Monday, July 29, 2013

Tips on Using Debit Card at Hotels

What you need
Extra funds for incidental holds
Bank account statement

Before anything else, make sure that the hotel accepts debit cards because some hotels are no longer accepting debit cards this is due to the customer discontent with fund holds, but many do.

Make sure that you know the hotels credit card policy before reserving a room.  For incidentals like the mini-bar, movies and room service, some hotels place a monetary hold so you better ask for this one in particular.  This can very costly too, it can hold you from $50 a night to over $100 at some luxury hotels, and will be assessed even if the room has been prepaid.  In the case that this happens, a $300 three-night hotel stay may increase up to $450 visit in an instant, with the extra $150 tied up until the bank or hotel releases the charge.   But you can avoid his by not asking or reminding it in the first place.

Always make sure that you still have cash on hand if just in case that the hotel slips a hold onto your account, you'll still be able to buy meals and enjoy the trip until the money is released.  This will always ensure that your trip is low on surprises.  And lastly but still as important like any other matter, it is also a good buffer against potential theft.

Notify the other user if you are using a joint card when you will be using the debit card for travel.  Inform the other user about the exact amount of cash paid at the hotel.  Also inform her about expected day of fund release for any hold assessed--especially if this amount will deplete the account, or leave little money in it.  Because if you won’t do this you might get your transactions declined without warning because sometimes joint account holders often find out the hard way that a mate has used the debit card while traveling.

Keep all your receipts and examine all of them.   Then once the trip is over check your bank statement.   Transaction mistakes are more likely to happen in a checking account than on a charge card.  So if you won’t double check it, an accidental overcharge can be a disaster and potentially lead to overdraft charges, bounced checks or insufficient-funds charges.  Because resolving it will take a while and you don’t want that so better read your receipts carefully before leaving your hotel.

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