Whine Wednesdays: Unrecognizable Merchant Names On Credit Card & Bank Statements


How many times have you gone through a credit card or bank statement trying to reconcile the transactions? All of it makes sense, until a cryptic merchant name of XYZ doesn’t ring a bell.

Whine Wednesdays Merchant Names

Often the merchants such as hotels may have their official name on file with the payment processor that has very little or nothing to do with the trade name they actually use. Also, the merchant name that shows up first during the authorization process can be different than the one that is shown upon payment completion.

Earlier this week, I saw that there was a small charge of $3.07 from a merchant called WI HOTEL,MEXICO DF, MX. The original authorization was done on the 18th and the transaction completed on 21st. The problem really is that I cannot (actually just figured it out while writing this) recall this merchant.


A few years ago, when I was staying at the InterContinental Los Angeles and used American Express card for a guarantee, the initial authorization came through as JW Marriott Los Angeles. The hotel was originally JW Marriott then Park Hyatt before it became InterContinental, but apparently nobody at the accounting had changed the merchant name on file with Amex.

The charge that I was referencing above was actually me paying for a WIFI at the Cancun airport last week, when the Telcel mobile network was so bad that I couldn’t tether using it. How can anyone reference a WIFI charge that is coming from “WI HOTEL” as a charge for a airport WIFI? Why couldn’t they just have the merchant name as “Airport WIFI Charge”? I thought that this has to be some kind of minibar charge that came through from a hotel after my stay. The small dollar amount could have been an ice tea or soda.

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