of that process or that the process even exists. Often, the hotel believes it is out of its control to remove the preauthrorization. The hotel is incorrect but educating them about this process and getting them to actually follow through is frustrating and difficult. As it serves the hotel no benefit and the guest has already checked out, it is difficult to motivate them unless one is very persistent. Often it isn't even worth it.

If your wife is traveling for business, her company needs to equip her with a credit card that has sufficient credit available. For every hotel booking, she should should have double the expected cost available on her card. Since this is a business card, her company needs to take care of this.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
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Realitoes

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#4
Depends on the financial institution who issues the credit card. Some will permit the merchant to call and have it dropped, others require a written release (normally in the form a fax). It is hit and miss if you can get the merchant to actually do that. The time it takes for the authorization (hold) to fall off is dictated by your card issuer.
 
Likes: AAGK
Aug 28, 2015
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#5
Sorry for the long reply. There is no actual double billing as the pending charges will never post. The bottom line is, travel is impossible these days with at least double the available credit on your card. I wouldn't risk it otherwise or one could be caught somewhere with no money. It is very frustrating and unfair, but a fact of modern travel.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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Depends on the financial institution who issues the credit card. Some will permit the merchant to call and have it dropped, others require a written release (normally in the form a fax). It is hit and miss if you can get the merchant to actually do that. The time it takes for the authorization (hold) to fall off is dictated by your card issuer.
That is true. My example was Amex bc I know they allow this. I can't be certain about the others. Also, it is not a Hilton issue- all hotels do this.
 
Aug 10, 2013
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#7
Authorizations can be reversed relatively easily. However, it requires access to a system most front line reps don't have access to (they are only allowed to use a GUI and follow "workflows"). Due to the risk of abuse and fraud, it can only be done through an old, 1980s style command based system. This is why the merchant bank needs to be contacted. They have direct access to the people that can reverse it.

As has been pointed out already, many front line business people aren't aware that it's just a quick phone call. If it comes through on the merchant services number, I don't know of any bank that requires a fax, although they do process faxes during extended business hours. The trick is to ask them to call the number on the credit card machine. I had to do this once when I was charged for a 10 night stay plus a hold, and that seemed to do the trick. If you politely ask them to call the number on the credit card machine, that makes it easy. And all merchant banks are very familiar with this and will take care of it right away.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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I did a bit of research, and found another possibility, but it would a hotel-specific solution: you can offer to pay up front for your stay. They can, of course, run your card again if you incur other charges. But this would bypass the "hold" charge.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#13
Never never use a Debit Card !!!
Even my college age kids have 2 credit cards for emergencies. In the event one is compromised and they are far from home, flying to and from college there is a back up means of handling an emergency.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#14
I do a fair bit of traveling. My university has a travel card arrangement situation worked out with a credit card processor that allows us to put hotel rooms and meals on it when we are traveling on official business. Once we receive the bills for a particular trip, we upload all the receipts to an online system, it is approved by the designated approver and the reimbursement is in our deposit account in about 2 business days. We can then go online and pay the card that we charged the trip on.

While there is a limit to the amount you can put on the card, the supervisor of the traveler can call to have it raised if necessary. Additionally, if the traveler does not have sufficient personal credit to get a credit card, the university will back this on, while the bills are still sent to the traveler to pay monthly. Of course, if the traveler doesn't pay the bills, the university has the right to withhold one's paycheck if the account becomes past due and the reimbursement has been processed.

Is there something like this available for your wife? Mom had a card that was similar many years ago, (n>20) when she worked for AT&T, so I know that these have been around a long time.

Some people at my university choose to use the travel cards, but many of us use our personal (points) cards and get the perks back as well. It all depends on one's personal financial situation.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#15
I don't think an AmEx account has a credit limit, so hotel holds don't matter. I've never run up against this in 40 years of using American Express. (And yes, I got my first card when I was 7.) I think JVille's idea of 2 cards is genius and will work for lots of people.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#16
I don't think an AmEx account has a credit limit, so hotel holds don't matter. I've never run up against this in 40 years of using American Express. (And yes, I got my first card when I was 7.) I think JVille's idea of 2 cards is genius and will work for lots of people.
The old AMEXs didn't have limits, but you could not carry a balance. A lot of the newer AMEX cards are credit cards (as opposed to charge cards) and have a limit, let you pay over time, etc
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
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Dec 27, 2014
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#17
Here is another suggestion- if she travels a lot, can't she ask for a corporate credit card for use only when she travels? When I worked and they had be traveling a lot, I had a corporate credit card in my name that I could only use for corporate travel and meals. Has she asked her company for a separate card? That would truly end her issue because if there is only business expenses on it, there should be plenty of credit for those holds.

It really is very unfair if they require her to use her own credit card for business travel.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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I did a bit of research, and found another possibility, but it would a hotel-specific solution: you can offer to pay up front for your stay. They can, of course, run your card again if you incur other charges. But this would bypass the "hold" charge.
The problem is if you hold your reservation against a credit card, the first night cost is used as an authorization hold before you arrive.
When you check out, the real amount is charged (new transaction) to your card and they simply do not bother to cancel the other authorization hold because they know it will drop in 5-7 days.

So even if you settle in CASH, the authorization hold was already placed.

The lousy solution is to use a pre-paid rate since you paid upfront. Then in this case your card is only held for the incidental expenses during the stay.
 
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Likes: VoR61
Jan 28, 2016
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#20
Why is it that rental cars companies can immediately drop holds without a phone call but Hilton cannot? Just happened this weekend. Hilton can't drop it but Avis, Poof gone immediately.
 
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