About Priceline Rewards Visa Card
The Priceline Rewards Visa is a credit card offered by British bank Barclays. Its cardholders get the unique benefit of earning juiced up rewards when they spend on travel site Priceline.com, as well as earning base bonus points on all other purchases.
It’s possible to classify this card as a travel rewards card but we think it’s more along the lines of a store credit card whose store happens to be a travel website.
That’s an important distinction to make because of reasons that we’ll talk about later in this review. But, for now, we’re going to give you a brief summary of what we’ll cover in the next few minutes:
- Rewards and benefits
- Rates and fees
- Expert and consumer reviews
These sections will pretty much give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not this card is right for you.
We believe that this methodical approach to credit cards is the key to helping you become a wise consumer who can take advantage of offers that most benefit you and help you achieve your financial goals.
A Quick Word About Why We Consider This Card a Hybrid
Earlier we mentioned that we see this card as more of a store credit card and that’s because it’s a one-way card. By that, we mean that you get extra rewards points for using your card on Priceline.com, but there isn’t any travel benefit beyond that.
You don’t get special perks at Priceline.com, nor do you get any loyalty benefits at hotels or airlines like you would with a hotel or airline rewards credit card.
The United MileagePlus Explorer, for example, is an airline rewards card that gives you a pair of complimentary United Club passes each year in addition to priority boarding and free baggage on every flight.
Travel rewards cards, on the other hand, are similar to the Priceline Rewards card because they don’t give you any added benefits besides bonus points, but those points tend to encompass more than just purchases at particular websites.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives you double points on all restaurant and travel purchases.
The Priceline Rewards Visa’s Rewards: 5x and 1x
As we mentioned earlier, this Priceline credit card gives you an added bonus on purchases you make at Priceline.com: 5x points, to be exact.
If you book a $1,000 vacation to Cancún, for example, then you’d earn 5,000 rewards points. The next question is, of course, how much are those 5,000 rewards points worth and how do you cash them in?
Each point you earn is worth $0.01, so 5,000 points have a cash value of $50. Not a bad perk for spending $1,000 on a vacation you were going to take anyway, right?
This 5% rewards rate is similar to other credit cards that give you special bonus rates for using your card to book on their sites.
For example, the Choice Privileges Visa gives you 15 points for every dollar you spend booking through the Choice Hotels website.
The American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass gives you 12 points for every dollar you spend booking through the Hilton site or on Hilton properties.
Which Purchases Count for the 5x Bonus?
We read through the fine print and found that there really are no limits on which Priceline.com purchases get the 5x bonus:
- Name Your Own Price (blind bidding)
- Express Deals (blind buying)
- Pay Now bookings (general travel purchases)
- Trip protection
All other non-Priceline purchases will earn 1 point for every dollar you spend. The only transactions that don’t earn 1 point are various credit card fees, balance transfers and several money-based transactions like traveler’s checks, casino chips, and gambling deposits.
How Do You Redeem Your Points?
Redeeming your points is relatively simple. When you log in to your online Barclays account, you’ll see your rewards balance on the home page of your account.
You can apply this balance to any purchases you’ve made, but there are a couple of restrictions:
- You have to have a rewards balance of at least $25 to redeem them
- The money you redeem has to be applied to purchases on your statement
- Those purchases have to be equal to or more expensive than your rewards balance
So, if you want to redeem $80 in rewards, you have to apply those rewards to a purchase of $80 or less. You can’t apply $80 to a $120 purchase.
This part of the Priceline Rewards card’s points program is a little annoying, as other cards like the Capital One Venture let you apply your rewards balance to any purchase you want; there are no restrictions on purchase amounts.
The takeaway here is straightforward: You can’t use your points to partially cancel out a purchase and you have to have to have at least $25 worth of points to redeem them.
5,000 Rewards Points on Your First Purchase
Whenever you make your first purchase with your Priceline Rewards Visa, Barclays will give you 5,000 free rewards points. These points will be added to your account at the end of the billing cycle following your purchase.
15 Months of 0% Interest on Balance Transfers
The final reward you get is 0% interest on balances you transfer to the Priceline Rewards Visa within 45 days of being approved for the card.
The Priceline Rewards Visa’s Benefits
We define a credit card’s benefits as those features you get that are unrelated to rewards and are part of being a cardholder no matter how much you spend.
Based on the research we’ve done on various credit cards’ benefits, we believe that the Priceline Rewards card has some pretty solid benefits because it’s part of the Visa Signature program.
Cards in this program offer you a variety of purchase and travel protections. For example, the Visa Signature program allows you to be reimbursed is something you bought with your Visa Signature card is stolen or damaged within 90 days of buying it.
Other perks include extended warranties on items you purchase, zero fraud liability is someone uses your card to make unauthorized purchases and complimentary car rental insurance.
Each one of these benefits only applies to purchases you make with your Priceline Rewards Visa and they each have their own limits and restrictions.
The best way to find out exactly which benefits you have and what their limits are is to read the Visa Signature benefits guide you’ll get when you receive your card in the mail.
The Priceline Rewards Visa’s Rates and Fees
This section is an important one because it can cost you a lot of money if you have a tendency to pay your credit card bill late or carry high balances on your card.
When we say, “carry a balance”, what we mean is that you don’t’ usually pay off your entire balance each month and what’s left carries over into the next month, all the while accruing interest.
So, here are the Priceline Rewards card’s rates and fees:
- Purchase and balance transfer APR: 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, depending on your credit scores.
- Cash advance APR: 26.24%
- Annual fee: None
- Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3%, whichever is greater
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $37
The good thing about these fees is that the card has no annual fee or a foreign transaction fee. The downside to the card is that its high-end APR of 25.99% is a little higher than travel cards from Chase.
However, if you’ve got excellent credit scores, there’s a good chance you can snag that 15.99% APR, which is lower than the Chase Sapphire Preferred, an industry-leading travel rewards card.
Expert and Consumer Opinions About the Priceline Rewards Visa
Many of the reviews we read from experts other than HighYa gave this card low scores and bad reviews. We get that; the Priceline Rewards card’s 5,000-point bonus and the 5x bonus on Priceline purchases don’t really stack up well against the competition.
Consumers have relatively positive opinions of the card, saying the rewards stack up pretty fast but expressing disappointment over the lack of big up-front rewards.
As a comparison, the Capital One Venture card offers new customers 40,000 bonus points and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus, at the time of publishing, was offering 60,000 Rapid Rewards miles for new customers.
The Pros of the Priceline Rewards Visa Card
The biggest benefit here is the fact that you get 5x bonuses on Priceline.com purchases and that there aren’t any foreign transaction or annual fees.
The Cons of the Priceline Rewards Visa Card
In a highly competitive travel rewards credit card world, the Priceline Rewards Visa’s 5x rewards on Priceline purchases doesn’t really match up against the heavyweights.
The card’s 5,000-point intro offer is paltry compared to the competition, too.
Who This Card Is Good For
Based on what we’ve seen during our research, we believe this card is best suited for consumers who book frequently through Priceline.
Those who use the Name Your Price and Express Booking features will enjoy it too, because not only are they getting discounted rates on travel, but they’re also getting 5% of their purchase back in cash rewards.
If you don’t mind paying an annual fee and want to explore cards that give you rewards that aren’t limited to one website, check out our article on the best travel rewards credit cards of 2017. We judge five credit cards across 10 important categories.
Reading through the article will help you see what we mean when we say other travel cards offer better rewards than the Priceline Rewards Visa.