A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email about issues that he is having with some IHG Rewards Club award stays in the United States.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I spent last month in the USA and just checked my credit card statement. I understand it is common practice for a hotel to put a hold on the credit card at the check-in to cover estimated expenses (incidentals). All of the hotels I’d stayed in (apart from one or two) did put a hold on my card. Fair enough, no complaints, although it takes ages to have them holds released.
However, THREE hotels charged my card despite stays having been paid with points and there is no way I could get in touch with them!
First, HIX Brooklyn – 3 separate stays, couple of relatively small holds already released and one charge for the cost of one night stay. I managed to contact Front Office Manager. She promised to get back to me on the very same day and it was a week ago. Silence, no replies to my messages. Not even “kiss my a s s”, nothing.
Then there is HI Burbank. Approx. 25 USD charge to my card for whatever reason(???). No action taken from themselves whatsoever. Silence yet again.
And finally, HIX Newport Beach. Not only did they put a large amount on hold, but they additionally CHARGED me for the night which had been paid for with points!
John, I know you’re a busy man but I am feeling helpless here. They literally stole my money and there is no way for me to make them give it back to me.
Mind you, I almost would have been charged by Hilton O’Hare, too. But that time I’ve checked my balance before the check-out. Their reaction? “Oh, sorry, it was a mistake”.
Thank you for any help. What should I do now?
What has happened with these properties, is that they have incorrectly charged you for the award night reimbursement that should have been charged back to IHG.
There is a room rate associated with the award nights that is dependent of the internal category of the hotel, how many award nights they have had over the year and the current occupancy. If occupancy is high (95%+), the hotel is reimbursed the ADR (Average Daily Rate) for the night.
They should have moved these night charged internally to another account, but apparently something went terribly wrong with these hotels and they ended up charging your credit card on file.
This has happened to me previously and not just with IHG. All the hotel chains have similar procedures in place for award night reimbursement.
And you are right. It shouldn’t be the guest’s responsibility to audit credit card statements and try to reconcile them (often hotels have completely different name on file with the banks/credit card processing companies).
Your best course of action is to contact IHG Rewards Club and open a case for each of these properties that incorrectly charged you. I would also ask 5,000 to 10,000 points compensation for each of these incidents in addition to reversing the incorrect charges. .