Do you like to travel? Are you a big fan of Priceline? If so, do you use the online travel service to book flights and hotels often?
Well, if you do, the Priceline Rewards Visa from Barclaycard might be just the credit card for you because it rewards you for spending at Priceline.com.
Let’s explore this credit card offering in-depth to see if it’s right for you. To properly assess its worth, we’ll need to compare it to leading travel rewards credit cards too.
Earn 5,000 Bonus Points Easily with Priceline Visa
First and foremost, you can earn 5,000 bonus points simply by using your Priceline credit card to make a purchase.
In other words, it should be really easy to snag 5,000 bonus points right off the bat.
5,000 points = $50 statement credit
Assuming you do, that’s $50 worth of points right from the get-go, not including the non-bonus points earned on your first purchases.
If the purchase is made at Priceline, you’ll be looking at even more cash back.
You earn one point for every dollar spent using the Priceline Rewards Visa, and five points (5X) for every dollar spent on Priceline.com purchases.
This is where it’s a big winner for Priceline users. Let’s face it – Priceline purchases are usually pretty large, seeing that they’re for big-ticket items like hotel stays, airfare, and so forth.
So if you’re getting 5X points on such purchases, you’ll rack up points (cash back statements) in a hurry.
Note: Cruise bookings, Name Your Own Price®, Express Deals™, Pay Now bookings, as well as purchases of Trip Protection products, are eligible for 5X rewards.
To make the card even sweeter, eligible Priceline.com purchases of $25+ posted to your account within the past 120 days can be redeemed for statement credit redemptions at a 1.5% value.
In other words, it takes just 1,667 points to snag a $25 statement credit toward a Priceline.com purchase. That’s roughly $333 spent at Priceline to get $25 back, or about 7.5% off.
Otherwise, non-Priceline.com redemptions start at $25. Put another way, you need at least 2,500 points to get $25 off your credit card bill.
If you choose to redeem points for a gift card, the value of those points goes down even more because it takes 3,000 to get $25 in value.
Either way, it’s best to redeem your points for a travel-related purchase (including Priceline purchases) because you get a 10% travel redemption bonus.
That means 25,000 points redeemed for a travel purchase (say a hotel purchase, airfare, or even Uber) will put 2,500 points back in your account for a subsequent redemption.
It’s important to point out (sorry) that points do not expire, though this shouldn’t be an issue anyway because they should be used as statement credits, so there’s no real need to wait.
But understand that you must make at least one purchase with your Priceline credit card once every six months (or have some type of account balance) to remain in the rewards program.
Is the Priceline Credit Card a Travel Rewards Card?
But wait, the Priceline credit card isn’t really a travel rewards credit card. Why?
Because you can use your earned rewards for anything, from cash (statement credit starting at $25) to gift cards to hotel stays, airline tickets, or anything else you purchase on your card.
This freedom of point use means you won’t be bound to use rewards on travel if you don’t want to. Instead, you can buy whatever you want on the card, and then redeem the points as statement credits.
However, your best value is in travel redemptions, and if you’re not spending at Priceline, you will only earn 1% back on your purchases.
So while there might be freedom, it won’t get you very far. Additionally, you can’t transfer the points to airlines, which generally makes them worth a lot more.
What’s Under the Priceline Credit Card Hood?
Note that the Priceline Rewards Visa Card does not come with promotional APR on purchases. So it’s not a good credit card if you’re looking to rack up the spending and slowly pay it off.
However, it does offer 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles. After that, the purchase APR will rise to either 15.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
The balance transfer APR will also rise to the same rate as the purchase rate after the initial 15 months are up, so be careful when carrying a large balance. Also note that there is a 3% balance transfer fee, which is the standard industry average.
You can actually trigger the 5,000 bonus simply by requesting a balance transfer. And you earn one point per dollar transferred (up to 5,000 max) if processed in the first 60 days of account opening. This is one way to offset that balance transfer fee.
Because of the relatively high APR on purchases, the Priceline credit card is probably best reserved for those who can actually pay off their credit cards in full each month.
If you do carry a balance, you may want to look at a pure 0% APR or low interest rate credit card instead. They’ll be able to save you money on costly finance charges for a longer period of time.
Moving along – despite the lack of lengthy 0% APR period, the Priceline credit card carries NO annual fee.
This differs from many travel rewards credit cards, which require you to pay something to take advantage of their rewards program.
Additionally, it doesn’t charge the typical 3% foreign transaction fee when traveling abroad, which is clearly a plus for a no-fee travel rewards card.
Decent Offer for Priceline Power Users
All in all, the Priceline Rewards Visa is a pretty decent option for those who already use Priceline frequently. If you’re a so-called Priceline power user, this card probably makes a lot of sense.
There’s no annual fee, so if you can earn five times the rewards at no cost for the purchases you already make, plus the 1.5% redemption option, it makes a lot of sense. It could make you a lot of cents too.
But if you don’t use Priceline often, you’re better off going with another cash back credit card that offers higher cash back tiers in multiple, broader categories.
Or a different travel rewards credit card altogether.
The major downside to the Priceline credit card is the lack of a big opening bonus. Sure, they give you 5,000 points for your first purchase, but other cards like Citi Prestige come with 75,000.
Of course, you could get both cards and just use this one for Priceline purchases only to maximize that spending, while still taking advantage of other mega bonuses.
(photo: JD Hancock)