General Question

imgr8's avatar

Is a credit card required at a Mexican resort?

Asked by imgr8 (378 points ) September 19th, 2012

Since I’m only 18 I don’t have a credit card, my parents are going to put the hotel, flight etc on their card and I will of course have cash. Since the hotel will have the credit card info will I need to actually have it, for liability reasons or anything else?

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19 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

It depends on their policy. I suggest you call and ask.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Even if the hotel doesn’t need the credit card, it may be a good idea to have one with you with enough of a limit to get a flight home if there is an emergency.

JLeslie's avatar

Do you have a debit card? You should be able to use that. They will hold a certain amount on the card I believe. Probably around $300. I would call ahead and double check. I have read that some debit cards don’t work in other countries, I don’t know about MX. The hotel swipes the credit card for incidentals. Meaning charges you make while staying there, it does not need to match the card that paid for the hotel, if it was all paid for up front. Is it a package deal?

If you are going to travel to a foreign country I recommend getting a credit a card.

Seek's avatar

It’s not Mexico, but when I went to Bonaire, they wanted a credit card. All restaurants and shops in the resort charged to the room instead of taking money from you (probably to cut down on employee theft if you ask me, it’s a very poor country).

You should definitely call ahead of time, and at the very least have a prepaid credit/debit card with you (make sure it’ll work in Mexico) – cash can’t be replaced if lost or stolen. Credit cards can be cancelled and replaced.

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imgr8's avatar

yes I have a debit card and the problem is I can’t actually get a credit card until im 19..

Seek's avatar

If the debit card has a Visa logo you should be fine. But call your debit card provider and make sure it’ll work in Mexico. It’s a good idea to let them know anyway, so they don’t put a hold on the account thinking you’re a victim of identity theft.

JLeslie's avatar

Listen to @Seek_Kolinahr, make sure your card will work in MX. Also, make sure you have plenty of money in your account before you leave.

I don’t understand why you have to wait until you are 19 for a credit card? Is it some new law?

imgr8's avatar

@JLeslie it has always been the law where I live

JLeslie's avatar

@imgr8 What country are you in? That is a horrible law in my opinion, but that is a different topic. You might be able to be added to your mom’s credit card at your age.

Still, I think the debit card will likely be ok. Are you staying at a international chain hotel? Marriott, Hilton, a Club Med one of those? If you call the 800 number they will help you. If they are not helpful ask for a supervisor. Or, you can also email them through customer service on their website.

imgr8's avatar

@JLeslie I’m in Canada and apparently in my province age of majority is 19 rather than 18…irritating. I have sent an email but I suppose if they don’t reply soon I’ll have to call

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, well, at least in Canada you can use the 800 numbers. Let us know what you find out. Hopefully, it isn’t a big deal. There is a chance you can give them cash that they hold onto, and return to you the unused portion at the end of your stay. I recommend against that. Or, they may let you use your mom’s credit card with a notarized letter. I just thought of that.

I find it odd Canada would have a provincial difference on something like that. Very interesting. I wonder if we have anything like that in the states? I usually think of that sort of thing being controlled by federal law.

wundayatta's avatar

Generally, the credit card holds the reservation, but they can’t actually use it for the bill. You have to provide payment at the hotel and that means a credit card. Sometimes they will ask if they should put it on the credit card you reserved under, but you still have to sign for it. Since it isn’t your card, you can’t sign for it. You may need to arrange for another form of payment.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta Even if the room is free or has been prepaid through a package or an internet site like expedia.com or hotels.com, the hotel still requires a card for incidentals. I stay free quite often, but I still need to give them my card when I check in.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@wundayatta can’t @imgr8 be named as an authorized user on a parent’s card. I was when I went to Europe between my junior and senior years in HS, I was 16 at the time.
I had traveller’s checks, back when they were popular, but they wouldn’t accept them without a credit card.

imgr8's avatar

@wundayatta so if I book through Expedia or something similar will it not be actually charged to the credit card or in that case is it prepaid? The resorts website says you need to either a credit card or cash for incidentals so how much cash do you think they’re talking? Obviously I’m going to ask beforehand but I’m just figuring things out right now..

imgr8's avatar

@westriverrat I don’t know if my parents would even do that, I mean they are happy to put it on their card if I give them cash but I don’t know how comfortable they would be signing it over to me. ... What about prepaid credit cards? Would they work?

wundayatta's avatar

You can get an additional card for a child. We did that when our daughter went to Guatemala. It was for emergencies only. But you don’t have to be so hard ass about it.

If you pay in advance through Expedia, then I think it is paid for, but as you say, you still need a way to pay for incidentals. We never use incidentals, but then, we don’t go to resorts. If you’re going to buy drinks, which you probably can do in Mexico, then you have to account for that. If you want room service, or spas or jetski rentals or to go snorkling or whatever, there are fees. So you have to know in advance what you want to do, and what it will cost. It’ll go on your bill.

I would bring several hundred dollars if I was using cash. But I’d much prefer to use a credit card. It only takes a couple of days to get a card for you on your parents account. If you have your own bank account, and surely you do, then you should have a debit card, and that would be fine. If you don’t have a debit card, you should get one.

But call the resort and see what they are willing to take. Maybe a check will do.

JLeslie's avatar

It doesn’t matter if you buy something that is an incidental or not, they want the card on record for any incidentals you might incur. Even if the card is on record you can pay cash at the time of the transaction, to buy a drink or pay for a meal.

I agree just get added to your mom’s card and they will send you your own card within a couple weeks. Then you have one for the trip and for the future. Just don’t abuse it obviously.

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