No, you do not need a credit card for a hotel room. You can book hotel reservations at most major hotel chains using debit cards, and a few of the bigger brands such as Marriott also accept prepaid cards as a form of payment. You may be able to pay in cash, too, but you’ll still usually need to provide a credit or debit card for the hotel to have on record. It’s unlikely that any of the major hotel chains will accept money orders or personal checks.
Keep in mind that some hotels, especially luxury brands, only accept credit cards. So to avoid payment problems, it’s a good idea to have a Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express credit card with you while traveling.
Hotels prefer credit cards because the holds and charges generally won’t be declined due to insufficient funds, since credit card charges are taken out of the card’s credit limit rather than directly out of the customer’s bank account. This is useful when hotels need to charge customers after they leave, which could happen, for instance, if the hotel discovers damaged or stolen items.
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