FAQ Risk-Free Reservations

Updated 20 days ago

Section 1: How do Risk-Free Reservations work with cancellations?

Section 2: What should I do if I receive a Risk-Free Reservation

Section 3: Working with a channel manager/PMS and Risk-Free Reservations

Section 4: Payment-related questions about Risk-Free reservations

Section 5: Opting in and out of Risk-Free Reservations


Section 1: How do Risk-Free Reservations work with cancellations?

What are the different scenarios for cancellation?

Scenario 1: Before Risk-Free period starts

If a risk-free reservation is cancelled before the Risk-Free period (under your original policy), in these situations, Booking.com will not look for a replacement guest as it is considered a normal free cancellation based on the policy you yourself selected. For more details, you can check the policies section at the bottom of the page.

Scenario 2: During Risk-Free period 

If a risk-free reservation is cancelled during the Risk-Free period, please keep the rooms open and bookable without restrictions so that we will start searching for replacement. 

Scenario 3: During non-refundable period

To help you attract more guests, Risk-Free reservations do not require guests to pay in advance. When the free cancellation period expires, and when the payment method is by guest credit card, please validate the guest credit card immediately. If it is invalid, please mark it within 48 hours so that we can start searching for replacement. If a risk-free reservation is cancelled during a non-refundable period, we will not start searching for replacement as the guest cancels at his/her own cost.

Practical example: If your policy is upgraded by the Risk-Free Reservations programme to include free cancellations until 7 days before the check-in date, and a guest cancels the reservation after that time (so within 7 days before check-in), the guest will be liable for the cancellation cost.

What will happen if a replacement guest is found?

The replacement reservation will be created as a new reservation for you.

When we find a replacement guest you can check the updated reservation number in the original booking’s reservation details in the extranet. In the new reservation, you can also see the original reservation information. In your channel manager/PMS, you can see the same information under the replacement booking in notes/text section.

What will happen if no replacement is found?

If the cancelled room is open and bookable without restrictions since cancellation, we will take over the payment obligations of the cancellation cost ( based on the policy of the original reservation).

Why do I need to keep my room open and bookable without restrictions?

To maximise the possibility of a guest stay at your property, our replacement works on a night basis. Therefore, to start the replacement process, the rooms should be open and bookable without restrictions. To proactively inform you of this information, pay attention to the notification section in extranet. If you would like to double check the latest changes for a risk-free reservation, please check the “Reservation Changes” section and enable “Updates related to rooms with risk-free policies”.

How will you help me find a replacement guest?

During the replacement stage, to make your property more attractive, we might use rank boosting or price incentives to attract guests to book.you won’t have to offer any discounts at all yourself. If we cannot find a replacement in the end, we will take over the payment obligations for the cancellation cost.

If the replacement booking is also Risk-Free, and it is also cancelled during the upgraded free cancellation period, we will again start searching for a replacement as long as the cancelled rooms are open bookable without restrictions.


Section 2: What should I do if I receive a Risk-Free Reservation

What should I do if I receive a risk-free reservation?

When you receive a new reservation, please check the upgraded cancellation policy in the extranet or in your Channel Manager/PMS. 

To help you attract more guests, Risk-Free reservations do not require guests to pay in advance. This does not add additional work for you. Please pay attention to the date when free cancellation expires by checking the policies in each reservation from the updated policies in the Reservation Details page.

If you collect payment for this reservation by guest credit card, make sure you validate the guest credit card as soon as it is available. If the credit card is invalid, please mark it within 48 hours. We will then start searching for replacement again as long as the room is open and bookable without restrictions. For more information about invalid CC, see this article.

When you receive a Risk-Free Reservation, please pay attention to the date when free cancellation expires by checking the updated policies in the Reservation Details page.

Where can I check details about a risk-free reservation?

In your extranet, you can filter Risk-Free reservations on the reservation page. You can also check reservation details for each risk-free reservation:

  • Reservation Changes: you can choose to display the last two changes in regards to Risk-Free Rooms.
  • Risk-Free Rooms Summary: shows payment obligations related to the rooms that are under Risk-Free policies.
  • Status for individual rooms: individual rooms status in regards to the risk-free reservation.
  • Policies: shows the updated cancellation policies in a timeline format for risk-free reservations. 
  • Notification on extranet homepage: when a risk-free reservation is cancelled and needs to be reopened or release the restrictions, we will send you notifications on extranet homepage, please ensure the rooms are open and bookable without restrictions so that we can start searching for replacement. 

In your channel manager, you will be able to see the upgraded policies. For more details, you can check Section 3


Section 3: Working with a channel manager/PMS and Risk-Free Reservations

What will happen if I use a channel manager and a guest cancels a Risk-Free Reservation?

In this situation, a cancellation message will be triggered and sent via API to your channel manager. You can check it either in the reservation comment, or in your room description by looking for the keywords “risk-free reservation”.

If the room nights that guests cancelled are open and bookable, we will immediately start searching for a replacement guest. If the room is not open and bookable then we will not be able to find a replacement guest.

Please ensure that the room is open and bookable without any restrictions that might prevent Booking.com from finding a replacement guest.

How can I track the progress of a Risk-Free Reservation if I use a channel manager?

For connected partners, Risk-Free Reservations are shown in the confirmation messages received in your channel manager (please see either the reservation comment or the room description).

To keep you informed of important updates related to the Risk-Free reservation, we send three types of messages: confirmation, modification and cancellation. All messages include “risk-free reservation” in the text so that you can recognise that these are related to a Risk-Free reservation

Once the first Risk-Free Reservation is cancelled, we will stop sending you updates about this reservation booking. If we are able to find a replacement booking, we will send you a new message informing you for which booking it is replacing and where to find more information. 

As there is limited information we can send to you via your channel manager, we also include a link in all messages that directs you to your extranet Reservations page, where you can see the more details for each reservation.


Section 4: Payment-related questions about Risk-Free reservations

How does payment work with risk-free reservations when guests stay? 

If you collect payments by receiving bank transfer directly from Booking.com, payment works as normal. You can check the payment details in reservation details.

If you collect payments via virtual credit cards, you can check the updated virtual credit card in the reservation details or in your channel manager after arrival day.

If you collect payments via guest credit card at the property, when a free cancellation period expires, please validate the guest credit card as soon as possible. If the credit card is invalid, please mark it within 48 hours, then we will start searching for replacement again. If the guest credit card is valid and the reservation stays unchanged, you can directly charge the stayed guest upon check-in/check-out.

Booking.com will charge commission for all reservations you get revenue from.

How does payment work with risk-free reservations when guests cancel?

Please refer to Section 1.  

Where can I see payment details for Risk-Free Reservations?

If you collect payments via virtual credit card or guest credit card, you can check the details in the reservation’s details on extranet - or in your channel manager. To help you understand payment details, look for the Risk-Free room summary section so you can see all payment details for each reservation.

How will I receive payment if Booking.com cannot find a replacement guest during the free cancellation period?

If your preferred payout method is virtual credit card, you can charge the virtual credit card in reservation details or in your channel manager on the stay date.

If your preferred payout method is bank transfer, we will pay out by bank transfer after the stay date in your normal frequency. 

What can I do if the guest has an invalid credit card?

When the free cancellation period ends, and you confirmed that the credit card is invalid, please mark it within 48 hours. For more information about invalid credit cards, see this article.


Section 5: Opting in and out of Risk-Free Reservations

How do I join the Risk-Free Reservations programme?

To opt in to the programme, you can sign in to your Booking.com extranet and click Opportunities, where you will find the Risk-Free Reservations Programme page.

You can opt in to Risk-Free Reservations from that page. Please note that you need to be enrolled to Payments by Booking.com to be eligible for the programme.

If you joined Payments by Booking.com and are not from France, then you will be automatically enrolled and enjoy the benefits of Risk-Free Reservations.

How do I leave the Risk-Free Reservations programme? 

We understand that this programme may not suit your property well. If you don’t want to be part of the Risk-Free Reservations programme, you can sign in to your Extranet, and click Opportunities, where you will find the Risk-Free Reservations Programme page

Risk-Free Reservations is designed to benefit both partners and guests. If we detect an improper use of the programme, we reserve the right to disable Risk-Free Reservations for properties not complying with our terms of service.

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