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What Is a Hotel Credit Card Authorization Form (Free Template Included)

With a new generation of hospitality professionals budding careers, plus the increasing threat of hotel fraud, sometimes it helps to go back to basics and level set on key processes at a hotel.

One such process Sertifi enables is credit card authorizations. Our solution helps hotels get card authorization forms back 90% faster, all while detecting fraud early to reduce your chargeback risk.

Even if you know what an authorization form is, stick with us, as you may be leaving gaps in your authorization process that could cost you revenue and time.

A proper form template can help you detect fraud, reduce chargebacks, and avoid PCI noncompliance fees.

What is a hotel credit card authorization form?

A hotel credit card authorization form is a document that allows the hotel to process a credit card that is not in possession of the guest staying at their property. For example, it's common to use an authorization form when a business is paying for an employee's stay or a parent is paying for a child's stay.

Using the form, the cardholder (via signature) authorizes the card to be charged throughout the guest's stay. By getting the cardholder's consent, the hotel protects itself from transaction disputes and ensures a smooth payment process for their guest.

What information should a hotel credit card authorization form include?

It's important to capture specific details to protect both you and your guest. You can also use this information to spot a potential fraudster at work.

  • Guest Information: Full name of the guest(s), contact information, arrival and departure dates, etc.

  • Credit Card Details: Cardholder's name, credit card number, expiration date, CVV (Card Verification Value).

  • Authorization Details: Amount authorized for incidentals and additional charges.

  • Signature and Consent: A section for the cardholder to date and sign, indicating their consent to authorize charges to the credit card for the specified amount.


Free Credit Card Authorization Template

Our free template includes all the fields you need to properly and securely execute an authorization form.

How does a hotel credit card authorization solution like Sertifi help reduce fraud and chargebacks?

Sertifi's authorization solution comes with free advanced fraud detection tools to verify cards before a guest's arrival. Using a combination of AI and data analysis, a card's risk level is graded from A to F, and you'll get detailed reporting alongside the grade, so you can feel confident in accepting transactions and reduce the burden of chargebacks.

To learn more about how our fraud tools work, check out this blog post.

Did you know you can spot fraud from your hotel cc auth form?

It's true! There are several signs you may be dealing with a fraudster and not a legitimate customer. Look out for flags like same-day arrivals, mismatched information and signature, and more. If anything looks suspicious, you can reach out to the form submitter for clarification.

Check out this blog post for a closer review.

How does a hotel credit card authorization solution like Sertifi help with PCI compliance?

To maintain PCI compliance, businesses are encouraged to use secure methods for handling credit card information, such as encrypted online payment gateways or tokenization systems. These methods reduce the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and non-compliance with PCI DSS requirements.

Typical noncompliance fees are $5,000 to $100,000​ a month.

Your paper credit card authorization form can potentially be out of PCI compliance for several reasons:

  1. Storage of Sensitive Information: Storing sensitive credit card information on paper forms can pose a security risk. If these forms are not stored securely or are accessible to unauthorized individuals, it increases the likelihood of credit card fraud or data breaches.

  2. Transmission of Information: Transmitting paper forms with credit card details via fax, mail, or email is not secure. This method can be intercepted, leading to unauthorized access to sensitive credit card information.

  3. Retention Period: PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) specifies guidelines for the retention and storage of credit card information. Paper forms may not comply with these guidelines if they are kept for longer than necessary or are not securely disposed of after use.

  4. Manual Processing Errors: Manual processing of paper forms can lead to errors, such as misplacing or mishandling the forms, resulting in potential security breaches or incorrect charges.


Detect risky cards early and save thousands in chargebacks with Sertifi authorizations.

Using digital authorization forms in Sertifi, you can validate cards and detect risk early. That way, you can be sure you're proceeding with a legitimate card or catch a potential chargeback early. Sertifi customers have reduced chargebacks by 80% and saved thousands. We’d love to chat and show you how our solution works.

About the author

Amy King

Amy King is the director of brand and content marketing at Sertifi. In collaboration with teams across and outside of Sertifi, she guides brand and creative marketing, content strategy, public relations, and community engagement.