How and when do I refund a virtual credit card (VCC) ?

Updated 1 month ago

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 obligations and avoid a chargeback.

When do I need to refund a virtual credit card (VCC)?

You’ll need to refund a virtual credit card if you already charged it in either of these two situations:

  1. You agreed to waive the applicable fees when a reservation was canceled, modified, or a no-show.
  2. A reservation was canceled due to a Force Majeure event. In these cases, guests shouldn’t incur any costs or fees for stays they couldn’t complete. Booking.com waives all commission on these associated reservations.

In both cases, Booking.com will return the money to the guest, and you’ll have 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 Manage virtual cards to see a list of virtual cards to refund. For each VCC, you’ll see a refund reason, a deadline, and amount. Choose View card details and process the refund using your POS or credit card machine.  
  • From the Reservations tab, click 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’re expired. If the expiration date has passed, enter the current month as the card’s expiration date instead.

Details for processing VCCs may differ depending on your POS or credit card machine. If you have trouble refunding the virtual credit card, we recommend contacting your bank or financial institution.

What happens if I don’t refund the virtual credit card (VCC)?

We’ll 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 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.

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback is the return of funds previously charged to a credit card that’s 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 already returned a guest’s money on your behalf, but you haven’t refunded the virtual credit card associated with the reservation. We’ll send you two email reminders before processing any chargebacks. 

What is the timeline for chargebacks?

Once Booking.com refunds a guest, you’ll receive an email with instructions for refunding the virtual credit card associated with their reservation. Over the span of two to three months, you’ll receive additional email reminders.

Here’s what to expect when a guest is refunded: 

  • Day of guest refund: On the day of a guest’s refund, you’ll receive an email confirming the guest was refunded. We expect you to refund the virtual credit card associated with their reservation.
  • First reminder: If you don’t refund the virtual credit card(s) by the 3rd day of the next month, we’ll send you a reminder email with all the info you need to process these refunds. 
  • Second reminder: On the 15th day of the following month, we’ll 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 the same month, we’ll hand over the details of outstanding refunds to our credit card provider to begin the chargeback process.

We hope this transparent and guided 60- to 90-day process will give you plenty of time to administer refunds that fit your way of working. 

Are there additional fees associated with chargebacks?

When a guest who paid online is refunded, you’re required to refund the associated virtual credit card within a specified time. When this isn’t completed in time, Booking.com needs to initiate a chargeback to recover the funds, because we already returned the guest’s money on your behalf.

To cover the cost of processing a chargeback, payment service providers will usually charge you a fee. This fee varies depending on your payment setup. To avoid these charges, we recommend refunding 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?

Find out how Online Payments work, read our Payments FAQ, or read more about charging virtual credit cards  

 

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