I know it can feel little awkward but the peace of mind is worth it , it tends to be a judgement call on the attitude and appearance of the guest but is worth the peace of mind. It comes back to making sure you are protecting your business, if you have a credit card number you can charge to is ok , but even with that a lot of guests are only transferring enough to cover the room charge so if you need to charge them for damage you still won`t get your money out of them.
As you said you dont get many cash customers so you wouldn t lose out much if every now and then someone decides they don`t like it. With us if they storm out I just ring the other 2 motels and let them know. Which they do for us aswell.
Nearly everyday we have someone come in and when asked for a credit card, tell me they never have to give it anywhere else, which is a load of crock.
Just 2 weeks ago we had a guest burn the carpet with an iron, as soon as we saw it we charged the credit card
$650.00 and then told them . Of course they tried to say they didnt do it. They tried to stop the payment through the bank but we took pictures , had them sign the damages form upon checkin that states any damages have to be paid for, and presented this to the bank, the bank was happy with that.
In this day and age if a person doesnt have a credit card or visa, mastercard debit card there is generally a good reason for that and generally I don`t want to find out via any damages in my rooms.