Booking hotel with my credit card for a third person. Will that person have issues at check-in?
I've booked a hotel (in Hong Kong) for a third person using my credit card (but booking confirmation for the third person).
Will there will be any problems while checking in? It seems to check in you need to show YOUR credit card. I'm not going to this hotel, so there is no way I can show my credit card on check in.
Will the hotel accept another credit card (not the card I used to book with) on check in?
There are generally 2 types of hotel bookings you can make :
- Guaranteed by credit card
"Pre-paid" is where you have fully paid for the hotel in advance. Your credit card has been charged, and there is nothing more to pay other than incidents (minibar, room service, etc). They will still ask for a credit card at check-in, but this is only for the incidentals.
"Guaranteed by credit card" is where you've actually paid nothing, but you have given your credit card to guarantee the room. In the event that you don't show up, they will charge a fee to your credit card to make up for the no-show. In this case the credit card you give at check-in (and/or check-out) will be used to for the room charge - regardless of what card was used to make the booking.
Where this can get confusing is that some hotels will advertise a "pre-paid" or "advance purchase" rate, but not actually charge it to your card in advance - so whilst this will appear to be a pre-paid booking, it's actually not.
As a general rule, if you book through the hotel themselves (their website, call center, etc) then they will use the card supplied at check-in. If you book through a third party website (eg, Expedia, Orbitz, etc) then you will be charged at the time you make your booking unless they explicitly say otherwise (ie, they state that you will pay at the hotel). However whilst this is a good rule of thumb, there's no guarantee that it'll actually work this way!
If you want to be sure, call the hotel and discuss it with them.
In my experience of midrange hotels on booking.com, usually the card was used as a guarantee and I paid at the end of my stay. There have been a few exceptions, and I don't remember that being clearly indicated.
@Gilles If you go to bookings.com and look directly below the search box you'll see a big banner that says "Book Now, Pay When You Stay!". This thus fits into the "unless they explicitly say otherwise" mentioned above.
It's happened that my card was charged at the time of the booking (not often, but it has happened), and I don't remember being told otherwise, at least not in any easily-noticeable fashion.
To encounter the problem of a "Guaranteed by credit card" booking (which is the usual case on Booking.com) and effectively convert it to "Pre-paid", call the hotel hotline, explain your case and ask for a "Credit Card Authorization Form". Fill out the form with a credit card you own. Like this, the third person using the hotel room does not need any CC for neither checkin nor checkout. I did it exactly like this last night with a hotel room I paid for my girlfriend abroad, it worked perfectly. Btw: You can specify limits on using the CC, e.g. "all charges" or without incidentals (room only).