2018 Priceline Credit Card Review – WalletHub Editors
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The Verdict: At the end of the day, there are effectively three prerequisites for getting the Priceline Credit Card. You must:
- Have Good Or Excellent Credit: There are two versions of the Priceline Credit Card: a Visa Signature offer for people with excellent credit (i.e., a score of 720+) and a Visa Platinum version for those with “good” credit (660-719). If you don’t know your credit score, you can check it for free on WalletHub.
- Be A Frequent Traveler: If you don’t travel on a regular basis, you’ll risk devaluing your rewards. And you simply won’t be able to enjoy the fruits of your spending as often as you should with a rewards card.
Commit To Priceline.com: This card’s overall value depends on the amount you spend not just on Priceline.com but also on certain types of Priceline purchases, as numerous restrictions limit both the number of points you earn and their ultimate redemption value. Just consider the following provisions from the card’s terms and conditions:
- Earning: “You earn 5 points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made at priceline.com and charged to the Card. Purchases at priceline.com that are not eligible earn 1 point for every $1 spent and include cruise bookings, non-Name Your Own Price® car reservations, and hotel reservations designated as Pay When You Stay.”
- Redeeming: “Eligible priceline.com purchases of $25 or more posted to your Account within the last 120 days are eligible for statement credit redemptions at a 1.5% value. … Purchases at priceline.com that are not eligible for redemption at the 1.5% value include cruise bookings, non-Name Your Own Price® car reservations, and hotel reservations designated as Pay When You Stay,” which are “eligible for a statement credit redemption at a 1% value.”
Those restrictions could cost you as much as 650%, considering that spending $1,000 would yield $75 in rewards value in the best-case scenario — 5 points per $1 spent and a 1.5% redemption rate — yet just $10 in the worst.
With that being said, the average person who can meet those criteria stands to earn roughly $1,180 in travel rewards over the first two years of card use, thanks in large part to an earning rate of up to 8.4% back and the lack of an annual fee. To see what else this card does and does not have to offer — and how the two versions differ — continue reading below.
- Up to $75 Initial Bonus: The Priceline Card hooks you with a 5,000-point initial bonus that you’ll receive after making your first purchase. That’s worth up to $75 if redeemed for a travel statement credit or $50 if used to pay for a nontravel purchase, according to WalletHub research.
- Up To 8.4% Back On Purchases: You will earn 5 points per $1 spent on eligible Priceline purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. Plus, Priceline will give you 10% of your points back when you redeem them for a statement credit toward Priceline and travel purchases. You will therefore have the opportunity to earn the equivalent of up to 8.4% cash back, all things considered.
Surprising Redemption Flexibility: While the value that you’ll receive for your earnings diminishes the further you stray from Priceline in particular and travel in general, both the variety of your redemption options and the generosity of their corresponding point valuations are likely to come as a pleasant surprise to many of us, as you will find in the following table.
Redemption Method Redemption Rate Points Needed For $25 Priceline Statement Credit 1.5% 1,667 Non-Priceline Statement Credit 1% 2,500 Gift Card/Certificate 0.83% 3,000 Merchandise* 0.68% 3,677
*Values reflect the average for merchandise redemption across the Barclays rewards program.
- No Annual Fee: The average credit card charges an annual fee of $15.88, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report, while the average rewards card for someone with good credit charges $7 the first year and $9 the second. The Priceline Visa is therefore ahead of the game in this regard.
- Inactive-Account Termination: If you don’t make any transactions for a six-month stretch, your account will be shut down and any unredeemed rewards will be sacrificed. That’s a major bummer.
- $25 Minimum Redemption: Some credit cards enable you to redeem rewards at any time, regardless of the amount you’ve accrued, which can be very helpful. The Priceline Credit Card is not one of them, however, which means you’ll need to plan your redemption carefully.
Potential For A Very High Regular APR: If you get approved for the Priceline Rewards Visa, you will be assigned an interest rate of 16.24%, 21.24% or 26.24%, depending on your creditworthiness. The lowest option, likely reserved for people with pristine credit, is actually below the 19.88% market average for “good credit” credit cards. But the other two possibilities are more akin to the rates you’d find on a “fair credit” card (22.41%) or a store card (25.48%).
In short, you don’t want to use this card if you won’t always be able to pay your bill in full.
Other Things To Consider
- 0% For 15 Months On Balance Transfers (3% Fee): This card’s 0% intro balance-transfer APR would undoubtedly be a highlight of the offer, if not for the pesky 3% transfer fee that could serve to dramatically increase the cost of such a transaction, depending on the amount in question. When you consider the availability of at least one offer targeted to people with good credit with an intro rate that’s just as long and no fees, it’s obvious that you should take a pass on using this card for debt reduction.
Early Balance Transfers Earn Rewards: If you transfer a balance to the Priceline Card within 30 days of account opening, you will receive 1 point per $1 transferred, up to a maximum of 5,000 points. But is this worthwhile, considering the 3% transfer fee?
Well, let’s say that you transfer $5,000 in debt from an existing credit card. With the balance transfer fee, you’d be left with a balance of $5,150 and just under a year to repay it before interest begins to accrue, which we’ll assume you manage to do. However, even if you use the resulting 5,000 points as strategically as possible, they’d only net you $75 at most.
So while this little gimmick won’t really pay off, it is worth noting that it can effectively cut your balance-transfer fee in half, which is pretty cool. So no, this little gimmick will not pay off and should thus be avoided.
- No Foreign-Transaction Fee: If your Priceline bookings take you to a foreign country or you wish to use your card to make purchases through international merchants, you will not be penalized for your worldliness. The Priceline Card therefore beats out the average card in this regard, given the latter’s 1.51% international surcharge.
Compared To The Competition
Priceline.com is far from the only travel provider in town, and the same can also be said for its eponymous credit card. So to help you make the best possible credit-card choice and enjoy maximum savings on all future travel arrangements, we compared the Priceline Rewards Visa to some of the most popular travel-rewards alternatives across six important categories.
For the purposes of this comparison, we converted all earning rates into cash-back percentages and assumed that cardholders would choose the most favorable redemption method possible. All of the offers require at least good credit for approval, except for Chase Sapphire Preferred, which requires excellent credit.
Priceline Credit Card
Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
|Annual Fee||$0||None 1st yr, $89 after||$0 for 1st yr, $95 after|
|Rewards Bonus||5,000 points||60,000 miles||50,000 miles|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 5 points / $1||2 miles / $1||2 miles / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Transfer Intro APR||0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|0% for 12 billing cycles|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Regular APR||16.99% - 26.99% (V)||17.99% - 24.99% (V)||14.74% - 24.74% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||3.0 / 5||5.0 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
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