How to Get Hotel Corporate Rates
Accommodation costs normally eat up a significant chunk of your company’s business travel spending. In this section, we will 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.
It’s in a hotel’s best interest to offer business travelers more attractive rates in exchange for loyalty and a guaranteed high volume of business.
How hotel corporate rates work
Hotel corporate rates are usually negotiated beforehand between the hotel or hotel chain and the company, usually via the organization’s travel manager. Once your company's special rate has been negotiated, you will normally be able to enjoy the benefits via a corporate code.
When sorting your company hotel booking through the hotel’s website, you will be able to insert your corporate code into a coupon code or discount code box while making your reservation. Upon check-in, business travelers might be asked to show some form of company card or identification to prove that they are eligible for the corporate hotel discounts.
These rates could apply in the same way all year round or could only be available when you book your stay on business days or during off-peak seasons. This all depends on what was negotiated between your company and the hotel.
In some cases, your employees might also be able to enjoy these discounts and benefits when travelling for personal reasons.
Apart from saving money on your company’s corporate travel, having good corporate rates also allows you to keep on top of your spending and in line with your company’s travel policy. Quite often, hotel corporate rate agreements could include auxiliary perks such as more flexible cancellation policies and loyalty points which could be exchanged for free nights or add-ons.
How to land great corporate rates at hotels
If you’re a larger company, the task of finding the best corporate hotel rates normally falls onto your travel manager. They have a clear picture of your business’ travel needs and budget. They know your buying power and this is your number one bargaining chip.
Here are a few other tips on how you can get better rates at hotels:
- You could choose to work directly with a business travel agency who might have access to the best corporate rates at hotels. Even though there might a cost for their services, you could still end up saving quite a bit of money.
- If you’ve identified a specific hotel or hotel chain that is likely to meet all of your present and future business travel needs you can choose to consolidate all of your hotel bookings with them. This level of exclusivity might get you some fantastic rates and benefits.
- Enter a contract for a fixed number of room nights. Again, this requires a very clear understanding of your travel needs. You can negotiate a fixed number of nights a year in which you’ll need hotel rooms.
- 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 rates 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
Like we mentioned already, TMCs work with a large network of providers which means that they could have access to some great rates.
2. Shop around
Take the time to see what’s available out there. Check and speak to multiple hotels and chains that match your needs, compare their rates or the offers that 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 5 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.
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 corporate or business credit cards. 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 travelers with rewards, discounted rates and free stays.
6. Use a client’s corporate code when visiting
If you’re traveling to meet with a client of yours, there’s a chance they might have their own corporate codes or pre-negotiated company hotel discounts with a nearby venue. Check with your client before booking anything 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. Here are some tips to get you started:
- First of all, ask to speak to the manager or the hotel’s booking director.
- Emphasise 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 hotel rates 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.
Finally, TravelPerk also offers a VAT recovery service which makes it much easier for your company to claim your VAT refunds on your hotel spending helping you to save up to 20% on business travel expenses.