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 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:
- You agreed to waive the applicable fees when a reservation was canceled, modified, or a no-show.
- 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 Virtual cards management to see a list of virtual cards to refund. For each virtual credit card, you’ll 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 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 virtual credit cards 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 if I’m having issues with refunding a virtual credit card (VCC)?
If you’re having trouble refunding a virtual credit card, you’ll need to reach out to your Payment Service Provider (PSP) to find out what went wrong and resolve the issue.
Note: If you don’t refund the virtual credit card in time, we’ll need to initiate 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 info is no longer accessible through your POS machine
- You’ve reached the balance limit to refund the virtual credit card
- Your provider doesn’t allow you to refund virtual credit cards
- You receive an unknown POS/credit card machine error
If you’re having issues with refunding the virtual credit card and your PSP isn’t able to provide you with helpful info, try again later or the next day.
- You don’t have enough funds at the moment
You’ll have a grace period to refund the virtual card. Make sure you have funds in your account to refund the virtual credit card before this date to avoid a chargeback.
What if I don’t agree to refund the virtual credit card (VCC)?
You need to refund the virtual credit card either because the reservation was canceled or modified, and Booking.com has refunded the guest. As a result, the virtual credit card funds must be returned to Booking.com to avoid a chargeback. If you don’t agree with the cancellation or modification, you can always reach out to your local support team.
What if I refunded the guest directly?
You’re being asked to refund the virtual credit card because Booking.com already refunded the guest. You’ll still need to refund the virtual card to avoid a chargeback. If you already refunded the guest yourself, request these funds back from the guest or they’ll receive a double refund.
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.
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’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?
Guest Policies & Payments