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SuntanD

PRICELINE BIDDING TIPS FOR CANADIANS and NON-US

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By SuntanD,
in

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For all you Canadians out there who may encounter a problem bidding once you reach the address screen, use your city ONLY where requested, use CA (California) for the state and use 99999 for the zip code.

I just made a successful bid tonight using the above-noted and it was accepted with no problems.

Hope this helps!

"D"

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Some Canadian VISA cards (like mine) do not work.

My AMEX works.

I've read that MasterCard works.

I don't think it really matters, but just to be on the up and up, I put my full Canadian address in the Address box (using the second line provided). Then I choose a phony state (California) and zip code (90210).

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From everyone I know, Canadian Master Cards work every time with the special zip code and as Willtravel posted, you actually MUST put your real address into lines 1 and 2 with your real phone number in the profile section. The country and fake zip are your choice ... Seattle, WA 99999 for me.

Canadian VISA cards for the most part all do not work. Even a US dollar CIBC VISA is rejected.

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What about the Canadian credit card with the best exchange rate, both for US dollars and other foreign currencies?

I discovered that my Visa credit card has a nasty foreign exchange habit. If I make a purchase in another foreign currency other than US dollars, Visa converts the foreign currency to US dollars and then converts the US dollars to Canadian dollars and charges a conversion rate fee on the process.

Thus, for a purchase I did on Visa for Ryanair, there appears to be an effective 3% premium over the interbank rate. (You can go to www.oanda.com and select the classic currency converter to get historical conversion rates going back three years.)

American Express says it has a 2.2% premium for foreign exchange conversions. I'll have to go back and look at my Priceline.com bids and see if that worked out properly (that's the only card I can use on Priceline.com).

What about Mastercard?

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I've also now applied for a MBNA Mastercard. I read on an newsgroup that MBNA was best for Americans in terms of premiums on foreign currency transactions, but when I asked the Canadian agent, he said there was a premium of 2.5% on foreign currency transactions.

But at least I'll have the Mastercard to use for bidding opportunities :).

I wrote to TD about their Visa rate, and we'll see what response I get.

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I've gotten nowhere in trying to find out the true story of what Toronto-Dominion Visa charges on foreign currency transactions. I've gotten three separate stories: one from their web site, one from a customer service agent by phone, and one by email from another customer service rep. I'm going to wait on this until my statement arrives in the mail, then follow it up at my local branch and see what they have to say. I think I am in error about the rate being 3% - at least some of the transactions are less than that.

Amex bill arrived today. A Priceline.com transaction for $66.49 USD (my Inn at Queen Anne Stay) which was posted March 24 shows a charge of $100.66 Canadian (I did the bid March 23 my time). The interbank rate at Oanda.com gives me about $99.19 for March 24. So Amex' advertised 2.2% conversion rate seems within the right range in this case.

These amounts are not really a big concern, especially compared with massive Priceline savings. But I want to have a clear account from Visa what they are charging me.

And of course we all still want to get the best deal!

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I have double-checked my Toronto-Dominion VISA charges today against the historic currency exchange rates at http://www.oanda.com.

I had a bunch of different currencies converted to Canadian dollar charges on it as I have purchased stuff on trips to the US and I have bought tickets from Ryanair and hotel rooms from Priceline HK. So the currencies I checked against are: US dollars, British pounds, Hong Kong dollars, and Norwegian kroner. It appears that Visa is pretty close to 2% over the interbank rate. For some reason, the Norwegian kroner rate was the worst (but even so, it was only 25 cents or so over the 2% charge on a $300 charge).

It may be that Visa is the best for Canadians. American Express charges 2.2% over the interbank rate (I don't have nearly as good a sample to check against, though), but so far that appears to be the case, and that's what the customer rep told me. I just got a MBNA Mastercard, and the customer rep told me they charge 2.5% more than the interbank rate. (Last time I checked, though, my Visa did not work on Priceline.com, although AMEX did. I tried an unsuccessful bid on Priceline.com with my Mastercard, so I don't know if I'd get all the way to the end with it or not. But Visa works on Priceline Hong Kong, and AMEX does not work on Priceline Hong Kong.)

If you know a way to get a Canadian credit card with better foreign exchange rates, I'd love to hear it!

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Sorry for asking again but it seems like the last post was a long time ago.

Does this method still work for Canadians like me? :)

I'm trying to make a bid for a hotel in London (using Priceline.co.uk). It allows me to enter my Postal Code along with address, city and province (county) but the country says United Kingdom. How will this affect the billing? Is there a chance that I show up at the hotel and the deal gets turned down because I'm not from the U.K.?

Furthermore, do any of you know what the fees are for the UK version of priceline? And if I pay by Airmiles AMEX, will I pay a conversion fee for buying in pounds?

I appreciate all your help and I'll be sure to let you know if I am successful or not in my bid!

Thanks!

mike

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Priceline UK has worked for me as a Canadian with both Visa and AMEX for various cities.

You will get charged a conversion rate - 2.75% with AMEX I think. (But we also have the cash-back AMEX, so that helps the sting a bit.) You would get charged the same conversion rate if you bid on Priceline US.

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I ran into the same problem as some of the others when using my Canadian VISA card on priceline.com. I was attempting to bid on a 3* hotel in downtown Miami.

I switched over to priceline.co.uk, after using a currency converter to approximate the USD cost in British pounds. Canadian addresses fit nicely into the form (using the county field to hold the province). I'd read on another forum that the telephone number might be a problem, so I followed the advice I saw there and prefixed my number with 020, followed by area code, followed by the first 5 digits of the number, and put the last 2 digits in the extension field. Not sure if this was necessary, but it worked, and my bid of 21 GBP (approx. $40 US) for a 3* hotel in downtown Miami was accepted.

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FYI: Priceline accepted my Canadian, Royal Bank Avion Visa card today when bidding on hotel rooms. My bids weren't accepted, but the card didn't seem to be the problem :)

Liz - Calgary

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Actually you will no doubt find that when your bid finally is about to be accepted, the card is rejected. You will get a message telling you that your card isn't acceptable (or something like that). It's never rejected until Priceline actually tries to charge it.

If you only have a Canadian Visa card, I'd recommend either using the Priceline UK site or the Priceline HK site or the Priceline Singapore site.

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Hi...I am new here and hopefully someone will benefit from this info.

I was always upset the way the CDN credit card companies would calculate exchange rates. One day I was at Target in Bellingham WA and they asked if I would like a Target VISA card. I said no because I was Canadian...they said no problem. 10 Minutes later I had a true US Visa Card that billed to my Canadian address. Now when I purchase something I can decide when to buy the US funds to pay it off. The biggest advantage is I no longer have any problems with PL accepting my card.

The only time it hasn't worked is with US web sites that confirm the billing address is US.

Ken.

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Does anyone have any experience of purchasing on Hotwire with a non US address?

I have only used them once and was unable to complete the transaction despite selecting non us address option. It was rejected several times due to 'address' and 'phone number'

Although I was able to complete the purchase by phone and the operator was helpful he could offer no real solution.

As I intend to use them again in the next week or so does anyone have any suggestions.

Thanks alot

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I had no problem from a Canadian address with Hotwire. What country are you in? What format did you use for the phone number? For the postal code, I squish it all together with no spaces.

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I am in the UK. Think it was the phone number that caused most problems.

I put the country code in and then the area code. But it kept asking me for the 10 digit phone number but ours are only 6. So it kept getting rejected

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Biker,

TOBB = The Other Bidding Board

Priceline uk should be ok with any Mastercard credit card, not sure about debit cards from any issuer. Why not just try it, worst that can happen is it is rejected.

:) Pirate

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Can ur friend use his canadian mastercard to book your room on priceline.co.uk? (I relize you have to have your own credit crad to check in, its just his card has better rates!!)

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Canadian Visa Cards now accepted. I just tried a Visa that previously did not work and it went through.

Good to know - thanks for sharing.

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For Priceline address, I used the suggested format in this forum (1st/2nd lines squeezing all my Cdn address in including the Zip Code" then use "Seattle, Wash, 99999" for the City/State/PostCode. Later I received an electronic $10 Cash back certificate that had the first line "house number, street" , 2nd line ignored , with "Seattle, Wash, 99999" as C/S/Z.

I guess with the address shown like this, I would not get the $10 cheque from the reservationrewards.com that would mail the cheque to the address shown in the certificate.

Any Suggestions?

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:) Even worked with a German Visa and German billing address with random US Zip code on the US website, same thing did NOT work out on the UK site.

Thanks for this advise

Nounou

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