Since 1998, Priceline.com has grabbed the imagination of travelers wanting to save money on their vacations, business trips, getaways, etc. with edgy advertising (who doesn't chuckle when William Shatner's Negotiator ads pop up) and a fresh twist on travel – mainly their trademarked "Name Your Own Price" feature. 

The Good

  • Discount travel services
  • Transparency
  • Great website

Discount Travel Services

Over the last several years, Priceline.com has expanded their offerings to include discount travel services which are below market price, but without the "unknowns" of the Name Your Own Price terms and conditions.

Priceline.com is the cornerstone of the Priceline Group - a conglomerate of third-party travel brokers doing the legwork for travelers who would prefer to have a one-stop booking option for their vacation and spend less time looking for a good price than they spend on their vacation.

Transparency

Priceline.com has three levels of opacity as far as your bookings go. "Name Your Own Price" bookings are opaque - meaning that you do not know the details of your travel until your offer has been accepted. Express Deals are semi-opaque - you are given minimal information about your room (location, star rating and customer rating) before booking and after booking for up to a 55% discount, you learn the details of your travel. Fully transparent bookings are those that are most like the competition - you know what you are booking, where and the price upfront. These bookings usually have lesser savings in the price tag than the previous two.

Priceline.com has worked hard to both revolutionize how third-party travel companies work and to streamline the process. Some of the notable features which are offered by Priceline.com include:

  • Name Your Own Price - travelers can submit bids for what they would like to spend on airfare, rooms and car rentals and
  • Priceline.com will try and match the bid to an available offer.
  • Priceline Rewards- Priceline.com offers a rewards program for frequent travelers in which points earned on purchases can be redeemed for travel, gift cards or merchandise.
  • Priceline Rewards Visa - to earn more Priceline Rewards points, one can apply for a Priceline Rewards Visa and earn points on everyday purchases.
  • Last minute travel specials - Priceline offers steep discounts for unbooked seats on flights as well as rooms and rental cars.

Great Website

Priceline has made it so their service is easy to navigate, offers some of the best deals in the industry, and gave travelers the "low down" on each vacation and travel package that is offered on its website. Consumers have also appreciated Priceline's sitemap. We liked being able to search by big city destinations, 3, 4, and 5-star vacation options, and other premium travel options.

The Bad

  • Lacking details
  • Out of country
  • Discrepancies in pricing

Lacking Details

Many people are inherently uncomfortable with the "unknowns" of Priceline.com and you don't know the details of your travel ahead of your booking. This works well for those with more flexible schedules, but for anyone needing to arrive/depart/stay in a certain area, this aspect can be frustrating at least and unworkable at best. For those with set needs, the savings may be less for more transparency, but the peace of mind may easily make up for it.

Out of Country

For American travelers looking to leave the country, Priceline is not the optimum first choice due to its limited offerings for out-of-country vacations combined with its lack of travel protection. Priceline's vacation deals only include the following foreign listings:

  • Puerto Rico
  • Caribbean
  • Bahamas
  • Cancun

Discrepancies in Pricing

There are some discrepancies in terms of pricing that have been a concern for travelers. For instance, the resort fees were not included in bidding. Even if a customer got a hotel deal on Pricline.com, they could be subject to resort fees ($25 or more in some cases). This obscure part of their terms of services could greatly inflate travel prices for customers who purchase a stay at a hotel or a resort.

The Bottom Line

Priceline.com has come a long way from its humble beginnings and remains a solid option for many. The addition of more transparent booking over the last few years has allowed them to offer options for nearly any traveler looking for a bargain. Although the Name Your Own Price sounds fairly risky, the flights and rooms which this reviewer has personally secured using Priceline.com were at good times (flights) and in safe neighborhoods. Prospective travelers that use Priceline.com to travel can expect the following:

  • Technology: Aggregated data from a variety of travel sites
  • Booking: Ability to book all necessary travel accommodations
  • Mobile: User-friendly mobile app
  • Info Mistakes: Some pricing discrepancies

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User Reviews

Star Rating

3.9
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8 Reviews

Review Breakdown

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38%
4 star
25%
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25%
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1 star
13%

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Rory Curry
April 10th, 2019 Fayetteville, NC DETAILS
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We booked our hotel through Priceline.com. We arrived at the hotel around 5PM. Around 10PM a group of around 10 teenagers began partying around 10PM outside our door. They continued until 3AM. They were very loud and used a lot of profanity. I attempted to call the front desk several times. I then went to the front desk around 2AM. A sheet of paper taped to the door stated there was no one there after 10PM. A number was given to call if there was any problems. I called and was told by the Hotel manager who answered that it was 2AM and she were not going to come in for a noise disturbance. I asked how can you run a hotel with no night clerk. What if there is a power outage, a busted pipe, a fire or an assault. She said that their website stated that there was no one on duty at night and to call 911. I wasn't about to call the police to do her job. The police are not there to stand in for a night clerk. This hotel is just a disaster waiting to happen. I called Priceline and told them my concerns. Priceline and they said they would continue to recommend this hotel.

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Shari Evers
September 17th, 2018 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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I think it’s fun to take a chance on getting a better price on hotels! I’ve some of the best experiences going about my vacations that way!

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Sara Jane
July 19th, 2018 Crestwood, KY DETAILS
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I have had a good experience every time I have used the site. Good comparisons and booking has always gone according to plan.

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Larry Hawker
April 24th, 2018 Las Vegas, NV

I have used Priceline a lot. It is great at finding a good value. Sometimes not quite the cheapest but always better than the rack rate. Only problem is that sometimes the hotel will give you inferior rooms or smoking rooms that are less desirable. Good customer service. Be careful because one you push send, your money is spent. You can't change dates, etc.

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Valerie Gundersen
December 12th, 2017 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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Once when I had made a reservation through Priceline, the hotel did not suit our needs to accommodate my husband who is a diabetic. I called Priceline customer service and explained the situation. They were very kind and understanding! We were able to book another room. Thank you Priceline!

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Breanna Jones
June 8th, 2017 Herriman, UT

I have found multiple good hotel deals with Priceline's express deals. The only thing I don't like is you can't see the hotel where you are staying until after you have booked it. That makes me a little nervous not knowing where I am staying until after I pay the money. And there are no cancellations or changes. So sometimes you can get a good deal, but it is a gamble because you can't choose where you are staying.

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Denise H.
June 8th, 2017 Mona, UT

We have used Priceline several times to book hotels. Great prices and we have never had any problems.

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Gary H.
June 7th, 2017

It's been awhile since I used this service. When I have time, I enjoy the bidding service, but when I need to know where I'm staying, I don't use the service.

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