Priceline Express Deals – Tricks for Finding The Best Value

My favorite hotel booking trick: Priceline express deals. How to know which hotel property you are booking and if the deal is worth it.Over the past handful of months, we’ve been able to stay at some four-star hotels around the country (and Puerto Rico!) for less than $100 dollars and others for significant discounts. Here are my tricks on how to know what hotel you’re booking and if it is worth it to use  Priceline express deals.

You’re most likely to get the best deals last minute, only a couple days before your stay, but I’ve also found that waiting too late might mean they are all gone. I haven’t seen much of a drop in price between the last three days. These tricks also work better in areas with a few options, but you can at least walk away comfortable knowing it will be one of a few hotel options instead of an exact property.

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Example 1: Monterey, CA

Step 1: Search your desired location. Include your star number (I always start with four)Monterey Hotel Booking with Priceline

Some areas and even dates you’ll come up with a lot of options. Other times just one that works within your stars and price range. Pick the deal you want to find the property.

Step 2: Compare the details to the “List View” properties

Monterey Target Express Deal

Once you’ve selected the express deal there are a few details you can use to compare the deal to the “List View” properties on Priceline Express Deals.

  1. Specific area – Priceline will give you a more detailed location of where the hotel will in. For Monterey, it is a bigger but excludes areas like Carmel or Pacific Grove. You’ll see in the next example that a more populated city like San Francisco has more focused areas.
  2. Amenities – Some things like swimming pools, free parking and pets allowed can help narrow your selection quickly.
  3. Guest rating – This doesn’t always make an impact but can be the deciding factor between two hotels.
  4. Percentage saved – This is my last go to but can give you an educated guess when you have a couple hotels fitting your search criteria.

Step 3: Plug in your criteria and search for a result

Monterey Comparison Hotel

In this case, you’ve got enough detail to figure out which hotel the deal is for and that it is as good of a deal as you want. But there are also times where you can’t see which one it is and there are a few additional tricks.

Check for a “mandatory hotel fee” and search for it in google.

Mandatory Fee Example

Mandatory Fee Google ExampleStep 4: Check the properties website before booking

The hotel’s actual website does not always have the best deal but sometimes it does. It can also have the same price but lower fees. For our last trip to San Francisco, this was the case and we saved about $10 in fees. It might not a lot but its an extra snack or drink during your trip.

Example 2: San Francisco, CA

Step 1: Search location. In major cities select your top areas.

San Francisco OverviewYou will find more deals in the more populated cities and you might want to search a couple to see what is best. We will go with the deal with the highest percentage saved.

Step 2: Compare the details to the “List View” properties

San Francisco Target Express Deal


Step 3: Plug in your criteria and search for a result

San Francisco Hotel ComparisonIn a city as big as San Francisco it isn’t surprising to not have narrowed it all the way in one search. The deal doesn’t include a “mandatory fee” so it’s time to compare savings. Your educated guess leads you to the Grand Hyatt.

Even when you can’t find the exact property you at the least will end up with a few options to satisfy your curiosity. This has allowed me to feel comfortable purchasing these “blind” deals. So far, these have all been a huge success. I hope these tips can help you book a great stay at a great deal.

Enjoy A Great Place with A Great Deal

Hop right over to Priceline and start searching for your next destination. Priceline Express Deals aren’t always your best deal, but 3 out of 5 trips it is how I book my hotels. Saving money and staying is luxury accommodations.

If you’re looking for ideas, take a look at my City Guides. For hotels, I  find on Priceline Express Deals I always make a note so you know to look for them. Most properties repeatedly use this system so you’ll get to know which ones you can find good deals for.

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About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.