While booking a hotel in Phuket online, they needed card details to secure the reservation. In hurry I entered my debit card details instead of credit card. I received confirmation of booking from the hotel, but the terms and conditions read - "All reservations must be guaranteed with a valid credit card". What happens if I enter debit card details instead of credit card while reserving a room??

Actually I rechecked their booking page and it only had "credit card" option (nothing else to select from e.g. debit card/ paypal/ netbanking etc.) and in hurry I missed this.. So I entered debit card details. I hope there won't be any issue?

  • 1
    Does your Debit card have the word VISA or MASTERCARD printed on it?
    – Strawberry
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 17:32
  • Why not call and ask them directly?
    – Kat
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 2:53

4 Answers 4


They might mean a MasterCard/Visa/whatever-card allowing “card not present” transactions. They don't necessarily care whether it's technically a credit, debit or prepaid card, as long as it has sufficient funds to process the authorisation. By contrast, many people have debit cards that do not allow online transactions and don't have a number you could use in hotel booking systems. Those would obviously not work, which might explain the language in the terms and conditions.

As an example, Mastercard offers two flavours of debit cards: Maestro and Debit MasterCard. I have one of each and used the Debit MasterCard to book accommodation before, without any issue.

One difference is that a booking accommodation often involves a pre-authorisation and this works differently with a debit card. If you are using a credit card, the bill will be settled later, you haven't really paid anything yet. If you are using the debit card, the money will be withdrawn from your account immediately. Any difference between the authorisation and the final bill will be reimbursed later but you are out of pocket for a while.


In my experience, they sometimes don't do anything with the card number until the morning of the day of arrival, or maybe the day before. Then they run an authorization, and that's when it will fail.

I learned this the hard way a couple years ago when my card number changed between the time I booked and the time they run the authorization. It bounced, and I solved it by chance, when I got a call from them when I was literally in the line for boarding my plane. Luckily I was able to give them the new number, otherwise I would have found myself with no booking on arrival.

  • 1
    Weird, that shouldn't happen, they should be doing a pre-auth immediately which will mean their auth willl follow the card change automatically. If they are not charging your card til later, it means they are storing parts of credit card data they're not allowed to store such as CVV2. They/you are vulnerable to losing your CC data via physical break-in or employee theft. Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 19:49

There is probably a fee/fine for missing your reservation or something like that. The reason they want a credit card is because they can charge it regardless of whetever you have the funds. That said, unless they reach out to you to solve the problem - you're probably fine.

  • It's untrue to say that they don't have a way to check. Debit cards usually have different bank identification numbers, and so it's very possible for a retailer to tell whether you're presenting a debit or credit card. Many retailers, such as rental companies, automatically reject cards with BINs that indicate they are debit cards, as it is less likely for them to have sufficient funds to cover deposits, and more difficult to place holds on funds.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 20:39
  • When you're presenting a physical card - yeah, I am sure there's a way to tell. But I wouldn't be so sure about remote transactions involving the CVV2.
    – user4551
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 12:27
  • The first 6 digits of the card in most cases indicate debit or credit. In most cases (meaning, with the major issuers), debit cards have different bank identification numbers (BINs) than credit cards - the first six digits being the BIN. See this article for example.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 22:49

There should be no way for them to know if you are using a debit or credit card, so as long as you have funds on your debit card you are good.

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    That's not strictly true in many cases; The early digits on a card number identify the issuing bank, and it may be possible to identify credit versus debit using that information.
    – origimbo
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 13:19
  • My point is there's no difference between debit and credit cards from the point-of-sale perspective..
    – pavelk
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 13:24
  • 1
    Yes and no. Yes in terms of 'hand relevant details to payment service provider', no in terms of the vendor applying a fee differential for the customer for one or the other payment method and whether deposits get dealt with as a hold or payment and reimbursement.
    – origimbo
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 14:26
  • Absolutely untrue; origimbo is correct.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 20:39
  • Joe, I stand by my point, there should be no difference for the POS, as long as you have funds. I have just checked my debit cards using binlist.net, they all show as credit cards there, so there's no simple way for them to know.
    – pavelk
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 4:34

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