- Travel Topics
Are you one of the 73% of Americans that don’t know how many rewards points you have; let alone how your rewards program works? There are attractive incentives to be found with most major credit card companies. As the convenience of a credit card is a natural fit with business and leisure travel, most credit card companies offer appealing travel reward packages specifically designed to entice business customers. These usually take the form of reward points, which come in one of three different forms.
These are points awarded for money charged to the business travel card that can then be used for purchasing airline tickets or other travel expenses, such as hotel stays. The benefit of transferable points is that they are not reckoned on an apples-to-apples basis. This means that points are not equal to cents, allowing customers to purchase tickets even with a relatively low point amount.
Transferable points are often the best way for travelers to maximize the value of their travel rewards. For example, a coach ticket might cost $500, while a first class ticket on the same flight might cost up to $5,000. Using transferable points actually reduces that disparity; a coach ticket might cost 50,000 points, while a first class ticket would be double that number rather than 10 times as much.
Fixed Value Points
While this is the most straightforward option, rewards are usually reckoned on a cent-to-point basis, making it a less efficient way to earn travel rewards. The main perk that comes from using this option is flexibility in choosing any flight when redeeming the reward. Customers will also always know exactly what the reward structure entails. There will be no surprises with a fixed value point system, as rewards always stay the same.
This is basically a partnership between a card company and an airline or hotel chain. Brand points can be used only with that specific company rather than transferred to any brand the customer desires. There are both positive and negative aspects with this option. While card holders lose flexibility, they often gain extra rewards not offered through any other avenue, such as waived travel fees or airport lounge privileges.
While each system has its own particular benefits, savvy business travelers can capitalize on transferable point systems to really get the most bang for their traveler buck. In a fixed point system, 65,000 points will yield $650 toward a ticket, while using transferable points wisely could get a traveler a first class seat worth thousands of dollars on the same flight.
Many cards will offer bonus points simply for signing up; this is a great way to accrue tens of thousands of points very quickly. Using a business credit card wisely will yield thousands more; using the card for routine business expenses and paying the balance each month is the most efficient way to rack up points for the least amount of expense.
It’s fairly simple to make an educated decision about which card to get. Most magazines devoted to economic matters will have side-by-side comparison articles on major credit cards, so that customers can easily explore which option is best for their particular travel needs.