How do I charge a preauthorization security deposit?

Once you've set up preauthorization in Advance, you'll be able to charge security deposits for each booking. (Read this article to learn how to set up preauthorization in Advance.)

Here are some things to know about preauth functionality:

  • Preauthorization can be charged to the credit card on file, different cards, or even multiple cards
  • If customers are charged for the preauth, they will receive an email informing them that their card will be preauthorized for the amount on the day the reservation starts
  • Preauth and hold card functionality can be used in conjunction.  This is a great way to streamline the reservation, payment, and check-in process for the customer. 

Preauthorizing a credit card must be done manually on the Merchant Booking Form. We recommend preauthorizing the card when the customer checks out a piece of inventory (Did you know you can use our check in/check out feature to track each piece of inventory?)

On the merchant booking form, go the Payments Section then click Payment.

Click Credit Card to see the preauthorization fields. You'll see the max preauthorization amount you can charge, which was defined in the product setup, however you can choose to charge any amount below that value. Simply enter the credit card info and click Add Preauthorization

The customer will receive an email notifying them their card has been preauthorized.  The payments log will also show the preauthorization:

If damage occurs and you need to charge a payment against the preauth amount, click the ellipses and then Add Charge. You can also void the preauthorization when the customer returns the equipment free of damage. 


If damage occurs and you need to add a charge against the preauth amount, you can specify exactly how much to charge as long as it doesn't exceed the maximum amount. Click Charge to process the payment.



What does credit card preauthorization mean?

Preauthorization (also known as authorization hold or preauth) is a specific type of credit card transaction that validates and holds funds on a credit or debit card.  The funds are NOT charged to the credit card, just validated that funds are available. Typically preauth is used to take security deposits.  The hold of funds typically last 1 - 7 days.

Learn more here:

When does preauth start and end?

Preauth starts on the day the reservation begins.  If you do not void the preauth, it will automatically ends based on the following credit card timeframes:

  • Amex: 7 day after the reservation ends
  • Mastercard and Visa: 10 days after the reservation ends
  • All other cards: 30 days after the reservation ends

Is the preauth documented anywhere?

Yes.  The payment history shown for each booking includes the total amount that the credit card can be charged based on the preauth settings.

Is there a maximum limit to preauth?

There is no limit to preauthorizing a credit card, however preauth should be taken with care.  Since these are actual holds that will be visible on the customer credit card, you want to make sure the preauthorization amount properly the reflects the potential damage amount within reason.

Are there any fees on preauth charges?

There are no fees to hold a preauthorization amount. In the event of damaged equipment and the preauth needs to be charged to the card, the typical fees are applied just like any other transaction (convenience + cc fee if online booking, cc fee only if backoffice booking, and caps all remain the same).


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