Security Deposits: Frequently Asked Questions

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Security Deposits: Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why do you take a security deposit?

A: Thorn Point Vacation Rentals charges guests a refundable security deposit for certain properties.Very similar to how hotels put a pending charge on your card during your stay. This deposit is mainly to cover unreasonable damages to the property. It is extremely rare for us to keep the security deposit. If you’ve stayed in hotels, this process should be familiar to you!

Q: How does the security deposit process work?

A: You will enter your card information into our online form. This authorizes your bank or financial institution to send Thorn Point Vacation Homes an amount up to the deposit amount. However, those funds are not immediately sent to us. In order to receive any of those funds, we have to manually request the funds AND the specify amount. So, unless there is major damages and we notify you we are taking a deposit, the transaction will show in your account as pending.

“…the transaction will show in your account as pending.

Q: Why are there multiple pending charges on my card?

A: The authorization of a pending charge expires every 7 days. After 7 days, the card processor will automatically re-authorize the transaction. If you are using a debit card, your bank will charge and remove funds from your account every week. But they should refund you as soon as each 7-day period ends, making room for the new charge. If you are using a credit card, the original pending charge will be released, and a new pending charge will emerge. Typically, this is done instantaneously, but it’s possible you briefly notice two pending charges at a time. Not to worry though! If all goes well with your stay, everything will be returned to you and released with no official charge.

Thorn Point Vacation Rentals will release your deposit within 10 days of check out. Because of this, it is possible a re-authorization happens after you check out. Again, do not be alarmed, as this is the same pending charge as the original. We are not charging you the deposit; it is only the re-authorization. We will never take any part of your deposit without clear communication, explanation, and documentation!

“Thorn Point Vacation Rentals will release your deposit within 10 days after you check out.”

Q: What happens if the charge is released (typical situation)?

A: For 99% of guests, there’s no need to keep the deposit. In this case, we will release the deposit and the pending charge will disappear as if it were never there. Some guests expect a statement credit after their stay. However, you won’t see a charge OR a credit, because no money ever left your account. You were a great guest!

“For 99% of guests, there’s no need to keep the deposit.”

Q: What happens it the deposit is taken (very rare)?

A: In some, very uncommon situations, we may be forced to take your all or part of your deposit to cover damages. These are specified on the booking agreement, but in brief, we only take the deposit if there are major, unreasonable damages to the property. If the pending charge is approved, it will show as a charge on your account.

Q: Is it better to use a credit card or a debit card?

A: For the security deposit, credit cards are recommended and preferred. If you use a credit card, during your stay, the charge is merely pending on your account. In other words, there is no movement of funds, and the money isn’t taken from your account unless we authorize it because there are excessive or unreasonable damages.

“For the security deposit, credit cards are recommended and preferred.”

Q: What happens if I use a debit card?

A: Debit cards are not recommended. If you use a debit card for your security deposit, your bank may physically pull the deposit amount out of your account. When they pull the money, the bank keeps it in their own holding account. The funds still do not come to us unless we approve it. Assuming no deposit is taken, your bank will then refund you that amount. It may look like we have your money, but your bank is actually the one holding onto it. Note that it can take a week or two for your bank to refund the money, so don’t panic if you don’t get it back right away. Unless we notify you that we are taking a deposit, then you should contact your bank if you are still missing the funds a week after the 10-day period is over.

Q: Why do credit card and debit cards transact differently?

A: Credit card companies provide the upfront payment and bill you later for that amount. Banks (debit cards) use your cash to make the payments. Unlike credit cards, banks don’t loan you money. By contrast, credit card companies freely lend you money in advance (but can charge interest if you don’t pay them back on time). Because credit card companies have that policy, it makes security deposit transactions smoother since the credit card company is provides the funds. Thus, you aren’t financially affected by the security deposit.