Friday, April 30, 2010

Book Hotels with Priceline and Hotwire using BetterBidding

For travelers that value price, quality, and location over hotel names, Priceline and Hotwire will save you up to 50% or more on hotels. In Downtown-New Orleans during Memorial weekend, I bid $55 per night on Priceline and received a 4* JW Marriott valued at $159. Most recently, I selected a 4* hotel in Union Square-San Francisco on Hotwire for $86 per night and received Parc 55 Hotel valued at $169.

BetterBidding is a discussion forum where users post winning bids from Priceline and Hotwire. Browse by state and you will have a general idea of winning prices, hotels, and locations. The Calendar of Wins feature allows you to search by date and location for winning bids. Normally if you see a winning bid and bid the same star level, price, and location, you will receive the same hotel. The price may fluctuate up or down due to the time of year or number of nights.

Priceline lets you select a star level and location and place a bid. If your bid is accepted, the hotel name is revealed. If you are rejected, you are required to wait 24 hours to place the same exact bid OR you can change zone or minimum star rating.

EXAMPLE: New York City has a Time Square and Coney Island zone. You bid 4* Time Square at $100. You are rejected told you can bid again if you change something. IF Coney Island ONLY offers 2* hotels and BELOW, you can add the Coney Island zone (so you are now bidding on Time Square AND Coney Island) and rebid for 4*. Basically, you are only bidding on Time Square since Coney Island doesn't have any hotels that fit your star level selection.

Hotwire is similar to Priceline but the price is listed. You select the city and date, and Hotwire will show you a variety of hotels (without disclosing names) and list price, area, and star level. When you agree to purchase, the hotel name is revealed.

I recommend starting with Priceline and switching to Hotwire if your bid exceeds Hotwire’s listed price for the same location and star level.

Step 1: BetterBidding Calendar of wins Step 2: BetterBidding Discussion forum Step 3: Priceline - Select zones one at a time and note highest star level. Select star level and zone then bid Step 4: Rebid zones (if necessary) - If rejected, add zone with highest star level BELOW level you requested then raise bid. Repeat. Step 5: Hotwire (if necessary)

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