People who frequently stay in a hotel for business or travel purposes know that hotels usually charge you once you check out. However, some people pay upfront to lessen the hassle of waiting in line during checkout. Prepaid booking also lets you spread your travel costs over long periods rather than spending all at once.
While either process can be good, both are at risk of getting chargebacks or credit card disputes in your card. Sometimes, a hotel charge might not appear in your records. If you encounter one in your recent stay, read on to learn everything about hotel charges. (Read Can You Dip On A Plane)
Common Hotel Fees Charged in Your Card
Checking in at a hotel usually requires guests to give their credit card numbers for security purposes. However, most people, especially those staying for the first time, are only aware of other fees hotels charge once they see their credit card bill. Here are some of the extra charges that might pop up on your bill that you should know:
Depending on the activity or service you will avail, hotels often charge extra for these. This usually includes fees for gyms, business centers, pools, and other amenities the hotel offers.
Yes, checking in early might incur some fees if the hotel has a policy about it. At times, hotels only allow early check-in for exclusive members. But typically, most hotels allow early check-in as long as your booked room doesn’t have a guest checked in prior.
Mini-bar and snacks
Most hotel guests already know of this, but you might not know how taking out an item can already charge you. Some hotels are very strict regarding their snacks and mini bar policy that they automatically charge you once the sensor detects it.
It’s essential to be clear with the hotel how much an additional person may cost for every hotel room. Hotels charge differently for kids and adults, so asking about the room rate prior will save you from shockingly high fees.
Hotels usually charge extra not just for the additional person but also for pets that you’ll be bringing with you. If it’s not a pet-friendly property, prepare at least $50 to $150 per night for pet fees.
Parking might range from $25 to $35 a day, so it’s best to ask for parking rates before you check in to ensure they will charge the right amount to your card. You can also search for parking garages beforehand to save on high parking fees.
Possible Reasons Why the Hotel Didn’t Charge You
It’s more common to encounter overcharges once you stay in a hotel, but there are times that they might also fail to charge your card. These could be the possible reasons why your latest hotel stay did not appear in your billing:
Hotel’s Failure on Their Part
Sometimes, the receptionist makes mistakes when updating their records about your stay. However, note that it doesn’t mean you will never be charged; they usually find out about the oversight days, weeks, or even months later and charge you once they notice the error in their expense report.
While a hotel room charge is immediately posted once you check out, there are times that it will only appear after a few days. Depending on your credit card company, this may take at least two to three days. If you also requested a pre-authorization on your card, this can also cause charge delays, especially if there are pending room services or damages that require a penalty.
Mistake in the Billing
A mistake in the hotel bill usually happens when the hotel puts the wrong name in your billing that does not match your credit or debit card records. Inputting the wrong amount in your final billing can also cause mismatched data that may result to the final bill not appearing in your account.
What Happens If You Didn’t Pay The Hotel
When it’s the hotel’s failure on their part that they didn’t charge you for your stay, there are necessary actions that they can do. They usually reach out to you once they have seen discrepancies in their expense reports and inform you that they will charge you for the pending charge.
However, it’s different when the hotel learns that you intentionally didn’t pay. This can cause more significant problems involving the police since it can be considered theft. This especially applies to people who continuously stay at a hotel and consume services while knowing they can’t afford the rates. (Learn How Far Is Seoul From North Korea Border)
How Long Can a Hotel Charge You
When you’re still within the hotel premises, the hotel can charge you anytime as long as you continue to avail of their amenities and services.
However, when you’ve already checked out, it will depend on the hotel where you’ve stayed and how long they will hold your account. Most of the time, the hotel will lift your account within 24 hours after you check out, but it might take up to a week before the charges disappear entirely.
What To Do When a Hotel Didn’t Charge You
You might think it’s a good thing to get a free hotel charge, but it can later cause you more trouble. If a hotel failed to charge you, here are some things you can do:
Call The Front Desk Right Away
You must call the hotel’s attention immediately when you notice that your stay didn’t appear on your credit card statement. This will ensure that your hotel charge will immediately be posted rather than later, which might cause even more inconvenience on your part.
Contact Your Credit Card Company
Whether it’s an overcharge or did not appear on your statement, it’s always recommended to check with them to ensure that there will be no unnecessary fees in the future that might be charged to your card.
Frequently Asked Questions
The hotel hasn’t charged me yet. When will the charge reflect?
Charges may reflect for up to two to three business days once you’ve checked out, depending on the hotel.
Will the hotel charge me while I stay or after checkout?
Most hotels already charge your card even while you’re still checked in. You will only see how much you have incurred on your final bill once you check out.
There is a pending charge that disappeared. What should I do?
Pending transactions appear when the hotel still needs to fully process your payment. This happens when your payment isn’t going to their account for various reasons, such as errors or funds not being accepted. If a pending charge disappeared, it would appear again after days depending on the hotel or your bank.
Can I pay in cash instead?
Yes, hotels accept cash payments but take note that they will still require a credit card to hold the room. They may also need a security deposit equal to one night as a form of reservation. Make sure you also bring enough or even more to cover all the expenses apart from the room rate to avoid encountering problems once you check out.
The hotel put my credit card on hold. Should I be concerned?
No, this isn’t a concern. Hotels usually put a card on hold to use these funds to cover incidentals that can happen during your stay. This may vary from room service to amenities to laundry. Once they’ve placed your card on hold, the hotel cannot use the money until the hotel releases it or once you’ve paid your final bill.
The hotel never charged me. What should I do?
If the hotel never charged you, you most likely paid in cash, or there are no problems with your credit card. This means your payment or funds in your card are enough to cover all costs that they didn’t need to incur other expenses to charge you. (Read Size 22 Will I Need A Seatbelt Extender)
How long can I stay in the hotel without paying?
If you refuse to pay for your stay without paying, the hotel can give you a written contract to demand full payment. You should settle this within 14 days and pay all the charges in your account. If you fail to do so, the hotel has all the right to evict you from the premises.
Just because a hotel forgets to charge you doesn’t mean it’s free! This may vary for different reasons, and it’s essential to reach out to avoid unnecessary hassle and fees immediately. The next time you encounter this on your travel or business stay, keep in touch with the hotel staff to ensure a smooth and optimum stay from check-in to check-out.