Becoming a Priceline Pro
Priceline is a travel booking engine similar to Expedia but is also a website you can use to bid for airfare, hotels, and car rentals. As far as I know, the hotel bidding option is the only option available in Canada.
Priceline basically gives hotels the chance to sell their rooms at a semi-secret discounted price when they feel they will have empty rooms. The hotels normally release rooms far in advance or very close to the accommodation date because they would rather sell a room for 50% less then have it empty.
To do this on Priceline though, you will need to pick an area of the city you are staying in, choose the star level your comfortable with, and then bid an amount of money your willing to pay. If a hotel accepts it, you are charged immediately for it. You don’t get to choose the particular hotel. It’s a surprise. If your okay with that, you can get some great deals!
What hotels use Priceline
No one really know exactly which hotels are available but I know many of the big brands (including Hyatt, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and Westin) are available in Priceline.
However, you can’t simply choose one of these hotels. Instead you would pick an area (say downtown Vancouver) and then choose a star level (say 4.5 star). At this point you would make a bid (say $90) and one of these hotels might accept it.
Why I use Priceline
Bidding for hotel rooms on Priceline has saved me hundreds of dollars and scored me 4-star hotels in downtown Vancouver for 60% less than Expedia rates. Of course, as with anything, there is a trade-off for scoring deals like this. In the case of Priceline, you don’t know the hotel you will get and you don’t the best rate to bid.
The following tutorials will teach you how to maximizes Priceline for your benefit and give you a huge advantage!
- Pros and Cons to Using Priceline
- Should you use priceline
- How much to bid
- How to bid again within 24 hours
Should you use priceline
I love it. I don’t use it all the time but whenever I find an opportunity to use, I’m happy to do so.
However, if you’re a picky traveler or a corporate traveler, you may not like the “chance” of using priceline. Although anyone can find a good deal using Priceline, some prefer the comfort of picking a hotel and having the option to cancel it.
If you can commit to the travel and are okay with pros/cons above, then Priceline could be a fun way to book travel. You need to understand the cons though and realize that a booking is final.
Best ways to use Priceline
Personally, I find Priceline best to use for 3.5 – 4 star hotels. This is because
- 50% savings on a $200 hotel is better than 50% savings on a $60 hotel and;
- Any 3.5 – 4 star hotel you get stuck with is most likely a good choice. Most of the hotels in this category are nice hotels in good areas.
Shorter stays: Typically shorter stays of 1-3 nights will get you the cheapest fee. However, if the hotel has a special for “week-long” stays or longer, then that might work good for longer stays.
This is because when a hotel has a higher rate for even one of the particular nights you requested, Priceline will give you the highest rate possible for all your nights rather than blending them all together.