Daily Archives: September 3, 2007

Have you ever been Ear-marked?

Last evening I heard something scary. I was listening to the radio. BBC Radio 4, the Money Box programme. It is now back for a new season. I often find it informative. I have yet to discover how to get those old pennies out of my Money Box; they never seem to cover that topic! I might have to resort to a tin opener!

One of the topics last night told how some Credit Card customers are running into problems at hotels. They explained how one “standard practice” in the way card payments are reserved can sometimes affect your ability to spend. Perhaps you International Travellers out there are well aware of the practice. If not you can listen to the piece on the above link.

When a person checks into a hotel they are asked how they will be paying. Most of us now for simplicity and ease proffer our Credit Card. At that point the hotel *Earmarks* a sum of money to include the daily rate for the number of days we hope to stay, plus the cost of our anticipated spending e.g. breakfast, dinner and use of the Mini bar plus an extra to cover accident.

One caller told of his checking into a hotel, but later changing his mind for some reason and booking into another one. When He handed over his card at the second hotel he was told there was a problem. His limit was not sufficient to cover the bill.

He contacted his Credit card company and was told the first hotel had *Earmarked* £1500 to cover his stay and when he booked into the second hotel they wanted to *Earmark* a similar amount.

Another person checked into an Hotel as per normal and then went out for the remainder of the evening to shop and have a meal. The next time he tried to use his card it was rejected.

We learned that it is a common practice for hotels to do this, yet nowhere is it advertised or are we advised.

Now you are warned! Take note.

I wonder does my Elly know.