Full Review of Priceline Rewards Visa Card
Generous rewards on most Priceline purchases
Flexible redemption options for travel
Earn points and a 0% APR on balance transfers
“Pay Later” Priceline purchases don’t get the best rewards rate
Subpar one-time offer
- Generous Rewards on Most Priceline Purchases: The Priceline Rewards Visa offers rewards of 5 points per dollar on the travel purchases in which Priceline specializes. Those specialties include discounted (and usually non-refundable) Pay Now purchases and those on which you bid for a rental car or hotel stay, often without knowing the precise chain that will provide the service. With each point worth 1.5 cents when used as a statement credit against Priceline purchases, those rewards total 7.5 cents for every dollar spent at Priceline—a rate that’s hard to beat with many other credit cards.
- Flexible Redemption Options for Travel: Like most co-branded cards, this one gives you the best value when rewards are redeemed with the brand itself. But it offers two-thirds as much per point when those are used to offset travel expenses incurred elsewhere. That is, the points can be redeemed at one cent apiece against airfare, hotels, car rentals and more. What’s more, when you redeem points for a statement credit against Priceline or other travel purchases of at least $25, you’ll get 10% of your points back.
- 0% APR Offer, Including Points Rewards on the Transfer: For those who are paying high interest on another credit card balance, a 0% APR offer is a welcome option, especially in a card with no annual fee. Like almost all such offers, the 15-month interest-free provision with this card comes with a transfer fee, of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. The balance transfer must also be completed within the first 45 days of account opening. But unlike practically all other offers we’ve seen, this one provides rewards on the balance you’re transferring. While the real benefit of a transfer is in the interest savings, the rewards you earn on the transaction can help justify the transfer fee. For example, transferring $5,000 requires paying a fee of $150. But the 5,000 points you’d earn—1 point for each dollar transferred--would be worth between $50 and $75 as a statement credit against general travel expenses and Priceline ones, respectively. That helps make transferring a balance to this card less costly in terms of fees than to most other cards.
- “Pay Later” Priceline Purchases Don’t Receive the Best Rewards Rate: Priceline is overwhelmingly known for discounted bookings for which you immediately pay the site for the transaction. But if you happen to use the site for a “pay later” reservation, to be settled at the hotel counter, you won’t get the favorable 5-points-per-dollar Priceline rate; instead, the transaction will earn only the card’s default 1 point per dollar.
- Modest One-Time Offer: The card offers 10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. That bonus is worth $150 if you use the points to get a statement credit for eligible Priceline purchases or $100 when applied against other travel purchases. While those values are on par with the one-time offers for some other cards with no annual fee, they fall short of the best such offers.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
As its name signals, the Priceline Rewards Visa is best suited to people who travel regularly and make their bookings through Priceline.com. The card offers generous rewards on the most common purchases made through the site, which can be redeemed as statement credits against Priceline transactions or, at a lower rate, against travel purchases from any other vendor. If you factor in the value of a further bonus—the return of 10% of points redeemed as a statement credit—the 5 points per dollar you earn on Priceline purchases yield an effective rewards rate of 8.35% when redeemed against Priceline purchases. Even redemptions of points earned at Priceline against other travel purchases yield a respectable return of 5.5%.
The Priceline Rewards Visa is also a surprisingly strong choice for transferring a balance from a high-interest card to enjoy a period of 0% APR. The 15-month period without interest is on the long side, especially for a card with no annual fee, and you receive rewards for the transfer (at a rate of 1 point per dollar transferred). That’s an unusual plus that helps cover part of the customary transfer fee.
Priceline Rewards Visa Card One-Time Offer
The card offers 10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. That’s worth $100 for statement credits for most purchases and $150 for statement credits against eligible Priceline purchases.
But even at the card’s maximum redemption value, the bonus is on the low side. Among other cards with no annual fee, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, for example, offers a bonus worth $250 in statement credits against just about any travel purchase you make. And the Discover it Miles matches all the miles you earn during your first year, a bonus that could exceed this one if your spending exceeded just $5,000 a year.
Rewards Earning Details
The card offers 5 points per dollar on eligible Priceline purchases, which include:
- Name Your Own Price bookings
- Express Deal bookings
- Pay Now bookings
- Trip protection products
While that’s a very strong rate, keep in mind that all other purchases with the card net you 1 point per dollar. You could beat that rate with other cards whose rewards are travel-focused. For comparison, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card offers 3 points per dollar on all flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals.
Rewards Redemption Details
The Priceline Rewards Visa Card offers several redemption options:
- Priceline statement credits: Points are worth 1.5 cents apiece if you redeem them for a statement credit against the same purchases that are eligible for bonus rewards. Purchases must be at least $25 to qualify.
- Other statement credits: You’ll get 1 cent per point on statement credits against all other purchases, with a $25 minimum.
- Gift cards: You’ll receive 0.83 cents per point on gift card redemptions, starting at $25 gift card for 3,000 points.
- Merchandise: Point values can vary based on what you’re buying. In general, though, merchandise redemptions almost always provide low value.
Points are worth 1 cent apiece if you use them to get a statement credit against regular purchases. But if you request a statement credit on an eligible Priceline purchase of $25 or more—you’ll have 120 days after it posts to redeem—your points will be worth 1.5 cents each.
And keep in mind that you’ll get 10% of your points back if you redeem them for eligible Priceline and other travel purchases. Factor in that bonus, and you’re actually earning 1.67 cents per point on Priceline statement credits and 1.1 cents per point on other travel statement credits.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
The best way to make the most of the card’s rewards program is to use the card whenever you’re booking a trip through Priceline.com to buy the site’s most popular offerings, including Pay Now and Name Your Own Price purchases. Those qualify for the card’s best rate of 5 points per dollar spent, where all other purchases (from Priceline or anywhere else) earn only 1 point per dollar spent. Next, use your rewards for statement credits against travel purchases whenever possible. Doing so, especially against Priceline purchases, will earn you better value per point than the other redemption options of purchasing gift cards or merchandise. Assigning points as a statement credit takes a little work, which you can do by phone or by accessing your account online. You have 120 days after the transaction to assign it to a transaction.
As with any credit card, of course, you should pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
- Concierge service
- Zero-liability fraud protection
- No foreign transaction fees
Barclays was ranked fifth in the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study, with an overall rating on par with the average for all national card issuers. The bank offers access to customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is standard for major card issuers.
You’ll also get free access to your FICO credit score, which is the score most lenders use in lending decisions. Check your score regularly to know where you stand and what you can do to make improvements. You can manage your account online or with the Barclays mobile app.
The SecurHold feature on the Barclays mobile app allows you to lock your card account to prevent anyone from using it should the card be lost or stolen. Also, the Control Your Card feature allows you to set transaction limits and even block certain purchase categories for your authorized users (or even yourself). The lender does not offer contactless credit cards, which is becoming more standard in the U.S.
The Priceline Rewards Visa offers a lot of rewards potential, but it demands a little work to fulfill that promise. Unlike the typical rewards card, whose points or miles accumulate and require little attention to maximize, this card’s best redemption options require periodic active engagement with your account. Within four months of completing a travel purchase, you must elect to take it as a statement credit in order to earn the optimal rewards rate of such transactions—of 1.5 cents per point for Priceline purchases and 1 cent per point for other travel transactions. If you don’t make that assignment, the points can be used—at lower value—only for gift cards or merchandise.To be reimbursed by a statement credit, purchases must be at least $25. That stipulation, plus a modest 1 point per dollar spent rewards rate, makes this card especially ill-suited for use on smaller everyday purchases. Even for some Priceline customers, then, there may be better cards to gather rewards from a wide range of transactions and then use them fairly effortlessly to pay or redeem for travel. Those other options include a general travel card or cash-back credit card, either of which should provide greater flexibility in how you can earn and use rewards.