Consumer Reports on Priceline.com and Hotwire.com

Consumer Reports’ Lisa Lee Freeman has compared Hotwire.com and Priceline.com.

Both Priceline.com and Hotwire.com were significantly cheaper than travel sites like Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia. Priceline and hotwire both require you to be flexible.

At Hotwire, you type in when and where you want to go to get prices. Then you choose the level of service you want: a three or four star hotel, for example.

With Priceline, you “name your own price” in a bid. You may have to modify your plans to get the price you want on a trip and that can be time-consuming. I’ve written about this before, as I used Priceline to find a hotel in Hong Kong. We saved a few dollars. I tried to use Priceline to find a hotel in Taipei, but ended up wasting a lot of time. One thing about Priceline that’s inconveneient is that you have to wait three days before changing your bid price (assuming you leave everything else – such as hotel quality and location – the same).

According to Consumer Reports, Priceline.com is cheaper than Hotwire.com. But Hotwire.com is said to be easier to use. I’ve never tried it though.

To use Hotwire or Priceline, first, check out traditional travel sites to get the going rate for a trip. On Priceline you would then place your bid based on the research you’ve done. Be sure to input your information carefully. No refunds or exchanges.

Note that when using Hotwire and Priceline for flight tickets, you won’t be earning frequent flyer miles.

Filed Under: Travel sites

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