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We know travel is often one of the largest expenses for a business. While many larger enterprises can benefit from negotiated supplier arrangements with custom discounts, small to medium businesses often find it harder to reach the level of spend required to negotiate such deals. For those organisations, airline business rewards programs are one of the best ways to boost their travel program and maximise their travel budget.
What are business reward programs?
Airline business rewards programs provide program rewards and benefits to the business as a whole, based on dollar spend; just like many store and credit card rewards programs do for shoppers. The more a business spends with the airline supplier, the more points or credits it can receive and exchange for use on the purchase of flights or additional luxuries such as upgrades and lounge passes.
Travel business rewards programs such as Qantas Business Rewards, Virgin Australia’s accelerate and Air New Zealand’s AirpointsTM for Business, offer businesses a range of benefits that can provide an immediate impact on travel spend and budget; from tiered discounts on fares based on annual spend to travel credits and business points, that can then be allocated to individual travellers – to name a few.
So how can you make sure your business is maximising your business rewards?
You could be just five simple steps away from ensuring your business rewards programs are driving greater savings to your bottom line!
Research your businesses travel trends and establish an internal travel policy of preferred carriers in your market(s) aligned with your most commonly used suppliers and the business reward program that will offer your company the best return. Encourage your travellers to adopt these as the preferred supplier/s when booking travel. A Travel Management Company (TMC) partner, such as CTM, can help you establish a strategy to align your company with the right carrier/s and show you how to maximise their reward program and your accrued points.
Sign up, or ask your TMC to sign you up, to the business reward programs from your chosen preferred airline/s. Qantas Business Rewards and Virgin Australia’s accelerate business rewards programs are available to all Australian-based businesses and Air New Zealand’s AirpointsTM for Business is open to all New Zealand-based businesses.
These programs are free to join* and do not affect your travellers’ individual frequent flyer benefits, in fact, their business flights will earn points for the organisation as well as themselves on their personal loyalty program on business trips.
Once established, ensure every business travel booking includes your businesses membership along with the individual traveller’s frequent flyer number. Monitor your travel spend with your chosen preferred supplier to ensure you continue to reach the minimum spend per reward tier, and speak to a TMC about how you can optimise your travel spend to receive the maximum level of discount and rewards available to you. It’s also important to monitor your rewards accrual on a monthly or quarterly basis to ensure all rewards are being fully utilised and no rewards are lost due to expiration.
Business reward programs allow companies to accrue points or credits based on annual spend that can be redeemed for domestic or international airline tickets, seat upgrades, airline lounge memberships and more. Redeem these rewards according to an established policy to reduce the expense on your most costly trips, incentivise your road warriors, and improve the traveller experience for executives and guest travellers.
A stand-out benefit of these programs is the ability to reward your travellers, helping them to arrive prepared, well-rested, and productive. A TMC partner, like CTM, can assist in advising the best use of your accrued points and travel credits and may also be able to assist you in booking rewards flights and upgrades using your accrued rewards.**
Communicate the value your business reward program brings back to the company to encourage adoption and compliance. Remind your travellers, and your executive leadership, of the rewards earned and redeemed and the bottom-line savings to the company. Communicating available upgrades and lounge membership rewards can also assist in helping to reduce traveller friction.
For small to medium businesses, when utilised well, business rewards programs can make a measurable contribution to increasing your overall travel program value and optimising your travel budget, while increasing compliance and driving down day-to-day costs.
For larger enterprises, CTM’s strategic account management teams can assess your travel trends and expenditure to determine the benefits of a preferred airline program (where loyalty is rewarded) against a ‘best rate of the day’ agreement. Find out more about cost saving through a negotiated supplier agreement here.
Contact us today to find out how you could maximize your business rewards return!
* A one-off join fee of $89.95 usually applies, however, CTM customers can join Qantas Business Rewards for FREE. Contact CTM today to find out how.
**Fees may apply
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