If you have been researching how to book a hotel without a credit card, then you’ve probably come across A LOT of hotels that require a credit card to book a room.
Sadly, are fewer hotels that take cash than in previous decades, which can make it tough if you don’t have a credit card or just don’t want to use it to pay for a hotel room.
There are plenty of reasons you might not want to use a credit card to book your hotel stay.
Perhaps you are one of the 7.1 million Americans that do not have a bank account?
Or maybe you have bad credit or no credit history, so are unable to obtain a credit card?
Perhaps you just don’t want a credit card because you don’t want to risk getting into debt and having to pay the high interest rates that can come along with cards or because you are using cash to budget, like the envelope budgeting system?
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Whatever the case, if you don’t have a credit card, it can be hard to find places that allow you to reserve a room without one.
What will I learn?
Why Do Hotels Need a Credit Card?
Although there are still some hotels that take cash, many still require a credit card to book a room.
So, why is this? Why do hotels often require a credit card?
Well, there are many reasons, including:
To hold you liable in case you don’t show up
If you cancel your booking or just don’t show up, the hotel loses money on a room that could have been reserved for another guest who may have actually used it.
With your credit card on file, the hotel can hold you liable by charging you for your cancellation.
To cover incidentals and any damages
Having a credit card on file for a security deposit allows the hotel to cover any incidental expenses, like room service, or any damages caused by the guest.
Extra charges that a hotel may want to cover include:
- City taxes
- Bar bill
- Mini bar usage
- Damage to your room
- Stolen items
- Purchasing pay-per-view movies
Many put a $50 to $200 a night hold on your credit card for incidentals. This hold is in addition to the nightly room rate. This hold is removed after you check out.
Because it can be more convenient
Many hotels only accept credit cards because it’s more convenient for them. Using a credit card can result in a faster check-in and check-out, which saves the hotel time.
And, having less cash on the premises means they’re less likely to be robbed.
Thankfully, there are still ways to book a hotel without a credit card!
How to Book a Hotel Without a Credit Card
Here’s how you can book a hotel without a credit card…
1. Stay at a hotel that takes cash
Many hotels and motels require a credit card to book, but there are still a few well-known hotel brands that will allow you to book a hotel room without a credit card.
Here are some examples of hotels that take cash:
Hyatt Hotels accepts cash payments at some locations. Call the hotel to confirm the accepted forms of payment.
Although a credit card is usually required to hold the room, you may be able to reserve the room without a credit card if you get in touch by phone. Accepted payment methods vary from place to place.
- Contact the hotel to make your booking here.
Motel 6 accepts cash at most locations. While most hotels that let you pay cash often require a credit card to confirm/guarantee your reservation, that’s not the case with Motel 6.
Online bookings require a credit card, but you can make a reservation at Motel 6 without a credit card by calling the motel.
- Contact the hotel to make your booking here.
IHG Hotels & Resorts
IHG Hotels & Resorts operates lots of brands, such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, and Regent Hotels & Resorts.
Some IHG Hotel brands accept cash at certain locations.
While online bookings require a credit card, you can contact the hotel directly to make a reservation without a credit card and it may be able to make other payment arrangements with you, but it depends on the hotel.
- Call 1 877 424 2449 to book your stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts and get more contact information for IHG here (click on the “Worldwide Reservation Offices” tab to the hotel’s get contact information).
Contact the hotel you plan to stay with to see if it allows you to book a room without a credit card.
2. Book with local non-chain hotels
While some chain hotels, like those I mentioned above, will accept cash at some locations, the majority of chain hotels require a credit card for at least some portion of the booking or payment process.
That’s why it’s sometimes better to book a stay with a non-chain hotel.
Look for places like boutique hotels, local mom-and-pop motels, and smaller bed and breakfasts. These are more likely to accept cash than brand chain hotels are.
3. Ask for a courtesy hold
Some hotels do allow you to book a room without any type of payment card if you instead request a courtesy hold. When you book a hotel room, the hotel keeps the room available for you. It ensures that this room is no longer available to other guests on the dates you specified.
A courtesy hold waives the requirement of you having to pay a deposit at the time of booking, but the hotel will still keep the room available for you until the day of your arrival.
So, you won’t need to provide a payment card at the time of your booking. Upon arrival, you will need to pay with one of the approved payment methods, like cash, debit card, or credit card, so check what payment methods are accepted.
It’s important to note that courtesy holds are getting rarer, and many hotels won’t let you make a booking without some sort of payment to hold the room. That being said, it’s worth asking about a courtesy hold, and if you are a trusted and frequent guest, you may have a greater chance of getting one.
4. Use a third-party booking platform and pay using PayPal instead
Rather than booking directly through the hotel itself, you should consider booking through a third-party company that allows you to book hotels with PayPal. This is a great option if you don’t have a credit card.
Here are some sites that allow you to checkout using PayPal.
Booking.com allows you to use PayPal, Alipay, and WeChat Pay, so you don’t have to use a credit card to pay for your stay.
Expedia accepts PayPal for some hotel bookings if you choose to pre-pay online.
If a hotel does accept PayPal, then you will be able to click on a PayPal tab under Payment.
When you use PayPal on Expedia, you will be redirected to the payment system’s login page, where you can choose the account that you want to use and complete your booking.
Hotels.com accepts a wide range of payment options, including PayPal, as well as credit cards and debit cards.
When you book, Hotels.com will charge you in your local currency. You can cancel before the cancellation deadline and get a full refund too, which is great.
Hotwire is a good option for anyone who wants to book a hotel without a credit card, because it accepts PayPal as a payment method.
5. Get a secure credit card
Many people don’t have a credit card because they have bad credit or no credit history, so they are unable to obtain one. There is another option if this is the case for you, and this is to get a secured credit card.
It’s a type of credit card where you pay the card issuer a refundable deposit that is equal to the amount of the credit card’s limit.
Basically, secured credit cards are backed by a cash deposit from the cardholder. This deposit provides the card issuer with security in case you can’t make payments. If you fail to pay, the bank can deduct the money directly from the deposit.
If you don’t have a credit card because you have bad or no credit history, then getting a secured credit card is a great way to book a hotel without a credit card.
A secured credit card will have your name on it and can be used the same way as regular credit cards.
6. Book your hotel room through a travel agent
Another option, which is a little old-school, is to book your hotel room through a travel agent and then pay the travel agency in cash.
You can find local agents by searching Google for the phrase, “Travel agents near me.”
7. Try economy hotels and motels
Another good option if you want to book a hotel room without a credit card is to try economy hotels and motels. They are more likely to accept cash.
Simply do a Google search for the term, “Economy hotels [name of the area where you want to stay]” or “Economy motels [name of the area where you want to stay]“.
8. Book your reservation by phone
If you do not want to use a credit card to book a hotel room, then avoid making your reservation online. Online bookings pretty much always require you to use a credit card. That’s why you should call the hotel instead.
Explain that you would like to reserve a room, but that you do not want to use a credit card.
The hotel may be able to assist you in booking a room without a CC.
9. Use a debit card
If you don’t have a credit card, you may be able to book a hotel using your debit card instead. Credit cards are a more commonly accepted payment method at the time of booking, rather than debit cards.
But, many well-known chain hotels do allow you to book a hotel with a debit card.
Here are some examples:
Red Roof Inn
Red Roof Inn allows you to pay for your hotel room with cash at the time of check out, which is great.
You will need to provide a card at the time of check-in which will be authorized for the amount of your stay. But, this can be a debit card!
So, it does give you the option to use cash from your bank account, rather than a credit card.
When researching, I found the hotel policy page for many Omni Hotels locations, and many of them stated that guests can indeed use cash at some locations to pay for their stay and can use a debit card to book a hotel room.
I found this information on the site for its Dallas location:
- “All reservations must be accompanied by a valid credit or debit card. The hotel can accept cash as a form of payment, but only at checkout.”
Contact the hotel you plan to stay with to ask if it will allow you to book a hotel room with a debit card.
- Make a booking online here.
- Call 1-800-THE-OMNI (800-843-6664) to make a reservation at Omni Hotels.
If you are going to use a credit card, be sure to use a card that gives you cashback and rewards. That way, at least you’ll get something back for spending that money. It’s like getting free money for spending money that you were going to spend anyway.
Also, if you are booking online, be sure to go through cashback sites like Rakuten. Cashback sites give you cash back for booking hotels through them. Sometimes you may even pay less since some cashback sites have exclusive deals and discounts for popular hotel chains. By the way, to earn cashback you don’t have to use a credit card. You can use a debit card or pay with PayPal or other methods and Rakuten will still give you your cashback.
Also, don’t forget to join hotel reward programs so you can get rewarded (with free stays, discounts, etc.) for being loyal to a brand.
And if you don’t want to use a CC, as you can see, there are many ways to book a hotel without a credit card, you just have to pick one that works best for you and your situation.