I tried to make a booking. I am required to have a credit card. I don't pay via credit card, I just have to demonstrate that in case I don't come to the hotel, they can take the fee equal to the price for the nights I would be there.

I chose a credit card I don't have much money on and it was rejected. They say they want to take 100€ from my credit card in order to verify I don't cheat. They will give me the money back as soon as they receive it.

What if they don't? Should I accept the transaction? Is it safe?

1 Answer 1


Authorization hold (also card authorization, preauthorization, or preauth) is the practice within the banking industry of verifying electronic transactions initiated with a debit card or credit card and rendering this balance as unavailable until either the merchant clears the transaction, also called settlement, or the hold "falls off." - wikipedia

It is normal practice for hotels to take an authorization hold from your card. This doesn't actually transfer any money at that point. The money stays in your name; you just can't spend it. The hotel can, however, deduct up to that amount before the hold "falls off".

Alternatively, the hotel might want a substantial deposit to cover their risk of you incurring costs and not paying for htem.

Both of these are different from charging you and then giving you an immediate refund, which would be unusual for a reputable hotel. Check whether they are actually talking about an authorization hold. If not, be on the alert for some kind of scam.

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    Charging you and then giving an immediate refund is done by online firms wanting to verify a credit card is valid. However they usually charge a nominal sum (like $1), and have to warn you beforehand. Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 14:29

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