Ditch the credit card -- La Quinta apps hold rooms using mobile phone numbersNewsBy Dennis Schaal | April 30, 2012Share This article was originally published on La Quinta Inns & Suites' iOS and Android apps, as well as its mobile website, now enable travelers to hold a room reservation for up to four hours simply by entering their mobile phone numbers.This LQ-Instant Hold feature, geared for last-minute bookings and travelers on the go, trumps competing apps which require users to enter their credit card details to reserve a room.Users of the La Quinta apps search for a hotel, tap the Instant Hold button and enter their mobile phone number to hold a room reservation for up to four hours.The feature previously was active for the brand's mobile website and now has been introduced for its mobile apps, as well.La Quinta refers to LQ-Instant Hold as a "hotel-industry first."Ted Schweitzer, a La Quinta spokesperson, wouldn't go into much detail about the technology behind the new feature, citing a pending patent application."However, it is worth noting that multiple database checks with critical timing requirements have to be performed throughout the process to ensure optimal customer experience, which is our number one goal," Schweitzer says. "Likewise, ease of use for the properties was another requirement and we were able to design and build to accommodate both audiences with this innovation."The chain is running a TV spot to promote LQ-Instant Hold and its mobile site, but the feature is better-portrayed in this video below.La Quinta operates more than 800 "limited service" hotels in the US, Canada and Mexico.