I used Priceline for the first time recently to bid on a 3-star hotel in San Jose, CA with a $99 room that was $79 on www.hotels.com. I took a chance to bid for a hotel in the San Jose area at $65. I didn’t have much to lose if I lost the bid for $65. However, I had $14 to gain if I did win the bid so it seemed worth it to me to give it a try. Viola! I got my deal in just a few clicks. (Ironically, I got the same exact hotel I was going to book on hotels.com, but I wouldn’t bank on this happening again.)
I would suggest reading the fine print about non-refundable, non-transferrable — you’ll probably never get your money back if your bid is accepted but your plans change — but if you’re on a budget and know for sure you need a hotel, give it a spin. Also, you can call a Priceline agent or even the hotel for special requests since bed type isn’t an option. I know, it’s not exactly the most convenient way to get a hotel, but it’s definitely an option if you’re looking for a deal. It is also important to note that if your bid is rejected, you have to wait 24 hours before making another bid on the same criteria or you can change some of the criteria to re-bid immediately.
I was able to save around $40 using Priceline and perhaps I can now use this extra moola to upgrade my meals when I’m vacationing in the sunny west coast. I just hope my plans don’t change or else I’m never going to see that money be put to good use. *Knock on wood*