13 Voted

What is Priceline?

Priceline is an online travel agency that was founded in 1997. You can use the platform to find discounted rates for hotel bookings and scheduling your next stay directly through them.

With this review, we’ll look at how easy it is to navigate Priceline’s website, how their prices compare to other similar online travel companies, the benefits of their reward program, and more.

How do you use Priceline?

Similar to other online travel booking sites, Priceline is extremely easy to use. As soon as you go to the website, you’ll see the search engine which is usually set on ‘Hotels.’ You can change it to Flights, Bundle + Save, Cars, or Cruises depending on what you need.

Since our review is focused on hotel bookings, you’ll want to insert details such as location and check-in/ check-out dates. You’ll also have to clarify how many people and rooms though it’s already preset to two adults and one room. Once you put in your details, click on “Find Your Hotel” and Priceline does all the work for you.

The search engine then opens a list of results that apply to your needs. Because of how many hotels Priceline works with, you may want to narrow down the results using the filters found on the left side of the page. Filters include property themes such as luxury or spa and wellness, rate options such as free cancellation or pay later, guest rating, your budget, number of beds needed, neighborhoods, and brands. You can further filter your results based on the amenities you need whether it be free internet access or free parking to swimming pool or airport shuttle.

You can click on each result listed to get more details on the room/ property. Sections such as ‘Top Reasons to Book,’ ‘Top Amenities,’ and ‘Overall Experience’ are very useful in making a decision because they highlight what other guests loved about that place.

Once you do pick a room, finalizing your booking can be done in a matter of minutes. You just add guest and payment information and you’re done. There’s a breakdown of your cost on the right-hand side and all the information you need is emailed to you directly after. Like other travel booking sites, the website is extremely easy to navigate.

Does Priceline really save you money?

So, to see if Priceline really saves you as much money as they claim to do, I decided to compare their search results to other online travel booking sites such as Booking.com and Expedia while using the same exact destination (Time Square, NY) and dates (Jan 27th – 29th 2022). I then picked a couple of hotels that could be found throughout all three platforms. Here’s how it compared:

InterContinental New York Times Square is one that popped up across all three. The total price including all taxes and fees for the same room type (superior double room with two double beds) were $573.46 on Priceline, $619.76 on Booking.com, and $615.23 on Expedia.

A traditional king room at the Westin New York at Times Square is the second hotel I compared. The total price including all taxes and fees were $452.56 on Priceline, $452.56 on Booking.com, and $452.56 on Expedia. Surprisingly, all three travel booking sites offered the same exact price down to the very cent.

And lastly, I compared the prices of a traditional guest room at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The total price including all taxes and fees were $485.84 on Priceline, $494.69 on Booking.com, and $485.82 on Expedia.

I compared a couple of other hotel listings as well and found that Priceline hotel prices were either less or equal to other travel booking sites so it really will save you money on your next stay.

Is it safe to book through Priceline? Is Priceline legitimate? Is Priceline a reliable hotel booking site?

Priceline is a legitimate online travel booking website that you can use to book hotel rooms amongst other things. I’ve looked at sources such as ConsumerAffairs and the Better Business Bureau to help determine how safe and dependable it is.

The Better Business Bureau lists Priceline as an accredited website and gives them a B rating. That being said, they also have 1.04 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews; reviews are not taken into consideration when calculating a BBB rating. A more in-depth look at the reviews shows that most of the complaints surrounded not being refunded for canceled bookings. Unless the listing specifically mentions free cancellations, Priceline has a no refund policy that is mentioned on their website and at the time of booking. While there were further complaints on some of their other services, there was not much else in regard to their hotel bookings.

Priceline has 3.2 stars out of 5 on ConsumerAffairs. While a majority of the complaints had to do with refunds not being given, there were a few complaints on misinformation such as being unaware of Priceline’s fee or Priceline not relaying the number of guests staying at the hotel. There were also a handful of complaints about Priceline cancelling hotel bookings at the last minute with no valid reason.

Does Priceline have a rewards program?

The Priceline VIP rewards program is quite easy to use and becoming a member is free. You’ll be unlocking tons of coupons, travel benefits, huge savings, and much more.

 

When you sign up, you’re automatically enrolled as a VIP Member. The more trips you purchase, the more points you earn, the more you advance in tier; there are four all together.

 

VIP MemberVIP BlueVIP GoldVIP Platinum
Best price guarantee; will refund the differenceBest price guarantee; will refund the differenceBest price guarantee; will refund the differenceBest price guarantee; will refund the difference
Up to 10% exclusive hotel savings; could go up to 50% when adding to an existing tripUp to 50% on over 15,000 hotelsUp to 50% on over 30,000 hotelsUp to 50% on over 45,000 hotels
Up to 10% VIP rental car discounts; could go up to 20% when adding to an existing tripUp to 15% VIP rental car discounts; could go up to 20% when adding to an existing tripUp to 20% VIP rental car discountsUp to 20% VIP rental car discounts
5% express deal coupon after every trip5% express deal coupon after every trip8% Express Deal coupon after every trip10% Express Deal coupon after every trip
Priority premium customer serviceFirst priority premium customer service

 

Priceline is also introducing their new and improved Priceline VIP Rewards Visa Card. This is a credit card that you will have to apply for. The actual application process is quite simple, and you’ll get the result within minutes. Benefits of getting their VIP Rewards Visa Card include:

  • No annual fee
  • $100 statement credit (if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days)
  • Immediate upgrade to VIP Gold status
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within the first 45 days
  • No foreign transaction fees on international purchases
  • Earn unlimited points

Does Priceline have a mobile app?

Priceline does have a mobile app which you can find links to on their website. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play, meaning that iPhone and Android users can use it. Not only does the app give you quick and easy access to hotels and your bookings at the palm of your hand, but there is also usually a rotation of exclusive app-only deals which may be beneficial to you.

That app itself is quite easy and straightforward to use. You’ll find the same search engine as you would on the website, and the results are amazingly easy to browse. Confirming your booking can be done within minutes using the app.

How do I reach Priceline customer service?

One of the better things about Priceline compared to other companies that offer similar services is that they’ve made it quite easy to contact their customer service. And remember, if you are a VIP Gold or VIP Platinum member, you get priority premium customer service.

If you go to their website, they have a ‘Help’ drop down on the top right-hand side of their navigation bar. Once you click that, you have the option of Travel Support/ Contact Us, Frequently Asked Questions, and more. Their Frequently Asked Questions tab is highly informative and helpful if you have a general question or concern. Otherwise, head to Travel Support/ Contact Us where you have the options of sorting your issue on their website. If that doesn’t help, you can text a member of their customer care team, chat with Priceline’s chat bot, or call a Priceline representative.

 

 

Overall, Priceline has proven to be a valid and effective online hotel booking site. Even with their fees, their prices are lower than or on par with what is offered by other sites or the hotels themselves. Their website is quite easy to navigate, and you can confirm hotel bookings within minutes. Furthermore, while consumers usually have trouble contacting customer service in companies as such, Priceline has given multiple ways of reaching them.

Pros
  • In the industry for 25 years
  • Offers discounted rates for hotel bookings; prices are cheaper if not around the same as other online hotel booking companies
  • Find cheap hotels, flights, cars, and cruises; can bundle for even more savings
  • Easy-to-use website
  • Express Deals can save you up to 60% on bookings
  • Option to filter by the brand to benefit from the hotel rewards program
Cons
  • Complaints of last-minute hotel booking cancellations
  • 1.04 out of 5 stars on Better Business Bureau; 3.2 out of 5 stars on ConsumerAffairs
  • Do not include their own rewards program like other similar websites
  • Unable to filter by accommodation type