Most hotels require a credit card: here’s how to book a stay without it


Credit cards can be a great tool for construction loan, but they are more than useful in some situations: they are necessary.

For example, did you know it was a credit card required to book a reservation in most hotels? Yeah, I didn’t know how strict that requirement was either.

Most hotels don’t really need you to pay with a credit card they only need a way to hold you accountable in the event of damage or theft of their property.

There are a few alternatives, such as debit cards and even PayPal, for those who can’t (or don’t) use a credit card; however, these can be complex and may even involve additional fees and charges.

Start with a debit card

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Some reputable hotel chains allow guests to book a stay with a debit card.

Read more: Does your debit card have a daily spending limit?

The uses Using a debit card to book a hotel room means that you will not spend more money than you have, as funds are drawn directly from your checking account when you officially pay for a room.

The bad side is that the deposit charged by the hotel for contingencies is likely to act as a temporary suspension of your debit card or perhaps even as a withdrawal. However, you will not have access to these funds until the hotel releases (or recovers) the stay.

However, the reservation and payment policy they vary by hotel chain and location, so be sure to ask the hotel how much it will charge you upon check-in.

Demand polite restraint

Although this option is becoming less common, some hotels offer guests a polite reservation for their booking. This basically waives the deposit requirement at the time of booking, so you won’t need any payment method to secure the room. You still will to pay for a room with your debit card, but a credit card is not required for this holds room.

If you would like to request courtesy, please contact the hotel directly to find out if its policies allow it.

Try PayPal

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This may surprise some readers, but PayPal is another valid one method of payment Guests can book their room in advance.

PayPal is usually available through special online travel agencies (OTAs), including Expedia.

When using PayPal, keep in mind that this method can only be used for to pay do not book rooms. Here is the perfect guide on how to book a hotel through the Expedia portal.

Consider a prepaid card

If the hotel you are visiting allows prepaid cards, be aware that the transaction works similarly to a debit card.

The hotel will have the funds provided on your card for the duration of your stay, during which time you will not be able to access the money.

Some hotel chains, e.g. Quality Inn Choice Hotels, may allow the use of a prepaid card. Others may even allow you to cover your account with cash like this Hampton Inn & Suites.

Read more: The best prepaid credit cards

Ask someone else to book your room

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If you have a friend or family member who is willing, you may be able to use his or her credit card to book a hotel room.

In many cases, they can book a room under their name and card and add you as a guest. This allows you to sign up yourself if you have a valid ID matching the booking.

Sometimes you can make a reservation under your name with someone else’s credit card, but the hotel may ask your friend or family member to fill out a credit card authorization form first.

tole Holiday Inn, for example, is currently requesting a third-party credit card authorization form.

Contact smaller, independent hotels

Unlike large hotel chains such as Wyndham and IHG, small independent hotels have to report only to themselves. As a result, some local motels, inns, and bed and breakfasts may allow you to use an alternative payment method, such as a check or perhaps even cash.

As with established hotel chains, call in advance and inquire about current location policies. You may be able to talk to the hotel manager or maybe even the owner directly, so don’t be afraid to ask if they will consider any alternative!

Ask if you can pay in cash

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Disclaimer: More often than not, this is a hard “no”. It’s not impossible, but it’s generally unlikely, especially in large hotels in the chain.

If you want to pay in cash, try your luck with a smaller independent hotel. Please note that you may have to pay a deposit in addition to the room rate. If you visit a reputable hotel chain, check to see if you can change your cash payment method at checkout. Also note that you will never be able to book a room with cash. The hotel will not have a room without a payment method that you can access.

Once again, be sure to contact a specific location in advance for confirmation.


If you are planning an elegant beach holiday or a peaceful retreat in the mountains, you may have already started browsing the hotels in the area. But before you make a deal, make sure you know how to book a room.

Remember that in many cases the best option is to book a hotel with a credit card. However, to avoid this option, please contact the hotel in advance to find out what other booking methods are allowed.

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