As a corporate travel agent, I work every day with frequent flyer awards, hotel loyalty programs and all sorts of programs to award the traveler. But what about me? I am doing all the work. What about a “Frequent Booker” program? With the elimination of airline commissions and the erosion of car and hotel commissions, I found that some companies still decided agents are worth a bit more.
Many vendors now offer incentives to entice agents to their products. All of these programs are designed for travel professionals as a reward for booking their products. While they can (and do) go away at the drop of a hat, below is a list of some of the current promotions that a corporate agent (and sometimes a leisure one) can use on a daily basis.
Avis Club Red — Check or direct deposit paid monthly. Earn $1 for every qualified booking. A qualified booking is a 3+ day completed rental. Bonus for booking a GPS system with rental.
Unlimited Budget — Monthly deposit onto a refillable debit card. Rewards range from .25 to $10. Bonus for booking a GPS system with rental.
Hertz Agent Gold — Accrue points to redeem for merchandise. 10 points for rentals of 3 days or longer.
Alamo & National Cash In Club — Accrue points to redeem for merchandise. 2 points per rental per day.
Dollar & Thrifty Dividends — Monthly deposit onto a refillable debit card. 3-4 days $1, 5-6 days $2, 7+days $5
Radisson Hotels Look to Book — Accrue points to redeem for merchandise. 10 points per US dollar on hotel bookings.
Hilton Hotels Unlimited Budget — Monthly deposit onto a refillable debit card.50 for weekday stay, $1 for weekend stay.
Positive Travel — Gift Certificates for purchase of 2 business class tickets or more.
Fare Buzz — Accrue points to redeem for merchandise. Applicable for consolidator air tickets and hotel bookings.
By continuing your education with specialist courses from either Travel Agent University or Travel Agent Academy, you can find a bunch of incentives. Check individual sites for supplier courses and special graduation bonuses.
The Gershen Lehman Group is a consulting firm whose clients often call to be partnered with an agent, within a specialized field, to discuss trends within the industry. Calls last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. When you enroll with GLG, you decide your hourly rate. After your call, you simply log onto their site and click for payment. Results vary and you may get a few, many, or no calls in a year.
With our current economy, a little extra cash or bonus, goes a long way. Everyone could use a little more now and then. Who doesn’t need gas money with pump prices near or at $4? Who couldn’t use a massage or spa treatment after a particularly stressful day? With the points programs, you can save up for that new iPod or digital camera you have been eying. Or maybe you can get a new toy for the kids, or a free hotel or car rental on your next trip. You’ll be surprised at how fast the points add up and how easy the programs are to use. Get yourself enrolled. Get booking! You’ll be glad you did. If you have any more suggestions, please leave them in a comment below or email me.
Lisa Rapavi is a Corporate Travel Agent for The Leaders Group based in Montvale NJ. She is a home based working from her home in PA. She has been an agent for over 18 years, working in all facets of travel, but focus’ her travel skills in the corporate travel arena. L.Rapavi@tlgtravel.com