Staying at a hotel can be a relaxing getaway, but you may be surprised to see an additional pending charge on your bill after checkout. If you’ve ever wondered why hotels place holds on your credit card and how much they typically charge, you’ve come to the right place.

In short, hotels will put a hold on your card, usually $50-200, to cover any incidental expenses during your stay like room service, minibar purchases, movies, or damages. Read on as we dive into the specifics of these credit card holds, from average amounts to release times and more.

What Are Incidental Holds?

When you check into a hotel, you may notice that the front desk asks for a credit card to hold for incidentals. But what exactly are incidental holds? Incidental holds are temporary authorizations placed on your credit card to cover any additional charges or expenses that may occur during your stay at the hotel.

Definition of incidentals

Incidentals refer to any extra charges you may incur during your hotel stay that are not included in the room rate. These charges can vary depending on the hotel, but they often include expenses such as room service, minibar purchases, spa treatments, parking fees, and Wi-Fi access.

Common incidental expenses

Here are some common incidental expenses that hotels may charge for:

  • Room service: Ordering food or beverages to your room.
  • Minibar: Consuming snacks or drinks from the minibar in your room.
  • Phone calls: Making long-distance or international calls from your hotel room.
  • Spa services: Enjoying massages, facials, or other treatments at the hotel’s spa.
  • Parking fees: Using the hotel’s parking facilities.
  • Wi-Fi access: Connecting to the hotel’s internet network.

Why hotels charge for incidentals

Hotels charge for incidentals to ensure that they are not left with unpaid expenses or damages caused by guests. By placing a hold on your credit card, the hotel can cover any additional costs that may arise during your stay.

It also provides a level of security for the hotel, as it guarantees payment for any incidentals before you check out.

It’s important to note that the incidental hold is not an actual charge, but rather a temporary hold on your available credit. The amount held can vary depending on the hotel’s policy and the length of your stay.

Typically, the hold is released within a few days after you check out, once the hotel has confirmed that there are no additional charges.

If you have any concerns about incidental holds or want to know the specific policies of a particular hotel, it’s always a good idea to contact the hotel directly or check their website for more information.

Average Amounts Held by Hotels

When you check into a hotel, it’s common for them to place a hold on your credit card for incidentals. This is done to ensure that any additional charges, such as room service or damage to the room, can be covered.

The amount that hotels hold can vary depending on the type of hotel you are staying in.

$50 for budget hotels

For budget hotels, the average amount held on your credit card for incidentals is typically around $50. These types of hotels usually offer basic amenities and services, so the potential for additional charges is lower.

This amount is usually enough to cover any minor expenses that may arise during your stay.

$100 for mid-range hotels

Mid-range hotels, which offer a higher level of comfort and amenities, tend to hold a slightly higher amount on your credit card. On average, you can expect a hold of around $100. This allows for a wider range of potential charges, such as room upgrades or dining at the hotel’s restaurant.

$200+ for luxury hotels

When it comes to luxury hotels, the amount held on your credit card for incidentals can be significantly higher. Luxury hotels often offer a wide range of services and amenities, which can result in more potential charges. It is not uncommon for these hotels to hold $200 or more on your credit card.

This ensures that you have enough funds available to cover any additional expenses that may arise during your stay.

It’s important to note that the amount held on your credit card for incidentals is not the same as the cost of your stay. It is simply a temporary hold placed on your card during your stay, and any unused funds will be released back to you after check-out.

If you want to know the specific amount that a particular hotel holds for incidentals, it is always best to check with the hotel directly. Policies can vary, and some hotels may have different requirements depending on the length of your stay or the type of room you have booked.

For more information on hotel policies and credit card holds, you can visit the Hotels.com website. They provide helpful resources and tips for travelers to ensure a smooth and hassle-free hotel experience.

When Will the Hold Be Released?

When you check into a hotel, it is common for them to place a hold on your credit card for incidentals. This is done to ensure that you have enough funds to cover any additional charges that may occur during your stay.

The amount of the hold can vary depending on the hotel’s policies and the length of your stay. But when exactly will this hold be released?

After checkout

Once you have checked out of the hotel, the hold on your credit card should be released. This means that the funds that were put on hold will become available for your use again. However, it is important to note that it may take some time for the hold to be released and for the funds to be returned to your account.

Pending for a few days

After you check out, the hold on your credit card may still show as pending for a few days. This is a common practice in the hotel industry and is done to ensure that any additional charges that may have been missed during the initial checkout process are still covered.

During this time, the funds are still technically on hold, but they should become available again after a few days.

Time varies by hotel

The exact time it takes for the hold to be released can vary depending on the hotel. Some hotels may release the hold within 24 hours, while others may take up to a week. It is always a good idea to check with the hotel directly to get an accurate estimate of when the hold will be released.

It is important to keep in mind that while the hold may be released, it can still take a few more days for the funds to actually be returned to your account. This is because the processing time of the credit card company may vary.

Policies at Major Hotel Chains

Marriott

Marriott Hotels has a standard policy for holding a certain amount on your credit card for incidentals. The specific amount can vary depending on the location and type of room you have booked. On average, Marriott holds a range from $50 to $100 per night.

This amount covers any additional charges you may incur during your stay, such as room service or minibar expenses. It’s important to note that the hold is released upon checkout, and the actual charges are deducted from the hold amount.

Hilton

Hilton hotels also have a policy in place for holding funds on your credit card for incidentals. The amount held by Hilton is typically $50 to $100 per night, similar to Marriott. This amount is held to cover any extra charges you may accrue during your stay.

It’s worth mentioning that Hilton allows guests to use a debit card for the incidental hold, but it’s recommended to use a credit card as it can take longer for the hold to be released from a debit card.

Hyatt

Hyatt hotels follow a similar policy when it comes to holding funds for incidentals. The amount held by Hyatt varies depending on the location and the type of room you have booked. On average, Hyatt holds around $100 per night.

This amount is authorized on your credit card to cover any additional expenses you may have during your stay. Hyatt also allows guests to use a debit card for the incidental hold, but it’s important to keep in mind that the hold may take longer to be released from a debit card.

It is always a good idea to check with the specific hotel you are planning to stay at for their exact incidental hold policy. These policies are subject to change and may vary between different locations and types of rooms.

By being aware of these policies in advance, you can ensure that you have enough funds available on your credit card to cover any incidentals during your stay.

Avoiding Large Holds

When staying at a hotel, it is common for the establishment to place a hold on your credit card for incidentals. This is to ensure that any additional charges, such as room service or minibar expenses, can be covered.

However, these holds can sometimes be quite large and tie up a significant amount of your available credit. If you want to avoid this inconvenience, here are a few strategies you can try:

1. Pay with a debit card

If you’re concerned about a hotel hold on your credit card, consider using a debit card instead. When you pay with a debit card, the hotel may still place a hold, but it will be on the available funds in your checking account, rather than your credit limit.

This means that you won’t have to worry about the hold affecting your credit utilization or tying up your credit.

2. Pay the full stay upfront

Another option to avoid large holds is to pay for your hotel stay in full upfront. By doing so, the hotel may not need to place a hold on your credit card at all. This can be especially beneficial if you have a limited credit limit or if you prefer to have more control over your available credit.

3. Contact the hotel ahead of time

If you’re concerned about the amount that may be held on your credit card, it’s a good idea to contact the hotel ahead of time. You can inquire about their incidental hold policy and ask if there are any alternatives or adjustments that can be made.

Some hotels may be willing to work with you to reduce the hold amount or find a solution that suits your needs.

It’s important to note that hotel hold policies may vary, so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific terms and conditions of the hotel you plan to stay at. Additionally, keep in mind that even if a hold is placed on your credit card, it is temporary and will be released once you check out and settle your final bill.

For more information on hotel hold policies and how to avoid large holds, you can visit websites like NerdWallet or CreditCards.com which provide valuable insights and tips on managing your credit card transactions while traveling.

Conclusion

We hope this overview gave you clarity on why you may see additional pending charges from hotels. While incidental holds are standard practice, being aware of approximate charges and release times can help avoid surprises. The hold amount will depend on the hotel’s policies, but is generally $50-200.

Just know the hold will be removed after you check out, once the hotel confirms no incidental expenses were incurred. Enjoy your upcoming hotel stays knowing these pending charges are simply precautionary measures that protect both the hotel and guests.

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