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I have booked through Agoda.com some hotels, guesthouses and ryokan for a trip in Japan.

Normally you are supposed to settle the hotel bill at check out (or at check in) using the same credit card used for the booking.

It would be cheaper for us to pay cash with yen.

Do you know if it is possible to use cash in this context? I do not find information about this on Agoda site, we also asked to some hotels but they did not reply.

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  • Use booking.com instead? Also, why would it be cheaper to pay cash?
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 20, 2016 at 15:36
  • We found better or cheaper solutions for the cities we are visiting on Agoda. Our credit card charges more than 5% for payment in foreign currency, we can instead exchange yen at much better conditions.
    – Luca
    Aug 20, 2016 at 15:39
  • Find a new credit card, 5% is way too high.
    – user13044
    Aug 21, 2016 at 2:28
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    "Normally you are supposed to settle the hotel bill at check out (or at check in) using the same credit card used for the booking" - I have never heard of this requirement when the booking is just "guaranteed" by this card (i.e. it is not prepaid). Why would they even care about it?
    – George Y.
    Aug 21, 2016 at 2:41

1 Answer 1

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If you have booked a "pay at hotel" reservation through Agoda, Booking.com, etc you can settle the bill with whatever form of payment you wish at check in. I have switched payment forms on several bookings both in the states and abroad.

The credit card is there simply as a guarantee that you will show up and pay. If you do not check in, they will bill the card for the room they held for you.

Hotels are quite content to take cash, as it save them the 2-3% merchant fee they get billed when you use a card. And Japanese businesses prefer cash over cards, especially small or rural locations.

BUT, be sure to read the fine print, as some of those "pay later" options state that the hotel may charge the room prior to arrival. In which case the room may have been billed or authorized before you arrive.

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