Why Business Travel Rewards Will Ultimately Save Your Company Money

By Jessica Larkin

If you think about it, business travel spend can often feel like an employee vs. the business scenario. CEOs and finance teams ideally would like to see business travelers spend company money as if it were their own, whereas employees may spend more extravagantly since they will be reimbursed for their expenses on the road.

However, when it comes to business travel, airline and hotel loyalty programs aren’t the only rewards options available. Today, many organizations have found success implementing rewards through managed travel. And believe it or not, the company still saves money.

Skeptical? By incentivizing employees to spend company money as if it is coming out of their own personal bank account, business travelers actually are more cost conscious. Some of the ways they can save money include dining at less expensive restaurants, staying at Airbnbs, and booking cheaper airfare.

Data-Driven Rewards

So how does it work? From the initial planning phase of a business trip, our proprietary algorithm pulls together real-time market pricing and calculates a budget based on your company’s travel policy. It even pulls in employee profile data and then provides a trip budget for them to expense against.

With TravelBank, you can customize the rewards program you implement by designating the percentage of savings split. We typically suggest dividing the dollars saved right down the middle. For instance, if the calculated hotel budget is $300 and the employee only spends $200, $100 is saved. The employee is rewarded 50% of the savings, or $50, for making a cost-conscious decision and the company saves $50. The business traveler can then redeem their split of the savings on a variety of gift cards.

How TravelBank rewards are calculated

Everyone Loves Rewards

A travel management company can play a huge role in employee satisfaction and contributes to attracting and retaining top talent. Further, rewards through managed travel give organizations a way to encourage accountability with an employee-first tool that remunerates responsible spending.

However, employees aren’t the only stakeholder group that appreciates the benefits of managed travel rewards. Even finance teams and CEOs love the impact of travel rewards programs that encourage employees to spend company money as if it were their own.

But don’t just take our word for it. As noted by DoorDash’s Finance Controller, “Instead of staying at a $300 hotel, our employees spend $180 on Airbnb and get 50% of the savings. As a finance person, there’s usually a trade you’re making on the cost side. With TravelBank, you’re benefiting the employees and the company at the same time.”

Further driving the benefits of rewards home, JumpCut highlights, “Out of 26 bookings made in the app, we realized a total savings of $3,276.27, after the cost of rewards. The average savings per booking was $126.01, with an average percentage of 16.14%.”

It’s a Carrot, Not a Stick Approach

Business travel is stressful. It keeps employees away from their families, regular routines, and the comforts of home. By incentivizing employees to spend company money more wisely and offering them a percentage of the money saved, everyone wins. Employees reap the rewards of smart business decisions and the business appreciates the money saved.

Now, even with a rewards program in place, employees are still able to spend the budget allocated for the trip however they see fit. If they prefer a nicer hotel? No problem. Saving money and booking an Airbnb or staying with a friend? That’s fine too. Essentially, their spending decisions dictate the rewards value they receive–if any. We have found that more often than not, employees will choose to receive points toward gift cards over splurging on business travel expenses that are avoidable.

Finance leaders are happy to see travel expenses decrease–even after the rewards. Ultimately, and as we’ve stated previously, “Driving a culture of savings with a carrot, not a stick, approach will keep both your employees and the finance team happy. Using a rewards program will give your employees a better business travel experience, while aligning your teams when it comes to using your business travel investment wisely.”

To summarize, with a travel rewards program, employees race against their budget and earn redeemable points for smart decisions. And even with the money spent on rewards, your company still saves money on business travel spend. Ultimately, everyone wins.

The TravelBank team is here to make things faster and easier, to save you money and time, to reward your team for making good choices. What’s even better is that our solution can be implemented quickly and is frictionless. Ready to learn more about how TravelBank can help you reward employees for better business decisions? Let’s schedule a time to chat.

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