Priceline vs. Kayak: Which Travel Site Is Best?

Ready for your next vacation? Same here. And yet, planning for travel can be frustrating and anxiety-inducing. We compare Priceline vs. Kayak to help you decide which travel booking site makes the most sense for you.

Before you assume that all online travel sites are the same, stay tuned. These are two very different sites with completely different approaches.

Which is Better? Priceline vs. Kayak

In considering Priceline vs. Kayak, you will find that Priceline functions similarly to most other online travel agencies. You can bundle and book your travel directly through On the other hand, collects travel data from across the internet and directs you to partner sites with the lowest prices.

We explore the additional features distinguishing Priceline and Kayak from the rest of the pack. Still, for now, it is important to understand this basic difference. is better if you want to find unpublished rates and book all of your travel through the same site. is great as a research tool because it provides feedback on the best days to travel to get the best rates.

You might just find that you get the absolute best deals by researching with and then booking your travel with

In comparing Priceline vs. Kayak, it is important to understand the work differently.

Analyzing Price and Value: Does Priceline or Kayak Win?

In considering whether Priceline or Kayak offer better deals, it’s important to remember their differing value propositions. Kayak will give you information such as the best months, and even days, to travel. Priceline provides unpublished deals and allows you to bundle.

Combine these two forces, and you have the potential to save majorly. Price and Value

While many large online travel agencies offer similar pricing, that pricing and the related options have nuances. In my experience, is often around 5% cheaper than competitor sites. This isn’t always the case, but it is worth noting if you travel often or plan a big trip. might be most famous for its Name Your Own Price tool, but it was retired years ago. The brand still offers the Best Price Guarantee, but the Express Deals function replaces the Name Your Own Price tool in offering big savings.

The Express Deals tool offers savings as high as 60%, but there is a kicker. You don’t see the specific hotel details until after you book. Instead, you receive a general description, like “a 3-star hotel in Midtown.” You can still see the guest ratings and amenities but without the hotel’s name. It’s a great way to save a few bucks.

As with other sites, you will save money when you book some combination of hotel, airfare, and transportation together. When you book all three, you save big.

Just how big? Well, look at their rewards program guidelines to get an idea. Members save 20% on rental cars when adding a rental car to a trip. You will start to see real savings when you receive a discount both on your hotel and your rental car.

And Priceline’s VIP member loyalty program offers some of the biggest potential hotel savings of any loyalty program on the market. Sign up for free, and you will instantly save up to 10% on hotels, but that’s just where it starts to get interesting.

Complete two trips, and you then will access up to 50% at over 15,000 hotels. While that sounds phenomenal, 15,000 hotels across the entire globe actually start to wear thin. Still, if you stick with it, the offerings get better. After five trips, you can access a 50% hotel discount at 30,000 hotels. Platinum is even better.

Priceline Loyalty Rewards
Priceline Loyalty Rewards

Kayak Price and Value is designed to help you see the world while saving money. You don’t need to overpay to explore. Instead, Kayak offers tools to help you find the best dates to travel, the best prices online, and free cancellations. is part of the Booking family, which also includes As such, Kayak can access the same extensive network, which means it offers millions of options and price points.

In the end, Kayak’s pricing aligns with most other online booking sites, but there is one very notable difference. Kayak’s user interface highlights the best dates to travel and other ways to design the trip of your dreams in the most cost-efficient way.

The end result is that users often save significant money, and this is especially true for users that have some flexibility in their preferred travel schedule. We will cover this more extensively in the ‘Services and Features’ section below.

For now, know that is uniquely designed to save you money.

Kayak's color-coded calendar is one reason to prefer its platform when comparing Kayak vs. Priceline.
Kayak’s Color-Coded Calendar

Comparing Services and Features

In many ways, the services and features offered by Priceline and Kayak very much align with their differing business models. The good news for you is that very few features overlap. They are unique, and combining both will provide you with maximum benefit. Services and Features

You likely recall Priceline’s Name Your Own Price commercials, even though the company has long since retired the feature. Still, Priceline still has a few tricks up its sleeves.

As we noted above, Priceline’s Express Deals offer up to 60% off from an unknown hotel at the time of booking. You won’t fly completely blind. Priceline lets you see the reviews for the hotel and assigns a star rating.

Still, some people will want a little more peace of mind before throwing down their credit cards. For those that prefer a little more transparency, Priceline also offers Pricebreaker deals, in which you can still save up to 50% off of your hotel.

Pricebreaker deals differ from Express Deals because you can see three potential hotels. You don’t know which one offers the Pricebreakers price, but you can review all three to be comfortable with any of the options before you book.

Priceline’s Express Deals and Pricebreakers really stand out as differentiators, even against other sites within the Booking family. Even so, you still find other services and features, including the ability to search for cruises and other experiences or to build your bundles from scratch.

Priceline Mobile App Experience

Priceline’s mobile app isn’t as popular in Apple’s app store as some of the competitor apps, but that is largely a function of volume. Priceline’s app is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, which seems to be par for the course for travel apps.

Still, any rating that high is commendable. This is especially true since Priceline is encroaching on a million total ratings.

The app is intuitive but designed around the VIP member (loyalty program) benefits. It is free to sign up, and I recommend doing so if you book travel through This will open up access to many of Priceline’s best features, including the Best Price Guarantee, Add-On Deals (suggested bundled savings), and Insider Coupons.

Priceline App Images Services and Features

Do you have a bucket list of places to travel to and the flexibility to go when it makes the most sense? Kayak recently released the perfect tool to help. Utilizing its ‘Best Time To Travel’ tool, start by entering your end destination. will then recommend the best time to travel and help you find flights.

Then, as you search for the best dates to travel, color codes the calendar so that you can see which days in your selected month are the most affordable. Likewise, the calendar clearly warns which days to avoid.

And if you need a vacation package, Kayak offers tools to help you custom-build a vacation. Do you want to stay in a 5-star hotel, or will you accept something less luxurious? Do you prefer for your breakfast to be included with your hotel stay? Or do you want to stay somewhere with a casino on-site or for adults only? Kayak will help you tailor design the perfect package around these preferences.

I love’s approach because they position you in the driver’s seat to develop a travel plan that makes the most sense for you. Too many other competitors use algorithms to show you what the system thinks you want to see. Kayak’s design eliminates the bias of many of these assumptions.

Instead, Kayak provides driver assistance to help you navigate to the right end destination.

Kayak's platform will provide suggestions on the best time to visit a preferred destination.
Kayak Trip Suggestions Mobile App Experience’s mobile app has a few unique features that offer convenience and a little fun. In addition to more standard features, including price alerts and flight tracking, the app also has a tool to help you measure your bags. Follow the instructions to scan the bag, and the app will calculate if it is small enough to use as a carry-on.

The app also has a few games embedded, which are kind of fun to play while you wait at your gate. For instance, the first such game involves someone running through the airport and jumping over luggage to make their flight on time. Admittedly, I found myself playing over and over again to try to improve my score.

Still, the app isn’t as popular as the mainstream booking apps, such as those from and Expedia. com. Even so, the Kayak app is still rated at 4.8 stars out of 5, with more than 350,000 reviews.

In comparing Kayak vs. Priceline, one unique feature is Kayak's in-app games.
Kayak’s In-app Game

Considering Customer Service

Most online travel sites struggle with poor customer reviews. This is, at least in part, because online travel services direct customers to third parties (think Delta and Hilton). When customers have poor experiences, it is hard to determine where the fault lies.

Even so, comparing Priceline vs. Kayak, you will find that both sites have ratings that are much higher than the industry averages. Three stars might not seem that high until you recognize that most competitors are in the one-star range.

I recommend considering both the high app store ratings and the Trustpilot ratings. Somewhere in the middle is likely the truth.

Priceline Customer Service

Over 90,000 people have reviewed through Trustpilot, resulting in an overall rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. If this were a restaurant, you might turn away and find an alternative. Still, in the world of travel sites, this is stellar.

This is an interesting contrast to a site like, which the same parent company owns. Despite similar resources and underlying technology, is ahead, at least on the Trustpilot platform.

While many of the features between and are different, there is one commonality. also offers premium customer service to members in its highest two loyalty program levels.

Make of that what you will.

The Grand Canyon is a top travel destination in the United States.
Grand Canyon – A Top Travel Destination

Kayak Customer Service fares better than most of its competitors with its Trustpilot scores. That may be in part because there are only a few thousand reviews. Even so, where several competitors score 1 out of 5 stars, customers rate at more than 3 out of 5 stars.

Interestingly, while Kayak previously offered a loyalty rewards program, I can’t find the program if it still exists. That’s odd, given I was actively looking for it. So, maybe customers truly are looking for more than discounted rates many competitors provide through their loyalty programs.

Another point worth emphasizing is that Kayak often refers you to partner sites rather than allowing you to book travel through their site. So when you see a flight from American Airlines that you like, you might be redirected to

And if you find a hotel that you like, you might be redirected to Priceline or Booking. You might think that is strange until you realize that Booking Holdings owns Kayak, Booking, and Priceline.

Perhaps Kayak’s customer service fares better because the brand more or less redirects travel arrangements and customer management to partner sites. That then begs the question: Why use Kayak at all? Well, the unique tools to help you pick the most affordable travel that meets your needs are still the gold standard.

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Visit Old Lighthouse in Maine

Diving Deeper in Comparing Kayak vs. Priceline

It is interesting to compare Kayak vs. Priceline because Booking Holdings own both. These are very different sites but are driven by the same mission to provide the ultimate travel booking experience.

More About was founded in 1997, which makes it one of the oldest players in online travel. The original idea was simple: Match customers online to empty airline seats and unused hotel rooms. It seems obvious now, but back in 1997, an online marketplace for travel seemed a little crazy.

So where did the name Priceline come from? Well, in those early conversations between Priceline and the airlines, there was a “price line” that the airlines didn’t want to sell below. The original concept to allow customers to “Name Your Own Price” would enable customers to bid privately and for airlines to accept bids privately.

The result was that airlines didn’t need to publish different prices in different places. The Name Your Own Price option is gone, but is still strong. In fact, Priceline says that they save customers a billion dollars every year.

Today, Priceline is part of the Booking Holdings family, alongside great brands like and Even so, Priceline stands tall as the leader of discount travel platforms.

More About

In an era when most online travel sites look the same and offer mostly the same information and prices, works differently. Most sites funnel you towards booking travel through their site. Instead, Kayak searches hundreds of travel sites to find the best prices and deals across the entirety of the internet.

The Kayak family includes brands like SWOODOO, checkfelix, momondo, and Cheapflights. In 2013, Booking Holdings (which owns and acquired the Kayak family.

Still, compare Kayak fills a very unique niche. Compare Booking vs. Priceline, and you will realize just how different Kayak really is.

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Disney Castle – A Top Family Destination

Priceline vs. Kayak: Which Should You Choose?

You’ve decided to book some travel. That’s great! You deserve a break from the daily grind. Now you need to decide how to book your travel. And that’s why we’ve compared Priceline vs. Kayak in great detail.

The Pros and Cons: Kayak vs. Priceline

The big benefit to using Priceline is that they offer Express Deals, Pricebreakers, and other features, all designed to save money. These deals are often unpublished because the hotel, airline, or other partner doesn’t want to advertise the rates. Priceline started with the Name Your Price tool and today uses these new tools to access great rates.

On the downside, doesn’t provide some advanced planning features like This is fine if you’ve already set aside a specific timeframe to travel, but less ideal if you have some flexibility and want to save money.

You can’t book all of your travel through, and that is the website’s biggest downside. You must set up multiple profiles and manage your travel on multiple platforms. Even so, Kayak fills an important role in the market.

Kayak gives you valuable information, such as the best months to visit your preferred destinations and which days offer the lowest airfare.

Is Priceline or Kayak Better?

So should you use Priceline or Kayak? I recommend that you do your initial research with Once you’ve chosen the best dates to travel, then book your travel through Using this strategy, you get the best of both worlds!

Regardless of which platform you use, I hope you enjoy your next journey.

Jeremiah moved to the Charlotte area with his wife, Erin, back in 2013. The family has grown over the years, and they now call the Carolinas home. They enjoy hiking and adventures, road trips, backyard fire pits, and pizza night. Jeremiah loves to explore, and looks forward to sharing tips, tricks, and resources for your next trip.