The ability to earn loyalty points from hotel stays have always been a sweetener for the business traveller. Road warriors in particular, have focused on accruing and redeeming 'rewards' for personal travel. But as seasoned travellers are discovering, greater rewards come from status.
Status vs points – which offers more?
Hotel loyalty programs have held their place in the corporate travel market for more than 30 years. And while the traditional loyalty points deliver tangible advantages including upgrades and free room nights, earning status is now a key motivator for experienced traveller. Status provides the ultimate, personalised guest experience. It is no longer about earning points. It is about feeling recognised and valued as an elite guest.
Andrew Gallard, General Manager for Flight Centre – Corporate, says it’s the personal recognition that means the most to travellers who achieve status. “The little touches are really appreciated,” he said.
“It’s the upgrade on arrival, access to the club lounge and the familiarity of the return guest welcome which keeps travellers loyal”. Employees are more engaged, and research suggests the more engaged a traveller is, the productive they are while on the road.”
The benefits of status
Benefits for the traveller…
Status takes rewards to the next level. While entry level provides guest benefits such as bonus points, online check-in and late check-out, guests with elite program status are indulging in these and other complimentary perks ranging from room upgrades to additional free room nights, premium Internet access, club floor privileges, and food and beverages.
Benefits for the company…
Status rewards both the traveller and employer in a number of ways:
First, there’s the direct cost savings from value-added services, such as complimentary breakfasts, Internet and meeting spaces etc.
Second, there is the indirect savings gained from improved traveller productivity, as a result of enhanced hotel experience and employer duty of care. Industry research indicates that a corporate traveller who feels more comfortable and appreciated while away on business, is a more satisfied and productive employee.
Gaining higher status and the associated privileges, influences employee choice when booking accommodation. This in turn, assists with control of the overall travel costs through better compliance with company preferred hotels.
How to elevate your status faster
The key to receiving greater benefits sooner is to fast-track your progression from entry to elite level within a hotel loyalty program. By booking all of your accommodation through your travel manager or company online booking tool, you can maximise your bookings with your preferred hotel/s while still enjoying a choice of preferred properties in which to stay.
Remember that the more you book hotels with whom you have membership, the greater the rewards and the faster you can elevate your status.
Hotel loyalty programs do not generally accept discounted bookings made through third party booking websites, therefore status cannot be achieved or sustained.
If your company travel spend is short on hotel volume to achieve elite status, SmartSTAY gives you access to specially negotiated corporate rates with value-added services. With an extensive range of 3 to 5 star preferred properties around the world, the SmartSTAY program offers benefits of status, not available anywhere else.
Valid year round, our program is dedicated to the frequent traveller and provides savings and benefits for the company and the traveller. From free upgrades and wifi, to late check-outs and complimentary valet parking, SmartSTAY gives you ‘added status’ to enjoy your hotel experience.