Are you tired of losing money on non-refundable hotel bookings? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many travelers face this problem, but luckily, there are ways to get your money back.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, you can get your money back from a non-refundable hotel booking, but it depends on the circumstances. In this article, we’ll show you how to do it.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the following topics:

Understand the Hotel’s Cancellation Policy

If you’re planning a trip and have made a non-refundable hotel booking, you may be wondering what your options are if you need to cancel. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • What is a non-refundable booking? A non-refundable booking is a type of hotel reservation where you pay the full cost of the stay upfront and are not able to get a refund if you cancel. These bookings are often cheaper than flexible bookings but come with more restrictions.
  • What is the hotel’s cancellation policy? It’s important to understand the hotel’s cancellation policy before making a non-refundable booking. This policy should be clearly stated when you make the reservation and will outline the terms and conditions for canceling or changing your booking.
  • What are your cancellation rights? Even if you’ve made a non-refundable booking, you may still have some cancellation rights. For example, if the hotel cancels your reservation or is unable to provide the room you booked, you may be entitled to a refund. Additionally, some countries have laws that protect consumers who make non-refundable bookings.

It is worth mentioning that cancellation policies can vary widely between hotels, so it’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully before making a booking. Keep in mind that some hotels may offer more flexible cancellation policies for an additional fee.

Flexible booking Non-refundable booking
Can be canceled or changed up to a certain date Cannot be canceled or changed
May be more expensive Usually cheaper
No upfront payment or a small deposit Full payment upfront

On the other hand, if you do need to cancel a non-refundable booking, there are a few options you can explore. Some hotels may be willing to offer a credit or voucher for a future stay, especially if you cancel well in advance. You can also consider travel insurance, which may cover the cost of a canceled booking.

Remember that it’s always best to try to cancel a non-refundable booking as soon as possible, as the hotel may be more willing to work with you if they have plenty of notice.

Contact the Hotel Directly

When dealing with non-refundable hotel bookings, the first step to getting your money back is to contact the hotel directly. This can be done through phone, email, or the hotel’s website.

It is worth mentioning that some hotels have a strict no-refund policy for non-refundable bookings, but it is still important to try and negotiate a refund or credit.

When contacting the hotel, explain your situation in a clear and concise manner. Let them know the reason why you need to cancel your reservation and that you understand the terms and conditions of your booking.

However, keep in mind that being polite but firm is crucial. Remember, the hotel staff is also just doing their job and they may be more willing to help you if you approach them with respect.

If you are requesting a refund, provide any evidence that may support your claim, such as medical documents or flight cancellation notifications. On the other hand, if you are looking for a credit, make sure to ask for the amount you paid to be credited to your account for future use.

It is also important to note that some hotel chains may have a more flexible policy regarding non-refundable bookings. For example, Marriott International allows guests to cancel and receive a full refund up to 24 hours before check-in for most hotels.

Hotel Chain Refund Policy
Marriott International Full refund up to 24 hours before check-in for most hotels
Hilton Worldwide Varies by hotel and booking
InterContinental Hotels Group Varies by hotel and booking

If you are not successful in getting a refund or credit from the hotel, you may want to consider disputing the charge with your credit card company. Unfortunately, this may not always be successful, especially if the hotel has a strict no-refund policy.

For more information on hotel refund policies, visit

Contact Your Credit Card Company

If you have booked a non-refundable hotel reservation, it can be frustrating and financially damaging if your plans change or something unexpected happens. However, there are ways to get money back from non-refundable hotel bookings. One of the first steps you should take is to contact your credit card company.

When you contact your credit card company about a non-refundable hotel booking, be sure to dispute the charge. Explain the situation and provide any evidence you have to support your claim. This could include emails, receipts, or other documentation.

It is worth mentioning that credit card companies have different policies when it comes to disputing charges for non-refundable hotel bookings. Some may require you to show that you made a good faith effort to resolve the issue with the hotel first.

Keep in mind that the process of getting your money back from a non-refundable hotel booking through your credit card company can take time and may require persistence. You may need to follow up with your credit card company multiple times and provide additional information.

Use a Travel Insurance Policy

When it comes to non-refundable hotel bookings, getting your money back can seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, one solution is to use a travel insurance policy. Here’s how:

  • Check if you have travel insurance. Many credit cards offer travel insurance as a perk, so be sure to check your card’s benefits.
  • Review the policy terms and conditions. Make sure your specific situation is covered and take note of any exclusions or limitations.
  • File a claim. Contact your travel insurance provider and provide all necessary documentation, such as proof of payment and cancellation confirmation from the hotel.

Keep in mind that not all travel insurance policies cover non-refundable hotel bookings, so it’s important to review your policy carefully. It is worth mentioning that some policies may only cover cancellations due to specific reasons, such as illness or natural disasters.

On the other hand, if your travel insurance policy does cover non-refundable hotel bookings, you may be able to recoup some or all of the money you spent. Unfortunately, not all hotels are willing to work with insurance companies, so be prepared to provide as much documentation as possible to support your claim.

If you’re still in the process of booking a hotel, it may be worth considering hotel chains that offer flexible cancellation policies, such as Marriott or Hilton. Additionally, booking directly through the hotel’s website may give you more flexibility in terms of cancellations and refunds.

Consider Small Claims Court

When it comes to non-refundable hotel bookings, it can be frustrating to lose out on your money if you can’t make the trip. However, there are steps you can take to try and get your money back. One option is to consider small claims court.

Check if it’s worth it: Before going to small claims court, it’s important to determine if it’s worth the time and effort. Consider the amount of money you’re trying to recover and the associated costs of going to court. Keep in mind that small claims court typically has a limit on the amount of money you can recover, usually ranging from a few thousand dollars to around $10,000.

Gather evidence: If you decide to move forward with small claims court, it’s important to gather evidence to support your case. This could include emails or other correspondence with the hotel, receipts or invoices, and any other documentation related to the booking. It’s also worth mentioning that some credit card companies offer chargeback protection for non-refundable hotel bookings, so be sure to check with your credit card issuer.

File a claim: Once you have your evidence, you can file a claim with small claims court. The process may vary depending on your location, but typically involves filling out a form and paying a fee. You will then need to attend a court hearing where you will present your case and the hotel will have the opportunity to present their side as well.

It is worth noting that small claims court can be a time-consuming and stressful process, and there is no guarantee that you will win your case. On the other hand, if you feel strongly about getting your money back and have the evidence to support your case, small claims court may be worth considering.


Getting your money back from a non-refundable hotel booking can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By understanding the hotel’s cancellation policy, contacting the hotel directly, disputing the charge with your credit card company, using a travel insurance policy, or even considering small claims court, you can increase your chances of getting a refund or credit. Remember to be persistent and patient, and don’t give up until you’ve explored all your options.

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