This task would be performed by properties that require additional authorization on guests credit card to cover incidentals that the guest may incur.
Understanding how Credit Limits work in the PMS
Many properties will take a Credit Card authorization at the time of check-in. Most will authorize enough to cover Room & Tax charges for the full length of the guest's stay, and in some cases will authorize an additional amount to cover any potential incidental charges the guest may incur while staying. This is common in properties that provide in-room amenities such as minibars or room service, or perhaps have a restaurant or lounge on premises where guests may charge Food & Beverage to their rooms. Some properties will establish a "minimum daily Credit Limit". An example procedure may be that they authorize full Room & Tax, plus an additional $100 per day for incidentals.
By default, the PMS is configured to assume that at check-in, a pre-authorization equal to the full stay's Room & Tax charges will be taken. This means that it will automatically create a "Credit Limit" for the guest in the PMS equal to their full Room & Tax. Additional credit can be added on during check-in by entering an amount into the Available Credit box. Please see this link to review that process. (If a property charges the full stay at check-in instead of authorizing, the PMS can be configured to "Disable Authorization at Check-In" under System Configuration > Property > Preferences).
If the PMS is not interfaced with Shift4, Sage or Heartland, the agent performing the check-in must still manually process the authorization on a standalone Credit Card terminal to match the Credit Limit shown in the PMS.
It is only possible to have one credit card authorization, per reservation. If you wish to change an authorization to another card, the first one must be voided.
Once the guest is checked in, note the folio Summary.
- Balance - The sum of all current charges on the folio
- Credit Limit - The total credit that is currently assumed (includes any additional Credit that may have been obtained)
- Available Credit - The remaining Credit over and above the Room & Tax portion that was taken at check-in.
In the example below, Jim Smith is staying for 2 nights. His nightly rate is $460, inclusive of tax. At check-in, the PMS assumed a Credit Limit of $920.00 to cover both nights of his stay. No additional Credit was taken for incidentals, thus his Credit Limit is equal to his Room & Tax charges, and his Available Credit is $0.00, meaning if he were to charge anything to his room, we would then be required to obtain additional authorization to cover those charges.
Checking Credit Limits
If your property has Shift 4 or Sage Payments this function will add onto the original authorization taken at check in. If your property does not use one of the available Credit Card interfaces, you should determine if your Credit Card processor allows you to add onto an existing authorization.
There are 2 options for running the Credit Limit Report, Credit Limits which will show all occupied rooms and the credit limit for each, or Credit Limits (Exceeded), which will only show guests that have gone over the Credit Limit. It is recommended that properties run the Credit Limits report, as it will provide more information by showing guests that are approaching their credit limit, but have not yet gone over. This method allows a more pro-active approach to maintaining healthy guest credit limits, while minimizing chances of guests exceeding credit limits resulting in credit cards declining upon check-out.
In the example below, we are running the Credit Limits Report. Reports => Occupancy => Credit Limits
From the below report, we can see the following:
- Room 109 is over the Credit Limit by $135.60
- Room 507 is almost over the Credit Limit, as they only have $1.50 left available
- Room 505 is over the Credit Limit by $115.00
- Room 101 is over the Credit Limit by $18.90
From this report, rooms 101, 109 and 505 need their Credit Limit increased to cover charges already incurred. For room 507, we have the option to increase the Credit Limit if desired. At this time it would be a judgment call based on how many more nights the guest is likely to stay, and whether the property has a "minimum daily Credit Limit" for incidentals.
Increasing Credit Limits
To increase a guests Credit Limit, first locate the Guest on the In House Screen
Open Guest Folio Credit Limit
With the correct guest selected, go to Transactions -> Guest Folio Credit Limit.
Enter Additional Credit
Enter the additional amount of credit that you would like to place on the Guest Folio into the box located to the right hand side of the + sign.
In this example we are increasing the Credit Limit by $200.
- Select "Post" to apply the additional credit.
Review New Credit Limit
The Guest Folio will now reflect the total credit (Credit Limit), as well as any additional credit (Available Credit) they may have to cover other incidental charges.
In this example, the guest had a Credit Limit of $345.00 for their projected charges on their folio, plus an additional $200 for any other incidentals they may incur. The Credit Limit reflects the sum of these as $545.00, leaving an Available Credit Limit of $64.40 for any additional incidental charges they may incur.
- Click "Exit" to close.
Reviewing the Summary
Once the Credit Limit has been increased, double check the Summary to see the changes.