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With so many online travel agencies to choose from, it can be tricky deciding whether to book your next trip through Expedia or Priceline. Both sites offer hotels, flights, rental cars and vacation packages. But which one should you use?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: For most travelers, Expedia is better for booking hotels and flights, while Priceline offers greater discounts on rental cars and opaque bookings.

In this comprehensive comparison guide, we’ll contrast the key differences between Expedia and Priceline in terms of pricing, rewards programs, fees, cancellation policies, customer service and more. By the end, you’ll know which booking site is better suited for your next vacation or business trip.

Pricing and Discounts

When it comes to pricing and discounts, both Expedia and Priceline offer competitive options for travelers. Each platform has its own unique approach to pricing, allowing users to find the best deals and save money on their travel bookings.

Expedia’s Published Prices

Expedia is known for its extensive inventory of flights, hotels, and vacation packages. They offer published prices that are upfront and transparent, allowing users to see the total cost of their travel before making a booking.

Expedia also frequently runs promotions and discounts, offering exclusive deals to their customers. These discounts can range from discounted hotel rates to package deals that include flights and accommodations.

One of the benefits of using Expedia is their Best Price Guarantee. If you find a lower price on another website within 24 hours of booking your flight, hotel, or car rental, Expedia will refund you the difference. This ensures that you’re getting the best possible price for your travel.

vacation packages

Priceline’s Name-Your-Own-Price

Priceline takes a different approach to pricing with their Name-Your-Own-Price feature. This unique bidding system allows users to name the price they want to pay for a hotel room, flight, or rental car. Priceline then matches that price with available inventory from their partners.

While this feature can be a great way to save money, its use has been discontinued by Priceline. After having the feature for around 20 years, it has now been removed from the site.

In addition to the Name-Your-Own-Price feature, Priceline also offers Express Deals. These deals allow users to book a hotel room at a discounted rate without knowing the specific hotel until after the booking is complete. This can be a great option for travelers who are open to staying at different hotels and want to save money on their accommodations.

When comparing the pricing and discounts offered by Expedia and Priceline, it’s important to consider your travel preferences and budget.

Expedia is a good option if you prefer upfront pricing and want the flexibility to compare different options. On the other hand, Priceline’s once-innovative bidding model, Name-Your-Own-Price feature, and Express Deals can be a great way to save money if you’re willing to be flexible with your travel arrangements.

To get the best deals, it’s always a good idea to compare prices on both Expedia and Priceline, as well as other popular travel booking websites. Websites like Kayak and also offer competitive prices and discounts, ensuring that you find the best deal for your travel needs.

Rewards Programs

Points Earned on Expedia

Expedia offers a comprehensive rewards program that allows travelers to earn points on their bookings. Every time you book a hotel, flight, or vacation package through Expedia, you can earn points that can be redeemed for future travel.

The more you book, the more points you earn, which means more savings on your next trip. Additionally, Expedia offers exclusive deals and discounts for members of their rewards program, making it even more enticing to join.

One of the great things about Expedia’s rewards program is that it is free to join. Simply sign up for an account and start earning points right away.

There are no hidden fees or annual fees, making it a hassle-free way to save money on your travel expenses. Plus, Expedia partners with a wide range of airlines and hotels, giving you plenty of options to earn points and enjoy the benefits of the program.

VIP Benefits on Priceline

Priceline also offers a rewards program, known as Priceline VIP. This program is designed to reward loyal customers with exclusive benefits and perks.

When you join Priceline VIP, you gain access to a range of benefits such as free room upgrades, early check-in, and late check-out at select hotels. These VIP benefits can enhance your travel experience and make your trip even more enjoyable.

Unlike Expedia’s points-based rewards program, Priceline VIP focuses more on providing personalized perks and experiences for its members.

For example, as a VIP member, you may receive special offers and discounts tailored to your travel preferences. Priceline also offers a dedicated customer service line for VIP members, ensuring that you receive top-notch assistance when planning and booking your trips.

Comparing the two rewards programs, Expedia’s program is more points-based and focuses on earning and redeeming points for future travel, while Priceline’s program offers VIP benefits and personalized perks. The choice between the two depends on your travel preferences and priorities.

If you frequently book through Expedia and prefer a straightforward points system, their rewards program may be a better fit for you. On the other hand, if you value personalized perks and enjoy the VIP treatment, Priceline’s program may be more appealing.

VIP members

Fees and Cancellation Policies

Expedia’s Flexible Free Cancellations

When it comes to fees and cancellation policies, Expedia offers a great deal of flexibility for travelers.

One of the main advantages of booking through Expedia is their free cancellation option. This means that if your plans change or something unexpected comes up, you can cancel your reservation without incurring any fees.

This is particularly helpful for those who prefer to have the peace of mind of knowing that they can change their travel plans without any financial consequences.

Expedia’s free cancellation policy varies depending on the hotel, airline, or car rental agency you book with. Some providers may offer free cancellation up until a certain date or time before your scheduled arrival, while others may have more lenient policies that allow for last-minute changes.

It’s important to carefully read the terms and conditions of your booking to understand the specific cancellation policy that applies to your reservation.

According to a recent survey conducted by Trustpilot, Expedia has consistently received positive reviews for their flexible cancellation policies, with many customers appreciating the ease and convenience of being able to modify or cancel their bookings without any extra charges.

Priceline’s Stricter Policies

On the other hand, Priceline has a slightly stricter cancellation policy compared to Expedia. While they do offer the option to cancel your reservation, it usually comes with certain fees or restrictions.

The specific cancellation fees and policies may vary depending on the hotel, airline, or car rental agency you book with through Priceline.

It’s important to note that Priceline’s cancellation policies are typically more restrictive for discounted or non-refundable bookings. These types of reservations often have limited or no flexibility, meaning that if you need to cancel or make changes to your plans, you may not be eligible for a refund or may incur additional fees.

According to a comparative analysis conducted by Compare Travel Market, Priceline’s cancellation policies are generally considered to be less flexible compared to Expedia.

However, it’s worth mentioning that Priceline often offers lower prices and exclusive deals, which can be a significant advantage for budget-conscious travelers who are willing to accept stricter cancellation policies in exchange for savings.

Customer Service Reputation

Expedia’s Mixed Reviews

When it comes to customer service reputation, Expedia has received mixed reviews from travelers.

While some customers have had positive experiences with their customer support team, others have reported frustrating encounters. One common complaint is the difficulty in reaching a live representative and long wait times for assistance. Additionally, there have been instances where customers felt that their issues were not adequately resolved or that they were not given satisfactory solutions to their problems.

However, it is important to note that customer service experiences can vary depending on individual circumstances and expectations.

Some travelers have found Expedia’s customer service to be helpful and efficient, particularly when it comes to resolving booking issues or making changes to their travel plans. It is always a good idea to read reviews from multiple sources and consider the overall consensus before making a judgment.

Priceline’s Declining Support

In recent years, Priceline’s customer support has faced criticism for its declining quality. Many customers have reported difficulties in obtaining assistance from Priceline’s customer service team.

Some have mentioned long wait times on the phone and unhelpful responses to their inquiries. There have also been instances where customers felt that Priceline did not take responsibility for mistakes or issues that arose during the booking process.

It is worth noting that Priceline has acknowledged these concerns and has made efforts to improve its customer service. They have implemented new initiatives to reduce wait times and have increased training for their support team. However, it may take some time for these changes to fully address the issues and regain the trust of dissatisfied customers.

When considering the customer service reputation of both Expedia and Priceline, it is important to balance the individual experiences of customers with the overall trends and feedback. It is always advisable to be proactive and do thorough research before making a decision about which platform to use for booking travel.

support team

Travel Options and Extras

Expedia’s Diverse Inventory

When it comes to travel options, Expedia offers a wide range of choices to suit every traveler’s needs.

With access to over 500 airlines, more than 1 million accommodations, and countless car rental companies, Expedia ensures that customers have plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly hotel or a luxurious resort, Expedia has you covered.

Expedia also provides travelers with a variety of extra services and features to enhance their trip. From airport transfers to guided tours and activities, Expedia allows you to customize your travel experience based on your preferences.

Their user-friendly website and mobile app make it easy to book flights, hotels, and activities all in one place, saving you time and effort.

According to a recent survey conducted by Travel Weekly, Expedia is ranked as one of the top online travel agencies in terms of customer satisfaction and ease of use. With their extensive inventory and additional services, it’s no wonder why Expedia remains a popular choice among travelers worldwide.

Priceline’s Opaque Bookings

Priceline takes a unique approach to travel bookings with its opaque bookings.

This allows travelers to bid on hotel rooms, flights, and rental cars without knowing the exact details until after they make a purchase. While this may seem risky to some, it can also lead to significant savings for those who are flexible with their travel plans.

With Priceline’s opaque bookings, travelers can specify their desired price range and preferences, and Priceline will then match them with available options that meet their criteria.

Once the purchase is made, the exact details are revealed, and the booking is non-refundable. While this may not be suitable for everyone, Priceline’s opaque bookings can be a great option for adventurous travelers who are willing to take a chance for a potentially lower price.

It’s important to note that Priceline also offers traditional bookings for those who prefer more transparency when planning their trips.

According to a study conducted by Statista, Priceline had a reported 60% customer satisfaction rate for its opaque bookings in the past year. This indicates that while it may not be the right choice for everyone, many travelers have had positive experiences with Priceline’s unique approach to bookings.


For most travelers, Expedia edges out Priceline when it comes to transparent published prices, flexible cancellations, rewards perks and customer service. However, Priceline still reigns for last-minute deals on rental cars and opaque bookings.

The best booking site depends on the specifics of your trip and preferences. But by understanding the key differences between Expedia and Priceline, you can make an informed decision.

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