4 Times You Can Get Money Back for a Nonrefundable Hotel Room

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Woman trying to cancel hotel reservation
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Life often throws us an unexpected curve, even when we are on vacation. If you have to change a nonrefundable hotel reservation, don’t necessarily assume you simply are out of luck.

To be sure, there are many situations where you will have to kiss the money goodbye. But in other cases, you can still get a refund, USA Today reports.

The newspaper says you are most likely to get your money back if:

  • The hotel is not as advertised. If the hotel is not as you expected it to be, take photos of the inadequacies and “appeal to the highest level possible — and if necessary to your credit card company,” USA Today says.
  • You become ill. A hotel with a heart might take pity on you and refund the reservation.
  • There is a death in the family. Again, you might get the sympathy of the hotel company and receive a refund, especially if you can provide documentation.
  • Your circumstances change. Sometimes, a simple shift in your schedule is enough to get you a refund. USA Today cites the example of a man who was part of a tournament in Chicago, and whose team had just been eliminated. The hotel agreed to shorten his stay. It probably helped that he was a rewards member of the chain and had stayed at the location previously.

Of course, the best way to avoid getting stuck with a nonrefundable reservation is to avoid any hotel that has this rule in the first place.

Other ways to give yourself more flexibility include taking out travel insurance or asking the hotel to simply move your reservation to another date rather than canceling it outright. You might also be able to sell the reservation to someone else.

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