11+ Hotel Brands that Take Cash (Updated 2023)
Fewer hotels take cash payments today than before, but don’t fear – there are still plenty of options. You can travel without using a credit card (or prepaid card, gift cards, money order) to pay for your hotel room. It just takes some planning and organization.
There are plenty of reasons you might not want to use a credit card for a hotel in the United States. Maybe it’s due to using cash envelopes (or cash envelope wallet). Or, your credit score won’t allow you to get a credit card, or you just want to avoid credit card payments. No matter the reason, you can still find ways to travel without putting everything on a credit card.
While you aren’t going to be able to stay at any Crowne Plaza Hotels, luckily, plenty of hotels (and motels) take cash regardless of your reason for not using credit cards. Let’s get into which hotels are the best option and what to do if you can’t find one near you.
Why do Hotels Require Credit Cards?
First, let’s have a quick chat about why hotels require credit cards like American Express or Visa credit cards to book guest rooms. There are several good reasons why they request them, which even affects paying cash for a hotel stay.
Hotels have a lot of liabilities when renting rooms or their meeting space – much like landlords or car rental companies do. There’s a chance you might trash the place or take off with some expensive bathrobes (I can’t say I blame them, who doesn’t love a fluffy bathrobe?).
Requiring a credit card at check-in helps them recoup their expenses if you clean them out of their super soft bathrobes or throw a rager in the fitness center or meeting room. Other reasons include:
- Their booking software might not accept non-credit card reservations
- Having less cash on the premises means they’re less likely to be robbed
- It’s less stress for the staff
- It results in a faster check-in and checkout and saves a lot of time
Much like a landlord, who requires a security deposit from renters, a hotel needs a credit card just in case. The credit card that’s saved on file also covers other items, such as:
- Not leaving your room in the same condition you found it
- Drinking from the minibar or eating in-room snacks
- Ordering room service or opening a bar bill
- Purchasing pay-per-view movies
- Additional cleaning fee
- Charges you’ve made to your room, such as a meal at the hotel’s restaurant, spa, or purchases made in the gift shop
- Long distance phone calls made from the hotel room
- Cancellations of reservations made outside of the cancellation window. This costs the hotel money when they can’t rebook the room, so they want a credit card to charge if you cancel too late.
Most hotels will put a $50 to $200 a night hold on your credit card to ensure enough to cover any incidentals, and some will require advance payments for the rooms.
Hotels that Take Cash (without a credit card for deposit)
Below is a list of specific hotels that take cash without a credit card for deposit. While they’re not the high end hotels that you’re used to seeing everywhere, they will allow you to pay with cash:
Extended Stay America
Extended Stay America was one of the most straightforward hotels that accept cash at check-in. In their company FAQs, they outline the exact process for paying for a room in cash:
For guests opting to pay for their rooms in cash, a $100 cash deposit is required per room, per stay. This deposit will be used to guarantee incidental charges that may be incurred during your stay, if any, as well as damages to the guest room. Payment of the deposit can only be made by cash. Upon checkout, the room deposit will first apply to outstanding incidental charges, and all or a portion may be retained to cover damages to the room during your stay. At checkout, after satisfactory inspection, the room deposit will be refunded. Refunds over $100.00 will be mailed by check within 14 days of departure. A receipt will be provided at check-in verifying receipt of the room deposit, and again at checkout verifying the final balance returned.
Read more about Extended Stay America’s payment policies here: https://www.extendedstayamerica.com/company/faqs
Motel 6 / Studio 6
Motel 6 also owns Studio 6, which is an extended stay version. They will allow you to make reservations without a credit card, but they are not guaranteed:
Reservations are based on availability and are only guaranteed when made with your credit card. Guaranteed reservations will be held all night for your arrival. If you are unable to guarantee your reservation, your room may be held until 6:00PM (at most locations). All reservations on our Sites require a credit card guarantee on a reservation.
Read more about Motel 6’s payment policies here: https://www.motel6.com/en/home/policies/about.html#guarantee
Red Roof Inn
Red Rood Inn doesn’t specifically say that they take cash for payment, however, they will allow you to make a reservation without a credit card:
A credit card is required for all online hotel reservations at Red Roof. This guarantees your reserved room until your arrival date. Your credit card will not be charged until you arrive at the hotel.
If you do not feel comfortable using a credit card online to book your reservation, please feel free to book your reservation by calling 800.RED.ROOF or by contacting the hotel property directly.
Just call the hotel directly to speak with a hotel manager and reserve your room as well as inquire about payment methods.
Read more about Red Roof Inn’s payment policies here: https://www.redroof.com/guestfaq
- Check out other economy hotels & motels, and they are the most likely properties to accept cash.
- Try local non-chain hotels. Smaller bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, or local mom and pop motels will be more likely to accept cash than brand hotel chains.
While there’s not a lot of options, there are still some hotels out there that don’t require a credit card. Also, be sure to call the specific location that you’re staying at, to ensure they do accept cash at that particular locaton.
Hotels that Take Cash (with a credit card for deposit)
Some hotels will take a cash payment upon check-in but still want a credit card and photo ID. These hotels want a credit card on file for potential damages or in case you charge anything to your room (like room service). You’ll have better luck finding more hotels that use this approach than you will ones that don’t require a credit card upon check in:
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
The Radisson brand includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns and Suites, Radisson Rewards Americas, Radisson Hotels Americas, and Radisson Meetings Americas.
A credit card number is required to book a hotel reservation online for those hotels that accept credit cards.
Read more about Radisson’s payment policies here: https://www.radissonhotelsamericas.com/en-us/faq
Drury Inn & Suites
The Drury brand includes Drury Inn & Suites. Drury Plaza Hotel, and Pear Tree Inn by Drury.
We also accept gift certificates issued by Drury Hotels and cash with credit card verification. While we accept cash, we require a photo ID and a valid credit card at check-in.
Learn more about Drury’s payment policies here: https://www.druryhotels.com/content/faqs
The Hyatt brand includes Park Hyatt, Miraval, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, UrCove by Hatt, Hyatt Residence Club, Andaz, Alila, Thompson Hotels, Hyatt Centric, Caption by Staff, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Destination by Hyatt, JDV by Hyatt, and AMR Collection.
Yes, a credit card is required in order to guarantee reservations made online.
However, you might be able to make a reservation via phone without a credit card, depending upon the specific locations.
Learn more about payment options for Hyatt here: https://help.hyatt.com/en/faqs/payment-and-cancellation.html
Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Now, don’t get too excited – this doesn’t apply to every Hilton hotel out there. Hilton owns various other brand hotels, such as Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, as well as other luxury brands. Not every hotel in the chain accepts cash, but some do with a credit card for the reservation. You’ll need to contact the specific location directly to ask if they accept cash. While their FAQ page doesn’t mention cash as a specific payment type accepted, it’s worth reaching out to the individual hotel you’ll be staying at.
I did find several Hampton Inn hotels that will accept cash as well. Representatives from individual hotels have commented on TripAdvisor forums, stating they will accept cash. One specifically mentions needing a credit or debit card for deposit, or $100 cash deposit.
The IHG brand includes Six Senses, Regent, InterContinential Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, Voco, Hualuxe, Crowne Plaza, Even Hotels, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Avid, Atwell Suites, Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, and Candlewood Suites.
I used their chat to find out specifics about their accepted form of payment. IHG stated:
All our reservations require a credit or debit card to confirm. If you do not have a credit or debit card to guarantee the reservation, please contact the hotel directly. The hotel might be able to make other payment arrangements with you.
Please note that hotels are at liberty to make payment arrangements on a case-by-case basis.
They mention that you can call the hotel directly to make a reservation without a credit card.
Omni Hotels will accept either a credit card or a debit card for reservations. However, using a debit card can be tricky since you need to make sure you have enough in your bank account to cover the hold:
Debit cards will be processed and charged at the time of check-in. This authorization will hold funds from your bank account in the amount of the room rate, inclusive of tax, for all rooms nights plus the property’s nightly incidental hold. The incidental hold will cover any additional charges (i.e. valet, restaurant charges, spa). The incidental hold varies by property and can be as high as $200. Please contact the property for specific hold amounts. Upon checkout, any unused funds will be credited back to your bank account. Based upon the business rules of your bank, it may take 72 hours or longer for your bank to release the funds back to your account. When Online Check-In is used, the charges will be processed prior to check-in, on the day of your arrival.
Learn more about Omni Hotels’ payment options here: https://www.omnihotels.com/reservations/faq#/panel6
The Marriott brand includes Edition, The Ritz-Carlton, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott, Sheraton, Marriott Vacation Club, Delta Hotels, Westin, Le Meridien, Renaissance Hotels, Autograph Collection Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Design Hotels, Gaylord Hotels, Courtyard, Four Points, Springhill Suites, Fairfield, Portea Hotels, AC Hotels, aloft Hotels, Moxy Hotels, Homes & Villa by Marriott International, Residence Inn, Towneplace Suites, and Element by Westin.
You must use a credit or debit card and have that card present at check-in to make a reservation.
Read about the Marriott’s payment policies here: https://help.marriott.com/s/article/Article-22039
Red Lion Hotels
The Red Lion brand includes Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, Signature Inn, GuestHouse Extended Stay, Americas Best Value Inn, Canadas Best Value Inn, and Knights Inn.
Any digging I’ve done to find their payment methods leaves me with more questions. It depends on what offer you select while booking as to whether you owe a deposit, have to pay the total amount upfront – or something in between.
However, I listed them because I found some exciting information during my research. Red Lion is currently working on an app that will allow customers to use alternative payment options, including PayPal and Apple Pay: https://hospitalitytech.com/red-lion-hotels-deploys-mobile-app-create-end-end-customer-experience
Tips for Booking with Hotels that Take Cash
You’re probably thinking, I walk in, plunk down some cash, and hit the pool. Well, not quite. When using hotels that take money, the process will be a bit different.
When paying with cash, you’ll need to make your reservation online with a hotel that doesn’t require a credit card or make it in person (if the hotel is close to you). Always call ahead to ask if they accept cash and if you can make a cash deposit or not. If so, they’ll give you a courtesy hold, which waives the requirement for a deposit when you book.
A third option is to book through Expedia.com, which also accepts PayPal. This allows you to pay from your checking account without a credit card.
Next, you’ll pay with cash upfront at check-in. You’ll pay the entire stay, and you’ll need to provide a deposit – so make sure you bring enough cash. Some hotels will accept a cash deposit, but others will insist on a credit card for the deposit.
If your deposit is cash, you’ll need to wait while they inspect your room upon checkout. At the end of your stay, the staff will do a quick check on your room. Once the staff is sure that you didn’t incur any additional costs or incidentials, you’ll receive your cash deposit back after they’ve processed your final bill.
Other Ways to Book a Room without a Credit Card
Here are a few more ways to bypass the system and book a room at a hotel with cash:
- Book your hotel room through one of your favorite travel agents, and pay the travel agency in cash.
- Use Expedia.com, Hotwire.com, or Hotels.com to book your room. Each accepts PayPal as a payment method. This is a great way to pay cash and get the best deal on room rates.
- Try Booking.com, which allows you to choose to pay upon arrival, rather than the time of booking.
- Try using up your travel reward points to book a free night at a hotel. However, this is a catch-22, since you need one or more rewards credit cards to earn those points in the first place.
A lot of the hotels I researched don’t specifically say if they’ll accept cash, such as the Choice Hotels brand. (Including Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Comfort Inn, Mainstay Suites, Clarion, Woodspring Suites, Everhome Suites, Suburban Studios, EconoLodge and Roadway Inn.) While I can’t find definite proof that they do, it’s always worth calling ahead and asking that specific location. Sometimes individual hotels will operate outside of the corporate guidelines if it makes sense for them to. When it doubt, call or email to find out if paying in cash is an option!
Now that we’ve talked about hotels that take cash, let’s maximize your savings. Why not learn more about how to travel on a budget? Or, learn how reimbursements on your credit card can result in a negative balance – and what to do.
A forty-ish web designer/developer by day, a budget & financial fanatic by night. I’m a mom, wife, avid reader, and DIY enthusiast who’s tracking our journey to debt freedom. Read More