Most hotels I think require you to deposit by credit card when you arrive at your hotel. For example, in my recent trip I got charged RMB 10,000 for 14 days stay - that's about 1,500 USD.

Is this deposit transaction recorded in credit card at the time of the arrival? And is it deducted from the available limit of the card?

My credit limit is only around USD 5,000 and I hate the deposit takes so much chunk of the available limit.

Does the deduction occur? Or does it depend on the credit card company, hotel, or anything others?

And if it is deducted, can I ask for not taking so much chunk of the limit, possibly by asking for less deposit? Or is there any other ways to cope with the issue?

For your information I don't use anything subject to the deposit (e.g. minibar or laundry).

  • How much was the actual room rate? Some hotels put a hold per day, like $50/day and some just put an overall hold and bump it up if you keep using the minibar and charging stuff to the room etc
    – Berwyn
    Aug 1, 2016 at 11:29
  • Unfortunately the answer to this question is generally yes. It's quite annoying, but that's life.
    – Fattie
    Aug 1, 2016 at 16:00
  • In the "old days" this was totally infuriating, as the holds would often sit on there for a LONG time (weeks, more) and inevitably you'd have to spend hours on the phone etc. The situation is somewhat better now. But yeah, there's no way to avoid it unfortunately.
    – Fattie
    Aug 1, 2016 at 16:01
  • If you can get a second credit card, different bank or different system, you can use one card for places that put a hold on the card, like car rentals and hotels, and use your other card for day to day payments. In many or even most cases you can chose which card you pay with in the end.
    – Willeke
    Aug 1, 2016 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


Yes, authorization holds are deducted from your credit limit. That's actually the whole point: it's not there just for the minibar or laundry, but because the hotel wants to be sure they can charge your credit card for the accommodation at the end of a stay.

The alternative to credit is cold hard cash, but depending on the hotel you may need to pay quite a significant sum. Alternatively, for longer stays (like the 14 days you mention), you may be able to negotiate weekly payments instead of a single hold to cover the lot.

Another alternative is to book fully prepaid rooms online, so you pay in advance and have your full credit limit available by the time you actually arrive. You may still be asked for a small hold/deposit to cover minibar etc, but it will be a lot less.

  • @pnuts with debit cards there's also the fact that some banks have a limited maximum transaction size and daily maximums. Trying to charge an extended stay to a debit card runs the risk of bouncing because it's too big to go through not just because there are insufficient funds in the account. Aug 1, 2016 at 14:26
  • Another alternative is to hold the funds on the card when you check in, but pay the actuals in cash when you check out. The hold is then released and the funds are available to you within a few business days (depends on your bank). Aug 2, 2016 at 9:41

While the hold does come off your card's credit limit, there are a TON of variables. In short I would consider it money spent at check in, but that has not always been the case.

A common example for me is:

  1. Check in places a hold, for the entire stay
  2. The hold is shown on my card.
  3. The hold is removed from my card (usually a couple of hours), and my full credit limit is available
  4. I enjoy my trip. I do stuff. Any orders for room service, dry cleaning, or "charge it to the room" Show as a new hold on the credit card for a couple of hours then fall off if they are large expenses, or don't show at all.
  5. The Morning before checkout I get a bill under the door, with an itemized bill.
  6. At checkout I determine how to pay the bill, if its the same card, or cash, or different means.
  7. A hold is placed on the card of choice for the full amount, then finally
  8. 2-3 days later, the charge goes through for the amount on the bill.

I travel a lot, and I always use the same card at the same brand of hotels. So that may have a lot to do with it. 9/10 I never even have to present my card. I don't know if customer loyalty makes a difference. I know it does when booking (they no longer ask for my card) and may services (they just charge to the room, and don't ask), but I can't tell you if the hold drops off because of the card, the hotel, my habits, or a mixture of all three.

I am pretty sure the hold and wait between 7 and 8 is to check the room for damages and the like.

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