Priceline hotel question... please

Old Jul 17th, 2002, 01:22 PM
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Priceline hotel question... please

Hello all... I've been reading a lot about using Priceline and Hotwire and Expedia, etc., etc., etc.

About Priceline in particular, when you use them they charge your credit card right away for the entire bill, correct?

When you actually check into the hotel do they need your credit card again? If so, why would they need it again? Doesn't Priceline pay the hotel?

I haven't read word for word the Bidding for Travel site but I will read it more closely before I make a bid on anything.

Thanks for any insight.

Old Jul 17th, 2002, 01:26 PM
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Actually US AIR has an e-savers program. Go to their site and sign up and they'll send you updates every week. I've also found that my travel agent can often find rates better than I can get through Priceline or Expedia.
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 01:30 PM
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Sandi, you're right in that Priceline will charge your credit card on the day you book. With the exception of all-inclusive resorts, almost every hotel I've ever been to requests a credit card upon check-in for what they call "incidentals" - in case you want to order room service, etc or destroy the room - they have a means of repayment.
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 01:31 PM
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Sandi, Yes, Priceline charges your credit card right away when you have a winning bid.

The hotel will ask for a credit card at check-in to cover any incidental expenses you incur during your stay--phone calls, in-room mini-bar items, hotel parking, etc. If you don't use any of these things, the hotel won't charge anything to your credit card.

Definitely read the FAQs on the site.
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 01:38 PM
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yes, your credit card is charged in full when your bid is accepted.

In my experience, the hotel has asked me if I wish to give them a credit card for 'incidentals" (room service, pay movies, phone use, minibar,etc.)
When I asked if I need to,both times (diff hotels) they said no. One hotel said they will then turn off outgoing telephone service. The other hotel made no mention of this and the room had an unlocked minbar from which they would have had no way of recovering the money if I had taken any items (and no, I did not
I believe that it is at the hotel's discretion to ask for such a credit card guarantee unless they can place you in a room with no minibar, etc so they are guaranteed
to be paid for any services used, above and beyond the cost of the hotel room itself.

BTW, you are required to present a driver's license or other acceptable photo ID under the name of the reservation since rooms are not transferable, in case that's what you were thinking about (not having the credit card because the reservation is not in your name) I don't know if that's your case (and it isn't meant as an accusation, I just think that may be a question some people have if they can't use their res and want to give it away to a family member or friend)
Hope this helps!
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 03:59 PM
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I used priceline to book a hotel in NYC. Great hotel, great room, great rate. They did ask for a credit card when I checked in for "incidentals," I didn't have a problem with this. However, as I watched them put it into their machine I said "you aren't charging my room, correct? I booked through priceline." The clerk said "what?" They did not have my reservation as a priceline reservation -- after a quick check he verified that I had paid so no harm done. But if I had not asked they would have charged the room, I would have had to dispute the charges, etc. etc. So be sure they know you are prepaid. Of course, mention this after you've asked for your upgrade when you check in.
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 04:42 PM
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As far as air fares, I believe all the major airlines have the e-alerts for good fares. I'm on both United and American's email list for these super super saver rates. Mary
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 06:01 PM
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Cautionary, it's great that you caught that mistake when you did. But if you hadn't, you would have caught it when you checked out and were presented with a bil for the room as well as for incidentals.
Old Jul 18th, 2002, 03:17 AM
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Rules of thumb:
If you know how to do the bidding process,you will always get a cheaper price through Priceline for air. However,you need to know what the cheapest price is before you bid (Orbitz generally can help).You also need to be willing to "lose" a travel day to connection(s)/potential flight times.
2.If you know how to,you should always get a MUCH better hotel rate.However,you may not always be able to use them (availabilty).
3.Most Priceline mistakes are made by the travelers.However,it is wise to print out your confirmation (have it with you)and call your hotel in advance.
4.Always refer to before bidding,especially first timers.
I,personally,have only used them once for flights. The possibilty of a 10 pm flight or a 6 hour trip because of a connection is something I don't want to hassle with. I have used them many times (30+) for hotels. I generally only try them for four stars at great discounts.
I understand many folks concerns about Priceline. But,if you use them correctly they may bring you a great savings.
Old Jul 18th, 2002, 05:19 PM
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We've used Priceline maybe a half dozen times for hotels, always to great satisfaction and savings. Just want to mention that we have NEVER been asked for a driver's license or other form of photo ID.
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