Issues with reversing large Pre Auth transations?

So I checked into a hotel Saturday night and they took a pre auth of £975 for the room rate plus incidentals.

I checked out yesterday and paid for the room on my Amex card. The pre auth is still showing on my Monzo account and I didn’t think too much of it as in app it clearly states that if I supply Monzo my paid invoice showing payment from another card they will reverse it.

Have done all of the above with a PDF invoice from the hotel showing payment against the account using a different card.

Turns out the customer service person (Not their fault) cannot reverse any pre auth above £500 and above this needs a specialist involved. They want me to get an email from the hotel confirming they wont be taking payment despite them having an invoice showing I have made payment.

Apparently there is an advocacy team that will contact me within a few business days. By which time the payment will have been reversed anyway making the whole episode pointless.

My gripe is why offer a service of reversal if you cannot adhere to it or indeed have limitations on that service.

Maybe worth revising the app to new wording or removing this option if it cannot actually be offered.


The advocacy team is the complaints department so its seperate to the refund

I don’t really want to make a complaint though if I am honest its not the end of the world.

Its just a gripe that they say they offer the service but don’t then offer it.

Had it not been offered I wouldn’t have tried to utilise it.

Probably me just being miserable.

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I’m slightly baffled why you decided to book in using your Monzo and then paid using your Amex, tbh.

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I can help that for you quite easily. Its so I benefit from the cashback on my Amex on the final amount.

Still doesn’t explain why you used Monzo for checking in though.

I think pre-auths like cheques and cash are not something I would use Monzo for.

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I use Monzo as my main bank account and therefore why wouldn’t I use it to check in with?

Confused why that’s seen as weird?

In any case it was the only card I had to hand as I checked in alone while my partner was shopping.

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So what has your question got to do with what happened ?

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Well if it takes so far nearly 24 hours to come back to me.

Then they have to get the advocacy team involved which will take several business days.

My questions is relevant because the chat service never used to be so slow. Bearing in mind there is no customer service to call. I just don’t use it that often but seems a lot slower than a few months ago.

Anyway no sweat just wanted to make others aware of the process in case they needed to use it.

Seems I am being unreasonable so I will leave it.

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I don’t think you’re being unreasonable.

If there’s a £500 limit on reversals by COps then that should be front and centre in any help system so we know for definite.


Shame that they can’t do it for over £500 without escalating, the bigger it is the more urgent it will be for people.

Imho always better to use a credit card when a pre-auth is concerned as doing it on a debit card ties up your funds not the banks and there is more friction in trying to get a bank to remove these as you have found.

Also, I never go anywhere with only one card in case of issues, but that’s me.

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I agree that’s kind of why I was raising it in case people needed to know moving forward.

I didn’t want to turn it into a complaint at all its just an observation.

I suppose I could have worded the title a bit more relevant.


It seems like support are really quick to escalate it to customer advocacy, seems as if it’s just to get customers off their back and give themselves some extra time.

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Bit extreme though and to be honest I want stuff resolved quicker than a few days if I was to make a complaint.

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I think the learning experience from this is to avoid using Monzo (or Starling) for hotels, rental cars, restaurant bookings or anything else where they’ll pre-auth.

I’d use AMEX Platinum (excellent customer service, Monzo could learn from them) or a regular credit card.

Apologies that’s not a solution for what you’ve already experienced.

Hi Johnny,

Interesting as I paid on an Amex Platinum and have to say Amex customer service is impeccable!

Hotel just refunded me within minutes of live chatting them.

Monzo response was that as its a large amount the payments team have to be cautious in case there are damages to hotel. I suppose a bit of product knowledge wouldn’t go amiss here as they can see on my statement and invoice supplied which hotel it was and such an establishment would not attract the sort of customer that would trash a hotel room unless of course Keith Moon is a customer of Monzo in which case I don’t think they need to worry about their £975.

Either way hotel sorted it. Monzo did not.

I have suggested that perhaps they ought to reword the app in case a customer that is in dire need of a large pre auth being returned expecting Monzo to be able to that they may not.

The customer service chap was very friendly though especially as I am a misery guts on a Monday.


No particular thoughts either way on the issue at hand, but rather thrown by the thread title

Maybe better revised to reflect something like “Issues with reversing large value pre-authorisations”?


Yeah I think it was my feeling around the advocacy team coming back to me in a few days.

I had no idea what that team was and the confusion is around the fact I didn’t want to complain it was a mere request.

Though the chat response did take nearly a day.

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Great you got it resolved. :+1:

Whilst FinTech is exciting, legacy isn’t dead and the customer Service is often better. FinTech has some great ideas though.

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