Those that regularly travel for business are being encouraged to earn and redeem loyalty points where possible, to ensure their travel budget is extended to its full potential.
Corporate Traveller, New Zealand’s leading travel management company for SMEs, is continually looking for ways to optimise its client’s travel experiences and believes loyalty programs play a key part.
Travel loyalty programs allow corporate travellers to earn and redeem points to optimise their travel expenses and ultimately reduce overall travel costs.
And Angie Forsyth, General Manager of Corporate Traveller New Zealand says because many that travel for business are regularly on the road or in the sky, these points can build up quickly.
“There are a number of benefits to building up loyalty points, including – upgrades, freebies and other perks, as well as greater flexibility in terms of booking options and changes, reducing the stress associated with last-minute business travel alterations.”
But, Forsyth admits, with many suppliers offering individual loyalty programs, it can be difficult to judge which ones give you the most, “bang for your buck,” and how best to leverage them.
To help business travellers decide which loyalty programs to be a part of, Corporate Traveller has come up with a list of the top travel loyalty programs for those travelling for business.
Accor Live Limitless
Accor is one of the world’s leading hospitality groups that operate a wide range of hotel brands and properties both midscale and luxury. Their portfolio includes Sofitel, Pullman, Mercure, Movenpick, Novotel and Ibis.
Its loyalty program works on a points system that can be redeemed for your usual room upgrades and free nights, but also members can use their points for ‘lifestyle experiences’ including concerts, sport events, and fine dining. Perfect for those on bleisure holidays, or who often wine and dine business partners.
IHG® One Rewards
IHG One Rewards is the loyalty program of InterContinental Hotel Group, this benefits frequent guests at their hotel brands including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, InterContinental and Regent.
Accumulated points can be redeemed for free nights as well as airline miles, gift cards and experiences. One notable feature is that the program claims to have no blackout dates, meaning
members should be able to book nights even during peak periods, ideal for those last-minute business trips.
Air NZ Airpoints
If there’s one loyalty program all corporate travellers should belong to its Air New Zealand Airpoints. With our national carrier holding a significant size of the domestic air travel market as well as Trans-
Tasman routes, this program is almost essential for corporate travellers.
As well as earning on Air NZ flights, airpoints members redeem on Star Alliance partners including United Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Air Canada, among others.
The program offers different tier statuses which provide additional benefits such as lounge access (ideal to send off any last-minute emails while grabbing a bite to eat), priority boarding, and extra baggage allowance.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Like Air New Zealand, members of Qantas frequent Flyer earn points for flights with Qantas and other Oneworld alliance airlines – Qatar Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and more. Additionally, you can earn points on credit cards, hotels, and car rentals.
A program certainly worth considering for those who travel trans-Tasman or further afield for work, so you’re not restricted only to Air New Zealand, while still being able to earn and redeem points.
World of Hyatt
Hyatt Hotels Corporation is one of the world’s leading hotel chains, with a diverse portfolio of brands including Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and more. As well as providing the usual benefits of a loyalty program – upgrades and other perks, Hyatt has also implemented sustainability initiatives.
Its loyalty program incorporates these sustainable values into their offerings such as eco-friendly experiences and partnerships, aligning with many businesses’ own sustainability strategies and goals.
Hilton is one of the most iconic brands in hotels and hospitality. Their properties include Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Conrad, DoubleTree and Waldof Astoria. One advantage of Hilton Honors points is that they can be used for rewards not just limited to hotel stays, including merchandise and Amazon purchases. They even allow points to be used for charitable donations, which may fit in well with a business’s social initiatives and responsibilities.
Corporate Traveller has their own loyalty program, SmartSTAY Hotels that gives travellers free extras every time they check in to one of their participating hotel partners.
SmartSTAY has 6,224 hotels in over 120 countries, which means corporate travellers are assured the comfort and quality of the biggest brands in global accommodation.
Extras include free breakfast, WiFi, upgrades, early check-in, late check-out, and bonus loyalty points.
Forsyth concludes that a travel manager can help businesses identify which loyalty programs would be most beneficial for them and their individual needs.
“A travel management company can help you optimise your travel expenses to stretch your travel budget further, plus gain some fun perks along the way to help with that all important work-life balance.”