How to hack Priceline for incredible savings on hotels worldwide


What if you do not travel enough to take advantage of hotel loyalty programs and the savings and benefits that come with them? You shouldn’t feel left out because this simple hack is just as awesome. This method will not get you any special benefits but it can give you huge savings on your hotel stays. Something that no hotel membership can offer. Forget your Trivagos and Expedias. THIS is the real deal.

Express Deals

When you search for a hotel in Priceline, you will see an Express Deals button at the top of the search results. Express Deals are special offers between 5% to 70% off on selected hotels that you can book without knowing the actual name of the hotel. The idea is that you will only know the hotel’s name after booking and making your payment. But what if I tell you that you can find out the name of the hotel in an Express Deal even before booking?

In this article, we will look at hotels in Dubai for a 3-nights stay from 12-15 May 2020. Start by entering the city and dates to see the results page. For this example, let’s change the currency to SGD but you can change it to anything you want.

Do not click on Express Deals.

Let’s also look for a 5-star hotel specifically in the prestigious Palm Jumeirah area in Dubai. As you scroll down a little further, you will see an option to filter the results by the hotel’s neighbourhood and star level.

Click on Palm Jumeirah and 5 Stars.

This narrows down your results to only 18 hotels. As you browse the results, you will see an Express Deal like the image below. Look for the following “clues” and remember them:

  1. “was” price (price before discount)
  2. Hotel’s average customer rating (varies from 1 to 10)
  3. Total number of reviews
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Find out the hotel’s name

With those 3 clues, finding the hotel name is fairly easy. It gets harder when you search for hotels in a dense neighbourhood with a lot more properties. In this example, Fairmont The Palm is the only hotel that matches the clues perfectly. Note that the “was” price, customer rating and total reviews are usually rounded to make things more “fun” for you.

Fairmont The Palm, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

How much savings?

With the Express Deal of $132/night, you will enjoy a lovely 31% discount off the usual price of $191. However, do not take Priceline’s word for it. Fairmont The Palm may not cost $191 in the first place! Searching on confirms the great discount as this same room is going for $192.70/night.

How to book

You may go back to the Express Deal to complete the booking and enjoy the 31% discount. But smart travellers do not stop here. By clicking through Rakuten, you will get 8% cashback on top of the above savings! Remember to close all Priceline windows on your device before clicking through.

If you are new to Rakuten, sign up through this link to get an extra US$10 after your first spending. Cashback earned through Rakuten can be transferred to your PayPal account, which can then be transferred to your local bank account.

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Secret Express Deals

Sometimes, when you scroll down the page of an Express Deal, you will see more Express Deals for that particular neighbourhood. In this case, there are four other “secret” hotels. The one that costs $175/night with a customer rating of 10 caught my eye. As this deal was not listed in the original search result, we are missing 2 important clues to help me identify the hotel, the “was” price and the number of reviews.

If you return to the original results page of hotels Palm Jumeirah, you will see that there is only 1 hotel with a rating of 10. That is Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. Simple calculations will tell you that you will be saving around 26% with this hidden Express Deal. If you have not heard of Waldorf Astoria, it is the top brand of Hilton Honors, much like what Ritz Carlton is to Marriott Bonvoy.

That looks right. But how can you further confirm the hotel name? Click on both listing and look at the room types. The match is near-perfect. I am convinced that this secret Express Deal is for Waldorf Astoria. What a deal!

Without Express Deal
Express Deal

The hotel’s official website shows a nightly rate of $232 for the same dates. This means that paying $175 for the same room gives you an incredible 25% discount before the 8% cashback on Rakuten.

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This hack should be your go-to method to get the very best deal if you are not a top tier member of a hotel loyalty program. You will not find lower prices than these Express Deals. The hotels picked for Express Deals changes all the time. Be sure to browse every few weeks for that upcoming trip and I’m sure you will find something you like. Although the example above is for a 5-star hotel, the percentage discount is more or less the same for cheaper hotels. Go crazy with it. Comment below if you find something awesome!

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