[Nfbmo] State convention

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 21 14:30:47 UTC 2014

Hi, Brian. Gene has already answered your question, but generally it is
better to use a credit card and not a debit card. We run an article each
year near the time of the convbention about this. I am including it here.

How to Pay for Your Hotel Stay in Orlando:
 This helpful information comes from Tony Cobb, whose convention job has
made him a fixture in our hotel lobbies for as long as I can remember. Here
is his advice about paying for your hotel stay:

Every year at our national convention we have serious trouble with use of
debit cards or cash payments at hotel check-in, and, having worked to solve
these problems for years, I can tell you they can nearly ruin the convention
week for those experiencing them. Planning to attend our national convention
should therefore include thinking hard about how to pay the hotel, and I
cannot urge you strongly enough to avoid using cash or a debit card as your
payment method. Doing so may seem convenient, but you should not do so. If
you do not have a credit card of your own to use instead, prevail upon a
close friend or family member to let you use one just for convention. Here's
 If you are paying in actual currency, most hotels will want enough cash up
front at check-in to cover your room and tax charges for the entire stay,
plus a one-time advance incidentals deposit to cover meals, telephone calls,
Internet service, and other things you may charge to your room. The unused
portion of the incidentals deposit may be returned at check-out or by mail
after departure. Understand, however, that, if your incidentals charges
exceed the incidentals deposit credited, you are responsible for payment of
the full balance at checkout. The total can end up being a very large sum

If you use a debit card, however, you are really at a potentially painful
disadvantage. The hotel will put a hold on money in your bank account linked
to the debit card to cover the estimated balance of your stay-that is, for
the entire week's room and tax charges plus a one-time incidentals deposit
to cover meals, movies, and so on charged to your room. You should be aware
that the hold can therefore be a considerable amount of money and that you
will not have access to that amount for any other purchases or payments with
your card. (Hotels sometimes also put authorizations on credit cards, by the
way, but those are not often a problem unless they exceed your card's credit

Holds can remain in effect for three to five days or even a week after you
check out. If you have pre-authorized payments from your bank account, for
example your monthly mortgage payment, or if you try to make a purchase with
your debit card and it's refused, the hold from the hotel can cause you
trouble or result in very large overdraft fees for payments you thought you
had money in your account to cover. I have seen this hit some of our members
in the form of hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees. 

This means that, if you use a debit card, you would have to be certain you
have a high enough balance in your checking account when you come to
convention to cover any debit card holds. This is a perilous practice since
charges may exceed your estimate by a considerable amount. (Some frequent
travelers even open a separate checking account used only for debits like
these.) Remember, a hold is going to be placed on your debit card regardless
of how you end up paying the bill, and the hold is not necessarily released
right away, even if you pay with a credit card or cash when you check out of
the hotel. 

Planning ahead in this area can ensure an untroubled week at convention,
leaving you free to enjoy fully the world's largest and most exciting
meeting of the blind. See you as usual in the lobby at check-in-using a
credit card, I hope.

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