Hotel Pre Authorisations and Other Tools of the Devil
Letter from a reader on the perils of using the wrong card to pay for a hotel pre-authorisation.
He was staying in Singapore, booked several rooms for a family visit and handed over his Qantas Cash Card to cover the pre-authorisation charge. He had enough Singapore dollars loaded onto the card to pay for the room charges but ended up paying with another card. When he got back home and the money blocked for the pre-authorisation still had not been returned, he contacted Qantas Cash Card and was told that as it is a prepaid card, as opposed to a credit/debit card, it could take up to 30 days for a pre authorisation to come off!
When it finally did, it was returned in Singapore dollars, and converting it back to Aussie dollars with the currency conversion rates to and fro means he lost almost 10% of what he put in.
Moral of story: Always, always use a credit card to pay for a hotel pre-authorisation. That means you’re using your financial institution’s cash to cover what is essentially a deposit, rather than your own.