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API Integrations - Booking.com Common Issues & Questions

How do I select which credit cards I accept via the Booking.com API?

Booking.com can display several different option selection screens to different users.  You may see any of these, which give you the ability to select which credit cards you accept.

Whatever selections you make, be sure that the credit card payment processor you've configured in OwnerRez is configured to accept those credit card types!

  • Under the Policies tab of the property, in the "Other Policies" section:

  • Under Guest Payment Options:

Why are my guests seeing so many "Invalid Card" errors?

This is most likely caused because, by default, when Booking.com is passing the guest credit card information to OwnerRez for processing, it does not include the CVV - the three-digit code on the back of the card. Most credit card processors do not allow online transactions to proceed without the CVV, so all charges will be rejected as invalid.

To resolve this problem, you need to contact Booking.com support and make sure that their system is set to require and transmit the CVV. You need to specifically check that this setting is correct for all your properties - we've seen examples where it was correct for one property, and incorrect for another.  It is not possible for you to check these settings yourself - they're internal to the Booking.com system, and are only visible to their support team.

I'm supposed to get guest credit card info but it's not coming through.

If your account is newish (you don't have dozens of Booking.com bookings under your belt), you're probably hitting a new policy where they don't send credit card info until just before arrival. Booking.com recently started this new security routine that affects newer accounts and they haven't given out too many details about it.

There are two ways to fix this:

a) Our recommendation is to switch to Booking.com payments where they process the money. It's nice to get the card info so secdeps etc. can be scheduled, but if Booking.com isn't sending it, it's a lot easier to let them do the processing for the time being. Do that for awhile until they have vetted the account and will send over the card info. Then switch back.

OR

a) Go to the Booking.com channel settings in OwnerRez and set it to not require a credit card. That way it won't send the notice. Then later, when they do send the card info, run the card.

I want to discontinue my listing on Booking.com, but I don't want to abandon the bookings I've already received.

Call Booking.com support, and ask them to turn off the property from being bookable, but not to disable the listing entirely.  They are able to do this, and you won't get any more bookings, but you'll still be able to fulfill the bookings you have already received.  Some users have found a setting in the Booking.com UI allowing them to do this themselves.

Do not make any changes to your property or API connection in OwnerRez.

Once your last Booking.com booking has come and gone, then you can cancel your Booking.com listing entirely and disconnect the API connection for that property, or disable the entire API connection if you don't have any active listings still.

There's another way to accomplish the same thing and maybe make some money too - change the settings in your OwnerRez Booking.com API to increase your rates by 300%.  Most likely nobody will pay those super-high rates - but if someone does, hey, what's not to like!

Why didn't my guest get automatically refunded when they canceled their booking?

If booking.com has configured their system to send your guests' credit card information to OwnerRez, so you can do your own payment processing, payments will be made automatically. However, refunds tend to be a little more complex -- depending on the situation you may need to refund more or less than the amount indicated on the cancellation policy.

Therefore, upon cancellation, credit card based bookings will be converted to manual payment mode and you'll get an alert reminding you to refund the guest.

This only applies to bookings where booking.com has sent you the guest credit card. If booking.com is managing the funds, they'll process things according to their rules.

How do I get historical data for my past Booking.com bookings into OwnerRez?

Unfortunately, the Booking.com API connection does not bring in any historical data for past bookings.

When you first connect the Booking.com API, it will bring in basic data for all bookings that have not yet checked out.  This will include dates, limited guest contact information, and limited charges data.  It will not include any guest credit card information, or any rules configuration such as cancellation policies in effect.  Therefore, bookings brought in in this way may behave unpredictably according to what's in OwnerRez, because the information from Booking.com isn't complete.

Booking.com provides no means to obtain and/or correct this missing information automatically via API. You will need to manually make any changes that are necessary based on the current status in your Booking.com control panel; request or manually enter credit cards; and schedule any remaining payments/security deposits etc. that will not be handled by Booking.com's own payment system.  You'll have to make those changes directly in OwnerRez by hand.

What's the difference between a Hotel, a Room, and a Rate?

Booking.com's model is a bit more complex than other channels and there are several ways that the connection can be configured in OwnerRez.

On the Booking.com side, you can have one or more Hotels (or Properties), each Hotel can have one or more Rooms, and each Room can have one or more Rates.

On the OwnerRez side during the mapping process, you'll first enter the 7 digit Booking.com Hotel Id for each OwnerRez property. Once you enter the Hotel Id, a dropdown will populate with all available Room/Rate combinations in that hotel. You will pick one Room/Rate combination for each OwnerRez property. The room may have other rate plans, but OwnerRez will sync to just one.

Usually you'll have just one rate for any given room. But if you do have other rate plans, like a non-refundable rate for example, the additional plans should be configured in Booking.com to be derived with an appropriate discount from the master OwnerRez connected rate plan for each room. That way OwnerRez will sync rates to that one rate plan it is connected to, and then the derived plans in Booking.com will update from the master plan.

If you've got multiple properties in OwnerRez, there are two ways they can be set up on Booking.com:

  1. One Property with a Room for each individual property. In this case, when mapping in OwnerRez you'll enter the same hotel id for many OwnerRez properties and then select the correct room in the dropdown.
  2. Many Hotels (one for each individual property), each with a single room. In this case, when mapping in OwnerRez each property will have a different hotel id and there will be only one room in the dropdown.

Notes:

  • You can mix and match models 1 and 2 in your account. Maybe you have one hotel in Booking.com with 5 rooms that matches to 5 properties in OwnerRez. And then 4 other hotels in Booking.com, each with a single room that matches directly to one property in OwnerRez. That's fine -- you can separately map both of those concepts to the correct OwnerRez properties.
  • Each property in OwnerRez can only be mapped once, to one Booking.com hotel/room/rate -- multiple mappings from Booking.com to the same OwnerRez property are not supported.
  • Booking.com also has an inventory based model where you have a single type of room, say a Queen Bedroom, and an inventory amount that is available, so a single room can be rented multiple times. OwnerRez doesn't support this -- any given room can only be rented once.

Is there a way to verify my account without waiting on the postcard from Booking.com?

Sometimes Booking.com wants to verify you are who you say you are and have the right to list a property. They usually send a postcard to the property address with a special code you can use to verify the listing. But, depending on where you are and where your property is, that may not work. We have seen occasions where Booking.com will ask you to modify the title/headline of your Vrbo or Airbnb listing by adding something like a hashtag "#" or other symbol so they know it's you. If they ask you to do this, go to Properties > Select the property you are trying to verify > Select Description > Click the "Change" button at the top of the screen. Add the symbol or wording requested by Booking.com in the first field labeled "Headline". Make sure to Save before leaving the page.

Once Booking has verified the change, don't forget to come back and return your Headline to normal. 😃

My public Booking.com calendar doesn't show any of my existing bookings blocked off!

Yes, that's normal - unlike other channels, Booking.com doesn't show your guests the dates that are already booked.  That's because it was originally designed for hotels, which almost always have another room somewhere or other.

Don't worry though - Booking.com checks with OwnerRez before allowing a booking, and if guests ask for dates that are already booked, they won't be allowed to book them.

Instead, check your private Booking.com control panel calendar - that should accurately show your availability.

I'm getting a "Room Rate Too Low" error.

The most likely cause is a conflict between the currency settings.  If you configured your rates in OwnerRez in Euros, but Booking.com is set up to use pesos, well, your rates will be crazy cheap and Booking.com will correctly throw an error.

The currency for my property doesn't match what's in Booking.com.

Yikes, this can definitely cause problems. A few important facts here:

  1. You cannot control the currency of your property in Booking.com.  That is assigned by Booking.com based on the address your property is in.  When guests try to book your property, the rates are displayed to them in their local currency, with the conversion being handled by Booking.com - but, under the covers, your property rates are in your local currency as determined by Booking.com, like it or not.
  2. You can control the currency of your property in OwnerRez, most commonly under Settings > Culture, but there's also an option in there to set different currencies for different properties.  If you are going to be integrated with Booking.com, it is essential for you to set your property's currency in OwnerRez to be the same as the currency Booking.com is using, otherwise you'll have some very unpleasant financial surprises and confusion.
  3. If you are also integrated with Vrbo, they may or may not support the same currency as Booking.com.  If they don't, you will need to set up two separate "properties" in OwnerRez for the same physical property, with the respective two currencies, connected to the corresponding channel, and then connecting their calendars using our Mutual Block feature.  It is not possible for one OwnerRez property to operate in two different currencies.
  4. If you are doing credit card processing for any property/ies, it is essential that your credit card payment processor be configured in their own system for the correct currency.  This is not controlled by OwnerRez.  It is also not possible for one payment processor account to handle multiple currencies - you will need to have separate payment processor accounts configured in OwnerRez to handle the different currencies.

I don't want to do Instant Booking with Booking.com - I only want Request-to-Book.

Unfortunately, this is not possible.  Booking.com was originally designed for hotels, which don't require any back-and-forth to make a booking, and it simply does not support anything other than instant book.

How are "Risk Free" bookings handled?

Here's how Booking.com's Risk Free reservations work with OwnerRez:

  1. Upon booking, booking.com sends OwnerRez virtual credit card information.  This can be used to make charges, even though it isn't a real card, but it's provided to you by Booking.com not the guest, which is why it's risk-free - it's not like Booking.com's card is going to bounce!  Normally, though, no charges are placed on the Booking.com virtual card, because Booking.com "risk free" bookings are supposed to be charged only on the day after arrival.
  2. Once the risk-free period is over, booking.com sends OwnerRez an update with the guest's real card.  From there on, it works like a normal booking that's charged directly to the guest - and, OwnerRez will automatically make those charges at the contractually appropriate time.

How are Booking.com commission fees displayed?

Booking.com commission fees are automatically brought into OwnerRez, and displayed in the green table at the bottom of the Transactions tab of a Booking.com API booking.

I got this strange "Act now - your property is only available for X more days" message.

This can also appear as an email from Booking.com "Just X more days until guests can’t see or book with you on Booking.com".  Both can be ignored.

It's because Booking.com was originally designed for hotels. How often is a hotel literally unavailable for bookings?  Rarely if ever - there's nearly always one more room that can be rented.  So it makes sense to have a special alert onscreen to indicate that unusual situation.

Of course, with vacation rentals, it's common and good for your property to be literally unavailable - that's because someone booked it, and only one guest can be booked at a time.

What is the booking.com Genius partner program and how do I join or leave it?

Booking.com has a loyalty program for guests called the "Genius partner program". If you're eligible, you can opt-in to that program and your listing will get higher visibility and any Genius guests will get a 10% discount off of your lowest price.

Read this booking.com support article for more information or to join, suspend, or leave the Genius partner program.

I got a booking from Priceline, how did that happen?

Booking.com, like Vrbo, owns a great many different brands, and in theory you might get bookings from any of them.

How do I disconnect a property from OwnerRez/Booking.com API?

You can do this in the Booking.com API settings page in OwnerRez, under the "Change Property Mappings" dropdown button:

How does Booking.com handle min-nights settings?

Booking.com has an additional feature relating to your min-nights settings that other listing channels do not have.

Vrbo and Airbnb use only the min-night setting of the arrival day of a requested stay.  So, if Monday's min-night is 2, but Tuesday's is 5, a guest can book a stay from Monday-Wednesday - Tuesday's 5 will be ignored since it's in the middle of the stay.

Both OwnerRez and Booking.com have the ability to be configured to enforce all min-nights settings throughout the stay.  This is controlled in the Pricing Preferences settings page:

If you select this option, be aware that OwnerRez direct bookings and Booking.com, will be handled differently than Vrbo and Airbnb - that is, Vrbo and Airbnb will allow bookings that OwnerRez direct bookings and Booking.com would consider to be rule violations.  This can be confusing!