How and when do I refund a virtual credit card (VCC) ?
We offer a guided 60 to 90 day process for virtual credit card refunds to give you plenty of time to administer refunds that fit your way of working. This process is designed to provide you with clarity and transparency but, more importantly, it offers you a sufficient period of time to comply with your refunding obligation in order to avoid a chargeback.
When do I need to refund a virtual credit card (VCC)?
You will need to refund a virtual credit card if you’ve already charged it in either of the two situations:
- You agreed to waive the applicable fees when a reservation is cancelled, modified, or in cases of no-show.
- A reservation is cancelled due to a Force Majeure event. In these cases, guests should not incur any costs or fees for stays they were unable to make and Booking.com waives all commission on the associated reservations.
In both cases, Booking.com will return the money to the guest and you will need to refund the same virtual credit card associated with the reservation.
How do I refund a virtual credit card (VCC)?
You can refund virtual credit cards the same way you would any other credit card.
There are two areas of the Extranet where you can access virtual credit card details to provide a refund:
- From the Finance tab, click on Virtual cards management to see a list of virtual cards to refund. For each virtual credit card, you will see a refund reason, a refund deadline and a refund amount. Choose View card details and process the refund using your POS or credit card machine.
- From the Reservations tab, click on a Booking number to access the reservation details and process the refund using your POS or credit card machine.
Note: Virtual credit cards can be refunded even if they have expired. If the expiry date is in the past, you can enter the current month as the card’s expiry date instead.
Details for processing virtual credit cards may differ depending on your POS or credit card machine. If you have trouble refunding the virtual credit card, we recommend that you contact your bank or financial institution.
What if I’m having issues with refunding a virtual credit card (VCC)?
If you are having trouble refunding a virtual credit card, you will need to reach out to your Payment Service Provider (PSP) to find out what went wrong and resolve the issue.
Please note: if you don’t refund the virtual credit card in time, we will need to raise a chargeback to recover any lost funds.
Here are some common scenarios that might cause issues with refunding virtual cards:
- Your POS or credit card machine is blocked
The main reasons for a block are:
- You charged the virtual credit card in the past and the transaction information is no longer accessible through your POS machine
- You have reached the balance limit to refund the virtual credit card
- Your provider does not allow you to refund virtual credit cards
- You receive an unknown POS / credit card machine error
If you’re facing issues with refunding the virtual credit card and your PSP is not able to provide you with helpful information, please try again later or the next day.
- You don’t have enough funds at the moment
You will have a grace period to refund the virtual card. Please make sure you have funds in your account to refund the virtual credit card before this date to avoid a chargeback.
What if I do not agree to refund the virtual credit card (VCC)?
You need to refund the virtual credit card either because the reservation was cancelled or modified and Booking.com has refunded the guest. Therefore, the virtual credit card funds must be returned to Booking.com to avoid a chargeback. If you do not agree with the cancellation or modification you can always reach out to your local support team.
What if I have refunded the guest directly?
The reason that you’re being asked to refund the virtual credit card is that Booking.com has already refunded the guest. You will still need to refund the virtual card to avoid a chargeback. If you have already refunded the guest yourself, please request these funds back from the guest or they will receive a double refund.
What happens if I don’t refund the virtual credit card (VCC)?
We will send you reminders if you need to refund a virtual credit card. You'll receive these over a period of two to three months after we've refunded the guest.
We ask that you refund virtual credit cards within the provided time frame. Otherwise, we'll have to initiate a chargeback to recover the funds.
Keep in mind that if you don’t refund VCCs on time or in full, for future bookings we may remove your ability to charge VCCs before the check-in date.
What is a chargeback?
A chargeback is the return of funds previously charged to a credit card that is authorized by a bank. This process is put in place by banks to help resolve disputes between merchants and consumers.
Once a bank approves a chargeback request, the bank refunds the original amount to the cardholder - in this case, to Booking.com.
We may initiate a chargeback to a bank if we have already taken care of returning a guest’s money on your behalf but you have not refunded the virtual credit card associated with the reservation. We will send you two email reminders before processing any chargebacks.
What is the timeline for chargebacks?
Once Booking.com has refunded a guest, you will receive an email with instructions for refunding the virtual credit card associated with their reservation. Over the span of two to three months, you will receive additional email reminders.
Here’s what you can expect when a guest is refunded:
- Day of guest refund: On the day of a guest’s refund, you will receive an email confirming that the guest has been refunded. We expect you to refund the virtual credit card associated with their reservation.
- First reminder: If you haven’t been able to refund virtual credit card(s) by the 3rd day of the next month, we will send you a reminder email that contains all the details you need to process these refunds.
- Second reminder: On the 15th day of the following month, we will send you a final overview of outstanding refunds with a request to process them as soon as possible to avoid chargebacks.
- Start of chargeback process: On the 30th day of this same month, we will hand over details of outstanding refunds to our credit card company and provider to begin the chargeback process.
Our hope is that by providing this transparent and guided 60 to 90 day process you will have plenty of time to administer refunds that fit your way of working.
Are there additional fees associated with chargebacks?
When a guest who has paid online is refunded, you are required to refund the associated virtual credit card within a specified time. When this is not completed in time, Booking.com needs to initiate a chargeback to recover the funds because we have already taken care of returning the guest’s money on your behalf.
To cover the cost of processing a chargeback, payment service providers usually charge you a fee. This fee varies depending on your payment setup. To avoid these charges, we recommend that you refund virtual cards within the provided time frame. We’ll send you reminders specifying the deadline to refund.
Want to learn more about our virtual credit cards or Online payments?
Guest Policies & Payments