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Discussion of Legacy Priceline Visa: 2% all spend, 5% on many priceline purchases; etc

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Previous thread at https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1125529 , now archived.

Note: This card is no longer available.  I am starting a new thread on it because several of us here still use the card, and I think it's worth having a place to share data points and information. Key features include:

-A 2%, no-fee card which posted points immediately (not end of cycle) via purchase offsets, provided you have $25 in rewards available.

-Great bonuses on "name your own price" and "express deal" Priceline purchases.  Both a higher 5% cashback earning, but also a 1.5x multiplier on redemptions. Thus, a qualifying $150 PL charge was refunded with just $100 worth of points. 

-Added in 2014 (IIRC), an additional 10% points rebate on all travel redemptions--*including* the PL redemption bonus (which was stackable).  

-Also added in 2014, the elimination of all foreign transaction fees.

Thus the same $150 PL charge would now work as follows:

Generated a charge which could be credited by  $100 in points
- 5% back in points on the purchase =  $7.50
- 10% back on points redeemed = $10 
_______
Net $82.50 in points for a $150 credit,--provided only that you earned enough points to entirely offset the PL charge within 120 days.  

This was a rare case when the card was made *more* valuable after it was discontinued--and it has not been force product-traded.  It is easily the best 2% card ever offered if one understands how to use it and makes at least some qualifying purchases on Priceline.   See more the original thread for more details.

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I've seen many recent commercials about Express Deals Air on television. Might be app only. Might be still restrictive o... (more)

rasheedb (Jul. 08, 2017 @ 7:36p) |

Interesting rasheed. Have you or anyone else confirmed that Express Deals Air rebate like hotel express deals?

DaveHanson (Jul. 09, 2017 @ 4:18p) |

Probably not, but based on T&C on air purchase, it should be 5x and go through like Hotel Express deal.

I will try to kee... (more)

rasheedb (Jul. 10, 2017 @ 3:59p) |

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I have a question for other users of this card.

IME, It's always coded NYOP rental cars as qualifying PL purchases. But for the first time today, when my NYOP bid was turned down I was given the option of a *prepaid* rental car at a rate significantly lower than any of the cancelable rates.

I'm wondering if such offerings would be coded as qualifying PL purchases or not. Any data points? TIA.

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Hey, now there is some competition. See my post on new Payapl flat 2% card.

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Did PL disclose the vendor of the prepaid rental before purchase? I am guessing it was an ABG brand, but maybe Hertz is in the game?

A normal prepaid is just a rental voucher which is a very old concept. I don't have a data point except you should be able to get the same rental directly via the agency if you can decode the discount code which would make it feel less like a PL-charged rental. Of note, a prepaid does not guarantee a car will be able to rent in the low likelihood you are renting from a place that would run out of cars. They will just refund your prepaid.

Rasheed

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Just wanted to point out that I received a 10% bonus for reimbursement of Lyft and Uber fares.

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DaveHanson said:   Previous thread at https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1125529 , now archived.

Note: This card is no longer available.  I am starting a new thread on it because several of us here still use the card, and I think it's worth having a place to share data points and information.

  
Thank you for new thread.  This card remains my "go-to" card for wide variety of purchases.  Has been this way since old thread was around, couple of years at least I guess.

This is a great card and, in addition, the Barclays website for this card is very good, well designed, and is easy to use.

It is a little concerning that availability of this card is closed.  I worried at one point they might be fixin' to shut us down.  But so far so good and I'm happy about that.  It was bad enough losing my Barclays Sallie Mae.  I don't want to lose this card, too!   

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rasheedb said:   Did PL disclose the vendor of the prepaid rental before purchase? I am guessing it was an ABG brand, but maybe Hertz is in the game?

A normal prepaid is just a rental voucher which is a very old concept. I don't have a data point except you should be able to get the same rental directly via the agency if you can decode the discount code which would make it feel less like a PL-charged rental. Of note, a prepaid does not guarantee a car will be able to rent in the low likelihood you are renting from a place that would run out of cars. They will just refund your prepaid.

Rasheed

  
Thanks Rasheed.  It's Sixt, for $53 / night.  Interestingly, this pops up even after a $74 a night bid still fails (at SEA in August), and a standard reservation (from Dollar, who isn't a NYOP supplier) is offered at $61.  Sixt offers this option for other car sizes as well.

The thing is that assuming one has more points than they can use on NYOP, they're still better off paying 25% or even 50% more on qualifying purchases on this card than for qualifying ones.  Plus, the $53 still comes to almost $400 total including tax and fees, while the $74 would be $500..just a $25 boost.

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This is still my primary card. We book hotels pretty much exclusively through Priceline so we get 3%+ back on purchases when you take into account the discount on points required to redeem and the 10% bonus.

I could certainly Chase around 5% rotating category cards but that's too much work for too little payoff.

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sullim4 said:   This is still my primary card. We book hotels pretty much exclusively through Priceline so we get 3%+ back on purchases when you take into account the discount on points required to redeem and the 10% bonus.

I could certainly Chase around 5% rotating category cards but that's too much work for too little payoff.

  
It was also my primary Visa/MC for several years.  

As for the CB rates, FW member rlaw, building on work done by fellow poster ZJamaican , did the math carefully in this post: https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1125529?showmessage=192... .  Bottom line:  If at least 3% of your purchases are qualifying PL purchases, your effective CB is approximately 3.5% . My only issue is that I can't find enough qualifying PL purchases to redeem all the bonus points I have sitting on this card.

Note that arguably, even 3.5% is an understatement.  That's because the portal CB you earn booking qualifying PL purchases is based on the "sticker price" of those purchases (excluding taxes/fees)--the discounted redemption and rebates don't reduce this CB. 

IME, the "highest, best use" of this card is for PL hotel express deals.  None of the bidding hassle, all of the qualifying purchase goodness.  I wish there were an "express deal" for rental cars.  That's why I was hoping against hope a "prepaid" rental car fee, like the one Sixt gave me at SEA, would code as qualifying.

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DaveHanson said:   
sullim4 said:   This is still my primary card. We book hotels pretty much exclusively through Priceline so we get 3%+ back on purchases when you take into account the discount on points required to redeem and the 10% bonus.

I could certainly Chase around 5% rotating category cards but that's too much work for too little payoff.

  
It was also my primary Visa/MC for several years.  

As for the CB rates, FW member rlaw, building on work done by fellow poster ZJamaican , did the math carefully in this post: https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1125529?showmessage=19207705 .  Bottom line:  If at least 3% of your purchases are qualifying PL purchases, your effective CB is approximately 3.5% . My only issue is that I can't find enough qualifying PL purchases to redeem all the bonus points I have sitting on this card.

Note that arguably, even 3.5% is an understatement.  That's because the portal CB you earn booking qualifying PL purchases is based on the "sticker price" of those purchases (excluding taxes/fees)--the discounted redemption and rebates don't reduce this CB. 

IME, the "highest, best use" of this card is for PL hotel express deals.  None of the bidding hassle, all of the qualifying purchase goodness.  I wish there were an "express deal" for rental cars.  That's why I was hoping against hope a "prepaid" rental car fee, like the one Sixt gave me at SEA, would code as qualifying.

  There is an express deal for rental cars. I booked one with an express deals flight for July 2017 (it was offered while I was booking the flight). The points required to redeem are the same as NYOP/Express Deals hotels/flights. The company wasn't revealed until after the booking (Hertz).

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bbr said:   
DaveHanson said:   
IME, the "highest, best use" of this card is for PL hotel express deals.  None of the bidding hassle, all of the qualifying purchase goodness.  I wish there were an "express deal" for rental cars.  That's why I was hoping against hope a "prepaid" rental car fee, like the one Sixt gave me at SEA, would code as qualifying.

  There is an express deal for rental cars. I booked one with an express deals flight for July 2017 (it was offered while I was booking the flight). The points required to redeem are the same as NYOP/Express Deals hotels/flights. The company wasn't revealed until after the booking (Hertz).

  
But that was an add-on to a flight.  Have you ever seen a stand-alone express deal for cars?  Interesting either way.

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They have express deals for rental cars through the mobile app. I've see them a number of times. That said - all they are really good for is to give you an indication of what to bid - you can undercut it by a buck or two per day.

That said, I haven't had Priceline price out as the cheapest option for a rental car in a very long time. Their hotel deals are better.

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sullim4, you're saying these express deals pop up on the mobile app, but not a full browser? Interesting...I wonder why.

Targeted coupons for Hotel express deals are often redeemable only on the app, but that was the only app-alone PL feature I was aware of.

Per my question above, I did end up trying the prepaid offer for the Seattle booking. It authorizes as "Sixt Rent A Car", so I'm 99% sure it will not bill as a qualified PL transaction. Ah well, the savings was enough to make it worth a try.

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In other legacy PL card news, Barclays has opted to further upgrade the benefits on this card.

In addition to a beefed up price protection and extended warranty program,as of April 1, there's even a "Satisfaction guarantee" program. This and their other new benefits are found via their updated guide to benefits at https://www.barclaycardus.com/servicing/img/base/guideBenefits/B... .

"Purchases You make entirely with Your Covered card are covered for ninety (90) days from the date of purchase as indicated on Your receipt for a full refund in the event that You are dissatisfied with Your purchase and the store will not accept the item for return. Items You purchase with Your Covered card and give as gifts also are covered."

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DaveHanson said:   sullim4, you're saying these express deals pop up on the mobile app, but not a full browser? Interesting...I wonder why.

Targeted coupons for Hotel express deals are often redeemable only on the app, but that was the only app-alone PL feature I was aware of.

Per my question above, I did end up trying the prepaid offer for the Seattle booking. It authorizes as "Sixt Rent A Car ", so I'm 99% sure it will not bill as a qualified PL transaction. Ah well, the savings was enough to make it worth a try.

  
My theory: the mobile app bypasses the need to pay commission/cash back.  Here's a sample screen shot of an express deal through the app.

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Another good thing about this card is that almost every quarter I got a different offer for bonus points. I've just got a targeted offer for the next quarter. "Spend $1000 in each of the months July, August, September, and get 1000 bonus points each. And if you can do all three months, get 2000 extra bonus points". So if I spend $1000 each month, I'll get $60 + $50 rewards, which makes the card 3.67% card.

Last quarter's offer was 2% bonus points in restaurants (and some other places, don't remember).

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I agree sullim4. This would explain why several coupons (and all my recent hotel express deal coupons) are app only.

And lo and behold, when I put the same rental car parameters into the app, two "express deal" options did indeed show up (see attached) that were nowhere to be found on the desktop interface. Thanks for mentioning that you saw these options in-app only.  We cardholders will want to be sure to check that option going forward.

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oko said:   Another good thing about this card is that almost every quarter I got a different offer for bonus points. I've just got a targeted offer for the next quarter. "Spend $1000 in each of the months July, August, September, and get 1000 bonus points each. And if you can do all three months, get 2000 extra bonus points". So if I spend $1000 each month, I'll get $60 + $50 rewards, which makes the card 3.67% card.

Last quarter's offer was 2% bonus points in restaurants (and some other places, don't remember).

  
Indeed. I used to get these regularly, but haven't for several quarters now. I think that's because I put six figures in spending on the card most quarters.

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Just got the 1K + 1K +1K +2K bonus points offer as well. Not too shabby, since I typically go through about that much every month anyway. Just too bad that I don't go NYOP that often anymore. Can't seem to get the same level of savings that I used to; maybe hotel managers have gotten smarter about how they price their rooms.  BFT has practically got tumbleweeds blowing down the streets - not that I'm sorry to see Sheryl (Dragonlady of the internet) reap a little karma. 

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irobot said:   Just got the 1K + 1K +1K +2K bonus points offer as well. Not too shabby, since I typically go through about that much every month anyway. Just too bad that I don't go NYOP that often anymore. Can't seem to get the same level of savings that I used to; maybe hotel managers have gotten smarter about how they price their rooms.  BFT has practically got tumbleweeds blowing down the streets (not that I'm sorry to see Sheryl (Dragonlady of the internet) reap a little karma. 

Same here. I stayed at some luxury Hawaiian resorts for $95/night in the past. They are all gone right now. I also think Priceline use some questionable tactics now. It advertises $12/day car rates. I choose 4 days, and it becomes $48 + $50 taxes and fees = $98. Costco sells the same 4 days for much less, while not advertising it as $12/day. And you can cancel and rebook a million times if you do it at Costco. You can even do a no-show and there is no penalty (though I strongly discourage this).

Priceline also refused to give me my cash back of amount ~$70 for a hotel reservation. I really lost all my confidence with Priceline.

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I don't travel much, but I've noticed NYOP going downhill as well. I bid on a 3 star hotel earlier this year and ended up in an Extended Stay that was no better than a Motel 6. Plus, you never know if you are going to get stuck in a smoking room or have to pay for parking. I would rather just stay in the cheap chain hotels. At least I know what to expect.

Still rocking my Priceline card for everyday purchases. For more expensive goods, I switch to my Citi Double Cash which adds 24 months to the manufacturer's warranty.

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DaveHanson said:   
Posted and redeemed this morning.  Sure enough, not a qualified transaction...so only the 10% rebate on redeemed points for travel was credited.

As for NYOP / express deals going downhill, I still have good luck with hotels.  I do agree that outsize redemption values / pricing anomolies seem rarer than they once were.  And one nice trick is that if I do an express deal once, the same express deal tends to be available later--this time with the property name revealed, for added transparency. 

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offer (142.86kB)
Disclaimer
Got the 1k+1k+1k for 5000 offer too, 

I'm pretty sure getting these offers are tied to low transaction amounts for a given quarter,
I've been mainly been trying to liquidate other gift cards lately so I haven't put much spending on here.  

If you have the flexibility to do, I would front load your spending on these towards the end of a quarter (gift cards)
then have minimal spending for the next few quarters until you get an offer.

The offers seem to be the same for everyone that stays under the spend threshold
Only thing is you're banking on a nice offer for a quarter. (Last quarter's gas/util/restaurant deal wasn't as nice)

I'm loving this offer though.
We get straight points which get all the added multipliers of travel redemption:
If you hit the 3k spending (1k each month)

You can convert those points into:

$50.00 Bonus purchase redemption (1.667% effective rate)
$55.55 Bonus travel redemption (1.1111 bonus points multiplier)
$83.33 Bonus NYOP/Express Deal redemption (1.5 discount multiplier and 1.1111 bonus points multiplier)

*Technically a bit higher if you can do everything perfectly
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1125529?showmessage=19207705 

 

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DaveHanson said:   
If at least 3% of your purchases are qualifying PL purchases, your effective CB is approximately 3.5% . My only issue is that I can't find enough qualifying PL purchases to redeem all the bonus points I have sitting on this card. 

  
You're not alone, its so much easier to just hold on to the points forever hoping your next NYOP / Express deal is a sweet deal.
I'm finding myself redeeming less as well, as the fees for Priceline always seem to push alternatives (AirBnB) as more viable.
I doubt this is really Priceline 's fault, rather it's just the changing landscape of the hotel business.

Still even for straight up cash you match most alternatives (Double Cash/ Paypal Mastercard / Fidelity)
Travel Redemption makes this card more valuable if we consider just rewards,
and if you do the
NYOP/Express deal you can beat the current best (Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program) without the high relationship cost and restricted availability
 

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I've seen many recent commercials about Express Deals Air on television. Might be app only. Might be still restrictive on info ahead of bid, but would be something of interest for routes like Hawaii.

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/A3kB/priceline-com-express-deals-screensaver-featuring-kaley-cuoco

It is available on the app, mobile web and desktop. I found a 481 LAX to OGG fare for mid August where lowest retail was 602.

Rasheed

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Interesting rasheed. Have you or anyone else confirmed that Express Deals Air rebate like hotel express deals?

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Probably not, but based on T&C on air purchase, it should be 5x and go through like Hotel Express deal.

I will try to keep it in mind for upcoming leisure trips that are not time of day sensitive.

Here is the current 5x Visa language:
• You earn 5 points for every $1.00 spent on eligible Net Purchases made at Priceline.com ®. Eligible purchases include: cruises (as defined by the merchant category code), Name Your Own Price®, Express Deals™ and Pay Now bookings, as well as purchases of Trip Protection products, made on Priceline.com. A Pay Now booking is any booking that requires payment at the time of booking.  For more information on Name Your Own Price, Express Deals, and Trip Protection, please see Priceline.com

Rasheed

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