Priceline Rewards Visa: 2% Credit Card?
With the impending demise of the 2% Schwab card, there’s been a lot of scrambling to find a replacement. This post on FW describes a new targeted offer for the Priceline Rewards Visa that presents an intruiging possibility. This version of the card earns 5 points per dollar spent on “Name Your Own Price” Priceline purchases and 2 points per dollar everywhere else with no annual fee, a superior value when compared to the other publicly available Priceline credit cards.
How much are the points worth?
While the card’s FAQ doesn’t do the best job of explaining it, those who have the card say that each point is basically worth a penny’s credit towards a past purchase. Once you have at least 2,500 points (worth $25), you can apply your points as a credit towards a previous purchase. For example, if you had previously made a charge of $40, you could redeem 4,000 points for a $40 statement credit. You can, however, only apply points towards purchases of $25 or more made within the past 30 days. The exception to this are “Name Your Own Price” purchases on Priceline.com, which are eligible for point redemption within the first 90 days of posting to your account.
Another “undocumented feature” of this quirky rewards system is that you get an even better redemption ratio, possibly even up to 1.5 cents per point, when applying your points towards a “Name Your Own Price” Priceline.com transaction. This opacity is even referenced in the terms and conditions: “The amount of Points needed to redeem [for a credit] will vary by transaction.”
In addition to the lack of transparency in the rewards program, there are a few less than ideal aspects to the card to be aware of:
- If you don’t use the card at least once every 6 months or keep a balance, your account may be closed and/or all your points forfeited
- Points expire after 4 years if not used
- Foreign currency transactions incur a 3% fee
This version of the Priceline Visa certainly isn’t as staightforward as the old Schwab card, but for the rate chasers, it offers a potentially viable alternative. There is hassle involved in the redemption process and there is a foreign transaction fee, but at its core it does offer at least a 2% rebate in a Visa product. For those who do use Priceline.com, it offers an even better value proposition.