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Security when booking B&Bs online

We are from the U.S. and are planning our trip to Ireland this summer. In beginning to book lodging, we are finding that some B&Bs ask you to send credit card details in an e-mail to secure your reservation.

They indicate that nothing will be charged to the card unless you cancel too close to your reservation date, but we are nervous about sending our credit card information through e-mail.

Any thoughts on this? Are we being paranoid?

Thanks!

Posted by
440 posts

Hi Jen

Try sending it in two emails, or call the hotel and give it over the phone which is more secure than email. Alternatively you can ask your card provider to issue one time use card number and give that to the hotel. You dont need to pay with the same card you reserved with. Hope this helps

Jay

Posted by
3492 posts

In the email in which we advise that we definitely want to book a room, we ask if we can call the hotel and give the credit card info over the phone to secure the booking. We've never had one say no. As soon as we get an email saying we can call with the info we do so right away. The phone call doesn't cost all that much and as mentioned above giving the info over the phone is more secure than email.

Posted by
4524 posts

It's a common worry, but a rare problem. You are just as much risk from the staff receiving the credit card info (whether by 1, 2 or more emails or by phone) than you are by some high-tech email intercept. You're at risk using your CC at your local big box retailer, given the histories of hacking and theft in that industry. You're at risk handing your card to a waiter at a restaurant, and having them leave for 5 minutes to process it.

If it makes you feel better, call or send it in two emails. But don't really worry about it either way.

Posted by
440 posts

Douglas

Your a brave man if you let your card out of sight with wait staff, i am not a paranoid person but i would never let my card out of sight just in case you get the one waiter that charges you for 27 lobsters and 16 bottles of champagne haha

Posted by
3551 posts

I too think it is uncomfortable sending my cc info. However i have done this now for over 15 yrs , no problems. Of course i always separate the info in at least 2 emails. Some proprieters accept paypal if that helps u feel more comfortable.

Posted by
4524 posts

jayhamps - that is standard practice in the US. Waiters bring a check, you give them a credit card, they take it back to the register and process it, bring it back for you to sign the slip (and add a tip). The danger isn't that they will pad your bill, you still have to sign for it, but that they could easily copy your CC info and sell it. It doesn't actually happen very often, but neither does email hacking/intercepts.

Posted by
21243 posts

The sending of CC numbers over the internet is very secure. Splitting the number increase security very, very little. The risk to your cc number is when it is in the hands of the hotel/B&B personal regardless of how they receive it. If they are sloppy with your cc there is nothing you can do about it. We have literally sent dozens of numbers via the internet with no problem. For international booking and internet usage I do use an old credit that is not used for anything else. If that card is compromised, I can shut it down with one phone callnin 30 secs with no impact on anything else. That card has never been compromised BUT both of the two credit cards I use on a daily bases have been hit three times in the past 20 years.

Yes, you are being paranoid.

PS The telephone is far less secure than using the internet.

Posted by
167 posts

I would not hesitate to provide my cc numbers if required. However I almost always use booking.com. They have huge variety of accommodations from 5 star to hostels. You might check to see if your hotel is listed. Typically you can cancel with 24 hours or at most 3 days with no charge or penalty, but of course you need to read the details in the accommodation's rules.

Posted by
2486 posts

IT experts consider sending cc information via email a high risk. The analogy I've seen used is sending confidential information via a postcard versus a letter. Yes, if the email is hacked you can cancel the card. But once that number is out there clever hackers know to wait and use it at some future date. So, you use that card that has no foreign transaction fees, and find 4 months later, while you are overseas, transactions you don't recognize are showing up. You now have to cancel your card, try to get another one. I use encrypted email at work (I work in healthcare which forbids sending anything by standard email) or, I fax the cc numbers.