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“When I’ve protested exorbitant authorizations, some front desk staffers have responded with, ‘Oh, your card isn’t being charged, we’re only authorizing it.’ That still means those funds will be unavailable to card holders, and for traveling families on a tight budget, or people like me who often have to stay in a different hotel every night, it can be a problem.” You can take steps to avoid the hold.Merritt always asks about the per-night authorization amount when she checks in.Freeman and other experts strongly recommend that you sign up for automatic notifications from your bank. “The merchant charges the account for the final amount.

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One of the easiest ways of preventing a hold is to avoid using the card, says Harrine Freeman, a credit card expert and financial adviser. “Carry travelers’ checks or pay with cash.” However, some hotels accept only credit cards, so ask before you try this.

If you use a credit or debit card, make sure you keep close tabs on the authorizations.

“Completing the transaction is the best way to remove the hold,” says credit card expert Kevin Haney of A. Hotels should disclose the amount, reasons and estimated duration of a credit card hold long before you check in, upfront and in plain English.

Too often, hotels reveal these holds at the check-in desk, on signage that guests rarely bother to read.

“Credit card holds are typically released within 24 hours of checking out,” says Marriott spokesman John Wolf, who notes that holds are an industry-wide practice, common among hotels and car rental companies.

Most hotels place a hold on your credit card, according to Dale Blosser, a lodging consultant.The other is what happens behind the scenes with your credit or debit card.The hotel is asking your bank to post a charge against your account — in banking terms, it’s called an “authorization request.” The hotel then has about a week to make a deposit request, which is the actual transfer of money from your account.And in the case of excessive holds, she has requested the hotel not to authorize her card for more than the room and tax.If it insists, she tries to negotiate a smaller amount.But they can also be frustrating to hotel guests, especially those who receive unexpected alerts from their credit card companies.

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