2009 Spring Promotions 2009 Summer Promotions

Priceline Book 2 Rooms Receive up to $100 Credit Next Stay

Offer: Book 2 or more rooms at the same time at the same hotel using the same credit card by June 15, 2009 for a stay completed by September 1, 2009. Upon completion of your stay Priceline will deposit a $100 credit to your account within 4 to 6 weeks. Link to Priceline offer.

Terms: Priceline.com booking using a published hotel rate, Name Your Own Price hotel rate, or a vacation package will qualify as long as you book 2 rooms at the same time.

The credit is valid for $20 per night, up to five nights, on a Name Your Own Price bid for a 3 or 4 star hotel stay completed by December 31, 2009.

This offer is only valid for US customers and bonus cash may only be earned once and used once.

Loyalty Traveler analysis: This is a good offer for someone needing two or more rooms this summer. This offer fits in nicely for a stay pattern that may not meet the terms of the major loyalty program free night promotions at Marriott (3 stays), Starwood (2 stays), or IHG (2 nights).

If you need two rooms for only one night you will not earn a free night with Starwood, Marriott, or IHG, but you can earn a good value with Priceline and a bidding credit for travel later in the year.

The offer should be viewed as a $20 per night savings on a future stay rather than $100 credit. The actual credit received depends on the length of your hotel stay. Book a one night stay with Priceline using your $100 coupon and your actual savings is only $20. 2 nights=$40; 3 nights= $60, 4 nights = $80, and a 5-night Priceline stay is required to get the full $100 value.

Bidding with Priceline.com

I still use Priceline when I can’t get a good value from my loyalty program choices. My analyses of hotel loyalty program benefits over the years has led me to believe the value of maintaining high elite status with its associated benefits and frequent room upgrades is worth the extra cost in hotel stays.  I conduct simple price comparisons with estimates of the value added benefits of a hotel stay as an elite loyalty program member with the value of a hotel stay as a Priceline bid. The uncertainty of the actual hotel received until a winning bid is accepted is also a factor to consider.

Biddingfortravel.com and Betterbidding.com offer data to assist in determining the likely hotel for your bid and the likely low bid that will be accepted. Data is good for making decisions, but I have been disappointed at times when the hotel I thought I would get based on the data turned out not to be the hotel accepting my winning bid. I have never received an unacceptable hotel through Priceline.

The best Priceline value tends to be for mid-week stays at urban center hotels. A quick survey of the San Francisco bids on the sites mentioned above shows many people trying for July 4th weekend in San Francisco.

The St. Francis may be a bargain at $75 per night on Priceline.com, however, a regular AAA rate of $107 as a platinum elite will get me a much better room category than the Priceline guest. I do not like to attempt a buy-up at check-in.

I saw another bid for 4 nights in June during midweek at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco at $65 per night. The winning Priceline bid came out to $77.50 per night after tax and fees. That is an incredible deal for this hotel even if you are in the low floors with no views. This stay is a $400+ savings for four nights in San Francisco at an ideal location downtown.

A $20 per night credit would bring this room down to under $60 per night. A loyalty program just isn’t going to be able to compete with that kind of savings.

This Priceline bonus offer is a good deal to consider if you have a need for two rooms and you are ready to book by June 15, 2009.