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Old 18-11-2018, 09:28 AM   #1
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Your views on Singapore hotel practice.

When my company held Annual dinner at 5 star hotel in Orchard,
I book 1 night stay in tat hotel via online booking 1 month ago.
When I went to hotel reception, one hotel staff process my debit card.
When I went to the assigned hotel room,I login to check my bank account, i found that $400, was debited from my account ,instead of $299.
In hotel website , price shown was $254 and gross price should be about $299 after tax and charges.

When I made enquiry to hotel reservation, she replied that this $400 was taken in case of incidental, and that $400 will be refunded to your account in 5 working days.
1 day later, I went to check out. I was made to present my debit card to process and they gave me a bill totalling only $299.
When I check my bank account yesterday, only $299 was billed to this hotel and $400 was pending , not yet transfered back to my account.

What do you think of this?
Is it the reason why debit card is not encouraged for hotel booking?
Not everyone can own credit card.
Your replies and advice is appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 18-11-2018, 10:33 AM   #2
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That's pretty standard all around the world, and not just at hotels (gas stations at the US do this too). If you use a debit card, the hotel will place a hold on your debit card for more than the expected amount of the billóbasically in case you trash the hotel room or run up a bunch of room service or something like that.

That amount of your bank balance is going to be inaccessible until the hotel and the bank remove the hold.

Moral of the story: don't use debit cards to pay for hotels, I guess.
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Old 18-11-2018, 11:46 AM   #3
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yup, use credit card, it wont be charged yet ...
for debit card, they would usually deduct and put on hold first ...
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Old 18-11-2018, 12:32 PM   #4
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The only thing that's questionable here is why the hotel front desk didn't make it clear to you that they will take the 'deposit.'

Like others have said it's standard practice for lots of hotels (not just in Singapore, lots of other countries hotels also like that)

But normally if you use credit card they will only process a hold (and not actually charge you the money). I guess debit card got no such thing so it processes as an actual debit?
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Old 18-11-2018, 03:14 PM   #5
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Thanks all for your replies.
A pity, I don't have credit card because I don't meet minimum annual income level to own one. (one must be earning min $30 K per year)

Totally agreed with deodorant that hotel receptionist and reservation team should make it clear to me in the first place.
Last month in October, I emailed the hotel reservation about my hearing impairment and plan to book hotel room for 1 night at the hotel where my company holding annual dinner in function room. I told them whether I can go there to book a room and using POSB debit card to pay for the room.
Reservation replied to my email few hours later, saying I should reserve a room using debit card at hotel website, because rate might change to higher due to limited room availability.
Thus, I reserve a room at hotel website, where hotel will reserve my place .I chose flexible rate at $255 in which I could cancel without any penalty

On that day, hotel receptionist (she is PRC national), processed my debit card and then give me key without giving me the receipts.
When I was in a room, I checked POSB app and found that $400 was deducted from my saving account. I asked hotel receptionist, she said $400 was intentionally deducted for any incidentals. and it will be automatically transferred back to my account in 5 working days.

Last Friday, I check my POSB app again. and found that $299 was deducted for hotel bill and $400 was still pending to be transferred to my saving accounts.

On that day before I went to hotel, I had $1000 in saving account.
Then I got only $600 left

On friday, I got only $301 .. and my $400 was still on hold .

Maybe that PRC receptionist don't know the difference between POSB debit and credit card.
(the hotel which I stayed -Regent Hotel,)
2 years ago, when my company held dinner at Pan Pacific in Marina Square.
I book a room and receptionist , a Singaporean, told me that debit card not recommended and asked me how much money I have in saving account.
I replied $1000, and proceed to deduct $367 and give me receipt.
I checked my saving account , only $633 remained.
On checking out, I gave receptionist the key and left, They don't asked for my card to swipe 2nd time on checking out..
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Old 18-11-2018, 03:29 PM   #6
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The other choice in this situation is to have the room cost charge to card but pay deposit in cash, so when you check out can immediately take back the deposit in cash.
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Old 18-11-2018, 03:36 PM   #7
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I guess, it is not feasible, because I don't like to carry too much $50 note in my walllet .

I like to know whether 4 star hotel practise this kind of things?
If my company hold dinner function again next year, I will look for nearest 4 star hotel , the room rate with complimentary breakfast is cheaper..




The other choice in this situation is to have the room cost charge to card but pay deposit in cash, so when you check out can immediately take back the deposit in cash.
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Old 18-11-2018, 04:06 PM   #8
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I guess, it is not feasible, because I don't like to carry too much $50 note in my walllet .

I like to know whether 4 star hotel practise this kind of things?
If my company hold dinner function again next year, I will look for nearest 4 star hotel , the room rate with complimentary breakfast is cheaper..
Yup, as mentioned it's a common practice (though not compulsory) internationally to take a deposit, whether by card or in cash.
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Old 19-11-2018, 08:43 AM   #9
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Many hotels, locally or overseas, adopt this practice, whether you have booked directly with the hotel or via a portal. The deposit covers the hotel in case of damage or loss, and is paid upfront by the guest at check-in, in cash or via a credit-card "hold". The hotel should issue a receipt stating it is a deposit for return to the guest at check-out.
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Old 22-11-2018, 08:12 AM   #10
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Thanks all. I had received my $400 back yesterday.

I think all hotels should state how much incidental deposits to be paid per night in their website so that people will know what to expect.

Nowadays there are many young Singaporeans who go to hotels for weekend staycation, they might not know incidental deposits must be paid in cash or card.

For your info, Tanglin Jen Hotel accept $100 per night deposit for its club room.

Other hotels , 5stars might ask for higher amount for better room with better access to be paid in cash or credit card
Do you have a lot of $50 note in your wallets? very troublesome ,right?
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Old 22-11-2018, 09:08 AM   #11
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Pretty standard practice, I usually book my stays using booking websites like hotels, bookings.com etc. Then whenever I reach they'll collect cash deposit from me which they'll return when I check out.

Though I tend to carry a lot of overseas currency with me when I travel, I do agree that in Singapore I don't like carrying more than $100 with me. But now that you know this, maybe next time you can be prepared with more cash in advance if booking local hotels again
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