Most people think they need a credit card to make a hotel reservation. But this often isn't true. Instead, a traveler can use other payment methods, such as a debit card or even cash, to secure a hotel stay. In rare cases, a hotel may accept bank account information in lieu of plastic. Finding a hotel that takes cash or debit instead of credit can take some work. However, many locations want your business and will make the transaction happen. So don't count out travel because of debts or the desire to live a cash-based life.
1. Use a Debit Card
Use a debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo to book hotel rooms. Often, the hotel reservation system doesn't even recognize that you're not using a credit card. Still, check before using this method to see if the hotel charges fees for such transactions; otherwise, you might have an unexpected debit from your checking account to cover the fee.
Check the hotel’s cancellation fees to decide what payment method is best for you. Cancellation policies may vary depending on your preferred method.
2. Use Cash
Call ahead to see what the hotel's policies are regarding forms of payment and card holds. Some hotels, such as Hilton and IHG, will accept a debit card as payment option, but at check-in will withdraw a fully refundable amount per day to cover incidentals, such as the minibar, pay-per-view movies, or room service.. Even more hotels will accept cash along with checking account information. Hotel chains like Holiday Inn will accept cash payments with a security deposit in case of damages, and many will take prepaid cards. Others won't accept anything but a credit card..
3. Deposit Ahead
Offer the hotel manager a cash deposit covering several nights' stay. The website Creditcard.org advises, "Do not berate the hotel for wanting money up front (when you book with a credit card, the hotel is 98 percent likely to collect your money). People with no credit card greatly increase the hotel's risk in having you stay there." An upfront cash amount will do much to assure the management that you're responsible and able to handle the liability for the room.
4. Amenable to Cash
Inquire at small, local non-chain hotels in addition to corporate establishments. A local hotel may be more amenable to working with cash, since it's not tied to any sort of corporate procedures.
If any local residents are willing to vouch for you, ask the hotel manager to call them for a reference. The extra tie to the community may raise the manager's confidence level, making it more likely that you'll land the room. or implement a courtesy hold without asking for credit card information at the time of booking.
Try reserving rooms through third-party online travel agencies like Booking.com for booking without a credit card details.
4. Use PayPal
Use PayPal online payment account to reserve the room. PayPal is an accepted method of payment on several booking sites including Expedia.com and Hotels.com, and you only need a bank account to use the service.
Therefore, a credit card wouldn't be necessary to pay for a reservation. Call the hotel ahead of time to find out about fees for incidentals and whether they're payable through PayPal.
5. Check for Cryptocurrency
There are a few hotel brands that currently accept cryptocurrency payments:
- The Kessler Collection accepts BitPay
- The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts accepts many different cryptocurrency, according to their corporate site upon a booking confirmation, you will be sent a non-refundable payment link.