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How to book a hotel without a credit card

minute read


    • Booking a hotel without a credit card can be difficult to do, but not impossible.
    • You may have to consider using other forms of payment or types of hotels if you choose not to use a credit card to book a hotel.
    • Credit cards can offer security and convenience over other forms of payment when it comes to making hotel reservations.

    Why booking a hotel without a credit card is hard

    Some hotels make it a requirement to provide your credit card information online upon booking or at check-in. This is because it helps ensure the hotel can charge you for various fees, such as cancelation fees, damage to the room or theft. For example, if you choose to have a snack or drink provided in the room’s fridge, you may be charged for these items.

    When you can’t provide a credit card, it may be difficult to book or find a hotel that will take other forms of payment like cash or debit cards. Still, you may be able to find some options that work.

    Hotels that may allow you to book without a credit card

    Hotels that may allow you to book without a credit card include, but are not limited to:

    • Best Western®
    • Marriott®
    • Hilton®

    How to book a hotel without using a credit card

    To book a hotel without a credit card, you can call the hotel to make a reservation over the phone rather than book online, where you would likely need to provide necessary credit card information.

    You may be able to reserve in other ways as well. Let’s explore some of these options in more detail.

    Use traveler's checks

    While no longer common, traveler’s checks are one way you can get around making a hotel reservation without using a credit card. This is a way to make payments when you’re abroad and want protection against potential theft. To obtain a traveler's check, your bank will issue it in whatever amount you choose. If it gets lost or stolen, you can contact the bank and they will cancel it.

    Be sure to check with your hotel if they accept this form of payment.

    Use a debit card

    Using a debit card may be a viable option if you aren‘t using your credit card to book a hotel. Just be aware of your debit card balance to ensure you don’t go over the limit when booking the hotel room. You may want to confirm with your bank in case charges exceed your balance prior to booking, especially if your hotel adds additional fees.

    Book at a non-chain hotel

    Depending where you decide to stay, there may be more wiggle room with locally-owned or smaller hotels. This may be because there are fewer policies associated with major chains. A smaller hotel may have more room for negotiation and less layers of approvals to navigate.

    Consider using a vacation rental

    Vacation rentals like Airbnb® are open to many other payment options, for example, like Apple Pay® or PayPal®. This could be a good option if you don’t necessarily need to stay in a hotel. Note that cash payments are not allowed at Airbnb.

    Consider looking into other options as well, like Vrbo® and Marriott Homes and Villas for vacation rentals that may allow bookings without a credit card.

    Why you should book with a credit card

    While there are several options to make a hotel booking without using your credit card, you may find it’s still best to use one. Credit cards can offer:

    • Rewards and points — for example, if you have a hotel credit card that can earn you cash back or additional travel-related rewards for future bookings.
    • Security — your credit card can be generally safer, as well as offer more protection than cash, and you can report unauthorized purchases if they were to occur.
    • Convenience — you don’t need to worry about keeping cash on hand.

    In conclusion

    Wherever your next hotel stay is, consider using your credit card to book your reservation. It may help to ensure a safe and convenient stay. If you don’t have a credit card or prefer to book without one, there are several options including cash, debit cards or traveler's checks. Additional options include staying somewhere other than a hotel, such as an Airbnb, that may allow alternative forms of payment.

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