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Save with opaque hotel deals

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Hidden hotel deals -- the kind where you don't find out the name of the hotel until after you pay -- can save you big money every time you travel. And it's getting easier to take advantage of these bargains. I'm Doug Whiteman with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Priceline and Hotwire are probably the best known places to go for what are also called opaque hotel deals. But other sites are getting into the game, including Travelocity, with its Top Secret Hotels, and Expedia, with its recently launched Unpublished Rate Hotels. And, there are more helper sites, such as BetterBidding.com, BiddingTraveler.com and HotwireRevealed.com. Besides offering bidding tips, they also name the hotels that others have landed and how little they paid. That kind of information is valuable, because hidden hotel bookings are generally final. No refunds are allowed.

Yi Chan of BiddingTraveler.com says enough people have blabbed about their hotel bargains that you can get good idea of what hotel you're going to get and the sort of prices that will and won't work.

For more on hidden hotel savings, visit Bankrate.com. I'm Doug Whiteman.

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