Hotel credit card pre authorisation charges

Has anyone else been caught unawares with Melbourne CBD Hotel pre authorisation charges?
Nowhere on the Grand Hyatt’s booking platform is there any information.
Effectively they place a caveat on your credit card till the account is settled and in their bank. It looks as if you have paid twice and overdrawn if maintaining a zero balance. It comes off 3 to 5 days later so they told me when I complained. The receptionist did not articulate this charge at the time let alone give me the Hyatt membership discount for the 2 out of 3 days we were entitled to.
If you book through RACV you get the discount anyway.
Has anyone used RACV clubs membership, $100 a month?
It’s in addition to membership but can stay at the Melbourne facility for an attractive rate.
2 3 day stays a year and would be ahead of 3 days at the Grand Hyatt🤷🏻‍♂️

You will find a number of businesses from hotels to grocers to servos and others preauthorise charges as routine practice. In the case of hotels some will do one night, some an entire stay at check in, and some will only do a modest amount to confirm the card. The timing to release the authorisation seems to vary from the time of actual settlement of the account to a few days later. Note my comment on the amounts re fuelling below.

There was a discussion about how this practice affects routine purchases such as groceries here. Whether and how this practice affects any individual varies from not at all to putting them over their limits but there are differences of opinion about it.

Having stayed in motels and hotels many times I am not aware of this being called out except on booking platforms. For context when you fill your vehicle and set a limit on the fill are you aware that usually causes a pre-authorisation for that amount? When finished the final charge goes through. If it is the same amount many POS systems recognise it is the same charge so it is ‘matched’ and only the actual charge remains, but when the amounts differ the POS systems are unable (unwilling?) to match the transaction the pre-authorisation often stays for a few more days until it times out.

If you were entitled to a discount it should have been evident it was applied at booking time. If you feel it was improperly applied you should contact Hyatt guest services and ask for the amount to be refunded. Could it be that your stay included nights with multiple tariffs, eg higher on certain nights, to explain it?

Not I.


The terms and conditions associated with membership is here,:

When and how membership discounts can be attained are outlined. It doesn’t appear that membership discounts are given at the time of check-in/checkout, but at the time of booking. One also needs to book directly through Hyatt and discounts are subject to availability of rooms where membership discounts have been applied. It doesn’t appear the discounted room rates or special offers necessarily apply to every booking.

As @PhilT indicated, check the original booking to see if a discount or special offer rate has been applied. If it hasn’t, you may not have qualified for a discount/special offer.

This is common practice across the accommodation industry. The pre-authorisation is taken as many accommodation providers have had guests abscond before closing the account at checkout…or have had guests damage, take items from rooms or use other services booked to a room account. The pre-authorisation provides the accommodation provider with the opportunity to recover costs.

Some rather than taking pre-authorisations, take credit card details for similar purposes. To provide security for the booking and provide the ability to make charges against credit cards, if and when needed.


That is one of the last main reasons to have a credit card instead of a debit card.


Ok I admit I felt taken advantage of, caught off guard.
I now know this is the standard practice of the big corporates, local and multinationals.
If you believe the justification for it is customers skipping town you must be kidding.
They have carte blanche on the card. Never drink in the room as if you spill anything you could be up for carpet replacement I saw on a feedback platform.
The reason is if a customer feels cheated with substandard service they will bargain. The customer has no means to complain about service, facilities.
At 2 am in the morning we were woken by a domestic in the corridor. Who would care ?
6 years ago a hotel in Carlton charged the full amount at the time of booking.
They also asked to be paid 2 days into the booking. They did ring later to advise.
When I politely commented to the receptionist pretty thing she abused me for not understanding I would be charged at the time of booking.
They were rude to the visiting district nurse as we were using it for post op recuperation after being pushed out of Peter Mac.
So when I joked to the Hyatt receptionist just don’t charge me twice, they had already taken $12 at the time of booking, that was an opportunity for them to explain terms.
I could not understand their English, mumbled didn’t go through.
I have a high limit so somewhat startled.
Not any more I am getting a travel CC for staycations. Trust no one.
On my bank statement it looks as if I am overdrawn and I have drawn down from my super for what I now know is a temporary charge.
If you think they don’t have a credit check and a profile on us you are nieve. I mean we live 11 kms from the hotel. Remember customer loyalty cards are data gathering vehicles. One political party has over 1000 points of data on every constituent, face recognition etc etc.
If you think they do it for fraud mitigation I have a bridge to sell you.
So back to Airbnb, booking platforms. At least they charge once, never had this problem. Unfortunately they practice multinational tax avoidance.
You would think they would encourage stay cations. The bookings agencies clip up to 30% .
The stay was otherwise first class except the piano was out of tune, my partner was going to knock out a tune. The Hotel was not very busy.
As a curiosity, future travel, I checked using Hyatt loyalty points at Milan, September I think. It was rejected as not being available for that time! The charge ? $1700 AU per day!
No wonder the short stay industry is so popular.
Happy travels😆

I have been an RACV Club member for 33 years. It’s an excellent club with many special interest groups for members and other special events. Club membership also entitles you to special rates at the Healesville Country Club and a 50% discount at RACV resorts in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania (rather than the 25% discount generally available to motoring club members. Some of the new membership options also provide access to the Shared Space in the Melbourne City Club; very useful if you’re on a business trip and need some time away from the client’s premises.

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