PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you're looking for the lowest price on a hotel stay, look no further, we have some surprising advice on how to really save when booking.
Thanks to our friends at Checkbook magazine, we are saving you time and money today.
For the lowest hotel rate, you might search Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz,Travelocity, Agoda, Booking, and Priceline.
"What most consumers don't know is that these sites are owned by one of two companies, Expedia and Booking which used to be called Priceline" said Kevin Brasler from Checkbook Magazine. "It has gotten to the point, they have bought so much of their competition they control 95 percent of the hotel booking business that's done by third parties."
And Checkbook Magazine says that means no matter which sites you search, you'll get a similar result.
Checkbook looked up more than 3,500 hotel rates on 18 different booking sites plus hotel company websites.
"And found that more than 85 percent of the time, the price we were offered from each site - we checked more than 18 sites - was the same price from same to site to site," said Brasler.
But there is a way you can save - by booking so-called mystery deals through Hotwire Hot Rates or Priceline's Express Deals.
"So you don't actually learn which specific property you're booking until you have paid. There is no backing out," warns Brasler.
Seems risky, but Checkbook Magazine says it's not as bad as it may seem because there are so many filters including neighborhood, star ratings, and amenties.
"You really don't have a bad experience booking these mystery rates and the savings are pretty extraordinary. You can save on average 38%," said Brasler.
And Checkbook says two booking sites that aren't yet owned by Expedia or Booking dooffer good deals: goSeek saved 13 percent off prevailing rates and SnapTravel saved about 14 percent.
For more deals from Checkbook Magazine, CLICK HERE.
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