With travel costs increasing annually, travelers need all the help they can get to keep prices down. Saving money on hotels, rental cars and airfare can help the bottom line in both business and personal travel. To get corporate travel discounts, use these steps.
Work for a large corporation. Large corporations negotiate with hotel chains, rental car companies and airlines each year for deep discounts for corporate employees. These discounts can be as much as 40 percent. Check with the corporate travel manager for the best available corporate discounts.
Negotiate the rates. Even small businesses can negotiate with hotel chains and rental car companies for discounts. The hotel chains require a contract for a minimum number of hotel night stays in return for the discount; but some chains will offer a negotiated discount for as few as 100 nights a year.
Be consistent. Consistently staying at the same hotel, using the same car rental firm or flying the same airline can entitle the traveler to frequent user points, which translates into travel discounts. Join the frequent flyer or frequent guest programs and use the program on each trip to get the most benefit.
Get a credit card. Some credit card companies, such as American Express, offer hotel and rental car discounts as well as traveler's insurance when the card is used for travel purposes. Check with the card company for travelers benefits.
Ask for a discount. Most hotel chains have a corporate rate available for the asking. Ask when making a reservation if there is a corporate rate. While the discount won't be the same as the large corporation discount, it may save 10 to 15 percent.
Tips & Warnings
- Always compare rates. A corporate rate at one hotel may be more expensive than the regular, or rack rate, at a comparable hotel.
- Always look for special promotional rates or fares. These fares may be less expensive than a corporate rate. Use the Internet. Many hotels, airlines and rental car companies have Internet specials that are cheaper.
- Take business cards along whenever traveling. They may be required for proof of employment in a business.
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