I like to save money as much as the next reader on this blog. That’s why I’m obsessed with points and miles to the extreme, as in a friend has lovingly taken to refer to me as “Flyer Talk Furlong” kind of extreme. But maximizing your travel potential, as we’ve said again and again, isn’t just about playing the points and miles game. It’s also about practical ways to save money, and one of the best ways to do that is through researching “best rate guarantees” when booking hotels. Why? Let me give you a case study.

The other day I was looking for a hotel in Washington D.C. Lightning in the clouds over Washington DC

I found a Starwood property at a rate of $165 a night on the Starwood website, not bad at all. I booked it but as is my custom, I went to check how the rate compares to other sites, and what I found, was the jackpot of best rate guarantees. I searched Trip Advisor and Kayak, and found a rate through a website called Get a Room (wish I was joking but I’m not) for $65. What I did next saved me hundreds of dollars, but also got me a bonus that is very valuable for any savvy traveler.  Continue reading

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