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 reward programs are one of the best ways to boost their travel program and maximise their travel budget.
What are business reward programs?
Airline business reward programs provide program rewards and benefits to the business as a whole, based on dollar spend; just like many stores 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 and Virgin Australia’s accelerate, 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!
Your chosen business reward program can also be easily linked to your SMART Corporate Travel account. Allowing you to receive all of the benefits of using the SMART Corporate Travel platform, while also receiving the rewards on offer through your chosen program.
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.
Sign 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.
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. As a SMART Corporate Travel customer, you can join Qantas Business Rewards or Virgin accelerate for free* through the links provided in the ‘Memberships’ tab of your company profile.
Once established, ensure every business travel booking includes your businesses membership along with the individual traveller’s frequent flyer number. When using SMART Corporate Travel, you easily can do this easily by simply linking your reward program membership with your SMART Corporate Travel account; under the memberships tab of your company profile.
Monitor your travel spend with your chosen preferred supplier to ensure you continue to reach the minimum spend per reward tier. 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.
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.
* A one-off join fee of $89.95 usually applies, however, SMART Corporate Travel customers can join Qantas Business Rewards for FREE. Join on the membership page on the platform.
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If you're looking for a smarter way to manage your business travel, register for SMART Corporate Travel today