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I've booked 2 hotel rooms in Hong Kong just today and linked it to an empty debit card as I was expecting to pay only when I reach the hotel. However, I received an email saying that my credit card (I used a debit card) is invalid and I have to solve this problem within 24 hours.

There is no way that I can get some money into the card within that 24 hours limit. The rooms I booked were 'no cancellations' meaning I have to cover the full cost if I cancel the booking. Will they charge me any money if I can't solve the issues with my debit card?

Also I would like to ask, is the booking already confirmed or is it still waiting for the valid card? Can I just not do anything to it and wait for them to cancel the booking? Are they able to charge me if I do that?

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If you have a credit card, update the credit card information. On the site if it works, by calling booking.com if not.

And if you have no credit card and can not get money on your debit card within the time limit, also call, either the hotel or booking.com.
Do not do nothing, if they cancel the booking, you can still be charged the full room fee and they might be able to get the account in debt, even though the bank will not pay for your use of the card.

  • Thank you for replying :) I've actually gotten help from my parents and topped up the card in time, everything is fine now and thanks for your concern – ttssnm Jan 7 '18 at 12:24
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I've done quite a few times what you did, including twice two months ago: book a hotel room with a card that's maxed out (resulting in the same as an empty debit card). There was never a problem: when I arrived I gave a card that actually worked, and we were in business. The hotel should not be trying to charge you if you are just booking a room to be paid later.

However, you wrote:

The rooms I booked were 'no cancellations' meaning I have to cover the full cost if I cancel the booking.

This sounds like a booking for rooms with a prepaid rate. I've had that happen to me (by accident) recently: the room rate was prepaid, and not refundable. I used a credit card that was maxed out, although I thought it had some credit left, and the reservation went through. However I received an email two hours later, informing me of the mishap, and asking me to fix the problem. They also mentioned the non-refundable rate, and that I had to pay, whatever happened. I had in the end to cancel the trip, being sick, and ignored the matter. That was the end of it.

If you are planning to use this reservation, you have basically two options: put some money on the card, or email the company and give them a another card, one that has money on it. If not, find another hotel to book rooms with. This one won't be your friend from now on... :-)

  • Hi dda, thank you so much for your answer. Does this mean that I can just get through it without owing the bank's money? The hotel wouldn't chase after me for cancellation fees? – ttssnm Jan 7 '18 at 7:10
  • They might try -- it's HK after all, where money is king -- but if you leave the debit card empty, what can they do? In a week or two they'll forget you. – user67108 Jan 7 '18 at 7:20

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