You can follow the following tips to stop hotels, car rentals and restaurants from blocking your credit card limit in advance.
- When you check into a hotel or rent a car or if a restaurant or any other merchant asks for your credit card in advance, ask if an amount is being blocked, how the amount is determined and how long the block is meant to remain in place.
- Try and pay for the hotel bill or the car rental bill with the same credit or debit card that you used at the beginning of transaction. This usually helps in clearing the prior block faster.
- If you are going to pay them with a different method such as cash, check, remind the person processing of payment to notify the credit card company to remove the block immediately.
- Speak to your bank or credit card company and find out how long do they maintain a block on your credit limit and from what type of merchants.
- If you travel frequently or face this kind of a situation often, you may consider getting an overdraft line of credit from them. Inquire about a plan that automatically covers the overdraft. Although you are likely to pay some interest on the amount that you would draw, this amount will not be much if you pay it off quickly. Having an over draft facility is better than being penalized by additional charges for overdrawing on your debit card or going beyond your credit card limit. Get the details from your bank how the line of credit works and how much it costs.
- Keeping the point of credit card blocking in mind is especially useful when shopping around for new credit or debit card. When comparing various credit card offers, ask the credit card company how they handle blocks. Do they permit it, for how long and from what type of merchants. If you find that this point is indeed important to your credit card usage, you may want to consider a credit card that uses shorter blocks for a less period of time.