Accommodation costs normally represent a significant portion of your company’s business travel expenses. In this section, we’ll show you how you can cut costs and get some of the best hotel corporate discounts.
Just like other travel service providers, hotels offer their business customers corporate rates and discounts. These discounts normally start at 10%, but by spending a little time comparing different options and negotiating, you can easily get a better deal.
How hotel rates work
Corporate hotel rates are usually negotiated beforehand between the hotel or hotel chain and the company, usually by the organization’s travel manager. Once your company’s preferential rate has been negotiated, you will normally be able to take advantage of it via a company code.
When booking your accommodation through the hotel’s website, you will be able to insert your corporate code into a discount code field when making your reservation. Business travelers may be asked to present a corporate card or ID upon check-in to prove they are eligible for corporate discounts.
These rates may apply the same throughout the year or are sometimes only available when you book your stay on working days, or during off-peak seasons. It all depends on what has been negotiated between your company and the hotel.
In some cases, your employees may also benefit from these discounts and benefits when traveling for personal reasons.
In addition to saving money on your company’s business travel, having good corporate rates also allows you to stay in control of your expenses and adhere to your company’s travel policy. Quite often hotel company rate agreements can include ancillary benefits such as more flexible cancellation policies and loyalty points that can be redeemed for free nights or upgrades.
How to get great corporate rates at hotels
If you’re a large company, the task of finding the best corporate rates for hotels normally falls to your travel manager. This has a clear idea of your company’s travel needs and budget. He knows your buying power and that is where your bargaining power lies.
Here are some other tips for getting better hotel rates:
You may choose to work directly with a travel agency that may have access to the best corporate rates for hotels. Even though their service comes at a cost, you could still end up saving quite a bit of money.
If you have identified a specific hotel or hotel chain that can meet all of your current and future business travel needs, you may choose to consolidate all of your hotel bookings with that partner. This level of exclusivity could get you fantastic rates and perks.
Conclude a contract for a fixed number of overnight stays. You can negotiate a fixed number of nights per year that you will need hotel rooms.
Watch for last minute rates. A hotel generally seeks at all costs to avoid having empty rooms. If you’re willing to take the risk, booking your accommodation very close to your arrival date can be very cheap.
Small Business Hotel Rates
Corporate hotel discounts aren’t just for large corporations. Small businesses or even independent contractors can take advantage of great rates and benefits. Studies have found that small businesses tend to spend around 19.7% more on travel than larger businesses. As a small business, getting better rates could significantly reduce that percentage.
While small businesses may not have the same volumes and, therefore, bargaining power as larger businesses, there are several ways to get great corporate rates at hotels:
1. Use a travel management platform
As mentioned before, travel management agents work with a large network of suppliers, which means they could have access to great rates.
2. Compare different providers
Take the time to research what is available. Select and contact several hotels and hotel chains that meet your needs, compare their prices or the offers they offer you directly. Don’t be afraid to ask them to match their rate to the best deal you’ve received so far.
3. Discounts for extended stays
If you are staying more than 5 nights, you can apply for what is called an extended stay discount. This may not be advertised openly on the hotel’s website, but it is common to ask for such a discount.
4. Whenever possible, opt for non-refundable rates
If cancellation flexibility isn’t vital to you, some hotels may offer deep discounts to guests who pay up front through a non-refundable rate. In some cases, hotels can offer a discount of up to 25% here.
5. Corporate credit cards and loyalty programs
Many credit card providers offer corporate credit cards. Using these cards to pay for your hotel stay can get you discounts on corporate hotels, occasional free nights, or even bonuses like extra meals. Business credit cards usually come at a cost, but can be worth it if used frequently enough.
Alternatively, some hotels have their own loyalty programs that reward repeat business travelers with rewards, discounted rates, and free stays.
6. Use a client’s business code when visiting them
If you are traveling to meet one of your clients, your client may have their own corporate codes or pre-negotiated corporate discounts with a nearby hotel. Check with your client before booking anything and see if you can use their company code if they have one.
7. Negotiate your own corporate hotel rates
You can also choose to stick with it, and negotiate corporate rates for your small business yourself.
We also give you the ability to add your own corporate rates that you’ve negotiated with your favorite hotels directly to your TravelPerk account.
Finally, TravelPerk also offers a VAT reclaim service that makes it much easier for your business to claim your VAT refunds on your hotel expenses, saving you up to 20% on business travel expenses.