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Hotel Deposit Payment - Credit Card Authorization

  • joha

    Joined Travelfish
    17th September, 2008
    Posts: 3

    We booked a room for 5 Nights at the HanoiElegance2 Hotel. Now they want us to make a deposit Payment, which we are willing to do, but the offered options for that are a bit problematic.
    The amount is 80 Dollars.

    1. Western Union - additional fee would be about 25$

    2. Bank Transfer - additional fee would be more than 30$

    3. Credit Card - sounds fine first, but they need a signed authorization letter plus the scanned top AND back side of the card.

    This last option makes us a bit weary, because this would mean to give away all Card details for the Credit Card, we also want to use during the trip. It just seems very unsafe to us. Not necessarily meaning, that the Hotel is bad, its more about unsafe data storage and the usual problems with computer safety.

    So our question:
    Is this procedure normal? Is it safe?
    Have you done it yourself and what did you experience? Do you have any other recommendations?

    Thank you so much in advance. Were a bit lost here.

    #1 Posted: 17/9/2008 - 13:16

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  • joha

    Joined Travelfish
    17th September, 2008
    Posts: 3

    Thank you lescott for your answer. But unfortunately the 25 Dollars are not the fee we have to pay to the Hotel, this is only 2 Dollars, but the fee we have to pay to our bank in order to have them transfer the money abroad :-(.

    #2 Posted: 17/9/2008 - 19:26

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 1065
    Total reviews: 2

    Book at the wonderful Gia Thinh Hotel in Hanoi or the Bich Duyen Hotel in Saigon and no deposit is required at all. By the way, I paid for my Visa on Arrival with a money transfer at Xoom.com for the cost of USD.99 (or USD3.99 for credit card payment).

    #3 Posted: 20/9/2008 - 01:14

  • Amparo

    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2008
    Posts: 1

    I have also booked a four night stay at Hanoi Elegance 2 for coming November and followed the same booking procedure (used the authorization letter). FYI we paid a deposit of 100$. No problems so far.

    #4 Posted: 21/9/2008 - 15:26

  • chrispyrolls

    Click here to learn more about chrispyrolls
    Joined Travelfish
    2nd November, 2006
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 198
    Total reviews: 4

    My parents have stayed at the Elegance and I booked it for them with no deposit - this was in March so they must have changed their policy... they loved the hotel and the staff were really nice to them... so I would not expect them to go copying cards and spending up on your account!

    I have previously sent card details to hotels and tour companies in Vietnam with no issues - but I agree sending over email is probably not the most secure method. I have usually sent the details over a couple of emails... for some reason that felt safer ... whether it is or not is debatable

    #5 Posted: 22/9/2008 - 03:55

  • stekmer

    Joined Travelfish
    29th September, 2008
    Posts: 13
    Total reviews: 3

    Hi joha - I was equally suspicious when asked to scan and send my passport and back & front of my credit card. My Bank advised me against this, adding that no refund could be sought through MasterCard if services were not provided.

    I did find other agents and hotels who allowed money transfer into an Australian based bank account (local HCMC branch).

    Hi daawgon - how did you find Zoom.com , as far as service and reliability?

    Has anyone else used Zoom??

    #6 Posted: 29/9/2008 - 18:31

  • Travelindoc-

    Click here to learn more about Travelindochine
    Joined Travelfish
    10th July, 2008
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 38

    Posted from within Vietnam.


    I think use xoom.com and moneybookers.com is ok. You can pay by credit card thru their website

    Good luck

    #7 Posted: 9/10/2008 - 12:14

  • mssbb

    Joined Travelfish
    16th October, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Hi Joha -
    We're booked into the same hotel (HE2) and they've asked us for USD500 deposit for 3 suites, 3 nights and cruises.
    I am a bit worried myself... very hesitant to go ahead with it....
    We're thinking of calling Visa and "re-approving" the amount, making them aware that there should not be anymore transactions after that. I don't know if that's possible...

    #8 Posted: 16/10/2008 - 19:17

  • joha

    Joined Travelfish
    17th September, 2008
    Posts: 3


    just back from 4 wonderful weeks in Vietnam I wanted to give some feedback about the deposit and Hanoi Elegance Hotel.

    wanting to stay exactly in this hotel we nonetheless payed the deposit with the creditcard form by email.

    and to cut a long story short: and everything went well.

    about 10 days after the mail, the specified amount was deducted from my account. After arriving in the hotel they first pointed out, that they had deducted this amount and would not use the form for further deductions (e.g. the complete payment for our stay).

    we had some wonderful days in the hotel. and working for service quality improvement in tourism here in Germany, I found the staff excellently trained and just wonderful.

    With that kind of professionalism in the hotel, and all the things we have experienced there, I would say, that one can trust this hotel in all matters.

    so thanks for all the responses. And a such as wonderful days in Vietnam as we had to everybody :-)


    #9 Posted: 12/11/2008 - 04:04

  • mssbb

    Joined Travelfish
    16th October, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Thanks for the reassurance Joha!

    We went ahead and paid the deposit with CC form (with our fingers crossed) 3 weeks ago. We'll now definitely be looking forward to a great holiday in Hanoi with no hassles.


    #10 Posted: 12/11/2008 - 12:41

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  • houska

    Joined Travelfish
    20th November, 2008
    Posts: 8

    I have encountered this on Bali. After some consideration, I cheerfully sent the required photocopies.

    It feels risky and intrusive, but ultimately you are only sharing what would otherwise easily be accessible to the merchant: card #, expiry date, and security code that you probably regularly share with online merchants anyway, and (at worst) a rather poor specimen of your signature, which any institution where you buy using your credit card in person would also have.

    What I do, however, is whenever travelling in a region with heightened incidence of scams and fraud, I use only my secondary credit card. That way if anything happens I will report it has been compromised and there will be minimal headache in changing pre-authorized billing, etc. I've had to do this once - have no idea if credit card was compromised by giving the # as a guarantee, or by being swiped by someone somewhere. It took 2 10 min calls and one signed form letter to get rid of the junk and get a CC with new number assigned.

    #11 Posted: 20/11/2008 - 04:33

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