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How to Get a Hotel Refund: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you planning a trip but worried about the possibility of needing to cancel your hotel reservation? Do you know how to get a refund if you need to cancel?

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to take to get a hotel refund. Whether you’re dealing with a cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances or simply changing your travel plans, we have you covered.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, it is possible to get a hotel refund, but the process can vary depending on the hotel’s cancellation policy and the reason for cancellation. Keep reading for a detailed guide on how to get a hotel refund.

Understand Hotel Cancellation Policies

Before booking a hotel, it is essential to understand their cancellation policies. Knowing the policies can save a lot of time and money in case of changes in travel plans. Below are some important things to keep in mind while understanding hotel cancellation policies:

  • Know the deadline for cancellation: All hotels have a deadline for cancellation, and missing the deadline can result in losing the entire booking amount. It is worth mentioning that the deadline can vary depending on the hotel, so it is crucial to check the cancellation deadline before booking.
  • Be aware of any penalties or fees for cancellation: Some hotels charge a penalty or fee for canceling the reservation, even if it is within the cancellation deadline. The penalty can be a percentage of the booking amount or a fixed amount. Therefore, it is essential to check if there are any penalties or fees before booking.
  • Check if the hotel offers free cancellation or non-refundable reservations: Some hotels offer free cancellation until a certain date, while others have non-refundable reservations, which means that the booking amount will not be refunded in case of cancellation. It is essential to understand the type of reservation before booking.
  • Read the hotel’s cancellation policy carefully: It is crucial to read the hotel’s cancellation policy carefully to avoid any surprises. The policy can usually be found on the hotel’s website or in the booking confirmation email.

Remember that cancellation policies can vary significantly between hotels, so it is crucial to understand them before booking. Keep in mind that some popular hotel chains, such as Marriott and Hilton, have flexible cancellation policies, which can be a great option if travel plans are uncertain.

Contact the Hotel

If you need to get a hotel refund, the first step is to contact the hotel directly. This can be done by calling the hotel’s front desk or reservation line. Keep in mind that you’ll want to be polite and explain your situation clearly so that the hotel staff can understand your request.

During the call, it’s important to ask about the hotel’s refund policy. Some hotels have strict policies that only allow refunds in certain circumstances, while others may be more flexible. It’s worth mentioning that some hotel chains have more lenient refund policies than others, so it may be helpful to do some research beforehand.

To increase your chances of getting a refund, it may be helpful to provide any necessary documentation or proof. For example, if you’re canceling your reservation due to a medical emergency, you may need to provide a doctor’s note. Or, if the hotel room was not as advertised or had maintenance issues, you may want to take photos or videos to show as evidence.

Use Online Travel Agencies

When it comes to getting a hotel refund, using an online travel agency can be a good option. These agencies, such as Expedia,, and Travelocity, can often negotiate with hotels on your behalf and help you get a refund or credit.

To start the process, you should first contact the online travel agency you used to make the reservation. You can usually find their contact information on their website or in your confirmation email. Once you have the contact information, you can reach out to them and explain your situation.

It is worth mentioning that online travel agencies often have their own cancellation policies, which may be different from the hotel’s policy. Before reaching out to the agency, check their website to see what their policy is and what your options are.

When you contact the online travel agency, you can use their online chat or email to request a refund. Be sure to provide any necessary documentation or proof of your cancellation, such as your confirmation email or a doctor’s note. This will help the agency advocate for you and negotiate with the hotel on your behalf.

Keep in mind that the process of getting a hotel refund through an online travel agency can take some time. You may need to be patient and persistent in following up with the agency and the hotel to ensure that your refund is processed.

Dispute the Charge with Your Credit Card Company

One option for getting a hotel refund is to dispute the charge with your credit card company. This can be an effective way to get your money back if you believe you were charged unfairly or if the hotel is not cooperating with your request for a refund.

Before you contact your credit card company, it is worth gathering all documentation related to the reservation and cancellation. This may include emails, receipts, and confirmation numbers. Having this information on hand will make it easier to make your case to the credit card company.

When you are ready to dispute the charge, contact your credit card company and explain the situation. Provide any necessary documentation or proof to support your claim. The credit card company will then begin an investigation into the matter.

It is important to be aware of the credit card company’s dispute process and timeline. Keep in mind that you may need to provide additional information or documentation as the investigation progresses. The credit card company may also request that you attempt to resolve the issue directly with the hotel before continuing with the dispute.

Be Prepared for Resistance

When seeking a hotel refund, it is worth mentioning that some hotels may be resistant to providing one. However, it is important to remain persistent but polite when dealing with hotel staff. Start by calmly explaining the issue and why you believe a refund is warranted. If the hotel staff member you are speaking with is unable to assist you, consider asking to speak to a supervisor who may have more authority to issue a refund.

Unfortunately, some hotels may still be uncooperative even after speaking with a supervisor. In this case, you may want to consider leaving a negative review on popular travel websites, such as TripAdvisor or This can potentially influence the hotel’s reputation and encourage them to take action to resolve the issue.

It is also important to be aware of your rights as a consumer. Review the hotel’s cancellation and refund policies before booking to avoid any surprises. If the hotel is not following their own policies or if you believe they are acting unlawfully, you may want to consider contacting a consumer protection agency or seeking legal advice.


Getting a hotel refund can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, but it is possible if you follow the right steps. Start by understanding the hotel’s cancellation policy, then reach out to the hotel or online travel agency to request a refund. If necessary, dispute the charge with your credit card company. Remember to stay persistent and polite throughout the process, and be aware of your rights as a consumer.

We hope that this comprehensive guide has been helpful to you in understanding how to get a hotel refund. Safe travels!