So I found out yesterday I have a conference to attend in DC in April at the Washington Hilton. Knowing that the Courtyard is only a block away, I looked into reserving my room there. Since I cannot pay more than Federal rate, I always make sure to check that box. When I did, it gave me one option for a room; a double bed at the current Federal rate. I almost said "ok, fine", then I decided to check into current packages. Glad I did. Now I have a larger room, with king bed, including hot breakfast in the bistro, for $30/night less than the fed rate. Sometimes it becomes way too easy to become a creature of habit.....just a reminder to always shop around, even within one's favorite loyalty program.....(and yes, I could have gotten a room at the Hilton, as am also an HH member, but not nearly as loyal to HH, so the points diff/benefit is big).