Haley Eder

Understanding Online Payment & Virtual Credit Cards

Have you ever become frustrated with invalid credit cards?

You want a guaranteed form of payment and you do not want to wait for the guest to update their credit card if it is invalid, especially on the day of arrival. 


Introducing Online Payments and Virtual Credit Cards!

Virtual Credit Cards (VCCs) are temporary, digital Mastercards that we use to guarantee the method of payment on behalf of guests booking using our Online Payments solution. Guests are given the choice to decide if they want to “Pay Online,” or “Pay at the Property.” Pay Online reservations are enabled by virtual credit cards. . Virtual Credit Cards function like regular credit cards, and give you guaranteed payouts from us. VCCs also save you time because you don’t need to pre-authorize or validate them.

Please note if you are part of a global chain, this functionality may or not be available to you yet. Please talk to your brand’s OTA distribution team or regional director about when this will be available to your brand specifically.

Below I’m sharing some of the key points of how virtual credit cards work with Online Payments by Booking.com!

  • For every relevant booking you receive, we’ll send you a new VCC.
  • As long as each VCC remains active, you can charge it as many times as you want until the balance reaches zero
  • Each VCC has a unique card number, expiration date, and card verification code (CVC), and we never reuse these details
  • Each VCC also has an activation date. We generally set this to one day after the check-in date, except for eligible properties where we activate the VCC when the reservation becomes non-refundable
  • For properties in the US, we generally activate the VCC on the check-in date, except for eligible properties where we activate the VCC when the reservation becomes non-refundable
  • If you use a property management system or channel manager, the virtual credit card will come in the reservation notes or in the reservation under a separate rate plan that is specifically for virtual credit cards. Take a look at this article to find out how to charge a VCC when you use a property management system.
  • If there’s a cancellation, no-show, or modification, and you’re owed money, we’ll email you updated VCC details for you to charge.
  • If you need to refund a guest for a booking that we’ve paid you for using a VCC, you’ll need to refund the same VCC that we provided you. You can do this even if the VCC is expired – just enter the current month as the expiration date instead. We’ll return the money to your guest.


More Resources

  1. How virtual credit cards (VCCs) work
  2. How to charge a VCC
  3. What can I do if I’m having trouble charging a VCC?
  4. How do VCCs work with cancellations, no-shows, and modifications?
  5. More info about payments solutions

Frank Janssens 5 months ago

So if I understand well, with a VCC I don't need a local account in the country where the property is lying because that's a big problem in South Africa when one is not resident like me. 

Can you send the charged money on a VCC to an account in the country where I am living (Belgium) or exhange it with another virtual Mastercard like REVOLUT?