Virtual Credit Card problems

We have working with Booking.com for over 5 years and the Customer Service has provided FIVE STAR SERVICE consistently.  Every question has been resolved patiently in one call!

However, a word of caution to other property owners: Customer Service is not well informed about VIRTUAL CREDIT CARDS.  We tried the Virtual Credit Card for the first time a couple months ago and had problems for a month trying to process the first one after the guest arrived, and the problem continued after the guest left.  It is NOW RESOLVED.  I discovered in the Partner Forum that Booking.com has been having these issues for over a year. 

  1. At first when the guest arrived, we just received the message we were not authorized to process.
  2. We waited until the guest left.
  3. Customer Service said it was a problem at our Credit Card Processing company.
  4. We found we needed the card holder name to process the Virtual Credit Card.
  5. Customer Service first said it was a problem at our processing company and that the name was not necessary; however, we could not proceed without the name.
  6. We work with LittleHotelier/Siteminder Channel Manager and their Stripe.com world-wide credit card processing service; they tried another method to process the card without the name.
  7. Then we needed the Zip Code to process it.
  8. I have read others’ notes that the Virtual Credit Card does not work with PayPal either.
  9. Booking.com said to change our settings to receive a Bank Transfer instead.
  10. We changed the settings and received the Bank Transfer with direct deposit a month later.
  11. We no longer accept Virtual Credit Cards and returned to processing payments with the card information and CVC number Booking.com supplies us.
  12. If you cannot process without card present, I read you will need to do the Direct Deposit.
  13. Waiting a month after the guest leaves, is simply too long for us.
  14. I thought I was the only person with a problem until I read the year long thread in Partner Forum.
  15. My guess it that Large Hotels do not have a problem with virtual credit cards.
  16. If you are a small hotel like us, and have a problem with processing your first Virtual Credit Card, do not waste time; switch to Direct Deposit right away.   At least you will have your money in about a month.
  17. I hope Booking.com does more research on their Virtual Credit Cards, so that Customer Service can have better informed answers about these ongoing issues to resolve then more quickly for the next person.
5 Replies

Aaltje B.

That is very thoroughly in-depth research, Lorenzo. Well done !!

But BDC should have given us these results really.

Like a finance "detective" and sort out the different issues that people have in different situations (hotel and smaller units), different countries and different card systems.

Pfew, technology hey!

Hats off to you Lorenzo!


Aaltje B.

9 months ago


Thank you for your kind words. I normally find solutions easily on Booking.com, or with customer service. On the forum, I wanted to offer constructive criticism to Booking.com and warn other small property owners about this ongoing problem.

We used to request deposits with PayPal until we started using LittleHotelier/Siteminder as a channel manager. I initially added it primarily for processing Credit Card DEPOSITS, and have loved the entire system. They were wonderful trying to help to find work-rounds for the Virtual Credit Card problem, when Booking.com could not help.

Hopefully Booking.com will offer better service with their Virtual Credit Cards soon.

9 months ago
Ian at Numurka…

yes, we had problems too. and asked booking.com that we did not want virtual credit cards.

No payment - no booking. simple.

we think booking.com have been good too, but we aslo are moving to Little Hotelier as well.

too many problems at booking.com with admin.

we get all guests too pay with us - upfront. simple.

9 months ago

We have also been having nothing but problems with bdc virtual credit cards., and the support from bdc has been non existent. Apparently, even for non-refunable bookings, some VCC you can take the payment at the time of booking, some are inactive until the day of checkin, but they often don't tell you which is which. Now the latest is they provided a VCC with zero credit on it for a modified booking. After repeated failures to reply by BDC I finally spoke to "partner support yesterday and was told the customer hadn't paid them and I should take payment from the guest! When I tried to do this today, I discovered that BDC had double charged the guest already - the guest showed me evidence of this!! I spoke to BDC again and lots of promises of sending a new VCC but could not say when! In short, don't trust a BDC VCC until you have the payment! Personally, I've had enough of the way they fail to respond to problems they've caused, and am looking to no longer doing business with them.

8 months ago

Because we have really increased our reservations by using Booking.com, but found no one at Booking.com can help with payments by Virtual Credit Card, we opted out of it.

Go to Finance, Online payments, and there you will see the options.

We made both 1. ON-LINE payments IN-ACTIVE and 2. Virtual Credit Cards IN-ACTIVE.

To get our money, from the first Virtual Credit Card, we had to add our Bank Information for a direct Deposit. They have a monthly schedule for direct Bank Deposits, so we had to wait a long time, but eventually received it. I think it took us one month to discover they did not know how to help with the Virtual Credit Card and another month to receive the direct deposit.

Before adding a channel manager with credit card service, we could not process a credit card deposit without the credit card present. Now, we get a deposit and that eliminates no-shows of people booking more than one location for a reservation, and losing out on another possible reservation. We process all payments in-house.

For properties that this is not an option, activating the On-Line payments, with direct deposit does work, just very slowly and you pay a premium for the service.

We are very small and now use LittleHotelier/Siteminder as a channel manager. There are many channel managers available, but their association with Stripe for international credit card processing has been really important for us.

We are really happy with Booking.com, and hopefully, Booking.com will soon realize the negative effect that their Virtual Credit Card service is having on their association with property owners. It is SAD!

8 months ago