How to avoid post holiday credit card charges

My name is Craig Moore and my hobby for the past 35 years is travelling. Here are a few tips to help you plan your next adventure.

Hotel desk clarks bell

Danger - Post holiday credit card charges

Many travellers are having their credit cards charged for items many months after they have returned home. Some of these charges may be legal, like car hire parking tickets or automatic police speed camera speeding tickets that you have incurred, whilst driving a rental car.

Others like mini bar drinks and excursions that you did not take may be questionable. Likewise late notification of charges for damage found on the hire car. Always use a credit card on holiday rather than a debit card. When you use a credit card you have a better chance of getting your money back.

How to avoid late charges

When on holiday make sure you keep all your car rental, hotel and restaurant bills for about a year. Put them somewhere safe. You may have to prove what you paid later. Some companies make late charges up to 9 months later knowing that there is a good chance you have thrown the old receipt away.

When you check into a hotel or pick up a car, ask about the contract and late payments policy. When you return your car ask if there are any additional charges or fees. Always get a receipt that shows there was no damage found on your returned car.

Ask them to write no damage found on the rental document. Never just handover the keys and leave to catch your flight.

Regularly check your credit card statement for late charges. Send a letter to the credit card company to file a dispute rather than using the phone. That way you have a written record. Ask the hotel to write on your bill 'no additional charges'.

Pay by cash is the best way to stop late charges by a hotel. If they do not have your credit card number they cannot debit money from it.