Beat Credit Card Blocking

Lifehacker’s got a pointer to an FTC article for avoiding “credit card blocking” when booking trips, whereby a hotel will stake claim for the full cost of your stay, plus the incidentals it feels you may buy, prior to checking out of the hotel.

Among them are asking the hotel, before purchase, if the charge will be blocked, ensuring backup funds, and getting a credit card that only allows short blocks.

Good for those of us without money spare moneybags lying around just because the concierge gets skittish about the state of his petty cash drawer.

Credit and Debit Card Blocking” [Federal Trade Commission via Lifehacker]

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  1. nweaver says:

    Of course, if you aren’t carrying DEBT on the card (that is, you pay your bill every month like the “deadbeat” you are to the CC company), just get an extra card or two….

  2. BG says:

    I checked in to an extended stay hotel (Staybridge Suites) for a 30-day stay, and was smart enough to know they’d want to block 30 days at $80/day. I asked them to back it down to a week at a time, which the clerk said she’d do.

    I wake up the next morning with the week’s block along with the 30 day block, effectively locking $3K up on my debit card. I called my bank, they needed a fax to Visa Merchant Services, which I had the desk guy at the hotel put together.

    No dice this morning, and they blocked ANOTHER $660 from me to total my hostage funds at $3700. I did get the bank and the hotel to kiss and make up and got the 30 day charge knocked off, which was pretty painless. Chase telephone banking knew the right answer and got me squared away pretty quick. Still, know what you’re asking for and don’t assume the desk clerks know what the hell they’re doing even if you’re asking.