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Executive Corporate Travel Tips: Maximize Your Airline Miles

Posted by Steve Johnston on Tue, Mar 19, 2013

Make the Most of Your Rewards Programs

executive corporate travelExecutive corporate travel can be exhausting and stressful, no matter how often you need to go or where you end up. Some airports make traveling easy, while others are like a foreign country right here in the United States. Your hotel choices could be the difference between a heavenly trip or a travel experience that is decidedly the opposite. For all the problems and irritation you run into during your business trips, there are a few things that make your experience better. First of all, you get to see new and different cities sometimes. If you make time to sightsee a little while you’re away for business, you could ease a lot of the stress your business causes. Secondly, you’ve got airline miles. If you’re not making use of those miles or your other rewards programs, you’re really missing out on the biggest business travel perk of all.

Airline Miles

When your company’s travel manager signs you up for reward programs, it’s often to save money on travel wherever possible. However, those miles are in your name, and that means you get to reap the rewards. When it’s time to take a personal trip, take a look at all the miles you’ve racked up over the years and choose somewhere you can visit with your rewards points.

To make the most of your airlines miles, check out the affiliate network, too. Many airlines have partnerships with stores, gas stations, and even restaurants. When you make purchases at these affiliate locations, you can earn even more miles. Your personal purchases work just as well as those you make for business. The same is true with many credit card companies. Your corporate card is probably already tied to the pertinent airline reward programs, but what about your personal credit cards? Are you getting the most out of your bonus points on your own time, too?

Hotel Stays

If your travel manager has signed you up for reward programs with hotel chains, you’re set to start reaping the benefits. If you’ve only been signed up for one or two, take the necessary time to fill out the paperwork for more. It might be a bit of a pain, but there will come a time when you need to stay in one of those hotels for your business trips, and you deserve to get those rewards points.

Again, these points are all in your name, and that often means you can use those free nights for your own personal travel. While you may want nothing more than to stay put in your free time, your family probably feels differently. Wouldn’t it be nice to surprise those special people in your life by taking them on the trip with you next time?

Credit Cards

When you travel, you probably think first of your plane ticket and next of your hotel room. What about your method of payment? Has your company made the best decisions for credit cards for executives? You should have several perks and rewards programs associated with your credit cards. Every time you travel, you’ll use that card, which means you can build up your points much faster than the average credit card user. In many cases, the corporate cards come with even bigger perks because so much more money is spent on them each month.

You should certainly check into the benefits you can receive from your corporate credit card. You may find you have several offers waiting for you already. Make use of the concierge services, entertainment tickets, sporting events, and even more air miles. Get what you can out of your corporate travel when you can.

Getting Permission

In some cases, the companies requiring executive corporate travel haven’t yet considered the many perks that could come from rewards programs. If your company hasn’t considered allowing employees to use those benefits, it’s time to convince them. Make sure your finance department and officers understand how much of your own time is spent on travel so you can present an argument that appeals to the money side of their personalities. Let them know the benefits from rewards programs are excellent perks you could be using rather than asking for additional money in your salary. In most cases, your company will jump right on board with you.

With these policies in place, you can get a lot more enjoyment out of your business travel. Simply keep your eye on your points balances so you can get away and enjoy your air miles and hotel points as often as possible. You deserve the relaxation.

Photo Credit: James Barker/freedigitalphotos.net

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Tags: Ground Transportation, Executive Travel, Corporate Travel