Asking for Refunds From Hotels: Can You Get Your Money Back?

You can be traveling in the middle of the United States, booking a room in the middle of Rome, or finalizing your itinerary for a Scotland trip. You have everything in order, but then life throws you a curveball and something interrupts your plans, and you need to cancel your trip and hotel stay.

If you want to know how to get your money back from a hotel, follow these tips that might allow you to have a refund if you need to cancel your trip.

Get Your Money Back
Hotel servant taking out suitcase with baggage from hotel room

Can You Get a Refund for a Hotel Room?

Maybe you can’t go on your trip, maybe your trip needs to be cut short, or you might be stuck in a room that’s been prepaid that is not up to standards.

Is there anything that you can do? It depends.

Get Your Money-Back Policies in Place

The majority of hotels, motels, and hostels will have a refund policy in place. And in most cases, the refund policy will state that all sales are final after a specific date. You may be able to cancel two weeks before your trip or the day of, depending on the policy.

Always make sure you read your policy to know your rights to get your money back.

Even if the hotel’s policy is not to offer refunds, you can still ask for one in certain circumstances.

Ask Nicely Before Escalating a Matter

Hotel managers are often willing to work with guests to make sure their stay is enjoyable. You might come across an owner that will provide a refund because:

  • They don’t want to charge for an unused room
  • They don’t want to have a bad reputation

But then you’ll find a non-refundable hotel room that is strict with policies and won’t budge. There is an option available to you. See, non-refundable rooms are, well, not refundable. The issue is that once your payment method is charged, most hotels won’t refund the money.

It’s possible to keep asking to speak to a manager and finally find someone that is willing to help you.

This method is only good when you have recently booked a hotel room and the charge hasn’t been processed yet. Explain your situation to a manager and ask if they can cancel the charge. Most managers are willing to work with you if the charge has yet to go through.

Frugal Hack has a great example of this method working very well.

What happens if your hotel is being renovated or major repairs are causing extreme noise? You have a lot of options, but the one key way to resolve the issue is:

  • Contact the hotel owner
  • Complaint and ask for a review

If you go into your hotel room and find pipe lining equipment outside, jackhammers running all day and drilling, your only true option is to contact the hotel directly. Hotels can often offer you a few options:

  • Large hotel chains may offer to pay for an alternative hotel.
  • Hotels may offer to change your room to another area.

You might be able to demand a discount or a slight refund on your stay. Hotels are in the hospitality industry, so they often understand when construction is disrupting a guest’s stay. If you decide to file a complaint after you’re already home, this is far less effective.

Hotels will often turn guests away when they’re able to judge that construction will disrupt a person’s stay.

Last Updated on October 21, 2023

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