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Giving you credit card # over the email

I am working on making reservations for my hotels in Greece this spring but one of the places wants me to email them my credit card number. Do you recommend this? It is a budget hotel Rick Steves recommends in Athens. Here is the link to the hotel: http://www.marblehouse.gr/

Posted by
180 posts

See if they will take the credit card over multiple emails - for example split the number up over 3 emails.

Posted by
3104 posts

Ask if you can fax it to them instead.

Posted by
119 posts

I have done this & nothing bad happened. I would prefer not to, though!

Posted by
990 posts

I think Paypal has a plug in where they will generate a one use only credit card number. Someone with more up to date shopping skills than me may know more.

Posted by
427 posts

email in sections or fax. have never had a problem with email.

Posted by
233 posts

We have done this several times when the facility doesn't do secure online transactions.
Don't ask the hotel if you can send them the info over three emails, just tell them that's what you are going to do.
We haven't had a problem so far.

Posted by
4555 posts

As has been mentioned here before, the problem doesn't come during transmission. E-mailing your credit card is as safe as faxing it. The problem comes at the end of the line, if someone unscrupulously uses your card number for nefarious purposes after it's been received. You just have to trust that the hotel management will be conscious of security, and won't leave your number lying around.

Posted by
3104 posts

If you have two usable credit cards, inform your CC company that you will be making a deposit in Greece and have them limit the charge on that card to the amount stated. Then when you get there use the other card for the balance due. You could also pay the balance in cash from a local ATM if you bring along your debit card.

Posted by
1158 posts

Cherianne,

There is no reason to be worried about it. No one can catch the info in your email unless you give up your password.
Splitting the credit card number in 3 emails doens't make any sense to eme. Keep a copy of the email you are going to send, a copy of the rezevation and monitor you credit card account.If you see anything weird in your CC account, contact them.

Posted by
120 posts

I don't think you really have much of a choice if you want to reserve a particular place and that is what they require. We had to give out a credit card number numerous times as we planned our trip last year and really, we had no problems at all. Generally the card number just holds the reservation and when we checked out, alot times we paid in cash. No untoward charges showed up on our cards.

Posted by
9088 posts

If it were so easy to intercept and read strangers emails, tabloids like the National Enquirer would reprint the communications of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on a daily basis.

Posted by
23110 posts

I have seen this same posting from whereourpassport and it is absolutely wrong. Either he understand the question or she didn't understand the answer. As previously stated, the TRANSMISSION of an cc number is absolutely secure, more secure than a fax. I cannot believe anyone who understands the internet system would suggest that it is not secure. The security problem is always in the hands of the end user. Splitting the number only adds very slight margin of increased security so I don't bother with it.

Posted by
990 posts

I am curious about interception programs--are they programmed to intercept particular number sequences? Obviously they can't intercept emails with just any numbers at all or they'd be flooded with billions.

If it were the case that they are programmed to harvest only certain number sequences, perhaps you could just send the number in one email, but with the numbers on consecutive lines:

1234

4555

8686

9090

Would that defeat the program? Or is there a different metric?

Posted by
4555 posts

ourpassportstamps...I agree, it's a personal choice. I would assume by the same logic that you don't bank on line, you don't make purchases on line, and you don't fill out forms on line. The trojans provide the same threat to all that information (and more) as they do your CC number by infecting your computer. I have no problem with that.....but I thought the threat was being vastly overstated as it related to sending a CC number by e-mail. Apologies on behalf of whomever sent you the nasty PM....ignore it...I always ignore unsigned material.

Posted by
4555 posts

ourpassportstamps...trojan horses are malware that you may innocently download onto your computer, which can be designed to allow someone else to access your computer, swiping all sorts of useful information. Yes, they could find your credit card number.....along with your bank passwords, social security number, address, phone number, and a wealth of other information. EVERYONE should have anti-virus software installed on their computers and keep it up to date to prevent such programs from infecting their machines. And they should not delay installing any Operating System security patches that are issued by Microsoft, Apple, or whomever. However, trojan horses cannot snatch credit card numbers from e-mails travelling over the web. That is the domain of malicious packet sniffer programs installed on a server, which usually requires the connivance of someone who has access to that server. As long as your internet provider isn't doing that (!) and as long as there is no trojan horse on your computer, the chances of your credit card information being captured for nefarious purposes are extremely remote....far greater, by several magnitudes, that it will be misused by someone at the hotel. If we carry the trojan horse example to its logical extreme, we wouldn't do anything over the internet that requires security, such as banking and shopping, because we'd be paralysed by the fear our information may be captured. Proper precautions can virtually eliminate the threat.

Posted by
26 posts

We booked a month-long backpacking trip last summer with bed and breakfasts, hostels and hotels in various cities and villages across Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Slovenia and Austria. We reserved all of our accomodations - about 20 different places- online, via email, with our credit card #. It's the simplest way to go, and we never had a single problem.

We did take a couple of practical steps to keep our information safe. First, we booked it all on the same credit card. This made it easier to check on any problems that popped up. We also notified our credit card company of our trip, and we decided to purchase their $7/month identity theft protection. (In our case, we did the later because we were also moving to Europe and just wanted peace of mind; it may not be practical or necessary for everyone). Check with your bank or card company's policy regarding fraudulent charges; in all likelihood, you won't be held responsible and will just have an annoying inconvenience.

It can be stressful thinking about the possible pitfalls of international travel, but I would not be so worried about this one. We have NEVER had any problems at all.

Posted by
655 posts

Cherianne,

You should have no problems emailing your cc. We have done it many times and to many different countries.

We do keep a particular card for this purpose that is separate from our others and we do monitor the account frequently online.

Remember that if the worst possible thing does happen your responsibility for a cc transaction is limited to $50 provided you keep track of your account and report any problems.

Enjoy Greece.

Posted by
36 posts

We used our CC to book a hotel in Prague last October and emailed them the CC #. Low and behold, someone then charged up about $2,000 worth of items, like airline tickets and some makeup, etc. to our CC. Wells Fargo was wonderful and reversed all of the charges, however, now we always split our number up between at least 2 emails, just to be on the safe side. I guess if it ends up in the wrong hands on the other side, nothing you can do, but better to take precautions. All the hotels I have booked using multiple emails to get my # to them have been very accomodating, and I have never had an issue or confusion doing it this way.