There are many travel “perks” out there beyond frequent-flyer miles and credit card points. Many hotels, airlines, car rental companies and travel sites offer travel rewards, exclusive benefits and discounts that are only available to businesses. The problem is that many small-business owners don’t even know they exist. A little bit of digging through the travelsphere uncovered a wealth of opportunities for businesses to save money and make traveling easier.
AC Hotels Corporate Program. AC Hotels offers businesses personalized online service, special rates, meeting services, a dedicated account manager, special negotiated rates and often include complimentary extras such as coffee service, lunch and multimedia equipment.
Best Western Business Advantage. Small to medium-sized businesses can take advantage of Best Western’s Business Advantage Program. The program offers a 10 percent discount off the best available rate, elite status in Best Western Rewards (Diamond Elite for the company owner and Gold Elite for all other company employees) and exclusive promotional offers. In addition, the company earns a 10 percent bonus on all points that the company's travelers earn from their stays.
Kimpton Global Business. The Kimpton Global Business program allows small to medium-sized businesses to receive discounted rates (minimum of 10 percent off the best available rate), late checkout, special promotions, as well as many of the exclusive benefits reserved for major companies.
American Airlines Business Extraa. Business Extraa is a free rewards program that allows companies to earn points for business travel on eligible flights. Points can be redeemed for rewards such as cabin seat upgrades for business and first class, round-trip travel tickets in first, business, or economy class, AAdvantage Gold status and Admirals Club membership.
Delta SkyBonus. SkyBonus is a travel rewards program specifically designed for small to mid-sized companies. Companies earn SkyBonus points when employees fly with Delta or any of Delta’s subsidiaries or participating partner airlines. Points can be redeemed for tickets, upgrades, passes, membership in Delta Sky Club and more.
United PerksPlus. PerksPlus is a free rewards program for small and mid-sized enterprises that fly United, United Express, and Lufthansa. Members earn points for business travel, pay no booking fees and are guaranteed the best fare available. Points can be redeemed for travel certificates, United MileagePlus Premier Gold or Silver membership, United clubroom passes and United currency coupons.
Southwest A2B. With the recent Southwest-Air Tran merger, Southwest business customers can now take advantage of the free A2B Corporate Program. Corporate members receive low business fares, fewer fees and restrictions, business class upgrades, first bag fee waived and priority boarding.
Car Rental Rewards
Hertz Business Rewards. Hertz offers a special business travel program to small and mid-sized businesses with no membership fee. The program provides discounts, free rental days, no fee for additional drivers, one-way rentals, customized corporate billing options, OPEN Savings from American Express and special rates for personal travel and free membership in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards for the company’s employees.
Alamo Business Program. Alamo offers a business program that enables businesses to receive special low rates, exclusive discounts for leisure travel, unlimited mileage on round-trip rentals, a dedicated corporate reservation desk, Express Return service, priority counter service, flexible options and 24-hour emergency roadside assistance.
National Car Business Benefits Program. The National Business Benefits program offers special contract rates, fee waived for additional drivers, business account reporting tools, 24-hour roadside assistance, an option for underage drivers, free days, one-way rentals, counter bypass, a personal account representative and a complimentary Emerald Club Membership for employees.
Thrifty SmartBiz Program. Thrifty offers SmartBiz program for small businesses and a similar SmartBusiness program for medium-sized companies. Member companies get guaranteed low rental rates, a generous mileage allowance, multi-month rentals for qualifying accounts, free additional drivers, the ability to earn free days and a free Blue Chip Express Rental Program membership for employees.
Other Company Travel Reward Programs
Orbitz for Business Express. Orbitz now offers businesses discounted rates on air, hotel and car reservations, a customized Orbitz for Business booking site with your company’s name, special offers and programs just for business travelers, e-ticket tracking that shows expiration of unused air tickets, proactive care alerts with important travel information and 24-hour dedicated support.
Travelocity Business. Travelocity offers a full-service corporate travel agency that helps companies manage their travel programs. They have a wide range of solutions including travel management and consulting services to optimize your program, online and agent-assisted travel booking, negotiated company rates and exclusive deals, advanced tracking and reporting of travel expenditures, travel alerts and additional executive services.
As far as the world of travel goes, it pays to be a small business. Lower rates, special discounts and travel rewards help to reduce travel expenses, which is always healthy for the bottom line. Dedicated travel representatives, expedited processing and streamlined billing also save time and hassles. And while the free upgrades and complimentary extras don’t save time or money, they sure make business travel a lot more pleasant.Royale Scuderi is a freelance writer and success coach. She is the founder of Productive Life Concepts and has been featured on top rated blogs such as Stepcase Lifehack and The Huffington Post. You can also find her musings on life and business at GuardWife.com and Twitter.com/RoyaleScuderi.