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Are You Taking Full Advantage of Travel Rewards Programs?

Are You Taking Full Advantage of Travel Rewards Programs?

Let’s face it, in the day to day running of a small business in Canada, traveling to meet with clients, attending tradeshows or checking out media events often comes with the territory. The travel aspect is just something that has to be done if you want your business to grow beyond a certain level. But travel costs can certainly add up quickly, so why not take full advantage of the various rewards programs out there that are aimed at small businesses just like you, as a way to save a bit of that hard earned money. After all, those dollars are better off in your pocket rather than theirs, right?

1) Using Credit Card Rewards
If you’ve picked the right credit card you can be earning incredible travel rewards with everyday business purchases you have to make anyway. Generally these types of high rewards credit cards require you to pay an annual fee, however the savings you will reap in the long run far outweigh the yearly fee. We currently use (and are quite happy with) the TD Infinite Travel Visa, which not only lets us earn points that can be used towards travel miles (3 points for every purchase, and up to 9 points for travel booked through the card) but also provides the added benefits of Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance, Travel and Emergency Travel Assistance, Delayed & Lost Baggage Insurance, Travel Medical Insurance, Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance, and Exclusive Luxury Hotel, Complimentary Concierge and Dining Privileges. Not too bad, and certainly gives us a bit more piece of mind when travelling throughout Canada.

Our card is just one example of the many different cards that are out there. Most ‘travel-based’ rewards cards have similar benefits so it’s best to make sure you do some research and see which one may be the most suitable for your needs before applying.

2) Air Travel Rewards
If you’re a frequent traveller across Canada, chances are you’re no stranger to flying Air Canada. But did you also know that they have a Rewards for Small Business Program?

The free membership includes:

  • One-time 15% flight booking discount
  • Up to 10% discount on Maple Leaf Club memberships
  • One-time complimentary Maple Leaf Lounge access
  • Five (5) prepaid OnBoard CafĂ© vouchers

3) Car Rental Discounts
We’ve all been there. Waiting in line for what seems like ages just to pick up a rental car once your flight has landed and you’ve collected your baggage. All you want to do at that point is get to your hotel and hit the hay. Only now, you’re stuck waiting in line to pick up your rental car. Well, like airlines, car rental companies like Avis & Budget offer rewards programs as well to loyal customers. One of the best things about registering with the Complimentary Avis Preferred® Service is that you can skip the counters, bypass the lineups and go right to the car. Avis also gives you corporate rates (30% off the lowest published rates) and access to members-only discounts. Budget has a similar program with exclusive corporate rates and discounts. Both of these companies’ programs are free to enroll and the best part is that you get to enjoy premium services and extra savings.

4) Hotel Discounts & Rates for Business Travelers
Did you know that almost all major hotel chains across Canada now have loyalty cards that allow guests to earn either points (redeemable for discounts, future stays or other prizes) or airline miles? It’s true. In fact Hilton’s HHonors program allows it’s guests to earn both points AND miles on the same stay. We would recommend finding a hotel chain that you enjoy and sticking with that chain to build points and reap the rewards that come along with being a loyal customer.

These are only a few of the ways to cut down your business’ travel costs throughout the year, but they do work wonders if you’re frequently away from home building up your brand and making connections with future clients, ultimately growing your business.

Have any other tips to save on travel? Let us know!

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