I've booked a hotel (in Hong Kong) for a third person using my credit card (but booking confirmation for the third person).

Will there will be any problems while checking in? It seems to check in you need to show YOUR credit card. I'm not going to this hotel, so there is no way I can show my credit card on check in.

Will the hotel accept another credit card (not the card I used to book with) on check in?

  • Who are you actually wanting to pay for the hotel - you, or the other person?
    – Doc
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 23:18

5 Answers 5


There are generally 2 types of hotel bookings you can make :

  • Pre-paid
  • Guaranteed by credit card

"Pre-paid" is where you have fully paid for the hotel in advance. Your credit card has been charged, and there is nothing more to pay other than incidents (minibar, room service, etc). They will still ask for a credit card at check-in, but this is only for the incidentals.

"Guaranteed by credit card" is where you've actually paid nothing, but you have given your credit card to guarantee the room. In the event that you don't show up, they will charge a fee to your credit card to make up for the no-show. In this case the credit card you give at check-in (and/or check-out) will be used to for the room charge - regardless of what card was used to make the booking.

Where this can get confusing is that some hotels will advertise a "pre-paid" or "advance purchase" rate, but not actually charge it to your card in advance - so whilst this will appear to be a pre-paid booking, it's actually not.

As a general rule, if you book through the hotel themselves (their website, call center, etc) then they will use the card supplied at check-in. If you book through a third party website (eg, Expedia, Orbitz, etc) then you will be charged at the time you make your booking unless they explicitly say otherwise (ie, they state that you will pay at the hotel). However whilst this is a good rule of thumb, there's no guarantee that it'll actually work this way!

If you want to be sure, call the hotel and discuss it with them.

  • In my experience of midrange hotels on booking.com, usually the card was used as a guarantee and I paid at the end of my stay. There have been a few exceptions, and I don't remember that being clearly indicated. Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 17:27
  • @Gilles If you go to bookings.com and look directly below the search box you'll see a big banner that says "Book Now, Pay When You Stay!". This thus fits into the "unless they explicitly say otherwise" mentioned above.
    – Doc
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 1:29
  • It's happened that my card was charged at the time of the booking (not often, but it has happened), and I don't remember being told otherwise, at least not in any easily-noticeable fashion. Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 8:14
  • To encounter the problem of a "Guaranteed by credit card" booking (which is the usual case on Booking.com) and effectively convert it to "Pre-paid", call the hotel hotline, explain your case and ask for a "Credit Card Authorization Form". Fill out the form with a credit card you own. Like this, the third person using the hotel room does not need any CC for neither checkin nor checkout. I did it exactly like this last night with a hotel room I paid for my girlfriend abroad, it worked perfectly. Btw: You can specify limits on using the CC, e.g. "all charges" or without incidentals (room only). Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 12:27

There are two different steps:

  1. the payment of the vacation where you can mostly use any kind of payment eg. credit card, bank transfer, voucher etc

  2. during the stay it is probably that the hotel ask to the customer its credit card, not for the payment but for an insurance

Only in the second step is necessary that the customer has its own credit card.


Almost certainly. The hotel doesn't care who's paying as long as somebody is paying, and that somebody has enough credit to cover the hold they'll put on the card at checkin.

If you're really worried, just give them a call and check.


Actually using your card for a different person who would check in at the property is a bit risky, but you can actually just do that as long as you are going to get in touch with the property the soonest possible time to advise them that the person who check in will use a different card instead to pay the reservation so they can change the credit card number on file.
Safest way to make the call to the hotel after you booked a reservation is at least more than 72 hours for the refundable type of reservation.

But if you're trying to choose a non refundable reservation to get the lowest cost I suggest you think it over not just twice because even 3rd party reservations were not given info when the hotel will try to run your card to see if it works.

And another thing, there's also a refundable type of reservation that requires a deposit on a certain length of time, so make sure to read the policy 1st on each room you choose.


I tried to do this once and discovered that hotels are very strict on this issue. Hotels don't care who pays for the room itself of course, but every major hotel chain in the world requires that the person staying at the hotel must have their own credit card in their name which the hotel would physically swipe on site for an incidental deposit, regardless of who made or paid for the reservation.

A third party cannot contact the hotel and give them their credit card number over the phone for the incidental deposit, for example. The person whose credit card is used for incidentals not only has to be present, but also their name must be on the reservation.

Some hotels will allow a cash deposit, and perhaps there may be a small handful of hotels that do allow a 3rd party incidental deposit, but I've not found one that will allow it – certainly not the more established hotels and hotel chains. You'd just have to call ahead, speak with the front desk manager, and see if something can be worked out. But my experience has been that this policy is cut and dried and exceptions are rarely, if ever, made.

  • I have never heard of a chain requiring a credit card in their name! They require a credit card but what do they care about names? Do you have a source?
    – user4188
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 21:18

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