When to charge your card when booking hotels?

When you check in the hotel will ask for a credit card to guarantee extra charges, known as incidentals, but it won’t run a charge.

You can use a different card than the one you used to make your reservation and a different one than you plan to use when you check out.

When you check out, the hotel charges your credit card, whether you go to the front desk or not. Check your bill before you leave to make sure you aren't charged incorrectly.

When you make a hotel reservation you often need to give a credit card number. This will secure your reservation, meaning the hotel will be able to charge you a cancellation fee if you don’t show. Many hotels won’t charge you if you cancel one day in advance. When you reserve your room the hotel does not charge your card.

Some hotels place a hold amount on your card when you make your reservation or check in. This reduces the amount of available credit on your card, but it’s not a charge. The hold amount might equal one night’s stay or a daily incidental fee equal to the number of days you’ll stay. The hold is released after you check out.