Priceline Review

Priceline's deep discounts and Name Your Own Price® tool, their unique travel bidding service, have made them incredibly popular with travelers on a budget. Further savings earned through their free membership program lock Priceline in as many customers' go-to travel site.

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The Good

Superb reviews from customers

Individuals who use Priceline to book their vacations have reported a high degree of satisfaction with their service, according to a 2012 study by J.D. Power and Associates. Priceline particularly stood out in terms of their competitiveness of pricing and sales. The study also shows Priceline’s customer support is above average as compared to the rest of the industry. Though most people don’t pay attention to this when choosing a travel site, it’s important to take into consideration because, if any issues arise, you want to know someone will be there to help you to minimize any headaches.

You choose what you pay

With Priceline’s Name Your Own Price® tool, you can potentially save huge on your travel arrangements by dictating how much you’re willing to pay. Start by selecting the dates and general area of the city you’re visiting. Then, choose a hotel star level. Here, you also get a sense of what kind of amenities to expect. You won’t find out specifically what hotel you’re staying at unless you win the bid, but most of them come from national hotel chains. Next, enter in how much you’re willing to pay per night. This process doesn’t take long and you promptly receive an answer on whether or not you’ve won the room. If you did, congratulations! If you didn’t, you can go back and bid again on a hotel with a different star rating or wait 24 hours and try again. Similar searches can be conducted for rental cars. Priceline is the only company in the travel industry to offer this type of bidding service, making them nearly indispensable for budget travelers.

Plentiful savings opportunities

In addition to bidding on hotels and rental cars, Priceline offers you a number of ways to save on your travel expenses, including their Express Deals. These are only available for hotels for a short amount of time. You can save over 50% on your hotel room with this tool, and you find out what hotel you’re staying at after you book. By initially keeping this information a secret, Priceline is able to offer much lower rates than those you’ll find on other websites. Fortunately, you can see the general area where the hotel is located along with the types of amenities offered, so you’ll have a general sense of what you’re getting before you book. Another easy way to save with Priceline is to sign up for their email newsletters, which contain coupon codes and promotions you can use to earn even more savings on flights, hotels, and rental cars.

Numerous search options

With Priceline, you have the option to conduct a targeted search for your vacation or browse through what’s available at your destination. You can search specific days and even choose your times for flights and rental car pickup. Browsing is a valuable option if you’re a little more flexible about your travel dates. This way, you can search multiple dates for a better chance of finding the cheapest price. Priceline also has hotel guides for major cities all over the globe, which is another quick way to locate cheap places to stay on vacation. Perhaps the easiest way to search if you need a flight and hotel is to conduct a vacation package search. This combines all of the relevant filtering tools into a single search so you can book everything all at once.

Extra bonuses for members

By signing up for a Priceline account, you can save considerable time and money every time you book with them. Personal and payment information is stored so you don’t need to enter it every time you make a purchase. Email preferences can also be updated in the online account and you can tailor your travel and deal preferences so you only receive discounts and promotions relevant to what you’re looking for. Members also have the opportunity to earn Bonus Cash when they book, which can then be used toward future vacations. Information about your rewards Bonus Cash is available under the My Rewards tab of your account.

Instant group-rate quotes

Most other travel booking sites that offer deals to large groups require you to speak to a representative for assistance, but Priceline lets you get an instant quote and select your hotel right away. While having an expert to assist you can be convenient, particularly if you don’t want to handle the booking yourself, it can take a little while. If you’re a hands-on planner, you’ll appreciate this aspect of Priceline. To get started, fill out the group travel form with your destination, trip dates, and number of needed rooms. You’re then brought to a page where you can view a list of quotes from various hotels and choose the one that’s best for your group. Then, it’s just like any other hotel reservation: Book it and you’re all set. If you’re traveling for work and need a meeting space or a banquet hall, many hotels offer discounted rates on these as well.

The Bad

Taxes not included in quoted price

When booking a hotel through Priceline, the list price you see doesn’t take into account any taxes you have to pay. This means your total trip cost may end up being slightly higher than anticipated if you were only going off the room rate. However, as long as you’re mindful of this when conducting your research, it shouldn’t be a big issue. When completing the booking process, you get an estimate of the total taxes you’ll have to pay so you can make sure it fits into your budget before you commit to a purchase.

The Details

Travel Site Type

  • Travel Deals: Flight, Hotel, Rental Car, Cruise, Other
  • Travel Site Type: Travel Booking Site

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