This travel tip comes from two readers. The first one came in yesterday from a reader nicknamed Coyote. It was in response to this recent post: Don’t Fall for These Hotel Scams.

Coyote added: “Also, wherever you stay, read your hotel bill carefully before you check out as there may be charges for things you did not use. Hotel billing errors are almost always in a hotel’s favor, not ours, but they are easier to have corrected when you’re actually at the hotel talking to front desk staff rather than later on.”

Coyote is absolutely right and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had things added to my bill that were erroneous or put on by ‘mistake.’ Many times, it’s been from the automated minibar but thankfully those are going away.

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It reminds me of a tip we ran five years ago from reader: Rob W. in which he said: “What I do now, for stays of three or more nights and especially if I have used the hotel bar or restaurant, is head down to reception the night before I check out and ask them for a copy of my hotel bill. I take it to the comfort of my room. This gives me the opportunity to review details without the pressure when one is checking out.

“In the past six months, I cannot tell you all those pesky small charges I have had added to my bill for items I have not used. By doing this you can then raise the issues with the reception on the way out and not be having to deal with them for months on end afterwards.”

This is great advice. Get a copy of your bill the night before so you aren’t rushed or feel pressure to hurry up and close the account because of the guests waiting behind you.

Have you ever had mistakes added to your bill? Were they ever in your favor? If yes, please leave a comment below.


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8 Comments On "Always Do This Before Checking Out of Your Hotel"
  1. Phil Singh|

    yup! I can second this, I have saved soo much by doing it.

  2. Don Edmands, Jr.|

    I don’t know how many times over the years I have found charges on my bill that were not mine. It pays to check!

  3. Joe|

    I love the suggestion of getting a copy the night before. I’ve been charged for breakfast as Hyatt globalist, but the desk person at checkout caught it and I didn’t. My biggest hassle was a restaurant receptionist asked for my name and room number with a big line behind me. So anyone within hearing range got to charge their meals to my room. It didn’t go well at first getting the charges removed days later. Had I followed your advice it would have been easier. BTW, I now show receptionists my room key folder when asked for my room number and also write my name on it.

  4. MarkB|

    Over the years we have found some hotels, car rental companies and restaurants will try to bill you in USD rather than in the local currency. To avoid terrible exchange/conversion rates, always request the bill be in local currency as your credit card company uses better conversion rates than the establishment trying to gouge you by having you accept payment in USD.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      100%! I’ve written about it before so I will rerun it with your comment

  5. atb2man|

    Guess I will look more closely. I always review the bills and have been to Europe a number of times for extended stays including recently for a month. Zero errors in favor of hotels in Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany and Amsterdam. Conversely had it happen twice in USA. Ironically each of the desk clerks suggested we pay in local currencies (we always do anyway.)

  6. George Keller|

    Great idea to check the evening prior to checkout. All hotels I have stayed in the best few years have my email address. Some hotels will send automatically otherwise the folio can be requested.

  7. Roger W Dickson|

    A few years ago at a Hilton Garden Inn, I stopped by the snack shop to pick up a $1.50 bag of chips. My final bill showed a $150.00 charge for the chips.

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