The adventure of traveling during holidays or vacations is something many Americans look forward to. Such is the time to see the world, experience wonders of nature, new cultures, and climates. It’s why many people decide to drastically cut expenses so that they can save money for their dream vacation.
When you’re away for a road trip, holiday, or vacation, you’ll most likely be staying in a hotel room. The fact that many hotels require a pre-authorized credit card to book a room can be difficult for some Americans. It’s problematic if you are among the s who don’t have a credit card or the that don’t have a bank account.
You need to know how to book a hotel without a credit card if you are going card-less to curb your spending habits, living frugally with a cash envelope, or don’t have a credit card for another reason.
The key challenge is how to book a hotel room without using a credit card.?
Short Answer: While you won’t find a hotel that doesn’t require a credit card near you, there are legitimate and legal ways to reserve a hotel room without one. Choosing local, non-chain hotels, requesting a room courtesy hold, and looking for places that accept cash are all viable possibilities.
You can also book a hotel using a protected credit card, debit card, or travel sites that take PayPal instead of a regular credit card. If none of these options work for you, consider calling the hotel directly to make a direct deposit reservation.
How to reserve a hotel without a credit card is well explained.
- Fast Checkouts
- Why Do Hotels Need a Credit Card to Book a Room?
- Book a Hotel Without a Credit Card Infographic
- 7 Ways To Book a Hotel or Motel Without a Credit Card?
- Can You Book a Hotel Room With a Visa Gift Card?
- Can You Use Someone Else’s Credit Card as Security?
- Does Your Credit Card Get Charged When You Book a Hotel?
- How To Book Hotel Without Credit Card Summary
- Additional Considerations When Paying For a Hotel Room
A busy day at the hotel should not be unexpected, particularly during meetings or vacations. It can be overwhelming for even the most composed of minds, with long lines at the front desks and slow payment systems.
Your credit card information in the hotel system makes it easier for the desk staff to check you in and out swiftly. Such speedy checkouts are extremely convenient for customers and make your hotel stay as pleasant as possible.
It not only saves time, but it also assists you if you have a train or airline to catch and are in a hurry.
Why Do Hotels Need a Credit Card to Book a Room?
Almost all hotels accept credit cards as a form of payment. Even if you are able to book a room without a credit card, checking in without one will be difficult. Before you receive the room keys, you may be required to pay a substantial deposit fee.
The following are some of the reasons why hotels require a credit card to book a room:
One of the reasons that booking a hotel without a credit card is difficult is that hotels want to ensure that they have a way to protect their payments right away. For example, you might stay in a hotel room for five days but discover that you don’t have enough cash or a debit card. If the hotel has your credit card information on file, they can charge your card and collect payment.
Apart from receiving payment for the main bill, hotels want to ensure that they are insured in the event that something goes wrong. For example, if a guest cancels at the last minute, destroys any property during their stay, or owes food bills, such fines might be immediately charged to their credit card.
Combat Employee Theft
Hotel rooms aren’t cheap. According to , the average daily rate for a hotel room in the US was over $125 per night. Accepting cash transactions means that cash will accumulate quickly. It opens a loophole for employees to be tempted to steal. Most hotels accept credit cards only to reduce employee theft or accidental mishandling of funds.
If burglars learn that a hotel is transporting large sums of money, they will break in and seize the cash. Most hotels prefer credit card payments to limit the amount of cash on hand at any given moment, making them less exposed to outsider theft. It also protects employees by avoiding keeping big sums of money on hand.
Fewer Trips To The Bank
Hotel rooms are expensive, as we’ve seen, and even a few dozen bookings each day can quickly add up. Employees must go to the bank on a regular basis to make deposits. It’s both unsafe and costly.
Book a Hotel Without a Credit Card Infographic
7 Ways To Book a Hotel or Motel Without a Credit Card?
Is a credit card required at all hotels? At many hotels, credit cards are the only means of payment accepted. As a result, booking a stay without a credit card can be challenging.
What do you do if you’ve chosen to pay cash for everything? It’s one of our Tips for living on a budget that make a significant difference to limit your spending habits, avoid impulse buying, and save money?
Every problem, after all, has a solution. Even if there aren’t many hotels in my area that don’t require a credit card, there is a method around it. Here’s how to reserve a cheap hotel near me without using a credit card:
1. Call Independent Hotels
Acceptable payment methods are strictly enforced by large national hotel chains. To reserve a room online or during check-in, many of them will require a credit card. After your stay, hotels may take debit, prepaid cards, personal checks, cash, or money orders as final payment methods, but a credit card is still required. Without a credit card or a large cash deposit, you won’t be able to book a room at the hotels.
So who says you have to stay at a big, pricey hotel chain? As a result, our primary goal is to book non-chain, boutique, and independent hotels.
There are a lot of tiny hotels that aren’t part of the big chains and are instead run by families. Small hotels, unlike large hotels, may have more flexible booking policies. If you call beforehand, they might be prepared to book a room for you without requiring a credit card.
It’s one of their tactics for keeping up with their larger competition. Because your money is the primary source of income, independent hotels bend the rules to win your business.
Little hotels have also evolved into hidden jewels. Because of their simplicity, they should not be overlooked.
2. Ask For A Room Courtesy Hold
Another way to book a hotel room without a credit card or any payment method is to ask for a room courtesy hold. When a hotel grants you a “courtesy hold,” the need to have a credit card or pay a deposit at the time of booking is waived; the room is held for a limited amount of time until you arrive. Upon arrival, you pay with one of the approved payment methods such as credit or debit card, cash, or check.
Nevertheless, before you get too enthusiastic, keep in mind that courtesy holds are becoming increasingly unusual these days. It’s probable that it’ll only be available to loyal and frequent consumers. It’s never a bad idea to inquire!
3. Use Your Debit Card
Do you own a debit card with the Visa or MasterCard logo on it? You can then reserve a hotel without using a credit card. Debit cards are accepted at the majority of motels and hotels. It’s because most reservation systems treat debit card numbers the same way they treat credit card numbers, allowing you to complete the booking procedure without issue.
You can also process debit as credit. You can use your debit card without a pin if you don’t have one., just like you would a normal credit card. Ensure that you have sufficient funds in your checking account when booking and let the hotel representative know that you are using a debit card to reserve the room.
Most reservation systems, however, will not accept Maestro or VPay debit cards.
4. Get a Secure Credit Card
Bad or no credit history is the #1 reason why nearly don’t have credit cards. There’s a way out: consider getting a secured credit card.
What is the difference between a secured credit card and a regular credit card?
It’s a particular credit card that requires you to pay a refundable deposit equivalent to your credit limit to the card issuer. It’s very common among folks with bad or no credit. Your monthly bill is secured by the deposit. If you don’t pay, the bank might take the money right out of your account.
Obtaining a secured credit card is an ideal technique for booking a hotel without a credit card if you have a terrible or no credit history. A secured credit card functions similarly to a standard credit card, with the exception of the deposit. The difference between a secured credit card payment and a regular credit card payment will never be noticed by the hotel.
Secured credit cards help you build a good credit score in addition to hotel reservations without a credit card. Financial companies may eventually consider you as a favorable risk because the payments are reported to the credit bureau, which helps you develop credit.
5. Find Hotels That Take Cash
Luckily, there are still some Cash-accepting hotels, but with restrictions. Unlike large hotel chains, calling small “mom and pop” hotels and motels to reserve a room may work for you.
A better method is to make a cash deposit in person that covers multiple days of your stay. In addition, pay a deposit to cover any incidental charges, such as minibar charges, room service, damages, pay-per-view movies, and so on.
To save some money on room service, see our guide on Using cash to pay for meal delivery.
What are the dangers of paying in cash at a hotel?
- Increased risk of loss or theft: Roaming around with a large amount of cash makes your hard-earned money more susceptible to loss or theft. If any of these happens, your trip can turn into a nightmare of difficulties. You better deposit that cash in your checking account and consider using a Chip-enabled debit/credit card to reverse a hotel room.
- Unfavorable hotel’s refund policy: Scrutinize a hotel’s refund policy before you make a considerable cash deposit. If something happens and you want your cash back, you might be hit with surprise fees. Some hotels may make it difficult to get your cash back and require you to spend it all vs. a refund. But if you use a credit card, you can easily initiate a chargeback.
6. Use Travel Sites That Accept PayPal
PayPal is a mainstay of online payment methods. The platform processes over in 2020! Some of the transactions are people booking hotels for holidays and vacations. You can do it, too.
Here is the catch: Not so many hotels accept PayPal as a direct form of payment, but you can book the same hotels online via booking sites like , , and that allow you to check out using PayPal.
If you are wondering how to book a hotel without a credit card online, PayPal is your remedy. Even if you have a credit card, giving your card details to every site is a major online security risk. When you link your cards to PayPal, you can book hotels securely on travel sites without ever having to give out your bank details. Just and link it to your checking account.
What Travel Sites Accept PayPal?
Visit any of the following travel sites that accept PayPal to book a hotel without a credit card once you’ve created your PayPal account and linked your cards.
- Southwest Airlines
7. Contact The Hotel
Another option is to contact ahead and explain your position to identify hotels that accept credit cards. Numerous cash-accepting hotels are willing to be flexible and hold a room for you if you pay by direct deposit or another method of payment upon check-in. If you pay an early deposit, small motels may be even more hospitable and more inclined to welcome you without a credit card.
Make contact with the hotel you want to stay at and explain your payment choices. Indicate whether you are ready to pay a direct deposit in advance to reserve a room without using a credit card. You’ll be astonished at how accommodating and accommodating certain businesses may be in order to gain your business.
Can You Book a Hotel Room With a Visa Gift Card?
Unfortunately, you can’t book a hotel room with a Visa Gift Card, American Express gift card that has been activated, personal check, cash, money order, or prepaid cards at most hotels. The obvious reason is that Visa Gift Cards and other forms of prepaid cards aren’t registered in anyone’s name.
That means hotels have no way of matching your personal details to the payment method because anyone can purchase gift cards. It’s also hard to know if the card has enough money to cover the hotel bill and all the other charges incurred during your stay.
You can reserve a hotel room without a credit card by using a credit card or any of the options described above. After you’ve reserved a room, you can pay with a Visa Gift Card, prepaid card, debit card, or cash at check-in or checkout.
Can You Use Someone Else’s Credit Card as Security?
When booking a hotel without a credit card, hotels will occasionally enable you to use someone else’s credit card as security. This should only be utilized as a last resort if your preferred hotel refuses to take a debit card or cash deposit as security. You can also use this method if the balance on your debit or credit card is insufficient to cover the hold.
In such cases, certain hotels may allow you to use a credit card as security from a spouse, friend, or family member. Once you’ve completed the paperwork, the hotel will allow you reserve a room using someone else’s credit card.
They may accept someone else’s credit card as security, but they won’t accept a check from a third party.
Does Your Credit Card Get Charged When You Book a Hotel?
Although most hotels ask you to make reservations with a pre-authorized credit card, your card will not be charged until check-in or checkout. The card is simply needed to guarantee payment and security for any incidental costs that may arise during your stay.
Your bill doesn’t even have to be charged on your credit card. You can pay with a different payment method accepted at the hotel like cash, debit card, check, or prepaid gift cards. For instance, most only require a valid credit card number to hold the room, but your card will only be charged at check-in.
Several prominent hotel chains have different regulations for booking and check-in. The billing regulations of the specific hotel will determine when your card will be charged. For example, Hyatt hotels offer a variety of properties, each with its own set of policies.
But when you book a reservation through online travel sites, your card gets charged immediately at the time of booking. For instance, third-party websites like or HotelGuides.com may require you to pay in full at the time of reservation. It also applies to discounted room rates whose payments are non-refundable.
How To Book Hotel Without Credit Card Summary
The majority of hotels accept credit cards as a form of payment. Although a credit card is normally necessary to book a hotel accommodation, there are few exceptions. Unbanked or cash-only people wouldn’t be able to travel if there wasn’t a means.
Remember to bring a pre-authorized credit card, debit card, or a government-issued photo ID after you’ve successfully booked your hotel via online travel sites likeExpedia or found an independent motel chain. The front desk will use your ID to verify you’re not trying to take advantage of a stolen credit card. It will help make check-in much easier.
Additional Considerations When Paying For a Hotel Room
Hotel stays are a typical event for the modern person, whether on a family holiday or a self-care excursion. Spending time with yourself or your family is intended to be enjoyable and cost-effective.
If you’re not careful, you’ll find a slew of surprises in your receipts, ranging from hidden fees to incidental deposits to complicated cancellation conditions.
Here are a few things to think about before paying your bill:
Ask About Hotel Reservation Policies
It is not advisable to go on vacation without making a hotel reservation. When booking a hotel, it’s a good idea to examine the hotel’s reservation regulations. Hotel reservations are divided into two categories: guaranteed reservations and confirmed reservations.
The desk staff will ask for your credit card number to complete a stay payment for at least one night for assured reservations. Regardless of late check-ins, this reservation will hold your room. Your credit card will be charged for the unused room if you miss your check-in.
In the case of confirmed reservations, however, providing your credit card number is optional because the hotel pledges to keep a room for you for a set period of time. The caveat is that if you do not check in within the specified time frame, you will not be charged, but the hotel will also not keep your room. Simply put, you may find yourself without a room.
It’s critical to pick the best package for your vacation. The best way to go is to call several hotels in and around your location and ask essential questions about the acceptable payment options.
This way, you won’t have to pay for anything you don’t need. If you are adamant about not using credit cards for payment, make sure you inform the hotel and request other payment methods. Likewise, it isn’t a bad idea to inquire as to what they are doing with your information.
The world now runs on technology, and internet payments are unquestionably one of life’s greatest gifts. That may appear convenient, but if you aren’t careful with your online purchases, it might cost you a lot of money.
If the hotel you’ve chosen has a credit card-only policy, make sure to inquire about the hotel’s security precautions for handling your credit card information.