Priceline Top Tips

How to use Priceline: Name Your Hotel Price

iBidlow offers two tools to assist users with purchases on the Priceline ‘name your hotel price’: iBidlow on Priceline and My Budget’s worth @ Priceline.

Priceline’s own website offers a dedicated
section with some tips and popular destinations. They also summarize the purchase process into 4 steps (see image on the right). iBidlow’s role is to help you decide the best bidding range on every need, and share the names of the possible hotels that may be rewarded upon a successful bidding.

Our Priceline Bidding Strategy 2

« Part One

#2 Our Priceline Bidding Strategy

This is a rather personal testimony which may not work for everyone. It works well for us but requires some time and patience.

5. If building a zone strategy is not an option, we take into account the timing issue. Priceline allows a re-bid within 24h, so if the time allows it, we will bid again in the following day.

6. In some cases Priceline may provide a counter-offer for the bidding price. Our thumb rule is to bid 10% below this figure assuming such offer would also be accepted.

7. In any case, we try to stay calculative. Have an alternative deal at hand, calculate the full room cost including the taxes and fees, and be sure we like the potential hotels in the category. Failing to keep these may lead to disappointment, though in general we were mostly happy with Priceline outcomes, else we would not be coming back, would we?

The Priceline Re-Bid Video:

Priceline Flights and Car Rental NYOP

- Airline tickets offered on the program must begin in a US destination and must be a round trip ticket
- Flights awarded may be within the dates chosen (it could be anytime between
12.00AM to 11.59PM)
- Priceline would not disclose the flight details until the purchase is complete
- Expect savings of 15-30% of the published fares
- If rejected, you may bid again after 24 hours

Car rental:

- Available mostly in the North America
- Cars must be returned to the same pickup city
- Prices may be as low as $10 a day
- Most if not all large rental companies in the US participate in the program


Our Priceline Bidding Strategy 1

Part Two »

#1 Our Priceline Bidding Strategy

This is a rather personal testimony which may not work for everyone. It works well for us but requires some time and patience.
1. We review possible hotels in each zone/star level category using the 
iBidlow Priceline hotel database

2. We consult with the iBidlow average price index to determine a bidding price target. If the price index has no data for a zone, we rely on the ‘best market price’ index and bid only below it.

3. We build a zone strategy. At first, we would never use more than one zone in the initial bid. We then review all zones in a city that don’t have hotels in our star category or higher, and would use them when re-bidding. You can follow the movie embedded below to see how this strategy works in practice. The main idea is to resume bidding with slightly increased bids (say, $1) until the price is accepted or until the re-bidding zones are all used.

4. We would usually bid for a category higher than our target (i.e. 4-star instead of 3.5 star) – but will only do that after verifying that the hotels offered on the 4-star category also meet our needs. If the bid is rejected, we can simply bid for our original star category with no extra hassle.

Priceline Top Tips 10

First Tip »


10) You should not bid one night at the time

There is no advantage in bidding one night at the time. In fact, you’re likely to receive different hotels and be required to move between the hotels every night. What should also be considered is that Priceline’s fees structure includes a relative fee and a fixed one, with the fixed fee being paid per booking. What you may do is book for the shortest time you may stay, and use the option ‘extend your stay’ in order to keep your rate and stay extra nights in the same hotel. However, this offer is not always available and even when it is, you can only extend it to as many night as were in the original bid, but not more than that.