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Priceline FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Priceline Hotel Bidding

  1. Does getting a cheap hotel room on Priceline mean staying at an inferior place?
  2. How can I find out some hotels Priceline uses in a neighborhood?
  3. ***How can I avoid overpaying?***
  4. What if I find a better rate for my hotel room after I bid?
  5. What sort of room will I get?
  6. Will my room be smoking or non-smoking?
  7. Do the hotels treat Priceline customers differently?
  8. Can I choose the hotel before bidding?
  9. Can I get a refund or change my dates?
  10. I'm a physically-challenged person. What if my Priceline hotel does not have a room that works for me?
  11. How late can I book a room on Priceline.com?
  12. Will I get a better rate booking at the last minute?
  13. Who shouldn’t bid on Priceline hotels?
  14. Do you have any tips for getting extra savings on Priceline?
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1. Does getting a cheap hotel room on Priceline mean staying in an inferior place?

No, not at all. You pick the quality when you bid.

If you want first class or deluxe quality, bid for 3-star or (especially in larger cities) 3.5- or 4-star places. You’ll usually end up at a Hyatt, Marriott, Doubletree, Hilton, InterContinental, Sheraton, Crown Plaza, Wyndham, Westin, or similar hotel.

Typical 2.5- or 3-star or sometimes 2-star hotels include Holiday Inn Express, Fairfield Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn, Four Points by Sheraton, etc.

Priceline.com may rate of some of these higher or lower based on the amenities available, but the above listings are typical. Priceline's star ratings are very similar to AAA's auto club diamond ratings.

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2. How can I find out some hotels Priceline uses in a neighborhood?

To find out the types of hotels Priceline currently features in a neighborhood, check the hotels listed in its vacation packages:

Save up to $500 on your Vacation Package at priceline!

Enter your destination and dates of travel.

Priceline uses many of these for its "Name your own price" hotels. Your bid for a particular star rating will put you in one of these or an equivalent hotel.

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3. How can I avoid overpaying?

  • Check Priceline's main competitor —

    Hotwire US

  • Priceline gives you its lowest published prices bfor its most popular neighborhoods in the following extremely helpful link:

    Express Deals, Hotels up to 45% off with NO bidding!

    Make sure that you bid below these prices!

  • Check these actual recent winning bids for Priceline hotels:

    Priceline Hotel Winning Bids

  • You'll generally get the biggest percentage discounts on 3-star and especially 3.5-star or more hotels.

  • Note that if you have time to rebid—you can rebid once every 24 hours for the same quality and neighborhood—you may want to start your bidding below these prices, unless traveling at a very peak time.

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4. What if I find a better rate for my hotel room after I bid?

Priceline offers an excellent best price guarantee:

$25 Name Your Own Price Hotel Guarantee!

The rules are simple: Same hotel, same dates, same type of room, rate available to general public, . . .

5. What sort of room will I get?

Normally, you’ll receive a standard (regular) room with one or two beds.

Typically, ocean view rooms, suites, and other special rooms cost extra, and cannot be bid on.

NOTE: Standard rooms at some hotels (especially in large cities) may not have space for more than two persons—there may not be room for a rollaway bed or cot.

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6. Will my room be smoking or non-smoking?

Call your hotel before arrival to help you get the type of room you want. Most hotel rooms these days are non-smoking.

For other tips on having a smooth stay, see our Hotel Check List. These are worth using.

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7. Do hotels treat Priceline customers differently?

Where a staff is well trained, no one will mention that you are a Priceline customer in front of other hotel guests. They don't want guests who paid regular rates to feel they've overpaid!

Also, you’ll get the same type of standard room that most guests receive, unless the hotel upgrades you because it has run out of regular rooms.

One difference is you will only have to pay when you check out if you used room service, the room's mini bar, or any other service that is not covered in the basic room charge.

These fees can really add up, so think twice, for example, before you decide to park at a city center hotel or use an extraordinarily expensive mini bar.

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8. Can I choose the hotel before bidding?

No, but with Priceline you can pick a specific neighborhood and star-quality rating. Priceline lists the amenities you’ll receive with each star rating.

In larger cities, you’ll find a wide range of neighborhoods and quality choices. BidOnTravel features numerous travel guides to help you pick the best neighborhoods.

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9. How can I get a refund or change my dates?

This is a really important Priceline FAQ:

You cannot cancel or change anything once you authorize your credit card to be charged.

That’s the risk you take for your big discount.

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10. I'm a physically-challenged person. What if my Priceline hotel does not have a room that works for me?

Call 1 800-PRICELINE and have customer service book an alternate hotel without extra charge. Have your Priceline transaction number handy. Try to arrange this as soon as possible after bidding.

11. How late can I book a room on Priceline.com?

For most hotels in North America, up to 11:00 p.m. (local time) on the day of arrival—if rooms are still available.

Express Deals, Hotels up to 45% off with NO bidding!

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12. Will I get a better rate booking at the last minute?

Last-minute reservations are risky, as hotels in the area may sell out.

However, if rooms are available, you can often get an even bigger hotel discount at the last minute. If you’re flexible—if your heart isn’t set on just one destination or neighborhood—a last-minute booking may be your key to the most savings.

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13. Who shouldn’t bid on Priceline hotels?

Another really important Priceline FAQ!
  • Do not use Priceline bidding if you plans are likely to change, because Priceline does NOT give refunds or allow you to change any particular, including dates.

  • Do not use if you want a specific service at a hotel or resort, such as on-site tennis lessons, or a kitchenette, or the ability to have a pet in a room.

  • Do not use if you want a room that can hold three or more people. Most hotels have these for Priceline "name your own price" rates, but a few especially in large cities have really small rooms.
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14. Do you have any tips for getting extra savings on Priceline?

Hotels near many large international airports, especially

  • Chicago O'Hare,
  • Los Angeles International,
  • New York/Newark,
  • San Francisco International, and
  • Vancouver International

Offer incredible values at the moment.

Also, the biggest percentage discounts tend to come from 3- and 4-star hotels.
There may be little or no difference in price between these and a 2-star place!

We always recommend that you bid first on higher star-rated hotels, such as 4-star hotels if available, and then work your way down the star ladder if you first bid is not accepted.

I hope that this Priceline FAQ helps you save big !

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Express Deals, Hotels up to 45% off with NO bidding!


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