I have used booking.com to book a non-refundable hotel room for two nights in Singapore. They only have my debit card number and expiry date and have not charged the card. I want to cancel this booking and book another room instead.

Can I do so without paying up for the non-refundable room?

  • Are you sure it's 'non refundable' since you were never charged?
    – DTRT
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 12:43
  • it says non-refundable. and i havent been charged yet. but i want to book a diiferent room in the same hotel
    – user55667
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 12:48
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because we do not condone illegal activities.
    – user4188
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 13:00
  • 3
    @chx illegal? OP would be breaching his contract with the hotel, not committing a crime?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 13:19
  • 3
    @chx The question is valid. Even if the only answer would be "yes, but only illegally", we wouldn't condone anything illegal by answering it. On the contrary, we would point to the fact that it is! - Also "non-refundable" doesn't necessarily mean "to be paid under all circumstances". Literally it only means you cannot get any funds back from them... Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


Non-refundable literally means that you cannot get back any amounts already paid. (See definition in MW's Learner's Dictionary)

But in the case of a hotel booking, which is often only paid after checking in or even at check-out, it usually has an additional meaning: You agree to pay a specified amount - up to the full amount of the reservation - even if you do not use the reservation.

It highly depends on what was actually agreed upon between you and the hotel (and maybe booking.com). This cannot easily be answered without knowing the contract.

So your best course of action would probably be to contact the hotel directly, as @pnuts mentioned. They should be able to waive the original booking ex gratia when you place another reservation with them. But be prepared for the case that they won't! As harsh as this may sound, this is the price you pay for - usually cheaper - non-refundable bookings!

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