Is it legal for a hotel in England to demand a credit card before check-in? When payment already cleared?

I recently booked a hotel and paid for it by debit card. The funds were cleared 5 months ago. On arrival the receptionist demanded a credit card “in case” I ordered anything extra, but then went on to say it was a condition of my stay. Semi-apologetically she added that it helped security, but why not ask for my passport in that case? I had taken it due to recent problems here, but they didn’t ask for that. Nowhere in their advertising does this company say they refuse customers without a credit card. Quite patronisingly she informed me a debit card “would do” but this is not the point. I had already paid for my stay.

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15 Responses to “Is it legal for a hotel in England to demand a credit card before check-in? When payment already cleared?”

  1. yazooyazzy said:

    i dunno erm… FACE BOVVERRD

  2. PaddyRanger O said:

    if it was illegal they would not do it. Stop whining, if you do not run up any other services you get it back.

  3. 2 good 2 miss said:

    sometimes its the policy of the hotel but if you didnt want to give a crdit card just say you didnt have one on you…. they could not have kicked you out as you had already paid for it.

  4. flumpomatic said:

    they do this a lot at travellodges, just in case anything is broken or damaged, and of proof of who you are.
    maybe the receptionist had a bad day when she demanded it off you. she at least should be polite at all times and explained more clearly to you

  5. Rachael H said:

    If it makes you feel better (cos of these other meanies), it would make me angry as well because I don’t think you can trust anyone these days. Robbing swines if you ask me.

  6. Robert C said:

    This practice happens here and in the US. I NEVER EVER give these idiots my credit card because I don’t HAVE a credit card!!!!!!

    I’m lying…but they don’t know!

    I have never had a problem with the booking because the morons just shrug and give up.

    This is because some people used the mini bar and clear off without paying their bill…Is this your problem?…NO!!!!!!!!

  7. dollybird said:

    because you may be a family of t*ats and trash room, if you do this they will charge your credit card.

  8. scottie said:

    yes its standard procedure. Its not illegal but you dont need to give your credit card. They did have your debit card though, I would have thought that was good enough

  9. Hello Dave said:

    Remember it for next time “sorry not got it on me, keys please”

    We gotta be smart or be scammed these days. The world gets greedier by the hour.

  10. A A said:

    It’s standard practice in the US for hotels/motels to ask for a credit card when renting a room. At least, at all the ones I’ve ever stayed at. I imagine the UK is the same. I can’t see why it would be illegal, unless they are placing charges on it for services not rendered.

    They ask for a card in case you order room service, make phone calls, open the liquor bar/snack fridge, order a movie, etc. If you paid cash up front (I know, you used a debit card), you could skip out on the rest of your bill and they’d have no way to collect.

    Debit cards generally work like credit cards. They should have been able to use your debit card that you used to pay for the room.

    That you had already paid for the room is not the point. Because it’s possible you might order services and skip out on the bill is the reason they ask for it. They’re simply covering their butts in case that happens.

    Besides, if they did place any charges on your card, you could call your credit card company, dispute it with them, and let them do battle with the hotel over any charges you say are incorrect.

  11. kay d said:

    Unfortunately yes. I was once undercharged by a hotel (which I didn’t realise at the time) and when they noticed 6 weeks later the simply took the money off my card without asking, then sent a letter to say they had done so. Now I refuse to give my card and only pay cash, you live and learn.

  12. brother3 said:

    This is universal policy of hotel business to ask for register the credit card when check in( except very small motel).There are two side reason for this;for the hotel they know who you are and your credit condition(passport can not show your credit condition).In case you prolong the stay or damage,steal things and disappear then they can obtain the lose.For the customer if need order meal,drinks,service or just long distant call then can charge to the card rather then pay cash.Even in case you get rob and lose every thing the hotel may give you some cash and charge to your account.

  13. star said:

    In this day an age of higher security and dishonesty I think that the hotels have the right to ask for your credit card details not unless you pay for cash by prior arrangement.

    I have never had a problem with this method and if I did it would be the credit card company’s (in my case Visa) responsibility to sort it out, so I don’t see the problem sorry.

    Next time you book a hotel anywhere it would advisable to check out these sort of details before hand as most hotels do not tell you the procedure before hand (poor customer care)

    Just be extra vigilant in checking your bill before leaving the hotel in case there has been an oversight on part of the hotel.

  14. gpatrick900 said:

    Actual in the Uk (Unlike the U.S) they had no choice to take your debit card because it had a Visa or MasterCard logo. The honor all card rule still applies outside of the U.S. This is why you can rent a car with a debit card outside of the U.S.

  15. Beastie said:

    If your stay was paid for, she’s still within her rights to ask. However, you are still within your rights to tell her to get stuffed… politely, of course.
    I don’t own a credit card, since they’ve all got one thing in common. They all charge interest beyond a joke, and if the head of Barclaycard doesn’t carry one because they’re not good enough for him, then they’re not good enough for me either.
    If there is nothing in their terms and conditions, then it is not a legal requirement to comply. They couldn’t ask you to leave if you don’t comply either, for the same reason.
    Think of your payment as creating a contract. Their stated terms cannot be altered by them after you’ve agreed to their initial terms by making payment.




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