Can Someone Else Check Into A Hotel For You – Maybe you were trying to make their trip easier or you want to let someone else experience the benefits of an elite hotel.
Or maybe you have rewards points or free night certificates that you want to use for someone else?
Can Someone Else Check Into A Hotel For You
Yes, you can book a hotel room for someone else, but there are a few considerations you’ll want to think about before you do. Read on below for some useful tips and advice to avoid some problems.
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Tip: Use the free WalletFlo app to find the best travel credit cards and deals to help you travel the world for free!
The easiest way to make a hotel reservation for someone else is to 1) use their credit/debit card for the transaction (the card they have at checkout) and 2) book everything in their name only.
Most people think this is the easiest way and things get complicated when you start including different loyalty accounts, credit cards that don’t match the guest’s name, award travel and sometimes prepaid cards.
If you want to book a hotel for someone else using your loyalty account, you can book it in two different ways.
Check Into A Hotel Worksheet
The first method would be to create a reservation where your name is nowhere on the reservation (you may have to call to do this).
For most programs, you won’t earn loyalty points, elite night credits, and probably won’t get elite benefits. (Hilton points out that you can still earn points in this situation.)
You can sign at the time of booking or call after booking and ask the hotel to sign for the booking.
This allows the other person to be checked in when they arrive, even if you are physically at the hotel.
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If that person is asked why the chief guest is not there, simply saying that the chief guest is still on the flight or coming later is a sufficient explanation.
For example, if the reservation is in your name, you (the lead guest) can use the app to check in and then the other guest can request a room key (assuming they can use the digital key by logging in with your credentials).
Why would you want to book a hotel for such other people and not just book the hotel room in their name?
The main benefit of booking other hotels like this is that you can sometimes earn reward points and elite night credits for your stay.
Quality Inn® By Choice Hotels
And finally, sometimes hotels or online travel agencies may want the name on the reservation to match the name on the credit card used for payment.
If you are paying for other people with your credit card, your name may appear somewhere on the booking.
When you check into a hotel, most hotels ask you to send a credit card that they can use for events.
They then place a temporary hold on your credit card which essentially guarantees them a way to cover any expenses you may incur, such as micro bar purchases, room service, etc. It can also cover vandalism or theft.
Do You Have To Check Out Of A Hotel When Leaving?
If you check in with the hotel’s mobile app, the hotel can only use the credit card you have on file to cover events.
But in other cases, the guest arriving at the hotel may need to provide a credit card in their name to cover the event.
If the check-in guest cannot provide a credit card for event expenses, you may be able to authorize your own credit card to cover the expenses.
This is usually done by securely faxing a form and authorizing your credit card to be charged up to a certain amount or for certain expenses.
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Sometimes cash can be used as a contingency deposit, although not all hotels are fine.
Typically, you’d use something like points for a stay or a free night certificate, and restrictions can vary depending on what you’re using and whether you choose to do things officially or unofficially.
Search and try to understand the terms or simply call and let an agent fill out the terms.
Members may request that certain rewards be given to another person. Eligible to award Free Night Awards, Special Room Upgrade Awards and Points + Cash Awards
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Marriott makes it clear that you can redeem a gift award, although they state some limitations on free award nights:
A Member may request that the award purchase stay be transferred to another person and in cases where the Member will not be present for the stay […] All types of award purchases listed in section 3.3 are eligible for transfer to another person, with the exception of Free Night Awards. .
Going the official route may result in loss of elite credits and elite benefits under the program.
The “unofficial” route would be to simply reserve an award for yourself and then call to add the guest to the reservation.
Watch The Hotel Barclay
You may also need mobile check-in if you won’t be there when the guest arrives and need to think about how to handle an unexpected credit card hold (see above).
Check out the policies of some of the major hotel chains below for an unofficial guide to authorizing rewards cards for people other than yourself.
Remember: many programs allow you to transfer your points to other people so they can book the room through their account.
Another area where booking a hotel for someone else is difficult is when it comes to elite benefits.
Accommodation Insert Editable Templates Accommodations Card
If you have elite status and expect other guests to get elite benefits that may not always be true. That’s because some hotels require the elite status holder to be physically present to receive elite benefits.
So, for example, to get a breakfast voucher or get your main card with a code for a lounge, a person with gold or platinum status may have to go to check-in (or finally go down to the front desk).
Other benefits such as updates may still be excluded because they can be triggered after logging into the mobile app, but they may also be less frequent.
When earning elite nights and credits for stays where you are not physically present, you may eventually need to show up at the property to meet the hotel’s terms and conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s not a good idea to try to abuse the hotel booking “loophole” to get elite perks/credits/points for other people, as it may eventually catch up with you and track your account down.
I don’t think it would be too difficult for a hotel program to take someone who is always booking with other people and bring them into it.
Also known as the “advance purchase rate.” These tend to be cheaper rates, but come with less flexibility and are non-refundable.
Sometimes the hotel will charge you as soon as you book, but sometimes they can wait; it all depends on the property. (Read: When do hotels charge your credit card?)
What Is An Advance Deposit On A Hotel Reservation?
When booking prepaid accommodation for someone else, you should be very careful with the hotel’s check-in requirements.
Some hotels may use your credit card to book a prepaid stay for another guest, and if they have an event credit card, they’ll let you check in without hassle.
But sometimes hotels are wary of fraud and want someone to check in with an ID that matches the credit card used to pay for the prepaid stay.
The best way around this is to call the hotel and ask about any restrictions before the guest arrives.
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Sometimes you can send a note to the hotel saying that someone will be checking in under a different name than the one you paid for (the card holder).
Also, if the person checking in for events does not have a credit card, you can also authorize your own credit card for events.
If the person doing the billing has a credit card, ask for credit card information when you book and you can avoid the situation altogether.
If you are not physically present when you arrive at the hotel, it is always a good idea to sign the reservation and use the mobile check-in.
Cancellation Policy And Other Faqs
They can receive full elite privileges, but sometimes an elite membership is required to promote them.
Daniel Gillaspia is the founder and creator of the WalletFlo credit card app. He is a former lawyer
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