Hotels almost always require a credit card to make a reservation and may require one to stay on the premises, even if you are staying there using cash or rewards points.
This charge is a deposit on the room and the card is kept on file for incidentals or room charges.
So how can you stop a hotel from charging your card?
You can’t stop a hotel from charging your card by locking it, canceling the card, or calling your card company to dispute the charge. When you make a reservation, you enter a contract with the hotel. To stop a charge you can cancel your reservation or consult with the hotel during booking to pay in cash.
When Do Hotels Charge Your Card and What You Can Do
Hotels usually require a credit card on file to make a reservation and to check into the hotel.
It’s the most common way to pay your deposit, allows guests to charge items or services to their room, and allows the hotel to charge for incidental damages to the room.
While hotels can’t charge your card without authorization, you give that authorization when you give them a credit card during check-in.
They place a hold on your card that serves as proof of this authorization until you check out.
When you do check out, unless you directly state that they can not charge your card and arrange another payment method, they have full authorization to charge your card.
The hotel does not need to notify you that your card is going to be charged, because you gave consent when you checked in and when you checked out.
Generally, if you give a hotel your card you can’t stop them from placing a hold or charging it.
When you make a reservation, you enter a contract with the hotel that authorizes them to charge your card in the terms.
Canceling your card, canceling payment to the hotel, and locking your card for services you owe isn’t going to keep them from charging your card.
A hotel stay isn’t a legitimate reason for you to dispute charges or freeze payment on its own, so you’ll eventually be charged.
Even if you cancel the card, the hotel can send the charges to the card company, who will then look to you to pay for the charges.
You also can’t get your money back for non-refundable reservations, unless you fight through the hotel’s customer services.
Legally, they aren’t obligated to refund you or stop a charge on your card unless you’re covered under a cancellation policy.
If you mistakenly cancel the card you used for a reservation, you’ll need to contact the hotel.
Cancel your previous reservation and make a new one with a different card, or simply ask if you can change the card on file and have the charges shifted to that one.
If you don’t want a card to be charged at all, you’ll have to discuss payment with the front desk before your stay at the hotel.
A lot of hotels will accept cash, though they aren’t fond of it.
Paying with cash is usually possible, but you’ll likely need to visit the hotel before your stay to give them the deposit.
If you do use cash and do this, ensure they keep the payment in an envelope and that you receive the money and a receipt when you check out, minus any room charges.
Hotels do reserve the right to now allow reservations or payment without a credit card, as private businesses can set internal policies for payments.
Read More > When Do Hotels Charge Your Credit Card?
How can I cancel a pending transaction?
Pending charges are charges on your account that haven’t gone through yet, but they can still affect your available balance or available credit.
Holds and deposits on your card that are placed by hotels will usually appear as pending charges in your statement.
This is because the hotel doesn’t send the full charge until your stay has ended and may not be charging you that amount.
Typically, you can only cancel pending charges by contacting the company or person who is charging you.
In this case, it would be the hotel that made the charge to your account. They may or may not be willing to remove the pending charge.
Once the charge has been posted to your account, the only thing you can do is dispute the charges. In our case, the dispute claim will usually be denied unless you were not the one who charged your card for the hotel stay.
How do I stop a recurring payment on my credit card?
Stopping recurring payments on your credit card is usually a pretty simple process.
We all have subscriptions we don’t use anymore and some people may want to change their payment method for some bills.
For subscriptions, you can call the company or go to their site (if available) and cancel the subscription or change your payment method.
This should be in the account section and under the payment method or current subscription tabs.
You can contact the company that bills you directly to ask them to remove your payment method, cancel service, or change the card associated with your account.
Alternatively, you can contact your bank or card provider and ask them to deny recurring payments to that company and cancel future payments.
The banks and card providers are obligated to cancel these for you when requested.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to stop a hotel from charging your credit card aside from making arrangements with the hotel for other payments.
This has to happen before you stay at the hotel and before you use a card to make your reservation or check-in.
Locking your card, canceling your card, and disputing charges that you made won’t stop the hotel from charging you.
The most likely scenario is that the hotel charges the card anyway and your card provider comes to you to repay it.