How to Benefit From Corporate Travel Discounts
If not well managed, business travel can eat up significant chunks of an organization’s budget. And while many companies have embraced remote working, being able to send your team members across borders for meetings or conferences is often a necessity. In this guide, you will see how, with the right tools, you can benefit from corporate travel discounts saving your company time, money and more.
Corporate Travel Rates
Firstly, it is important to understand that many travel service providers like hotels, car rental agencies and airlines place a lot of value on developing relationships with businesses. They understand that corporate travel is a big industry and that loyalty pays off.
Corporate rates are special rates that are offered to companies by travel services providers. These rates are either fixed or can be negotiated directly.
Corporate travel discounts come in different forms:
- Corporate hotel rates
- Corporate airfares (think frequent flyer)
- Corporate car rental
- Rideshare corporate accounts
By enrolling your company into corporate travel discount programs you are benefitting from:
- Cost savings – Needless to say, benefitting from corporate rates can save your company quite a bit of money. A good program will also give you the ability to monitor your spending.
- Convenience – Corporate travel discount programs can take a lot of the headaches out of organizing and planning your business travelers’ trips by offering your tools that make booking and monitoring easy.
- Control – Corporate travel programs offer more than just savings. These programs can help you maintain your travel policy as you have more control and transparency over your spending.
- Perks for your employees – Even when travelling for personal reasons, your employees can enjoy some of the same discounted rates and perks.
8 tips on getting corporate travel discounts for small businesses
In the past, only large companies enjoyed the benefits of corporate travel programs as travel service providers focused on organizations with big budgets and spending power. Luckily, this is no longer the case and the options for small companies to enjoy corporate travel discounts are plentiful.
Here are nine ways in which your business can benefit from corporate travel discounts:
1. Do your research
A bit of an obvious one to start with but do allocate the time to compare pricing for anything you need to book. You’ll be surprised at how much prices may vary from one service provider to another.
Not all service providers openly advertise their corporate travel discounts. Don’t be afraid to ask for preferential rates. If you get a no or a higher rate than you were expecting, negotiate!
3. Use Corporate Credit Cards
Also known as business travel credit cards, many banks and credit card providers offer products that favor corporate travel through a number of different perks. By registering for and using a business travel credit card you’re likely to get:
- Cheaper rates when booking flights, hotels, transport and more
- A point-based loyalty scheme for specific services
- Access to VIP or business lounges at airports
- The occasional free hotel stay
One thing to keep in mind is that your credit card provider will likely charge you an annual fee for these cards but you will likely make that money back in savings pretty quickly.
4. Sign up for loyalty schemes and reward programs
If there’s a specific airline, hotel chain or car rental agency you find yourself using frequently, see if they offer any loyalty schemes that you can sign up for. That way, the more you use their services the better the rewards rates and discounts you get.
There are a lot of great benefits associated with loyalty schemes including:
- Discounted upgrades for air travel
- More check-in luggage
- Late hotel room check-outs and extra perks
- Free airport delivery of your rental car
- Added free days to your car rental
Even if you are signed up to loyalty schemes, always shop around before booking. Competitor rates might actually work out cheaper for you at times.
5. Travel on weekdays
Travelling between Monday to Thursday is normally cheaper since fewer people travel for leisure purposes on these days. This means hotels have more rooms to fill up and airlines more seats.
6. Budgeting and expense tracking
Set daily spending budgets for things like food and inner-city travel to help stay on top of your company’s travel costs. There are different expense tracking tools you can use to monitor all of your spendings too.
7. A full Travel Management package
At TravelPerk, we off a comprehensive travel management solution that allows you to plan, book, and manage business trips from start to finish. This means that you can book flights, accommodation, trains, and car rentals all on one platform.
TravelPerk’s travel management software also gives you access to features like travel policies, individual and team invoices, integrations, and expense reporting.
8. VAT Recovery
TravelPerk also offers a VAT recovery service which makes it much easier for your company to claim your VAT refunds on flights, hotels, cars and train rides. This will help you save up to 20% on business travel expenses.