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Credit card imprint

How common or uncommon is it for a hotel to reqire a credit card imprint from every guest, especially those playing cash, *especially* if they're smokers?

Earlier this evening, I got a walkin who got 2 nights and when I asked for a credit card for an imprint, she refused, saying she'd rather stay somewhere else rather than give a credit card for me to get an imprint of.

Her reason? She would only say "I've never had to give a card for an imprint before"

I think she was full of it and there was some reason she didn't wanna tell me.

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)
I think I would have to shoot myself if I had to ask for an imprint. People get paranoid as it is even over keycards. What a hassle!

Myself, I have never stayed at a hotel that required one, so I dunno...
Jan. 16th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
I've worked at a hotel that required imprints, but it was mainly because they had a really old system that when a cc number was erased...it was gone.

We require credit cards to check in however, doesn't matter if they're paying cash or being direct billed (with the only exception being DB all)) and the card must authorize for either all charges, or we can take a deposit for the rm/tax, and then auth the card, in which case it would only auth for incidentals.

TLDR: We swipe & auth a cc for every check in, but no imprints.
Jan. 16th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
Imprint everytime, regardless of payment type. Also very old school system, no cc no stay.
Jan. 16th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
We require a cc for incidentals or a cash deposit of $150 or you're out of luck. We imprint the cc as well. GM says we have to keep everything for seven years and the computer system deletes it after less than one. No imprint and there could be a problem along the line, imprint must also stamp the date the imprint was taken.

I've only have one person be an ass about it. Motherfucker scribbled out the cc number, MOD was right there and didn't help when I kept telling the jackass why we need it. One second he says he says all over the place and no one required it, then I tell him most hotels do and then he says he rarely travels so he has no idea. I hope something bad happened to him. /rant lol
Jan. 16th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
As of January 1, 2010 most credit card companies require that only electronic swipes be done of credit cards and that there are no actual imprints unless the computer system will not scan the card or the computer system is off-line. Physical imprints must then be stored in a locked location with access only to the hotel controller or members of the accounting staff. Once the imprint is no longer necessary it must be destroyed by a bonded document company.

I resently completed PCI (Personal Confidential Information) training that the credit card company required. Hotels that do not comply with the new standards could find their ability to accept credit cards taken away.

It was all very boring and long.
Jan. 17th, 2010 02:20 am (UTC)

Imprints Iz Illegalz
Jan. 17th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
This is what I've been told. However, we still have ours all dusty and without ink on a shelf... just in case (Why? dunno...)
Jan. 18th, 2010 07:30 am (UTC)
I recently did research on this for a security explanation document for the Hotel Desk Staff. It also outlines guidelines for creating a secure, yet easy to remember password.

We recently had to upgrade all sorts of hardware and software in order to be PCI Compliant. (PCI is Payment Card Industry and while it not the LAW, it is standard practice and at least 23 states have laws that uphold the PCI Compliance standards.) The other thing about PCI is that you have to be 100% in compliance or you are not considered IN compliance. It's really important if you want to continue to accept credit cards as payment. And wouldn't it suck to be cash only? ;)


Jan. 16th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
We have a card reader that saves the info onto the computer. The last hotel I worked in that required imprints was Country Inn and Suites almost 2 years ago now.

Credit cards are required for all stays, even cash and DB. We had a problem last year with science fair brats breaking things and their parents not wanting to pay for the stuff at check out. So they're required for all stays.
Jan. 16th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
We take imprints for every credit card transaction and a copy of the driver's license for every cash payers and if they don't like that, they're welcome to GTFO and find somewhere else to stay. I'm of the opinion that if you're that paranoid about it, you're probably wanting to do something I would not appreciate and therefore I don't want you here anyway.
Jan. 17th, 2010 08:53 am (UTC)
That's what we used to do too for cash payers until a cash payer trashed the room, stole a bunch of stuff and the CC they gave for an imprint was bad (I wonder if it was stolen too).

Now if someone pays cash, it's either a $5 CC pre-auth (to make sure the card is good) or a $50 deposit
Jan. 16th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
4/4 hotels I've worked for have required imprints at some point in my working there (but I've been around for years - back when you were required by the companies to get an imprint of EVERY card)
If your system allows for a swipe, it's another story. Right now they've disabled that on mine - grrr!
Jan. 17th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
2 out of the 3 hotels I've worked for have required imprints. Basically it is to protect the hotel. It's a double check that the CC that is in the PMS system for the stay is the one presented physically by the guest. I know that I've had instances where disputes got forwarded to my desk at my last property and we would have to go back to the reg cards to determine whose card we had. I know that it can get annoying, but it does serve a purpose.
Jan. 17th, 2010 02:19 am (UTC)
Imprinting is illegal
We got a memo from our corporate advising us it is against privacy practices to take an imprint of a cc from a guest. It even went so far as to say that only the accounting dept and our GM had permission to see a full CC# on a CC Auth form. Of course if I'm here on 2nd shift and get one, and they're not here, I am expected to process it asap if it's a check in that night so I'm not sure why there's this false ideal of secrecy. Also that's caused a problem because if the GM and Acct dept are the ones holding the cc auth fax and a guest disputes that ALL charges are supposed to be paid for, we can't fish it out and look for it. Supposedly they're now going to black out all but the last 4 of the CC# so we can look it up.

Anyhow, so to answer your question, we ONLY do an imprint if the CC swiper is not working or in some cases if it's a prepaid res and the person is real iffy about leaving a cc I will imprint "just in case you decide to order rm service"

In general, a cc is on file now for all rooms since we have the on-keyboard swiper thingies, so ha ha ha right, if there were damages or theft ha ha ha funny, the guest would be charged, ha ha - not.
Jan. 17th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
I get funny looks from time to time when i stick the card in the imprint machine and give it a flick, the tell-tale sound garners squinty eyes from the guest, but I've never had anyone actually withhold the card, not that I can remember anyway. It probably helps that we print on the BACK of the reg card, so when I hand it to them to sign, there's no evidence of the print, cause, as a guest, they don't even look at what they're signing, much less the BACK of what they're signing, right?
Jan. 18th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
Thank God for a swipe machine we have :)
Jan. 18th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
Either I've swiped & authed a credit card for the room rate & $50-ish for incidentals, or I've got the cost of the room plus a $500 cash deposit in hand before a key even gets cut.

Edited at 2010-01-18 03:56 am (UTC)
Jan. 23rd, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
i stayed at a hotel that did this last year. i thought it was the strangest thing.
May. 21st, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
We always have to have a credit card imprint or cash deposit. Our free night people (Choice Privileges members who use points for a free night) sometimes balk but I just smile and say that's our hotel policy. A personal reason is that a privileges member got a free night (I checked him in and got c/c imprint) then gave keys to his daughter and her druggie boyfriend. To make a long story short, broken windows, over $500 in damages and middle of the night arrests were made. I even got to call the man at 3 in the morning (woke him up :)and charge the c/c. So nope, everyone gives me a c/c or deposit. No exceptions. By the way this has never happened before and hopefully wont again.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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