Priceline has been a very popular way of booking a hotel room, especially if you want to get a very nice hotel room for only a fraction of the regular price. There are many advantages and disadvantages to booking through Priceline.
How it works
Priceline has a “Name Your Own Price” feature. You first select your destination (name of the city), the neighbourhood(s), the check-in and check-out dates, the star level rating as well as the price that you would be willing to pay (your “bid”) for one night of hotel.
Unfortunately, you do not find out the name of the hotel until your bid is accepted. If your bid is not accepted, you have to wait 24 hours before you can bid again. Once small trick that you can use is if you add another neighbourhood to your preferences, then you can actually bid again before the 24 hour rule. Just be sure that the neighbourhood is one that you are willing to stay at and suits your other preferences.
- If you have done your research on the market prices, then you can potentially save a lot of money by bidding on Priceline.
- You get the pay the price that you want (or can afford) and not a penny more.
- When prices are high at regular hotels for a last minute stay, you can potentially get a good deal off of Priceline.
- If your bid is accepted, the reservation is non-refundable, non-transferable and non-cancelable.
- You may not end up with the bed arrangements that you want. You may want 2 double beds, but may end up with a King size bed.
- You do not earn hotel points when you are booking with Priceline.
- The only customer service they have is through email, you will not be able to speak with an agent on the phone.
Be sure to research well or else your bids will rarely be accepted. Personally, I am not a big fan of Priceline. I prefer my hotel points. If we do enough research on the best hotel prices and sign up for enough double dipping points earning opportunities, then I usually get a lot of value out of my hotel stays.
Furthermore, I prefer knowing what type of room I am getting when making my reservation. Especially if I am going to be 4 people in my party but only get 1 king bed for 4 people.
As usual, do the calculations and do what works best for you. Just know that you always have options, Priceline or otherwise.