How to Overcome Hotel Cancellation Fees

Cancellation fees are on the rise, but we tell you how to get around them.

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The days when most hotels would allow you to cancel a reservation without penalty until 6 p.m. on the day of your scheduled arrival are fading fast. To contend with a growing number of guests who cancel their stays, hotel companies are making it more difficult and costly to back out of a reservation. Most have stiffened their policies to require 24 to 48 hours’ notice and typically charge a flat cancellation fee; resorts or hotels that receive few walk-in guests often require even longer notice and charge a steeper fee or the cost of a one-night or two-night stay. Some hotels offer better rates to travelers who lock in a reservation with a nonrefundable booking.

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Kaitlin Pitsker
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Pitsker joined Kiplinger in the summer of 2012. Previously, she interned at the Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse, N.Y., and with Chronogram magazine in Kingston, N.Y. She holds a BS in magazine journalism from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.