A hotel credit card hold usually is the price of the room, plus tax, and an extra charge of $50 to $200 a day to cover incidentals like room service or mini-bar snacks. If you don’t incur any incidental charges, you’ll only be billed the nightly rate for your room plus tax. But a temporary hold ensures that you can’t spend the money until your stay is over, so you’ll definitely have enough of your credit line available to pay your full hotel bill.
It’s also worth noting that while a hold will temporarily decrease your spending power, only actual transactions will affect your credit utilization ratio. Your credit utilization is based on the balance listed on your statement at the end of the billing period. And that only reflects actual charges. But a hold just ensures that the hotel can make the charges when it needs to.
Holds can be confusing, and uncertainty while traveling is never fun. But knowing how they work will help make your hotel stays smoother.
Here’s what you should know about hotel credit card holds:
- Most hotels hold $50 - $200 per night on your credit card for incidentals, on top of the room price.
- A credit card hold should be removed within 24 hours after you check out.
- A credit card hold won’t affect your credit utilization. The final charge will.
- If your trip requires that you stay at multiple hotels, and you’re worried that holds will tie up too much of your available credit, talk to management when you book your room or check in. If you explain why you need your credit available and tell them you won’t be making any extra charges, you may be able to the hold waived, reduced or shortened.
A hotel credit card hold can be an inconvenience if you don’t know how much it’s for and how long it will take to get it removed. That’s why it’s a good idea to clarify those points when you check in.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t want the price of a hotel stay to approach your credit limit when you actually pay. That’s because it’s best for your credit score if you keep your credit utilization under 30%.