View Full Version : Need tips/advice on how to handle paying for motel, car, etc..

05-06-2010, 10:49 PM
I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to handle payments for everything and could really use advice from all of you. We are renting a car, and staying off-site at the Buena Vista Suites, so I'm concerned about the best way to pay for things. I was originally going to pay for it all with our debit card, but I thought I read somewhere that the car rental place will put a hold on our card for the duration of the trip. Does that mean I will not be able to make any charges on it during that time? And does the same thing happen with the motel for the week? I have a credit card that I could use for the car, and maybe just use the debit for the room and the rest of the expenses for the trip. Any advice on what to do? Thanks in advance. :)

Safari Queen
05-07-2010, 01:26 AM
They will hold a certain amount of money on a debit Visa, not freeze the whole card. You should be able to use the credit card when you check in and then pay with the debit card...just ask.

05-07-2010, 09:24 AM
I wouldn't let them near my debit card number. (I don't know if it was my post that you read before.)

Here's an article that explains the practice of Authorization Holds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_hold

Other establishments that may settle transactions for different amounts than were originally authorized include hotels and car rental agencies. The final cost of these transactions can be extremely unpredictable due to unforeseen extras such as room service charges, refueling charges, or longer stays. These companies typically place a hold on the customer's credit card at the beginning of the transaction for the estimated total plus a percentage or a fixed dollar amount (such as the estimated rental charges plus 15% or $250 a policy many customers are not aware of). These types of establishments usually do not settle the transactions until after the customer has checked out or returned the rental car.

It's the authorization hold that gets you in trouble. If you put your week's hotel stay on your debit card when you check in, have a low balance, and expect to be able to cover it with the paycheck you get two days before you check out, you'll run into trouble because the authorization hold will chew up all of the funds in the account and you'll overdraft every transaction during that week, even though the actual charge for the hotel (or rental car) doesn't go through until you check out/return the car. And the fact that it's for more than your predicted balance for the transaction also can get you into trouble because that can send you into overdraft as well.

05-07-2010, 10:14 AM
Thanks so much for the help! I have some things to get worked out today as far as that goes then, since we leave in the morning. I really appreciate the advice. :goodvibes

05-07-2010, 10:19 AM
See you there! :cool1: