I’m the exception to the rule. If one in 1,000 people get coral poisoning when they snorkel in
So I knew that when I first started with this company and I was given a corporate AMX card in my name there was bound to be trouble. All was well until I checked into the credit limit that came with the card. $5,000. I thought, “What?” Then I thought, “Noooo.” Then I went back to, “What?” So I called my boss and we had a little chat. I asked him if he thought that was a bit low, given our travel schedule. A five-night commitment every week brings $1,500 to $2,000 worth of credit charges for hotel, food, rental car, parking, etc. My boss assured me that if I stayed on top of my paperwork, it would never be an issue.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when after two months of employment it became an issue! I am fastidious about my paperwork. It’s always done early. And when I was told that the company always immediately reimburses its employees, with very rare exceptions, I should have seen what was coming. They were two weeks late reimbursing my account. I booked another trip and went on my merry way, thinking it would be taken care of. Then I got bitten by the hotel “credit hold” rule.
Did you know that when you check into a hotel they immediately put a hold on your credit card? They don’t just imprint the card to protect them against incidentals, they actually calculate it like this:
Anyway, the point is that almost $2,000 for a five-night stay is held off the top of whatever credit card you use when you check in. That’s not a big deal if you’re using a global travel card and you’re several thousand dollars under the card’s limit. It is a big deal, though, when your card is flirting with the limit. In my case I was out at a restaurant with a client and the card (a corporate AMX card, mind you) was refused at dinner. Embarrassing? Yes. My fault? Absolutely not. Lesson learned? Oh my, yes. Before that week was over, I had the limit on that card raised to $15,000. It took a few calls to AMX and to the accounting department at work but my case was made.
Take this a step further. What if I’d used my debit card? What if I was on vacation and I’d used my debit card? See where I’m going with this? If you use your debit card to check in, they will put a hold against your checking account balance and it’s just as if you spent that money. You will not have access to it at all. You won’t even have access to it after you check out of the hotel. It takes the hotel’s accounting group a week or so lift a routine hold like that.
So be careful what credit card you give your hotel clerk when you check in. It could ruin a vacation…