How to Get Hotel Corporate Rates
Accommodation costs normally eat up a significant chunk of your company’s business travel spending. In this article, we’ll show you how you can cut costs and benefit from some of the best corporate discounts at hotels.
Just like other travel service providers, hotels offer their business clientele corporate rates and discounts. These discounts normally start at 10%, but with a bit of shopping around and negotiating, you can easily get a better deal.
Whether it’s Marriott hotels and the Hilton or something more boutique, it’s in every hotel’s best interest to offer business travellers more attractive rates in exchange for loyalty and a guaranteed high volume of business.
How do corporate hotel rates work?
Hotel corporate rates are pre-negotiated special prices between a hotel and the travel booking manager. This booking manager can be a travel agency, a travel manager for a business, or a booking platform. Once both parties agree to the corporate rate, the business receives a corporate code.
A business’s corporate code will enable any stakeholder from the business to benefit from the special rate when making a company-related hotel booking. Travellers can often input their corporate code into the “discount/coupon code” box upon checkout. It’s not uncommon for hotel receptionists to request company ID from guests claiming this discount when they arrive for check-in.
Corporate hotel rates are either available all year round or for certain times of the year (or even week) when a hotel knows it will have low occupancy rates. These rates can also often be used for personal travel by your team.
When it comes to travel management software, these corporate hotel rates are often already built into the platform. Usually, the software company will have a team dedicated to securing users the best corporate rates possible.
Besides keeping costs low for booking businesses, corporate rate holders often receive luxury perks like late checkouts, complimentary breakfast buffets, room upgrades, or even free spa visits. Corporate rates go beyond keeping costs low, they often mean a smoother and more unique experience for your travellers.
4 Ways to land great corporate rates at hotels
Great corporate rates are often easier to land if you’re a corporate business. The more employees your travel manager regularly has on the go; the more attractive a collaboration with your business will be with large hotel chains. However, if you’re a smaller business, there are still ways you can land great corporate hotel rates—if you’re prepared to put in the effort.
One thing you’ll need to know before you begin trying to haggle great rates for your business is how many travellers you regularly have on the go. Sharing this data with hotels will add to your buying power and help convince them to sign with you.
Here are negotiation tactics to secure great hotel booking rates for your business, no matter its size:
- Partner with a travel agency: business travel agencies have already built relationships with hotel chains across the globe. They’ve done the heavy lifting, so your number of employees often won’t matter for you to grab a great rate with them.
- Sign an exclusivity agreement: an agreement to only book with a certain hotel chain is very appealing to hotels. If you can agree on an exclusivity contract or a first-choice deal, this can often help you secure those rates.
- Sign on a minimum number of nights: you’ll definitely need to know your travel numbers to agree on this one. However, if you can agree to a certain number of nights with a hotel per year, they’re more likely to want to give you discounts on bookings.
- Agree to seasonal-sensitive bookings: no hotels want low-to-no occupancy rates. Some hotels may agree to give you discounts when you book with them out of season. When negotiating, offer this to them, and they’ll likely agree.
- Look out for last-minute rates: The last thing a hotel wants is empty rooms so, if you’re willing to take the risk, booking your accommodation very close to your arrival date could work out very cheap.
Hotel corporate rates for small businesses
Company hotel discounts aren’t just for large companies. Small businesses or even solopreneurs can enjoy great rates and benefits. Studies found that small businesses tend to spend around 19.7% more on their travel than larger businesses. As a small business, obtaining the best available rate could drastically reduce this percentage.
While small businesses might not have the same volumes and, therefore, bargaining power as larger companies, there are a number of ways in which you can some great corporate rates at hotels:
1. Use a travel management platform
TMCs work with a large network of providers which means that they could have access to some great rates. Just keep in mind they provide your company rate and can rarely accommodate personal travel.
2. Shop around
Whether you’re travelling to Nanaimo or New York, take the time to see what’s available out there. Check and speak to multiple hotels and chains that match your needs, and compare their rates or the offers they give you directly. Don’t be afraid to ask them to match the best offer you’ve received so far.
3. Extended stay discounts
If you’re staying for more than five nights, you can ask for what is known as an extended stay discount. This might not be advertised openly on the hotel’s website, but it is common practice to ask for one and is great for those incorporating personal travel at the end of a business trip.
4. When possible, opt for non-refundable rates
If cancellation flexibility isn’t vital for you, some hotels can offer significant discounts for clients who pay up-front through a non-refundable rate. In some cases, hotels could offer a discount of up to 25% here.
5. Corporate credit cards and loyalty programs
Many credit card providers offer a corporate or business card specifically for business trips. Using these cards to pay for your hotel stay can get you company hotel discounts, the occasional free night or even some add-ons like extra meals. Corporate credit cards usually come at a cost but can be worth it if used frequently enough.
Alternatively, some hotels have their own loyalty programs which award return business travellers with rewards, discounted rates and free stays.
6. Use a client’s corporate code when visiting
If you’re travelling to meet with a client of yours, there’s a chance they might have hotel corporate codes or pre-negotiated company hotel discounts with a nearby venue. Check your client’s eligibility for a discount before booking business trips and see if you can use their corporate code if they do.
7. Negotiate your own hotel corporate rates
You can also choose to roll up your sleeves and negotiate corporate rates for your small business if you don’t use a travel agent or tool. Here are some tips to get you started:
- First of all, ask to speak to the manager or the hotel’s booking director.
- Emphasize the benefits of starting a relationship between your company and the hotel. Outline what frequency and volume of business you can offer.
- Watch out for any hidden costs associated with your negotiated rates. Comb through terms and conditions carefully and look out for any additional tariffs or taxes and avoid any unpleasant surprises when your first invoice arrives.
- Finally, maintain an open and friendly line of communication with your contact person at the hotel. A good working relationship means that they’re more likely to go the extra mile for you should you need it.
How TravelPerk can help you get the best hotel corporate rates
Using TravelPerk for your travel management needs means that you get access to exclusive rates, which are hard to beat. We have negotiated some of the most competitive corporate rates on hotel rooms for our customers, including major hotel chains around the world. Consumer booking sites can’t get these rates for you. These are built for businesses!
We also give you the option to add your own corporate rates you have negotiated with your preferred hotels directly to your TravelPerk account.
In all, you’re securing a wider trip itinerary, and better hotel booking rates, while maintaining all of the partnerships you’ve built along the way. It’s a win for everyone. See what TravelPerk can do for your business today.
Get corporate rates on hotels with TravelPerk
One of the benefits of booking your business travel with TravelPerk is that we’re able to negotiate some of the most competitive corporate hotel rates for our customers around the world. In fact, you can choose from over 26,000 special hotel rates when you book with us.