One of the main conditions for booking a hotel room is the provision of a valid credit card with funds on it. In some cases, the hotel blocks an amount on the card equal to the cost of staying one night, in some - the amount for all days of stay. But how is the process of unblocking funds going?
Why do hotels block money?
It is not uncommon that when a tourist is booking a room, hotels ask for the details of a valid credit card, the name of the card holder, as well as its expiration date. This card is a guarantee that the tourist has the means to pay for the hotel stay.
Requesting card details may be required at some hotels. Most often these are hotels with a 5 * mark. Travel booking platforms can request this information. Booking.com is a prime example.
Upon receipt of the reservation, the hotel has the right to pre-authorize funds. This means freezing the amount equal to the first night of stay. This is done by the hotel staff through the bank terminal to create a guaranteed reservation. Thus, the hotel receives guarantees that even if the guest does not check in, the penalties will be paid.
How the funds are unblocked if the guest canceled the reservation within the specified timeframe
There are several ways to unlock funds.
The most common is to do nothing. The blocked amount will be restored on average in a month, if the withdrawal is not confirmed. For some Russian banks, this process may be delayed. To speed up the unlocking process, you can directly contact the bank after 30 days. To do this, just call the customer department and remind you that it is time to unblock the funds. After such a call, banks promptly return the frozen amount to use.
Another way to help speed up the defrosting process is to request a written statement from the hotel or travel company after the cancellation of the reservation that the hotel will not claim the blocked amount. It would also be desirable to supplement the statement with the fact that the cancellation was made in accordance with the terms set by the hotel. In this case, the bank should not have any unnecessary questions. And do not be afraid to call with such a request. Hotels and travel companies are quite understanding about this issue.
How to unfreeze money for late cancellation
The hotel room reservation agreement contains a clause on timely cancellation without imposing penalties from the hotel to the client. Usually, you can cancel your reservation without any consequences in low and medium seasons no later than 1 day before arrival, and during peak season - no later than 48 hours before the expected arrival. But if the cancellation occurred later, then the hotel has every right to show the bank, which has frozen the funds on the credit card, the rights to the blocked amount. In this case, it is no longer possible to return the frozen funds. According to the terms of the agreement, in case of non-arrival, the client undertakes to pay an amount equal to the amount of 1 night stay at the hotel.
If the hotel has blocked the full cost of the stay, and the guest has not arrived, then the hotel gets the amount for 1 night, and the rest of the funds are thawed and become available to the cardholder.