Virtual Credit Cards, Authorizations, and Payments from OTAs
Posted by Jeff Tweddale on 24 Jul 2023 09:54 AM

When a property participates in a 'Merchant Model' program, the credit card provided with the booking will be issued by the OTA, or merchant, such as Expedia or Thus, you are guaranteed to get paid, but the card will not be the card of the Guest, rather issued by the OTA 'merchant' and the name on the card will be, for example: Expedia.


Generally, that card is valid for 2 days prior to check-in to 2 days after check-out for the full Room + Tax amount of what was booked via that OTA 'merchant' (specific OTAs have their own policies).  This card is only valid for the Projected Income that MyPMS shows (the rates sold via the OTA + taxes) so never attempt to authorize more than that amount on the Virtual Credit Card.  If one manually authorizes this card, and then attempts another auth, it will be denied - only one auth for the Virtual Credit Card can be obtained, and only within teh time frame that OTA allows (generally 1-2 days prior to checkin till 1-2 after checkout). We recommend not manually authorizing virtual credit cards.  Just issue the 'Apply Payment' to the folio for the proper amount, which obrtains the auth automatically (if using MyCard). has a good article on these Virtual cards here: 


Errors Obtaining Authorizations on Virtual Credit Cards

There are times when a Virtual Credit Card will not be able to receive an auth (BookingCenter will show: "Unable to accept payment' as an error message if using MyCard).  We will have no idea why, though usually it's because there was already an auth taken from the Virtual Credit Card. In these situations, you will have to login to your merchent center for the specific OTA, find the booking, and request a new Virtual Credit Card from the OTA for that booking. This new card should then get manually entered into the PMS and this may require a manual Payment or Auth (depending on scenario) for the amount the OTA states is appropriate for the booking: the Rate + Tax that were booked.


BookingCenter has developed a way to require a guest's credit card as part of our Self Check-in system so that the Virtual Card is used only for the approved Room + Tax amount, and 'incidentals' are then paid to the card the guest has chosen.  We do this as detailed here for ADDPAYMENT.


(0 vote(s))
Not helpful

Comments (0)
Post a new comment
Full Name:
CAPTCHA Verification 
Please enter the text you see in the image into the textbox below (we use this to prevent automated submissions).