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With the rise of credit cards and digital payments, you may wonder whether hotels still accept cash payments for room bookings.

The short answer is some do, but policies are changing.

In this article, we’ll look at which types of hotels are most likely to accept cash, key factors that determine cash acceptance policies, and tips for paying with cash when you check in.

Overview of Hotel Cash Payment Policies

Paying cash at hotel

When paying for your hotel stay, you may wonder if hotels accept cash as a form of payment. While most hotels accept credit cards, it is important to note that not all hotels accept cash.

Understanding the policies surrounding cash payments can help you plan your trip and avoid surprises at check-in.

How Many Hotels Accept Cash?

The number of hotels that accept cash as a form of payment can vary depending on various factors, such as location, hotel chain, and individual hotel policies. Most hotels prefer credit card payments as they offer a more convenient and secure payment method.

However, some hotels still accept cash, especially smaller independent hotels or budget accommodations.

It’s worth noting that even if a hotel accepts cash, they may still require a credit card or a cash deposit for incidentals such as room service or damages. This is to ensure that they have a form of payment on file in case of any additional charges during your stay.

Key Factors That Determine Cash Acceptance

There are several key factors that determine whether a hotel accepts cash as a form of payment:

  1. Hotel Chain Policies: Some hotel chains have a strict policy of only accepting credit card payments across all their properties. This is done to streamline their payment processes and minimize the risk of fraud or non-payment.
  2. Location: Hotels in popular tourist destinations or business hubs may be more likely to accept cash due to the diverse range of guests they attract. On the other hand, hotels in remote areas or luxury resorts may have stricter policies and only accept credit cards.
  3. Security Concerns: Cash payments can be more susceptible to theft or loss, so many hotels prefer credit cards for a more secure transaction. However, hotels with robust security measures may still accept cash if proper identification is provided.

To avoid any issues or inconveniences, checking the payment policies of the hotel you plan to stay at is always recommended before making a reservation.

Their website or a quick phone call to the front desk can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding their cash acceptance policies.

Remember, even if a hotel does accept cash, it’s always a good idea to have a backup credit card or alternative payment method available, just in case.

Types of Hotels Most Likely to Accept Cash

Smaller Independent Hotels

Entrance to a small city hotel

When accepting cash payments, smaller independent hotels tend to be more flexible than their larger counterparts. These hotels often have a more personalized approach to customer service and are more willing to accommodate various payment methods.

Cash payments may be preferred by some independent hotels as it eliminates the need for credit card processing fees, allowing them to pass on the savings to their guests.

Budget Hotels

Budget hotels, known for their affordability and value for money, are more likely to accept cash payments. These hotels cater to budget-conscious travelers who may not have a credit card or prefer to pay in cash.

Accepting cash allows budget hotels to attract a wider range of guests and provide a convenient payment option for those who prefer not to use credit cards.

International Hotels

Many international hotels, especially those in countries with less prevalent credit card usage, are more likely to accept cash payments. These hotels understand the importance of catering to the preferences and needs of their diverse clientele.

Cash payments provide a familiar and convenient payment method for guests who may not have access to credit cards or prefer not to use them while traveling.

It’s important to note that while these types of hotels are more likely to accept cash payments, it’s always best to check with the specific hotel in advance to ensure that they do indeed accept cash. Some hotels may have specific policies or restrictions in place regarding cash payments.

For more information on cash payment policies of hotels, you can visit or

Tips for Paying Cash at Hotels

Call Ahead to Confirm

If you prefer to pay for your hotel stay in cash, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and confirm whether the hotel accepts cash payments. While many hotels accept cash, some may have specific policies or restrictions.

By calling ahead, you can avoid any surprises or inconveniences upon arrival. Additionally, you can inquire about any additional requirements or procedures necessary when paying in cash.

Have Exact Change Ready

When paying for your hotel stay in cash, it’s important to have the exact change ready. This ensures a smooth and efficient transaction at the front desk. It’s also a good idea to keep small bills and coins on hand in case the hotel does not have change available.

By having the exact amount, you can avoid unnecessary delays or misunderstandings.

Ask About Deposits

Some hotels may require a deposit when paying in cash, especially if you don’t have a credit card. This deposit is typically refunded upon check-out as long as there are no outstanding charges or damages.

It’s important to inquire about deposit requirements beforehand to plan accordingly and avoid unexpected expenses.

Remember, paying in cash at hotels may have certain limitations or conditions, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared and informed. Following these tips and staying in communication with the hotel can ensure a hassle-free experience when paying for your stay in cash.

Also Read:
Understanding Hotel Deposits: What They Are and How They Work for Guests
Are Hotel Deposits Refundable? A Comprehensive Guide For Travelers
Do Hotels Return The Deposit As Soon As You Check Out?
How Much is a Hotel Deposit? A Guide to Understanding Hotel Deposits

Alternatives If Cash Isn’t Accepted

While many hotels accept cash payments, there are instances where this might not be the case. If you find yourself in a situation where cash is not accepted, there are several alternatives that you can consider.

Payment Apps

Using mobile payment app

One popular alternative to cash payments is the use of payment apps. These apps, such as PayPal, Venmo, or Apple Pay, allow you to make payments directly from your mobile device.

They offer convenience and security, as you can link your bank account or credit card to the app and make seamless transactions.

Additionally, payment apps often offer features like splitting bills with friends or family, making them ideal for group travel.

Prepaid Gift Cards

Another option to consider is using prepaid gift cards. These cards are available from various retailers and can be loaded with a specific amount of money. You can then use them at hotels or other establishments accepting card payments.

Prepaid gift cards are a convenient option, especially if you don’t have a bank account or credit card.

Also Read:
Can Hotels Accept Prepaid Cards? A Comprehensive Guide
How To Check The Balance On Hotels.Com Gift Card?
How To Use Your Hotels.Com Gift Card: A Comprehensive Guide
Can You Book A Hotel With A Visa Gift Card?

Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks are a secure and widely accepted form of payment for travelers. They can be purchased from banks or currency exchange offices and are available in different currencies.

Traveler’s checks work like a prepaid check that you can use to pay for services, including hotel accommodations.

They often come with added security features, such as a signature line and a unique serial number, making them a reliable option for those who prefer not to carry large amounts of cash.

It’s important to note that the acceptance of these alternative payment methods may vary depending on the hotel or establishment. It’s always a good idea to check with the hotel beforehand to ensure they accept the payment you intend to use.


While fewer hotels accept cash payments today, you can still find many that do, especially independent and budget hotels.

With some advance planning and flexible payment alternatives, cash-preferring travelers can still book comfortable hotel stays.

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