Whether you are there for business or a vacation, staying at a hotel can rack up some bills. Hotel guests that wish to charge these bills to a third party’s credit card of which they are not in possession have to get approval from the cardholder. This document, called a hotel credit card authorization form, confirms that the third party authorizes the hotel to charge the guest’s expenses to their card. Depending on the cardholder, this can include food, room service, spa treatment, and more. For anything not authorized on the form, the guest will have to pay for themselves. Let’s take a look at this form.
What Is a Hotel Credit Card Authorization Form?
A hotel credit card authorization form is a formal document that allows a guest to stay at a hotel that a third party is paying for. The third party can be a person known to the guest, such as a friend, relative, or spouse, or an organization, such as the guest’s employer. Usually, the form is necessary when the guest does not have the credit card in question in their possession. It protects the establishment from unpaid bills and the cardholder from unapproved charges.
How to Get a Credit Card Authorization Form
Because it can be a process, procuring a hotel credit card authorization form is best done in advance. You can usually find a downloadable copy on the hotel website. If not, you can call the hotel to ask about it. They will either send you a copy or okay you to use a generic template.
Before you go through the trouble, however, find out what cards the hotel accepts. If your card is viable, fill out and send the form, then call the hotel to confirm that they received it. The hotel will also usually tell you how you should send the form, i.e., via email or fax.
What Is Included in an Authorization Form for Hotels?
Essentially, the contents of a hotel authorization form may vary from hotel to hotel, but the format remains largely the same. An effective form of this kind should contain the following key elements:
- Guest Information: This includes the name, contact information, and address of the guest that will be staying at the hotel. It may also include any relevant notes about their stay.
- Hotel Details: The authorization form should identify the authorized hotel by name, address, and other business details. This section is designed to protect the hotel from legal repercussions by showing it was authorized to charge the card.
- Expense-Related Details: The cardholder uses this section to define the parameters of the authorization, i.e., what type of expenses can be charged to their card and what they will not cover. This part should also determine the type of authorization, i.e., ongoing or one-time.
- Credit Card Details: This part covers all relevant details about the credit card being charged, including the name on the card, the credit card number, CVV code, type, and expiration date.
- Billing Information: The cardholder must also provide their full billing address.
- Signature: The last section contains an acknowledgment from the cardholder, stating all the information provided is accurate and they understand their card will be charged for expenses incurred by the guest at the hotel. It ends with the cardholder’s signature.
How to Write
As mentioned earlier, you can usually get a Hotel Credit Card Authorization Form from the hotel website. If you don’t, you can download a formal template. You can then follow the following steps to fill out the form appropriately:
Step 1: Provide Preliminary Details
Start by adding your full name next to the section that reads “Card Holder.” This is usually the first section of the authorization form. In part after the word “Authorize,” indicate the hotel’s name. You can then input the guest’s full name in part following the word “Guest.”
Step 2: Define the Authorization Parameters
Once you have identified all the involved parties, you should see a section with several checkboxes next to the different types of amenities offered at the hotel. Check the ones you plan to pay for and provide a short explanation in the adjacent space. Next to the phrase “Total Amount to be Charged,” add a dollar amount of how much you plan to cover for the guest.
Step 3: Supply Card Details
Next, place a mark next to the type of credit card you will be using to cover the expenses. In the boxes following that, enter your full name as it appears on your credit card next to “Cardholder Name” and your credit card number next to “Credit Card Number.”
Step 4: Provide Your Billing Address
The form will likely contain fields for the credit card expiration date, security code, and billing address. Input these details in the appropriate areas. If you have never filled out your credit card information before, the security code is the three-digit number that appears on the back of your card.
Step 5: Sign the Form
Read through all the details you have provided. If they are accurate, sign the form next to the words “Cardholder’s Signature.”
Step 6: Send the Form
Finally, email or fax the filled form to the hotel and call to confirm that they have received it. If the hotel requires additional documents, attach them and send them too.
As long as you get an official credit authorization form from the hotel in question and use the recommended submission channels, filling out this document is perfectly safe.
The components of a hotel credit card authorization form will differ slightly from hotel to hotel. However, a typical document of this kind contains the following:
ᐅ The cardholder’s name, contact information, and billing address.
ᐅ The authorized party’s name and contact information.
ᐅ The cardholder’s credit card details, including name, card type, card number, and card expiration rate.
ᐅ The hotel’s name and business information.
ᐅ Language permitting the hotel to charge the cardholder’s credit card.
ᐅ Limitations on the expenses covered by the authorization.
ᐅ The authorization date.
ᐅ The cardholder’s signature.
No. Hotels and other businesses cannot charge your credit card without express permission. This is why hotel credit card authorization forms exist – to get your authorization to charge your card.
Yes. Authorized users don’t need to undergo a credit check, so you can add anyone to your credit card, including your partner, spouse, child, or friend. This is, of course, as long as they meet the age requirements set by the card issuer.
When filling out a hotel credit card authorization form, remember to communicate to the hotel the extent of the authorization. What type of expenses can they charge on your card? What will you not pay for? Setting these limits will help prevent unplanned charges on your card and save the authorized party from having to pay some of the bills out-of-pocket.