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Not everyone can aspire to be a Bingham. However, if you are a frequent flyer, you can still make the most of your trip and tally up rewards and miles, with some smart planning.
Here are a few ideas on how to accumulate those miles and make your business travel work for you.
9 Tips to Maximize Your Business Travel
- Sign up for the airline’s frequent flyer program
All airlines have a frequent flyer programs in place . Signing up for these programs does not require much time and is also cost-effective. This initial effort can get you the miles that you can transfer, for instance, to a hotel rewards program . For example, Vistara has ‘Club Vistara’ that rewards its frequent flyers depending on the money spent, rather than the miles one flies.
- Use a rewards-earning credit card for everything on your trip
Make sure that the card you use pays back with something that you want, such as airline miles, hotel points, and loyalty points.
- Consider loyalty
Being loyal to one airline is rewarding as you get to accrue miles and redeem them for rewards. Instead of spreading your travel bookings across airlines, pick your preferred one. For instance, if you use Delta SkyMiles for your personal trips, you should then use Delta for your business travel too!
- Sign up for a dining program
Many airlines offer a dining program. Register your credit card for one of these. During your travels, you may end up in a miles-or-points earning restaurant. Voila, you suddenly have some magical airline miles in your frequent flyer account.
- Charge meals and drinks to your room
Food charged to your room is usually categorized as a travel expense. Whereas if you dine at a restaurant, the charges on your credit card are categorized as dining. Now, imagine that you are staying at Taj, and you are a member of the Taj InnerCircle loyalty program.
- Make group travel bookings with your account
Compare hotel groups and airlines. Check to see what they are offering to win your business. Marriott’s Rewarding Events program, for example, rewards the planner with bonus points.
- Pay for business travel and get reimbursed
You could pay for your business travel and get reimbursed later if your company policy allows it. Use your credit card to gain miles and rewards.
- Stack rewards wherever you can
Look for credit card offers on flight bookings when purchasing your travel tickets.Additionally, sign up on a travel booking site that has reward points. When done right, you stand to gain points from the booking site, your credit card, and the airlines.
- Be on the lookout for big promotions
Periodically, air miles programs will offer big promotions with their retail partners. These promotions are usually valid for a while. Shopping during this period can get you a lump sum reward of miles - usually 100 miles or more.
How to Utilize Your Airlines Miles
Now that you have earned boatloads of miles from your business travel, credit card offers on flight bookings and big promotions, how are you going to spend them? You can use your air miles for your flight bookings, to upgrade to premium seating, and much more. Air Miles generally don’t expire if you use your account for purchasing tickets occasionally. Some airlines provide the option of using air miles for buying travel-related goodies from their own website.
Another option would be to bid for a unique experience. Airlines and hotel loyalty programs curate experience programs; one can only purchase through their miles or points. To illustrate, a gentleman bought two tickets to a Los Angeles Lakers’ game in a private suite, utilizing 10,000 bonus points. A memorable experience for anyone!
You could also donate your miles to charity. It would be great to feel you have made a difference, and your bank account remains unaffected .
Sit back, accumulate miles and redeem them to book bonus travel for your family or score great hotel upgrades. Earn more rewards and travel in style anywhere, anytime.
The American Express® Platinum Travel Card would be the perfect card for all your business travel needs. It is accepted worldwide and has a partnership with a host of airlines, hotels, restaurants, and retailers. Etihad Airways and Emirates are just two of the many airlines affiliated with Amex for enhanced rewards-miles exchange points. As a frequent traveller, you will be able to collect travel points resourcefully.