When should a hotel charge you for your booking?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  NTarrant 20 Sep 2016
at 15:39

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  • BugAdvisor

    Many hotel groups offer both flexible and non-refundable rates. With a flexible rate, you wouldn’t expect to be charged until you completed your stay – or pay nothing if you cancelled before. But how about a non-refundable rate that shows the equivalent in your local currency at the time of booking?

    With Brexit on the horizon, I made a few bookings in May and early June for stays in Oct/Nov; one for four nights at the Accor Mercure Tokyo and one for three nights at the Sydney Hilton. Neither took any payment from my card.

    Brexit came, British Pound fell. Accor charged my card 23rd July. Hilton charged my card 12th September.

    The result was that I was charged £50 more for the Accor booking than when I made it and £68 more for the Hilton.

    After a series of emails, the Mercure Tokyo agreed to refund my card £50. I’ve just written to Hilton and I wonder what they will say?

    I would probably have been okay if the charge was made on departure from the hotel – I’d still lose on the exchange rate but at least I would have had several months free credit. But I’m not so happy about these random dates.


    It is not acceptable to be charged if they were flexible pay on check out rates. You take the risk (or benefit) of any exchange rate variances between booking and paying on check out. Hotel still takes the same amount in local currency regardless. I’d ask for the rooms to be cancelled – even see if you can rebook on a lower rate!


    They were non-refundable pay in advance rates.


    Ah OK (misread that bit). Usually they should charge nonrefundable rates straight away which is my normal experience with all the bookings I do. Failing that and they don’t charge straight away – they shouldn’t charge until you get to hotel check in. It is not reasonable in cash management to charge at an arbitrary point between booking and a hotel stay without any warning.


    I have just had an issue with the Mercure Haydock, where I had booked a room in the middle of June. When I checked in the guy asks if I wanted to preauthorise for any extras as the room rate had been paid. On check out the girl said that she didn’t know why he had told me it was paid when it wasn’t! What is the point of having a non refundable pay on booking rate if the money is not taken?

    Another issue with the Holiday Inn Grand Boulevards Paris, booked non refundable rate. A week later they decide to take the money from my card five minutes after I withdraw cash from a machine in Sri Lanka! Result card gets blocked by the bank. Holiday Inn email me, thankfully very polite in which I explained the problem and they apologised for not taking the money earlier!

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