Cancellation, deposit and prepayment policies
Clarity for your guests. Guaranteed revenue for you
Cancellations are an unavoidable part of hospitality. No matter how much your guests plan their trip, any number of unexpected events can end up affecting their bookings. When that happens, it’s important that they know what to expect – just as it’s important that you don’t miss out on revenue.
To make sure your guests know how much you’ll charge them and when, we recommend that you set up the cancellation, deposit and prepayment policies that suit your property. Not only will this help your guests avoid surprises, it’ll also mean that you won’t miss out on revenue unnecessarily.
It’s now easier than ever to set up your policies on the extranet. All the main cancellation and payment scenarios are covered, and all you have to do is answer a few key questions to configure your preferred policies.
What policies are available?
Let guests know if they can cancel their booking free of charge, and if so, until when. Generally speaking, we recommend that you allow guests to cancel for free until one or two days before check-in. Alternatively, you can choose non-refundable policies, where guests won’t get their money back if they cancel.
Deposit and prepayment policies
Let guests know if they can expect any charges before they arrive, and if so, what they will be charged and when.
Deposit and prepayment policies
Alongside your cancellation policy, you can configure:
Guests pay a certain amount up front, usually via bank transfer, which they’ll get back if they cancel within the free (flexible) cancellation period. However, if they cancel after that point, they won’t get the deposit back – meaning that you’re covered if they cancel.
During the booking process, guests use their card to pay for part of the reservation, often just the first night. Prepayment is usually for partially refundable or non-refundable bookings, so if the guest cancels, they won’t get that amount back.
You hold a certain amount to check that the guest’s card is valid, with a view to charging it fully at a later date. You can hold this amount as a guarantee in case the guest doesn’t show up, or simply choose to return it to the guest immediately.
How can your business benefit from cancellation and prepayment policies?
Make sure you’re covered in case a guest cancels.
When guests have a clear idea of what to expect, they’re less likely to cancel.
Manage guest expectations
With clearly stated policies, you reduce the kind of surprises that can negatively impact guest experience.
How it works – overview
You can check your policies in your extranet by clicking on the ‘Property’ tab and selecting ‘Policies’.
Under ‘Cancellation policies’, you can choose between a fully flexible or a customised policy – or apply different policies to different room types.
- With a fully flexible policy, your guests will only pay when they stay at your property, and can cancel free of charge during a time frame of your choice prior to check-in.
- With a customised policy, you can choose how long before check-in guests can cancel for free, and how much they’ll be charged if they do cancel after that point. You can also set up a prepayment before check-in, and define how and when you’d like to receive that payment. On top of that, you can apply different policies to different room types.
- With pre-authorisation preferences, you can show guests whether you’ll pre-authorise their card or not, as well as how much you’ll pre-authorise and when. Pre-authorisation can be applied to specific policy types, too.
- With a deposit, you can make sure you’re covered financially if a guest cancels a booking. If the guest does end up staying, you can give them back the money afterwards, or simply deduct it from the overall price of the reservation. Deposits are usually paid by bank transfer, so this is particularly useful if you aren’t able to charge credit cards.