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Priceline Credit Card: Only Good for Name Your Own Price Users

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

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"A poor value, especially when compared to competitors."

The Priceline Rewards Visa is a poor credit card for the average Priceline.com customer. The card is only rewarding under limited scenarios and for a select group of people: power users who frequently use the website's Name Your Own Price Tool to book their travel. Everything else, from regular fixed or published price reservations on Priceline.com, to gas and grocery charges, get worse rewards rate than what you'll see from other travel credit cards.

Low Rewards Rate for the Average Consumer

Only NYOP auctions won get a meaningful earnings bump. Everything else, which will make up the majority of your purchases, just gets 1x the point, which works out to a 1% rewards rate. This is a subpar rewards rate in today's field of credit card offers, where you could be getting 1.5% for the standard cash back cards, or even 2% with other travel cards. If you use this card as your primary credit card to book Pay When You Stay hotel nights / other published rates on Priceline.com, or pay for the rest of your gas, groceries, and everyday spending, you'll be losing out rewards money (more below). 

Other Credit Card Alternatives

It makes more sense to consider this other all-around travel credit cards over the Priceline Visa: the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. 

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard: With a 2.1% travel rewards rate, the Arrival Plus maximizes what you can earn on an overall basis compared to the Priceline card, which only rewards NYOP purchases. With the Arrival Plus, cardholders get a simple and straightforward 2x the points on any kind of purchase without extra hoops vs the paltry 1% for all of your non-NYOP charges on the Priceline credit card. 

Only Recommended for Power Users of Name Your Own Price Tool

If you're one of the targeted group of experienced and frequent Name Your Own Price users, then this Visa card can make a good supplemental card. With 5x the points for NYOP transactions, this card can net deal savvy users an easy 5% return if used correctly - a rewards rate that is on the higher side for a travel credit card. For these reasons, we recommend it as a rotational card for people with the credit bandwidth, the NYOP experience, and the willingess to maximize value by using the card only for NYOP transactions. Otherwise, we have a couple of other card recommendations that will get you greater flexibility and bang for your buck.

Credit Card Basics

Any vacation or travel reservations won with the Name Your Own Price service gets 5x the points. It's a nice way to extract extra value beyond the savings you're already getting with your travel bid. There's also a new cardmember sign-on bonus from Barclaycard's of up to 10,000 points (worth $100) to spend, and no annual fee. If used correctly, this credit card can get you a 5% rewards rate, which ranks on the higher side for a travel credit card (more below).

Here are the key specs and features of the credit card that you need to know:

Sign-up Promotion 5,000 Points for first purchase
5,000 points for balance transfer
  • Up to $100 value for signing bonus
  • Five times the points on Name Your Own Price bids won on the website
  • One point per all other Priceline.com charges, including "Pay When You Stay" hotel nights, published-price airfare, cruise bookings, and non-NYOP car rentals
  • One point per other dollar of net purchases
  • Redeem as statement credits for transactions > $25
  • Targeted offers of bonus categories available by invitation
  • More info on the Priceline Visa
Earnings Rate 5x points for Name Your Own Price travel
1 point per other dollar of spending
Rewards Rate 1% - 5% (NYOP) 
Annual Fee None
FX Fee 3%
APR Min - Max: 14.99% - 21.99%
Issuer Barclaycard
Network Visa

Note: Contrary to what may be indicated on Priceline.com's website, only the no-fee credit card is being marketed now. The $29 annual fee version, which gave cardholdlers extra bonus points for special categories, is discontinued according to Barclaycard representatives.

The Value of a Point

A point is worth 1 cent at a minimum - that is, 100 points = $1. This is fairly standard for most credit cards, along with the terms of redemptions. You need at least 2,500 points to begin redeeming, which equates to $25, so your posted transaction has to be at least $25. 

Points could potentially be worth more in larger quantities though. The Visa card's terms & conditions refer to a tiered redemption system ("the amount of Points needed will vary by transaction"), but our calls to Barclaycard representatives did not confirm this.

Name Your Own Price Bonus Points

You only get extra points for NYOP transactions with this card. Charging your card for NYOP bids gets you five times the rewards points, which no other credit card can do for the same type of transaction. Roundtrip tickets, a weekend hotel stay, and a car rental can easily add up to hundreds of dollars and sizable savings. After charging your Priceline card $500 for your vacation, you will have gotten $500 x 5 = 2,500 points, good for a $25 rewards redemption. This statement credit gets you a 5% return ($25 award / $500 of spending).

How the NYOP Auction works

Some basic info on the NYOP auction: You set a price you want to pay ("a bid") for a hotel, flight, or car rental booking. For example, with airlines, you only get to specify the date and arrival and departure airports - Priceline gets to fill in the remaining details of the reservation, including what airline you'll fly on, the number of connections, etc., and you don't reap the benefit of frequent flyer miles. The best way to get a deal out of the NYOP tool is to research what the market price is, undercut it by some percentage points, and start bidding low early in advance. In exchange for these savings, you give up control over certain details of your itinerary, and airplane miles.

The tool, and therefore the credit card, only make sense for people who have a large window of time to make their reservations, are willing to hunt aggressively for the right price, and do not care about logistics. Any bid that gets declined freezes your account for 24 hours from submitting another bid for the same criteria, which will be inconvenient for those without the luxury of time. We recommend that you be prepared to pay your bid, as any price that gets accepted by the website will get charged to your credit card automatically, and cannot be canceled.

Maximizing Rewards on the Priceline Credit Card

We recommend that the Priceline credit card be a supplemental card you use only for Name Your Own Price travel. NYOP transactions get 5x the points, which can equate to a 5% of a rewards rate. However, when you pay for other purchases with this card, like charging for gas, dining, and groceries, you only get 1 point per dollar. These 1 point transactions wind up reducing your rewards return, and earns you less compared to what you could be earning elsewhere.

This table illustrates some sample spending, and how your reward returns can be diluted:

  NYOP Points | Rewards All Other Points | Rewards Rewards Rate
Maximized Case $10,000 x 5 = 50,000 | $500 $0 x 1 = 0 | $0 $500 / $10,000 = 5%
Diluted Mid-Case $5,000 x 5 = 25,000 | $250 $5,000 x 1 = 5,000 | $50 $300 / $10,000 = 3%
Diluted Low-Case $1,000 x 5 = 5,000 | $50 $9,000 x 1 = 9,000 | $90 $140 / $10,000 = 1.4%

The non-NYOP charges get just a 1% rewards rate, and could have earned you more at other credit cards. This is why we recommend using the Priceline Visa as a secondary card in your wallet. If you decide to do this, then be sure to keep your card active by making at least one purchase or carrying some balance every six months, and paying your bill on time. Failure to do so can get your rewards revoked.

Stacking Deals with Cash Rebates

One other way to get even greater rewards out is to navigate to the Priceline website from cash back shopping sites such as Ebates. As of Feb 2014, Ebates is advertising a 5% cash rebate on Name Your Own Price hotels. Stacking deals such as this can grow your return from the card's 5% to nearly 10%. 

Other Credit Card Options

Given that only a select subset of people can realize the potential of the Priceline Visa, here are a couple of other travel credit card options that will get you a better return rate overall. Explore our visualization tool, read our summaries, and see our table below for three comparisons.

Edit Monthly Spend: $1,430
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Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 2.86%
$625
50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$1,028
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $498
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.013 = $625
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,028
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
$89 - Waived first year 2.92%
$420
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
$1,052
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
APR 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.011 = $721
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.011 = $420
Less Annual Fees -$89
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,052
Priceline Rewards™ Visa Card
No Annual Fee 1.09%
$50
Earn 5,000 points after your first purchase
$393
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% Variable

Card Details

  • 5 points for every $1 spent on priceline.com purchases
  • 1 point for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Redeem points for statement credits against purchases made on the Priceline credit card: can be used to pay for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, or any other purchase on the card
  • Reward redemptions begin at $25
  • Get 10% points back every time you redeem points for statement credits toward eligible priceline.com or travel purchases of $25 or more made in the last 120 days

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.01 = $343
Bonuses
5,000 x $0.01 = $50
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 393

Priceline vs. Travelocity

If Priceline is just one of your many online travel sources, then consider the Travelocity card. The two cards share similarities, but differ in scope and maximum rewards rate. All transactions paid for on Travelocity's website with their credit card are eligible for bonus points, in contrast to just NYOP purchases. You do trade more types of transactions for a lower earnings rate of 3x. Furthermore, when redeemed at higher quantities, Travelocity's points are worth almost double - up to 6%. Both cards get a vanilla 1% return on all other purchases.

Compared to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus

We like the Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard since it's a great all-around travel credit card with minimum fuss and a higher than average rate of return for travel rewards. We recommend this over the Priceline Visa if the portion of your NYOP spending is low compared to all of your groceries, gas, and entertainment expenses - the 1% earnings on the bulk of your purchases will drag everything down compared to the 2.1% you could be earning on the Barclaycard. If you're an expert NYOP bidder without credit concerns, then consider this as a simple primary card for all other purchases, and the Priceline Visa only for NYOP charges. You can have your cake (5% on NYOP) and eat it too (2.1% on all other expenses). While there is an annual fee of $89 (waived in year 1), we think the bonus points on all purchases, the simplicity of earnings, and the generous sign-up promotion tip the scales in favor of this card.

  Priceline Travelocity Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
 
Sign-up Bonus 10,000 points ($100) 10,000 points ($100) 40,000 miles ($400)
Earnings Rate 5x NYOP purchases, 1x all other 3x Travelocity.com purchases, 1x all other 2x all purchases
Rewards Rate 1 - 5% 1 - 6% 1 - 2.1%
Annual Fee None None $89 (waived Y1)
FX Fee 3% 3% None
APR 14.99% - 21.99% 14.99% - 24.99% 16.74%, 20.74%, or 23.74% Variable
Good for People Who: Book vacation travel on NYOP frequently Use Travelocity.com frequently for travel purchases Want a simple travel credit card with higher overall rewards

 

Information current as of February 2014

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.