In a recent assessment of online travel-booking sites, offered the best daily hotel rate on initial searches 61 percent of the time, compared to five of the top online travel agencies in North America.
The survey, which was done by Harris Interactive, has been conducted six times since February 2005. In each survey consistently offered the lowest average hotel rates and best initial hotel rates compared to Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, HotelSite and

The most recent study, conducted in January, found hotel sites offered the lowest rate 36 percent of the time, followed by Travelocity, 25 percent; Expedia, 17 percent; and Orbitz, 11.1 percent. The study tracked rates at 36 AAA Two, Three and Four Diamond properties throughout the U.S. and Canada.

"While no hotel or travel company can claim it offers the best rate every time, visitors are six times more likely to find a better rate than Orbitz visitors and four times more likely than Expedia users," said AAA Travel Vice President Sandra Hughes.

Another study indicates that everyday AAA rates matched or surpassed those found in Entertainment-brand coupon books 75 percent of the time, AAA members spend $38 billion annually on lodging, with 87 percent of choices based on location. Other factors affecting decisions include value, 85 percent; room rate, 83 percent; and AAA Diamond rating, 70 percent.