I applied for UK visitor visa for tourism however did not get visa. I had booked a hotel over the internet from 18th dec to 28 dec 2015 before applying my visa. however it charged me on my card on 24th dec 2015. I suppose to pay it on arrival in cash. will they refund my money back?

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    What to the booking conditions say? Is the booking refundable? Jan 5 '16 at 4:37
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    Voting to close. There's no way for us to know the answer to this, without having a copy of your booking terms.
    – Flimzy
    Jan 5 '16 at 12:21

Most likely not. You have to read carefully the conditions of booking to know what the official policy is.

Some rates are not refundable at all. Usually you pay those in advance and your card is charged at the time of booking.

Refundable rates are common for hotels but almost always have a deadline. It is usually one to three days before the start of the stay. If you do not cancel by then, you are usually charged one night only but sometimes the entire stay. The logic is that if you do not show on the reserved night, the hotel still gets paid for that night but can make it available for the next one, assuming you will not show at all but some hotels do not expect to get another booking so fast, so they take the entire sum.

The point is that to get a refund you must cancel which you did not. Even if you were supposed to pay on arrival, you were asked for your credit card to guarantee your occupancy which you failed to do. The hotel was keeping a room available for you and has lost business because they were unable to rent it out to anyone else. That is why there is a charge after the occupancy date.

  • I have never heard "fare" used for hotel charges. Normally it refers to the cost of transportation.
    – phoog
    Jan 5 '16 at 5:25
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    Sorry, right, I had a memory blank, we usually use the term rate. Fixed it. Thank you.
    – Itai
    Jan 5 '16 at 5:31

The answer to your question is most likely no. This is because a lot of hotels; in fact, all the hotels that I have ever booked have two kinds of bookings:

  1. Pre-paid non-refundable. These are usually the cheapest. You pay for your entire stay at the time of booking; and you cannot get a refund.

  2. The "normal" booking. This is where you reserve your room with a credit card, and then pay at checkout.

You probably have the second kind. These bookings have a condition which states that unless you cancel your booking by informing the hotel in advance (the exact number of days you have to inform the hotel, is different for each hotel); they will charge your credit card _______.

The ______ can by any one of the following, and it depends entirely on the conditions of your booking:

  1. One night's stay (this is the most common in my experience).
  2. One night's stay + a cancellation fee.
  3. The entire reservation (this is very rare, but I did see this once on a very discounted rate).

The bottom line is - you have to be very careful when you book hotels online because each room may be listed at a different rate on different sites. Hotel.com or Booking.com may offer the same room at the same hotel for different rates. This is because the conditions of the reservation differ. You may yet find a third rate on the hotel's own website - or you may find that there are no rooms available for those dates on the hotel's own website even though they are available on other third party sites.

You just have to be very careful when booking online - especially if it is a deeply discounted price.


You should have called the hotel to cancel your reservation the day your visa application was refused. Many booking policies allow you to cancel at no fee one week (sometimes even 24h) before your stay. Others may charge a cancellation fee, or (rarely) the whole amount if the reservation was non-refundable.

Even in the latter case (i.e. non-refundable reservation), cancelling early and promptly can bring your money back. I had such a reservation once, which I could not cancel online. A phone call to the hotel solved the problem - they were running out of free rooms and were glad to cancel my reservation at no charge. Of course, if I didn't call them, they would not be able to rebook my room to anyone, and the money would be lost.

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