It wasn’t that long ago that I was a road-warrior, traveling 75 percent of the work week. In the business travel environment, you’re bound to connect with other road-warriors. Whether it’s over a meal or during a layover, you often find yourself sharing the tricks of the trade. Now that I’m not traveling as much, I don’t find myself discussing packing tips or how to negotiate an upgrade with as much frequency. What I do share with fellow business professionals though, is how to maximize their personal travel benefits while traveling for business.

While there are tricks to boosting personal travel rewards, they often come at the employer’s expense. And some may think, “well, why not?” From the road warrior’s perspective: doesn’t the employer owe them for their time? Doesn’t the employer realize how much revenue their road-warriors create for them? Despite an employer’s investment in a positive corporate culture and benefits to encourage their travelers’ satisfaction, some road-warriors still feel entitled to more. Loyalty points are an easy way to make them feel repaid. Take, for example, direct bookings with hotels. If you book on a hotel chain’s app, a $129/night standard room may be $159/night. While the cost difference is only $30, the reward difference for the business traveler is an extra 5,000 bonus points.

What about airlines? A business traveler may book their ticket on a low-cost carrier where bags are included, and it appears they’re trying to watch the company’s bottom line. But did anyone catch that the ticket was booked at the highest-priced tier for $200 more? The difference for the business traveler is that they’ve just gotten double miles, priority status, and their companion pass in sight. If that same business traveler is on the road every week, buying tickets based on their rewards rather than cost, that $200 extra per ticket, quickly becomes $800/month and $10,400/year. Were a company to have a team of 10 road-warriors with the same buying practices as their perk-seeking colleague, the company could potentially accrue $104,000 in lost costs each year.

As you can see, the balancing act between taking care of the people who take care of your business, while also making sure that their travel expenses don’t come with detriment to the bottom line, can be delicate. While it is certainly understandable for a business traveler to want compensation for their time and energy, the downside is that they often don’t see the repercussions until those costs are added up. The reality is that it’s not just a few extra perks here and there, but can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses for the business.

If you’re trying to figure out how to balance costs and traveler rewards, it may be beneficial to consider a managed travel program. As a corporate travel management agency, we encourage companies to allow their travelers to accrue the loyalty points they deserve at a cost that makes sense, and we show you how. By outlining your travel policy and creating stop gaps, unruly spending can be taken under control and business travelers can still be rewarded. Christopherson Business Travel’s cost-saving solutions and consultative account management helps do just that. Interested in learning more about how to control corporate travel expenses? Contact us to talk to one of our experienced business travel experts.

Kevin Schembri

Kevin Schembri

Kevin has been building corporate partnerships for over 12 years. He is a member of the Rocky Mountain Business Association. When he’s not consulting companies, you can find him enjoying the crisp mountain air in Steamboat, Colorado. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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