Hotwire and Priceline have become the first stops for millions of vacationers and business travelers planning a trip. The two widely used travel booking sites have a lot in common, including how much they claim they can save you. But they also have some key differences. These similarities and differences can help you choose which site is the best for you, the next time you make travel plans.
The older of the two sites, Priceline (NASDAQ: PCLN) was established in 1997, making it something of a venerable institution by Internet standards. It is probably best known for its Name Your Own Price feature and second-best known for its goofy TV ads with the actor and Star Trek icon William Shatner.
Priceline or Hotwire Which Is Better?
Independent rating services give both travel site close grades but differ as to which one belongs on top. Here’s how they have stacked up lately.
J.D. Power’s 2014 Online Travel Agency Satisfaction Report gave Hotwire 795 points and Priceline 792 points, out of a possible 850. Both were judged “Better Than Most.” The highest scorer was Travelocity, with 804 points.
Reviews.com’s 2015 travel website ratings gave Priceline five stars and Hotwire four stars, out of a possible five.
However, in 2018, Top Ten Reviews gave Priceline 6.60 points and Hotwire 7.13 points, out of a possible 10, placing them fifth and seventh, respectively, in the Hotel Booking Services category. In this case, the highest scorer was Hotels.com, which is also part of Expedia Group.
The Bottom Line
Hotwire and Priceline offer similar services and are judged by outside reviewers to provide comparable levels of quality. In order to choose which is best for your needs, you might have to try them both and see which one offers you the best deal for your money. That’s likely to be a matter of personal preference, including whether you’re much of a William Shatner fan.