Go for Opaque
By far the best way to enjoy maximum value in hotel accommodations and rental cars is to buy through one of the opaque agencies, where you either "bid" on a room or car or accept a price "blind" without knowing the hotel or rental company until after you make a nonrefundable purchase. The two biggest opaque agencies are Priceline (bid) and Hotwire (blind price), but several other OTAs now offer opaque options. You can pretty much get what you want by limiting hotel choices by star rating and, in big cities, neighborhoods. The prices can be as much as 50 percent off. Opaque agencies also sell airfare, but prices aren't much better and the loss of flexibility is an important factor.