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Can you book a hotel with a prepaid card?

According to Eurostat’s tourism statistics, a total of 64% of EU residents made at least one personal tourism trip in 2018.

Europe has been, and continues to be, a popular tourist destination for thousands if not millions of people every year.

But one of the important aspects of tourism is accommodation.

And while it’s easy to make a booking or reservation with a credit or debit card, and in some instances even with cash, what is the situation in terms of using a prepaid card for booking a hotel?

Find out the answer in this blog post!

What is a prepaid card?

Much like a debit card, a prepaid card is a card that is preloaded with your own funds.

In other words, you’re not using the bank or financial institution’s money in the form of credit.

Another interesting feature of a prepaid card is that it is not always attached to a bank account, and this not only gives you greater levels of privacy, but also helps you improve your spending if you find that you are over-indebted, as it allows you to only spend within your means.

There has certainly been a rise in the issuing and use of prepaid cards across the world, and they’ve been used at department stores, petrol stations and other outlets. 

Large and well-known international financial service providers like VISA and Mastercard are also offering prepaid card services.

These may come in the form of travel cards, gift cards or current account cards.

There’s a wide range of options for you to choose from.

In addition, there are also a number of other e-money companies, including Stripe, Revolut, iCard and myPOS, which offer prepaid cards, but in these instances, such cards are attached to an account.

However, can you make a reservation in a hotel with a prepaid card?

Let’s take a closer look.

Hotel bookings explained

Hotels, motels, B&Bs, guest houses and tourism luxury apartments, etc. – there is a wide range of holiday and tourism accommodation types.

In terms of bookings, many larger hotels will usually request a reservation fee to book your stay, while they’ll also require a deposit for using their mini-bars, for breakages or any other damage that may occur.

This reservation fee is typically paid using a credit card, as a certain amount is reserved from your card to ensure that you’re not a no-show, while some hotels will allow you to pay this fee using PayPal, direct transfers, and in some instances, cash.

So, can you really book a hotel with a prepaid card?

While many hotels are unlikely to accept prepaid cards to make the reservation, the landscape is becoming increasingly dynamic and you’ll find that your prepaid card can, in fact, be accepted at a wide range of accommodation providers, all you need to ensure, as long as you have sufficient funds in your card.

This is especially the case in terms of using your Visa or Mastercard prepaid cards.

You simply need to do your research and ask beforehand.

This also doesn’t mean that it’s a grim situation altogether, and some hotels will, in some cases, allow you to pay with a prepaid card at the end of your trip, even though you might not be able to make your reservation using it.

Therefore, just because you can’t always use it to make your booking, doesn’t mean you will be prevented from paying using your prepaid card at all during your stay.

The most important aspect to remember when you’re about to embark on your next journey is to double-check this with your hotel or accommodation provider beforehand so that you aren’t left stranded at the end of your stay and have to face an uncomfortable situation.

Wrapping up

With the increase in use of prepaid cards, their adoption is likely to rise and their application in the hotel and tourism industry is no exception.

Many hotels are trying to keep up with the most recent and technologically advanced payment trends to make their guests’ payment experience as seamless as possible.

This means we might see changes in the tourism sector as they relate to the use of prepaid cards and booking accommodation. After all, the sector is very dynamic.

While right now, prepaid cards are more commonly used for everyday purchases, this could certainly change in the future with regard to hotel stays.

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