How I saved $200 AND got 2 week free car rental!

How I used AAVacations.com for a free car rental!

Recently I began the process of price shopping for an upcoming trip to Europe for some kayak racing.  Typically I can find flights from my home airport to most places in Europe for around $1200-1600 USD depending on the dates.  During my travels I have to rent a car as public transport is quite challenging with a 12 foot kayak to lug about.  Barcelona typically has some of the cheapest per day rental cars in Europe and luckily BCN was my destination for this trip.

After the initial salvo of searches I found a few flights on my preferred airline (American) and others (United and Delta) all at the $1450 range which I was happy with as I had little flexibility on the dates or timing of the trip.  Before I finalized my booking I made a quick stop at AAvacations.com to see if I could save some extra money on my rental car by combining them.

Using the exact same dates on the exact same flights I was able to find my same itinerary on American Airlines which included a rental car from Avis for $1240!  Not only did I save over $200 I also got a free car rental!  I wanted to see if this was something specific to my dates and city pairs so I tried a few other searches and was able to find more flights combos that get a free car rental.

These all have the following dates: April 14-May 1
BOI-BCN
AAVactations – $1288.94 with car
AA.com flight only – $1420
Kayak.com rental car – $128 with GoldCar (which requires $1000 deposit to rent without additional insurance payments)

SFO-MXP

AAVacations – $1174.30 with car
AA.com flight only – $646
Kayak.com rental car – $231

ATL-LHR

AAVacations – $1087 with car
Google Flights – $810 on both AA and Delta
Kayak.com Rental Car – $408 with Europcar

Washington DC-FRA

AAVacations – $1256 with car
Google Flights – $1448 (there were cheaper flights but on discount carriers (WOW and Iceland Air) which I can’t fly because of my oversized luggage.
Kayak.com Rental Car – $444 with Thrifty (which requires you to purchase additional insurance)
On the average it seems save money depending on where you fly, it only takes a few minutes, and you can save quite a bit of money and get a free car rental!
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