Trapped in Regina, SK, Canada
September 2, 2006 3:05 PM   Subscribe

I have a friend who's stuck in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and is unable to get a hotel because the one credit card she bought with her was denied. She doesn't have any cash on her. What are her options? It's just for one night, tonight...
posted by yeoz to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I can wire her some money, I suppose, but, I would like to find the cheapest (and/or free) solution...
posted by yeoz at 3:07 PM on September 2, 2006

Best answer: Denied where? At the hotel? Can she get a cash advance on the card at an ATM?

You can also phone the hotel and give them your credit card number to pay for the room and save on the wire fees.
posted by cardboard at 3:11 PM on September 2, 2006
posted by pallen123 at 3:11 PM on September 2, 2006

For that matter, does she have an American ATM card on her? (I'm assuming she's from Enwye like you are.) Most Canadian ATMs will accept most American ATM cards and give out Canadian cash.
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:15 PM on September 2, 2006

Best answer: I would often get denied when traveling in China by a major US credit card. Before I would leave, I would tell them each time that I would be in China for the next month, but frequently they would stop transaction for fear of fraud.

The Hotel in China would not know why it was denied and it would take a call to the credit card company to get it straight again.

If your friend wasn't denied based on being over her limit, a call to the card company would be prudent - they may also make a one time increase to her limit.

And I second phoning the hotel and using your own credit card. The hotel doesn't care who pays.
posted by qwip at 3:29 PM on September 2, 2006

If she has a Citibank credit card, quip may have nailed the problem. Citibank requires that you tell them when you are going to be using your card out of the country. She can call them and they will lift the restriction.
posted by kimdog at 3:41 PM on September 2, 2006

If your card is ever declined and it shouldn't -- i.e. you have the available credit, the account is current, you made your last payment on time, you should always call your bank and ask why. Calling the bank should be the first course of action, especially in Canada you can call the 800 number on the card and get to the bottom of it for free. Unless the issuing bank totally sucks, you can call them collect from outside the US. If your friend had used the card for other things in Canada the bank might have put a fraud hold on the account and she'd need to call them to take it off. She won't be able to use the card anywhere on the planet until the fraud hold is released. I had one bank that wouldn't even let me log into the online banking until I had called them.

If your friend was close to the limit to pay for the room, note many hotels will get a preauth for a greater sum so they know if you charge things to the room, etc. So if the room was $100 they might get an auth for $200 [yes, sometimes 100%] and if she didn't have that amount the card would decline. If she does have some credit left, then she can ask the hotel to bill just the room and tax if she has room for that on the card. This will just mean she won't be able to use the phone, charge meals to the room, or get a key to the minibar if the hotel offers such things.

If there were other hotel or car rental charges [car rental agencies sometimes put a $1,000 hold for a $25/day car rental] she's made, that will be also have authorizations over the amount that are still pending. So several hundred dollars in available credit could be eaten up by the hold that will drop off in a few days but does your friend no good.

If her bank can't help [even if she's at her limit, they might raise her limit if she has a good payment history], you should be able to call the hotel and give your credit card number to charge for room and tax for the stay. Some hotels might want you to fax them a copy of both sides of your credit card which you can do from a Kinkos all for much cheaper than wiring via Western Union.
posted by birdherder at 4:38 PM on September 2, 2006

I second
posted by nyu2 at 6:06 PM on September 2, 2006

I live in Regina, PM me
posted by Deep Dish at 7:13 PM on September 2, 2006

my email is in my profile
posted by Deep Dish at 7:14 PM on September 2, 2006

Response by poster: We managed to get the room paid for, over the phone.
If anyone else (besides vacapinta) is curious, it was a fraud alert because of use in another country, and it being the weekend, she apparently couldn't reach anyone at the credit card company's (indian?) call center who could do anything about it...
posted by yeoz at 7:38 PM on September 2, 2006

Yeah, I called all of my credit card companies before heading to Europe last year, same with my bank. :) Gotta let them know you're going ahead of time.

Does utterly suck that the call center was CLOSED on a holiday weekend.
posted by smallerdemon at 10:22 PM on September 2, 2006

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