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Benefits of joining a corporate travel program

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    If frequent travel is an important part of your business, you may be interested in joining a corporate travel program. Once exclusively for large corporations, many of these programs are now open to companies of all sizes. If you’re looking for a way to save money or earn benefits from your travel, you may want to learn more about corporate travel programs.

    What is a corporate travel program?

    Corporate travel programs, also called business travel programs, are a way for businesses to make the most of necessary travel. While specifics of these travel programs can differ, they typically see a company partnering with an airline.

    The business then accrues points or miles from booking flights. Those points or miles can be redeemed for future travel expenses and perks like airline tickets, seat upgrades, airport lounge access, priority boarding and more. Additionally, businesses may see savings upfront, as these partnerships may also include discounted airfare based on a business’ travel volume.

    How these programs are set up may depend on the size of your business. A small- or medium-sized business may simply have something akin to a frequent flyer rewards program, while a large corporation may have more comprehensive sales agreements with airlines.

    Benefits of business travel programs

    If you’re looking into corporate travel programs, you may be curious about some of the benefits. Some include:

    • Cost savings: There are a few different ways that being part of a travel program can potentially save a business money. Some of these include corporate discounts or customer protection programs that allow changes to an itinerary without any fees.
    • Improved travel policies: Being part of a travel program may help a company better enforce travel policies, such as which airlines and fare classes employees can book. Additionally, it provides management with a more comprehensive overview of employee travel, which may help spot any patterns.
    • Added convenience: Trying to find the best deal every time you book a trip may get overwhelming. Being part of a travel program can help eliminate the time required to scour for a deal, while also giving you direct access to a helpline.
    • Employee benefits: Some corporate travel programs allow employees to use corporate rates or benefits for personal travel as well. This may be an added perk when it comes to recruiting or retaining employees.

    How to choose a corporate travel program

    If you’re sure you want to join a business travel program but just aren’t sure which is the right one for your business, consider the following:

    • Routes: Which airline offers routes that are most commonly flown by your employees? If your local airport has many more options for one airline over others, that may be a good choice for your business.
    • Alliances: The major U.S. airlines are all in different global alliances. If your work includes overseas travel, you may want to consider which other airlines are a part of these alliance groups as well. Oftentimes travel benefits transfer among alliance partners.
    • Rewards: While there may not be great variation of rewards among airline rewards programs, you may want to give them a close look before choosing one to commit to. You may find some differences are just enough to make one a better choice for your business.
    • Points: If you’re looking to add a perk for your employees, check to see if the business travel rewards program you’re looking at allows both employees and the business to accrue points or miles from a trip.

    In summary

    Enrolling your business in a corporate travel program could potentially have many benefits. In addition to potential upfront cost savings, you can accrue points or miles over time to use toward other perks. Plus, it could make travel more enjoyable for employees too, which may help with recruiting and retention over time.

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