Pros / It’s easy to search and filter by location.
Cons / There is no rewards program.
Verdict / Priceline is a well-known name that helps you easily find hotels and flights, but it lacks the rewards program that we think make hotel booking services better.
Priceline is one of the oldest hotel booking sites, having been established in 1997. In addition to booking hotels, you can also rent cars and book flights or cruises. You can also book your flights, hotels and cars all at once, which often yields the best savings and is one of the benefits of booking through a site like Priceline.
If you’re looking for the best deal possible, Priceline has its Express Deals section front and center. Using Express Deals, you can save as much as 60 percent, though in our trials the deals we saw ranged from between 18 and 40 percent. When you use this feature, you won’t know the name of the hotel until you book the room. It does tell you the general neighborhood, but if you have brand preferences you may want to book with the regular search.
Priceline is well known for its Name Your Own Price feature. While not as prominent, it is still offered. You select the general location, name a price you’re willing to pay, fill in your information, including your credit card number, and submit. If your offer is accepted, your card will be charged.
We found searching for hotels through Priceline to be simple. There are many options to filter down, including by star rating, neighborhood and amenities. The price slider lets you find a hotel that fits within a range you’re comfortable paying. You can filter by brand, an uncommon feature that is helpful if you’re part of a particular hotel’s rewards program.
One thing we found lacking was the option to filter by accommodation type. This is particularly useful for budget travelers or those looking for alternatives to hotels like hostels, apartments or guest houses.
Booking hotels is simple, and many offer you the option to pay when your get there. Most also offer free cancellations. Priceline also offers a best price guarantee that will refund you the difference if you’re able to find a better price. If you booked an express deal, you’ll get a 200 percent refund.
One drawback of Priceline is that it doesn’t offer a rewards program. Rewards programs are a great way for frequent travelers to earn back some of what they spend travelling. If you sign up for a Priceline membership, you will get access to members-only pricing. Orbitz and Expedia offer quality rewards programs.
With its Express Deals and Name Your Own Price features, Priceline has several ways to find the best price. It does lack a rewards program but does have members-only pricing and a best price guarantee.