Ten Tips to Bid Better on Priceline
Although Priceline can save travelers money on hotels with there Name Your Own Price feature, there are some risks in doing so. For example, did you know that reservation are non-refundable and cannot be changed or cancelled. These tips will help you bid better for hotels, save you money, and help you avoid some of the pitfalls others often find themselves in.
Have a question about Priceline? Feel free to ask your question in the Priceline Forum. Fellow travelers are always happy to help.
When bidding on Priceline, do not use the Priceline Name Your Own Price feature if you think you might need to change your reservation for any reason. Reservations are not refundable. I personally have lost two non-refundable reservations for business trip that got cancelled. Priceline help was of no use.
Avoid Priceline Name Your Own Price feature unless you are flexible on your location. It is important to remember that you never know for certain what hotel you might get. Check out the Priceline Hotel Lists to help you narrow it down, but always use caution and be flexible when bidding on Priceline.
Do not use Priceline feature if you want a particular hotel amenity (e.g., swimming pool, airport shuttle, etc). An extra tip for better bidding: If you're traveling with kids, consider Hotwire instead. You know your amenities before you purchase so you can look for hotels with a swimming pool or free breakfast; plus you can specify how many guests will be in your room. Another alternative to NYOP is Priceline Express Deals which also lists hotel amenities. Note, however, that Express Deals does not your room will accommodate more than 2 guests.
Before you Name Your Own Price for bidding on Priceline, do a little digging around other travel websites to know what hotel rooms cost on other website and do not exceed this amount. For instance, if the going rate is $100 for an equivalent room, choose a maximum bid of around $90 per night.
Before bidding on a hotel, check the Priceline Forum to determine what prices others have paid for successful bids on similar star level hotels in the same area. This is extremely helpful when trying to decide how much to bid.
Read and understand this article on how to instantly rebid on Priceline. The more bids you can make, the lower your starting bid price and the more money you will save. This is extremely powerful Priceline tip because normally you have to wait 24 hours before rebidding, forcing you to submit your best bid. But if you can rebid for free without having to wait, you can bid low and work your way up. For example, if you are bidding on a 5-star hotel in Las Vegas, most people start bidding at around the $80 per night range and rebid in $5 or $10 increments until their bid is accepted.
Once you determine how many times you can rebid, use this method to determine a starting bid price, and then work your way up using free rebids.
If you're really eager to maximize your rebids, some people have suggested using multiple credit cards or your spouse's card to increase the number of rebids. (Yes, apparently this works. However, if you are using your spouse's credit card, he or she must be present at check-in.) You may need to clear your browser cookies and cache to make this work. Personally, I do not go to these extreme measure to max out my rebids, but it's an option for you if you're really ambitious.
My #1 tip for better bidding on Priceline: Use the Priceline Hotel Lists to determine what hotels are located in your city and area prior to bidding. These lists are absolutely loved by travelers who use PL because they really go far in taking the risk out of using PL.
After you have purchased a hotel, help others by posting your winning bid information. This is extemely helpful for everyone who uses this site. It makes a better bidding community and I cannot stress enough how helpful this is to fellow travellers.
Additional Tips for Better Bidding
Priceline Overview for Beginners: Travelers wanting to book a hotel on Priceline's Name Your own Price should star here. This article provides a basic overview of how it works for bidding travelers, and what pitfalls to avoid when bidding for travel.
Advanced Rebidding Techniques: Learn how to instantly rebid on Priceline for free, up to 8 times or more without having to wait the normal 24 hours.
Determine bid price on Priceline: Use this strategy to figure out how much to bid to ensure you avoid paying extra for your hotel.
Priceline Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): This is a good article on additional Priceline bidding help. Some of the more common Priceline questions are answered in this section.
Priceline Forum: Join our forum and discuss Priceline bidding, find out how much others paid for hotel reservations, seek Priceline bidding help identifying a hotel, or discuss anything travel related.
Priceline Blog: More Priceline bidding help. This is a collection of blog articles written about hotel bidding on Priceline.
The main point of this article is to help you be aware that if you bid correctly by starting low and working your way up, you can save a lot by booking your accommodation on PL. However, there are some risks involved. Hotel reservations cannot be changed or cancelled, and you never know what hotel you might end up with. It's best used when you have flexibility on hotel location and brand, and your plans are not likely to change.