Five Tips to Save Money on Priceline Hotels

By Randy Greencorn

I used Priceline to reserve a hotel room for a recent trip to Las Vegas. Using Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” feature, I was able to stay at XXXXX for $XXXX per night. What an amazing deal. I have to admit, I am now a huge fan of Priceline because it is such a powerful way for travelers to save money on hotel and travel reservations.

If you are not familiar with Priceline, here is a quick introduction. To book a hotel, you provide Priceline with information about the type of hotel reservation you want, including the city and area you want to stay, the hotel star rating, and travel dates. You also name a price you are willing to pay for a hotel that meets your criteria. Priceline then determines if your ‘bid’ was accepted. If it was, you now have a (non-refundable) hotel reservation and find out the name and location of your hotel. By not revealing the hotel brand up front, hotels are able to offer deep discounts on excess capacity without diluting their brand.

Here are 5 tips that can help you save even more money on Priceline:

Priceline Tip #1: Only use Priceline if your travel itinerary is set and finalized. Priceline reservations cannot be changed or cancelled. As such, it is best to avoid Priceline if you may need to cancel for any reason (illness, weather, emergencies, etc). Some people may decide to buy third party travel insurance to cover Priceline cancellations but a general rule, avoid Priceline if you think you may need to cancel or change a reservation.

Priceline Tip #2: Only use Priceline if you are flexible on your location. When you reserve a hotel room on Priceline, you will receive a hotel within a certain geographical area. This area may be small (a few city blocks) or large (a mile or more).

Priceline Tip #3: Only use Priceline if you do not require a specific hotel amenity (e.g., swimming pool, airport shuttle, casino, internet). When you reserve a hotel room through Priceline, there is no guarantee the hotel you received will have a particular amenity, regardless of the star-rating. In fact, Priceline reservations are only guaranteed to accommodate a maximum of 2 people, although the hotel will usually accommodate more. If a particular amenity is important to you, Hotwire might be worth considering instead of Priceline. One of the main differences between Hotwire and Priceline is that Hotwire lists the hotel amenities before you purchase, a great feature that Priceline does not offer.

Priceline Tip #4: Before you use Priceline to bid on a hotel room, research other websites to find out the market prices for similar hotel rooms. Since Priceline relies on you to name your own price, it is important to determine the price other sites are charging for similar rooms. A good rule of thum is to bid low (50% of market value) and work your way up by rebidding.

Priceline Tips #5: Use the internet to find out what others paid for winning bids on Priceline. Before you bid on Priceline, consider visiting the Priceline Forum from HotelDealsRevealed.com. Forum members post their winning Priceline bids so you can find out the price others paid for Priceline hotel reservations in advance of placing your own Priceline bid.

Randy G is a travel enthusiast who enjoys luxury travel, cheap. He is the creator of HotelDealsRevealed.com, helping people save money on Priceline.

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