There 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 for a hotel stay, such as:
What will I learn?
You don’t have a bank account
7.1 Million Americans do not have a bank account. So, they don’t have a debit card or credit card.
Not everyone has a credit card
Even Americans who do have a bank account may not have a credit card. Some people don’t have one because they have bad credit or no credit history. Others simply don’t want a credit card, because they don’t want to risk getting into debt and having to pay the high-interest rates that can come along with cards.
You’re using cash to budget
If you are on a budget, then it can be easier to keep track of your spending when you use cash rather than a credit card. The envelope budgeting system, for example, uses cash only and is a great method of saving money. So, if you are using cash to help you live more frugally, then you won’t want to use a credit card to pay for a hotel.
Cash is still a popular payment method
Perhaps you just want to use cash? After all, it’s still a popular form of payment with cash accounting for 26% of all transactions.
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While many people are looking to use cash over plastic, it can seem difficult to find anywhere that actually accepts it as a payment method, which may leave you wondering…
So are there any hotels that take cash?
Short answer: Some hotels allow you to pay for your hotel room with cash. This includes Extended Stay America, Motel 6, Hyatt, and Radisson. There are restrictions though. Some hotel companies will only accept cash at certain locations and most hotels still require a credit card to reserve the room and at check-in to cover any incidental charges or damage to the room.
Why Do Hotels Require Credit Cards?
Like I said above, many hotels will allow you to pay for your hotel stay using cash, but require a credit card to book the room and on check-in.
So, why is this? Why do hotels often require a credit card?
Well, there are many reasons, including:
Hotels want to hold you liable in case you don’t show up
One of the main reasons why hotels ask for a credit card when you book is to hold the room for you. When you reserve a room, the hotel makes sure that this room is no longer available to another guest on the dates you specified.
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 customer who may have actually used it.
When you use a credit card to book a room, the hotel can hold you liable by charging you a certain amount for your cancellation. So using a credit card to reserve a room can lessen the chance of the customer canceling their reservation because they want to avoid paying the cancellation fees.
To cover incidentals and any damages
The main reason that hotels often require a credit card at check-in is that 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.
The hotel has no way of guaranteeing payment if the guest doesn’t have enough cash on hand to cover these incidental expenses.
So, even some hotels that take cash will require you to use a credit card as security to cover these incidentals or pay a refundable cash deposit to mitigate any losses.
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
Most hotels put a $50 to $200 a night hold on a guest’s credit card for incidentals. This hold is in addition to the nightly room rate. This hold is removed after you check out.
If you don’t do things like use the minibar or order room service and keep the room in good shape, then you shouldn’t be charged for any incidental fees.
Because it can be more convenient
Many hotels only accept credit cards because it’s more convenient for them.
Having less cash on the premises means they’re less likely to be robbed.
And, using a card can result in a faster check-in and check-out, which saves the hotel time.
Why won’t hotels take debit cards?
As you can see, hotels have their reasons for requiring credit cards from their guests. But, as I said earlier, a lot of people don’t have a credit card. Even those of us who do have bank accounts don’t have a CC because we don’t want the high-interest rates that can come along with them.
So, we use a debit card instead. Sadly, many hotels don’t even take debit cards, let alone cash.
Many hotels won’t take debit cards as a form of payment because there may not be enough money in the account to cover the cost of the room and any incidentals that a guest may incur. After all, people sometimes forget that they have direct debits going out at a certain time and many have less cash in their accounts than they think they do.
Hotels are more likely to take credit cards because the risk of not being able to pay is lower.
For the guest, there’s also the issue of having the funds tied up because the hotel will pre-authorize the total amount of your stay, plus incidentals to cover extras. After pre-authorization, this amount is frozen in your debit card. This means that you can’t touch that cash until the hold is taken off, which will be after you check out.
You could end up incurring overdraft fees.
Although hotels do prefer credit cards, many will accept cash as a payment method…
Hotels that Take Cash
You can get a room with cash at some hotels. So, don’t worry, if you’re looking to pay with cash, then you may be able to.
Please keep in mind though that there are some restrictions.
Some will require a credit card at the time of booking. Online bookings pretty much always require a credit card.
If you contact the hotel to make your booking over the phone though, you may be able to use cash.
Below, I’ve included the contact page for each hotel so that if you do want to book over the phone, rather than online, then you can.
Now, after you have reserved the room, the hotel may require a credit card at check-in, as I mentioned above, to cover those incidental costs and any potential damage to the room.
Some places will allow you to put down a refundable cash deposit at check-in to cover those extra charges. So, you will have to withdraw and put down a refundable deposit per day to cover incidentals like room service and any potential damages.
Other hotels require that you pay the hotel manager a cash deposit at check-in to cover your entire stay.
Below, I’ll cover hotels that take cash, including whether you need a credit card to reserve the room and to cover incidentals and potential damage. So, make sure you read the rest of the post.
1. Extended Stay America
Extended Stay America is a hotel that accepts cash at check-in. You will, however, need to provide an extra deposit, which will be used to cover any incidental charges that may be incurred during your stay or room damage. A credit card may be required for validation during booking.
2. Motel 6
Motel 6 is a motel that accepts cash payments. Payment may be made with cash at most locations.
Most hotels that let you pay cash often require a credit card to confirm/guarantee your reservation. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Motel 6.
If you book online, a credit card is required to confirm/guarantee your reservation. However, you can make a reservation without using your credit card by calling the motel. You can find the contact information on the page linked below.
3. Red Roof Inn
A credit card is required for all online hotel reservations at Red Roof. This is to guarantee your reserved room until your arrival date, and your credit card isn’t charged until you are at the hotel. If you don’t want to use a credit card online to book your reservation, you can instead call the hotel to reserve your stay and ask about using cash.
Red Roof Inn takes cash as a payment method but only at the time of check out. You will need to provide a card at the time of check-in which will be authorized for the amount of your stay. Now, this can be a credit card or debit card, so it does give you the option to use cash from your bank account, rather than having to use a credit card.
While Red Roof Inn does require a credit or debit card at the time of check-in, you can choose to change the payment type to cash, or another card, at checkout.
Hyatt Hotels accepts cash payments at some locations. Call the hotel to confirm the accepted forms of payment. Hyatt usually requires a pre-authorized credit card to hold the room.
A credit card is required for all reservations made for Hyatt online.
You can, however, contact Hyatt by phone to make your reservation. While 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.
Radisson accepts cash at most locations. Although it will take cash payment at check-in, an extra deposit may be required to cover any incidentals or damage.
Even though the hotel will take cash at check-in, a credit card is required to hold the room.
6. Drury Inn & Suites
Drury Inn & Suites is a hotel that takes cash with credit card verification.
Drury Inn & Suites accepts cash, but it requires a photo ID and a valid credit card at check-in. The hotel will request a credit or debit card number at the time of booking to secure and guarantee your reservation.
7. Hyatt Centric
Hyatt Centric is a chain of modern boutique hotels from the Hyatt brand.
Some Hyatt Centric locations accept cash payments. It’s a good idea to call the hotel you’re thinking of booking a room with, to confirm its accepted forms of payment.
While some locations may accept cash upon arrival, a credit card is usually required to book the room.
8. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
Most Country Inn & Suites locations accept cash for a hotel room. It will take cash payment at check-in, but it may require a deposit to cover any incidentals, damage, or room charges.
While the hotel will take cash at check-in, a credit card is required to book the room.
9. 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.
You may need a credit card at check-in though. On TripAdvisor, I found a quote from a property representative from a Holiday Inn in West Virginia who said:
- “We accept Visa / Mastercard / Discover / and American Express and yes you can pay cash at check-in for the full amount of your stay (room and tax) or at the time of check-out. Please note if paying cash at check-out that an authorization will be placed on your credit/debit card at check-in.”
So, it seems like some IHG brands will take cash.
Bookings online may require a credit card, but 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.
Contact the hotel to ask about using cash as a payment method.
- Make a booking online here.
- 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).
10. Hyatt House
Hyatt House is a chain of extended stay hotels from the Hyatt brand. It’s ideal for long-term travel. Hyatt House has nearly 100 hotels around the world offering residential-style settings for extended stays along with everyday comforts and 24-hour conveniences.
Hyatt House will take cash payments at some locations. Call the hotel you want to book a room with to ask about the payment methods it accepts.
Although some locations will accept cash upon arrival, a credit card is typically required to book the room.
11. Park Hyatt
Park Hyatt is a chain of luxury hotels and resorts from the Hyatt brand.
Some Park Hyatt locations allow you to pay in cash. Give the hotel you’re thinking of booking, a call to confirm its accepted forms of payment.
Even though some locations take cash as a payment method, a credit card is usually required to book the room.
12. Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts
Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts provides stylish guest rooms in city center locations, and it provides meeting facilities and award-winning restaurants and bars. So, it caters to both those traveling for business and leisure purposes.
Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts will take cash for a hotel room at most locations.
It will take cash payment at check-in. However, it may require a deposit to cover any incidentals, damage, or room charges.
While the hotel will take cash at check-in, a credit card is required to hold the room.
13. Omni Hotels
Omni Hotels takes cash at some of its locations. When researching, I found the hotel policy page for many Omni Hotels locations, and many of them stated that guests can indeed use cash.
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.”
I found this information on the site for its San Diego location:
- “A credit card is required to reserve a room. Guests wishing to pay for their stay with cash will need to pay for their stay in full plus a $100 per day incidental deposit at the time of check-in.”
I found this information on the site for its Nashville location:
- “Guests paying in cash must pay their room charges in full with an additional $100 per day deposit at the time of check-in.”
So, Omni does accept cash at many of its locations, but you will usually need a credit card to make the reservation and pay a deposit.
You also have the option to use a debit card to book your reservation.
Debit cards will be processed and charged at the time of check-in. This authorization will hold funds from your bank account in the amount of the room rate, inclusive of tax, for all room nights plus the property’s nightly incidental hold.
The incidental hold will cover any additional charges and varies by property. It can be as high as $200. You can contact the property for specific hold amounts.
Upon check-out, any unused funds will be credited back to your bank account. Based upon the business rules of your bank, it may take 72 hours or longer for your bank to release the funds back to your account. When Online Check-In is used, the charges will be processed prior to check-in, on the day of your arrival.
- Make a booking online here.
- Call 1-800-THE-OMNI (800-843-6664) to make a reservation at Omni Hotels.
14. Park Inn
Park Inn is a hotel chain from Radisson that offers stress-free hotel stays in a positive and relaxing environment. The hotel offers modern facilities and contemporary design.
Park Inn requires a credit card to book the room, but the hotel will take cash at check-in. Most Park Inn locations accept cash for a hotel room.
It may require a deposit to cover any incidentals and damage.
15. Hyatt Place
Hyatt Place is a chain of modern hotels from the Hyatt brand. There are more than 350 Hyatt Place locations around the world, which offer free wi-fi, a 24/7 Market where you can pick up packaged grab-and-go items, snacks and salads, 24/7 dining, and gym access.
You can use cash to pay for your room at some Hyatt Place locations. However, even though some locations may accept cash at check-in, they will usually require a CC to book the room. It’s worth calling the particular hotel location you want to stay at to see if it accepts cash as a form of payment.
16. Radisson Blu
Radisson Blu is an international chain of hotels from Radisson Hotels, which offers rooms for business and leisure. Its hotels are found mostly in major cities.
Most Radisson Blu locations accept cash for hotel rooms. The hotel will take cash payment at check-in, but it may require a deposit to cover any incidentals, damage, or room charges.
Although the hotel will take cash at check-in, a credit card is required to book the room.
17. Marriot Hotels
You can pay cash at some Marriot Hotels. However, a credit card is required to make your reservation. While some Marriot Hotels may take cash as a payment option, a credit card is usually required at check-in to cover incidentals and damage to the room.
18. Hyatt Regency
Hyatt Regency is a chain of upscale hotels that feature large meeting spaces. There are more than 175 Hyatt Regency locations.
Some Hyatt Regency locations accept cash payments. It’s a good idea to call the hotel you’re thinking of booking a room with to confirm which payment methods it accepts.
While some locations may accept cash upon arrival, a credit card is usually required to book the room.
19. Pear Tree Inn
Pear Tree Inn is owned by Drury Hotels. It accepts cash with credit card verification.
While the Pear Tree Inn takes cash, it requires a photo ID and a valid credit card at check-in. The hotel will request a credit or debit card number at the time of booking to secure and guarantee your reservation.
20. Radisson Red
Radisson Red is an international chain of hotels operated by Radisson Hotel Group. It’s an upscale hotel with a focus on modern design and technology.
You can use cash to pay for a hotel room at most Radisson Red locations. The hotel will take cash payment at check-in, but it may require a deposit to cover any incidentals, damage, or room charges.
While the hotel will take cash at check-in, a credit card is required to book the room.
21. Economy Hotels and Motels
A good option if you’re looking for hotels and motels that take cash is to try economy ones. Economy hotels and motels are the most likely properties 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].
22. Local Non-chain Hotels
Many chain hotels require a credit card, at least for some portion of the booking or payment process. So, if you are looking to use cash, then I would recommend trying local, non-chain hotels. Look for places like boutique hotels, local mom-and-pop motels, and smaller bed and breakfasts, as these are more likely to accept cash than brand chain hotels are.
Other Ways to Book a Hotel Without a Credit Card
As you can see, it can be pretty difficult to book a hotel without using a credit card at all. I mean, most of the time, you will need a CC to book a room at least and some places require one at the time of check-in as well to cover extra costs.
Another option you can try is booking through a third-party company, rather than directly through the hotel itself. The reason for this is that they often allow you to pay with cash or PayPal. This is a good option if you don’t have a regular bank account or a credit card.
Here are some other ways to book a hotel without a credit card.
If you don’t have a credit card and you want to book a hotel, then try Booking.com. I have booked a few hotels through Booking.com and have often found some great deals there.
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.
- Visit Booking.com here.
Expedia is another great option if you want to book a hotel stay without a credit card. It 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.
- Visit Expedia here.
Hotels.com is another option that you can try if you want to book a hotel when you don’t have a credit card. It’s a great site for finding deals and discounts on hotel reservations.
Hotels.com accepts a wide range of payment options, which includes not only credit cards but also debit cards and PayPal. If you are looking to book a hotel room using PayPal, then Hotels.com is a good option.
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.
- Visit Hotels.com here.
Hotwire is another good website for finding deals on hotels. The site claims that you can save up to 60% on hotels.
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.
- Visit Hotwire here.
27. Travel Agents
Another option is to book your hotel room through a travel agent.
This option is a little more old-school, but it works well if you’re looking to pay for a hotel stay in cash. So, book your hotel room through a travel agent and pay the travel agency in cash.
You can find local agents by searching Google for the phrase, “Travel agents near me.”
How to Pay for a Hotel with Cash
If you are looking to pay for a hotel with cash, here’s how it works:
Step 1: Choose a hotel that takes cash
The first step is to find a hotel that takes cash. We’ve listed many of them above. Please note that while a hotel may be known to take cash, it may not accept it as a payment method at all of its locations. So, you will need to check with the particular hotel location you plan to stay with.
Step Two: Book your reservation by phone
Online bookings pretty much always require you to use a credit card. To be honest, most hotels will require a credit card to make a booking. If you do not want to use a CC to reserve your hotel room, then 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.
Some will require you to reserve the room with a credit card, and then pay in cash once you’ve arrived, but others will allow you to simply walk in. Motel 6, for example, allows you to book a hotel room without a credit card.
If the hotel can’t make the booking without a CC, you can at least enquire about using cash to pay for your room when you arrive.
Step Three: Pay for the hotel
Next, you will need to pay for the hotel. When paying in cash, you will usually need to pay for the entire stay upfront, at check-in. And, you will also need to provide a deposit to cover incidentals, so make sure that you bring enough cash.
Some hotels will allow you to pay the deposit in cash, but others will insist on a credit card for the deposit. Hotels also, typically, ask you to show some form of photo ID like a driver’s license or passport at check-in.
Once your stay is over, provided that you didn’t incur any incidental charges, and you left the room in good condition, then you will get your deposit back.
While you can’t reserve a hotel room online without a credit card, some hotels do allow you to pay with cash at the check-in desk. Most hotels that take cash require you to use a credit card to hold your room, and others require a card on check-in to cover incidentals.
Some hotels require you to pay a refundable cashback deposit to cover these incidentals.
If you don’t want to use a credit card at all, then booking through a website like Booking.com or Expedia is a good option because it allows you to use PayPal as a payment option. Also, booking with your local travel agent is a good choice because many allow you to pay for your hotel in cash.
Consider the places above if you’re looking for hotels that take cash.