to be honest, paying online with a credit card is no more or less dangerous than paying by credit card in any store.
nowadays all you need is the number and expiry date of a card to buy almost anywhere online. imagine how many credit card numbers a shop owner / assistant sees in a busy day.
the thing with online businesses is that it any old cowboy can put up a form on his website and request the credit card details from his visitors.
the important thing to check is the little padlock on the bottom of the browser window and the https:// at the beginning of the webpage address - the s stands for secure, the address on this page for instance is only http://.
you can always click on the padlock to verify the security settings.
all of our hotel payments for instance are processed through our partners roomsnet (www.roomsnet.com) - who are a major booking system operator, and who have set up the system especially for our needs. we did a lot of investigation before choosing them - mostly because they are one of the biggest and have a good rep.
credit card numbers are encypted using similar technology to cia codes, etc - it is basically uncrackable. which means the only way to get someone's number, is through negligence on the part of the supplier (that would be us). however if you can see and verify the padlock icon, though, then you are pretty much guaranteed that the company you are dealing with are serious.
still i remember the first few times i paid with a CC as well - nervewracking ;-)
completely understandable, funny to hear that many others also feel badly about paying via the net!
Most online-buyers don´t trust these systems yet, but they are to be trusted. I buy a lot of stuff online and never got into trouble because of that!
gotta trust the progress, cuz everythings evolving these days!
just a question again, if i enter my credit card number, will the room charge be automatically deducted from my credit card account? i dont really understand the ones stated on the reservation page (full payment, 15%downpayment )
you have to pay a 15% deposit now to guarantee the room. that should be deducted from your credit card within 5 or so days after booking. so make sure you have enough money on it to cover this initial payment.
afterwards the hotels request that the balance be paid 3 weeks before arrival. you get sent an email reminder telling you that so and so much $ is being deducted from your credit card by such and such a date.
this does mean you have to pay the whole holiday before you arrive - but it's also nice to know that you've got no more costs once you get here.