Can you pay for a hotel in cash? Wondering which hotels accept cash, how much a cash deposit will be, or whether or not you’ll need a credit card on file?
We’ve got you covered with all the answers in this guide.
Can You Pay for a Hotel in Cash in 2023?
When it comes to booking a hotel room these days, cash payments are typically seen as a thing of the past. We can probably thank the era of rockstars trashing rooms and today’s secure digital payment options for that.
But the question “Can you pay for a hotel in cash?” has a surprising answer, considering how poorly our hair metal brethren have treated these pay-by-night oases in the past.
Yes, you can pay for a hotel in cash today. But not every hotel has a cash payment policy, and the general rule (though there are exceptions) is that you’ll still need to provide a credit card or debit card at check-in to reserve the room.
Some hotels will ask you to verify your identity with a government-issued photo ID that matches the name on your credit or debit card.
Some will require you to pay an additional incidentals or security deposit – sometimes as much as $200/night – to pay for your room with cash.
Most will place an authorization hold on your credit or debit card for the full anticipated amount of your stay, including the total number of nights and any additional deposits.
The temporary hold will be released – and your card won’t be charged – after you pay the final bill in cash.
Paying cash for a hotel room is surprisingly common today and we found that several popular hotel and motel chains will accept cash payments, at least at some locations.
We’ll share the hotels that accept cash, why hotels want a credit or debit card on file, and tips to booking a room with cash next!
15 Hotels That Accept Cash Payment
We’ve compiled a list of 15 hotel chains that are known to accept cash payment. Take a look below to see what your options are if you prefer settling your bill the old fashioned way!
1. Best Western
Some Best Western locations accept cash payment in addition to debit, credit, or traveler’s check upon departure when you present a valid credit card at check-in.
A hold will be placed on the card to cover the room and incidental charges, then released upon cash payment after 1-2 weeks. The Best Western Pay With Points program allows you to combine hotel points with cash to book a stay as well.
2. Choice Hotels
Policies differ at the many Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, EconoLodge, etc.), but you’ll find that most will accept payment in cash at check-out.
You’ll need to have a debit card or credit card on file with the front desk to cover any additional charges or damages to the room. The Choice Hotels Points Plus Cash program lets you combine cash and hotel points to book a stay with a cash payment.
3. Drury Hotels
Guests can pay cash at departure for the final bill with a valid photo ID and debit or credit card presented at check-in when staying at Drury Hotels.
A hold will be placed on the card for the full price of your planned stay plus a $50-$200 incidental deposit that will be released 7-10 days after your paid-in-full stay.
4. Extended Stay America
Cash payments at Extended Stay America check-ins (nightly rate) or by the week (weekly/monthly rate) are accepted at some locations with a $100 cash deposit upon check-in to cover incidentals.
A credit or debit card may be required on-file to place a hold on your card for the full expected amount of your stay. The cash deposit will be mailed to you within 14 days of departure if there were no additional charges.
5. Hilton Hotels & Resorts
The Hilton hotel group may accept cash when you put a major debit card or credit card on file for incidental charges. A hold may be placed on the card along with a deposit (like the $200/night deposit policy in Dallas/Ft. Worth Hampton Inn).
Any holds will be released after your stay if you paid in cash and there are no damages to the room or additional charges racked up. The Hilton Flexible Points & Money program lets you combine cash and hotel points to pay for your stay as well.
6. Hyatt Hotels
Some Hyatt locations accept cash payment at check-out, but all will require a credit card on file at check-in to cover any additional incidentals you may accrue during your stay.
A hold may be placed on the card to cover the cost of the room and a deposit, which will be released upon full cash payment at departure.
It’s best to call your location and ask about paying cash at check-out, then reserve over the phone if you want to pay for your stay in cash.
7. IHG Hotels & Resorts
The hotel group that owns Holiday Inn and Candlewood Suites is known to accept cash payment at check-in for the full expected amount of the stay, plus tax and a refundable $150 deposit (can also be cash).
You’ll get the deposit back after 8AM on check-out day after room inspection. You will need to put a valid credit card on file with the front desk to cover incidentals and a hold may be placed on the card for the full amount of your stay and deposit.
Any holds on your card will be released upon room inspection and cash payment in full.
Check with individual hotels for policy, but some Marriott locations will accept cash at the end of your stay when you place a valid debit or credit card on file at the front desk.
A hold will be applied to the account and released within 2 weeks after you pay cash for your room and any incidental charges.
The Marriott Cash + Points program lets you pay as little as $55 and use your hotel points to pay for a room as well.
9. Microtel Inns & Suites
Guests can pay in cash at departure at some Microtel locations, provided you are 21+, show a government-issued photo ID at check-in, and make a security deposit around $200.
Note that not every Microtel location will accept cash payments and you’ll need to call and check with the front desk to be sure before you book.
10. Motel 6
Guests can pay cash in advance, but may be charged an incidental deposit in varying amounts based on the room rate.
A valid government-issued ID and a debit, credit, or bank card matching the ID may be requested at the front desk, and deposits or debit card holds are returned within 2 weeks of your stay.
11. Omni Hotels & Resorts
Omni hotels may accept cash payment in full at check-in along with a $100/day deposit for the planned number of days in your stay.
Your location will likely require a valid credit card on file at the time of check-in and place a temporary hold on it for the amount of your stay, so be sure to call and ask before booking.
12. Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts
Guests can pay cash at departure, but will need to present a valid credit card to reserve a room and make a $75+ incidental deposit with a hold for the total room charge.
The hold will be released upon cash payment and may take 2 weeks to disappear from your bank account. Cash deposits are not accepted.
13. Radisson Hotels
Some locations, including Radisson Blu, accept cash payment at departure with a valid credit card placed on file at check-in.
The card will have a hold placed on it for the full amount of your stay and your card won’t be charged if you pay the amount in cash at check-out.
14. Red Roof Inn
Some Red Roof Inn locations accept cash payment at departure along with an upfront $50 incidentals deposit paid in cash or with a credit/debit card.
Upon inspection of the room, you’ll receive your deposit money back or have the hold released on your card as long as there is no damage to the room.
15. Super 8
Super 8 guests can pay cash for a room, but a $250 incidental deposit is required to be paid in full if you’re not putting a credit card on file.
The deposit is $100 if you do have a credit card on file, and either way, the deposit will be refunded after your stay if there are no damages to the room.
Why Do Hotels Require a Credit Card on File?
Once you’ve found the hotels that do accept cash payments, you might be wondering why so many of them still require you to have a credit or debit card on file.
The answer is simple and two-fold: Payment assurance and easy amenities usage for guests.
Keeping your credit or debit card on file means the hotel has a means to pursue the total cost of your room, a security deposit, and any additional incidentals like room service, minibar items, or pay-per-view movies.
If you’re paying in cash and decide to skip out in the middle of the final night without paying up, damage the room, steal items from the room, or cancel your reservation after the allowed window, the hotel is left holding the bag.
So they keep a valid credit/debit card on file for you just in case.
Having your card on file also makes it easy for the hotel to keep a tab running for any of those incidentals and extra amenities you use while you’re enjoying your stay.
If you’ve confirmed your hotel accepts cash payments, offering a credit or debit card number is still part of the policy in most cases. It doesn’t mean you’ll be charged on the card.
They’ll use it to place a temporary authorization hold – a “just in case” phantom charge that won’t go through unless you fail to provide cash payment in full at departure.
Tips for Booking a Hotel With Cash
Can you pay for a hotel in cash? Absolutely, but as you can see, there tends to be a lot of fine print when you use this payment method. Here are some tips to navigating cash payments at hotels.
Look for 1-3 Star Hotels and Motels
The less fancy your accommodations, the more likely they’ll be to accept payment in cash. You’ll find some higher-end hotels and resorts that accept cash with a few additional requirements and deposits, but it’s far more common in 1-3 star than 4-5 star hotels.
- 1-star hotels that accept cash may include Motel 6, Super 8, and Rodeway Inn
- 2-star hotels that accept cash may include Sleep Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, and EconoLodge
- 3-star hotels that accept cash may include Hampton Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, and Hyatt Place
Reserve Your Room Via Phone
Booking hotels online is super easy and quick, but it may not be the best method if you’re hoping to pay cash for your stay. Booking over the phone is the best option if you want to pay cash.
When you call, confirm that the hotel does accept cash payment, either at check-in or check-out. Ask about required deposits and whether you’ll need a credit or debit card on file for an authorization hold.
It’s worth calling to check about cash payments at any hotel, whether the policy defines cash payment acceptance or not. You could get lucky and talk to someone who’s willing to make an exception or charge an additional deposit to take cash for a room!
Book Through an OTA
Some online travel agencies (OTAs) will allow more payment method options than booking directly through a hotel’s website. While you won’t be able to pay in cash online, you may find options that better suit your needs this way.
You’ll find that Expedia, for example, accepts debit cards, credit cards, Affirm monthly payments via check or bank account, Click to Pay, and PayPal payments.
Don’t Hold Your Breath on the Authorization Hold
Since most hotels that take cash require a credit or debit card on file to place an authorization hold, it’s wise to assume you won’t see that amount freed up for 2-4 weeks after your stay.
Different hotels have varying policies on how long it takes to release an authorization hold after your stay. We’ve seen hotels remove the hold anywhere from 7-30 days after a stay, so relax and give it a few weeks if you don’t see it right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve breezed through all the fine-print info on paying for a hotel with cash. Take a look at the FAQs on the topic to learn more!
Do hotels take cash or card?
All hotels accept valid, major credit and/or debit cards. Some hotels take cash, but will still require a valid credit or debit card on file to place a temporary authorization hold on your account in the expected final amount of your bill.
Check your hotel’s policy and fine print to find out their cash payment policy. Some require full cash payment up-front, along with a cash deposit you’ll be refunded after your stay.
Others accept cash payment at departure, when they’ll release the authorization hold on your account following payment in full.
Can you put cash on a hotel for the security deposit?
Some hotels will accept cash for the security deposit, while others require the deposit be put on a valid credit or debit card.
Check with your hotel to find out what the security deposit policy includes.
How much is a hotel cash deposit?
Hotel cash deposits can range from around $50 to $200+. Some hotels charge a cash deposit for the entire stay, while others apply the cash deposit per night.
These amounts can quickly rack up, so call your hotel to find out the deposit policy before booking.
Does Marriott accept cash?
Yes, some Marriott hotels accept cash payment at departure as long as you have a valid credit or debit card on file for an authorization hold to be applied.
After your cash payment, Marriott will release the hold on your card within 2 weeks. You can also use the Cash + Points program to use cash and hotel points to book your stay at the Marriott.
Do all hotels require a credit card?
Not all hotels require a credit card on file for guests. Some accept a debit card to keep on file.
Others, like Microtel, Super 8, and Red Roof Inn locations, will accept cash payment upfront or at departure along with a cash deposit varying from $50-$200.
So, Can You Pay for a Hotel in Cash?
Yep – you can absolutely pay for a hotel in cash and it’s surprisingly common. With at least 15 popular hotel chains that accept cash payment, there’s a good chance you can find one at your travel destination.
Keep in mind the important fine print: You’ll probably need a credit/debit card, photo ID, and cash for a security deposit if you’re not going the credit card authorization hold route.
That cash deposit might be $50 paid when you check in, or it could be $200/night for the entire length of your stay. It’s all a matter of hotel policy, so don’t be shy about asking for the details.
Whether your card gets a temporary hold for the room cost plus security deposit or you pay a deposit in cash upfront, don’t worry – you’ll get that deposit money back as long as you don’t channel your inner room-destroying rockstar.