Business travel is making a comeback. Here’s how the right choice of company card can maximize its success.

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In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically transformed “business as usual” for millions of us. Team meetings became zoom calls, our families became our colleagues, and commutes were reduced to the distance between bedrooms and makeshift home offices. 

While most companies were fast and resourceful in adapting to the new normal, one aspect of our former working lives came to an instant, non-negotiable halt: business trips. With most countries imposing strict travel restrictions, long quarantines, or outright entry bans as part of their efforts to curb the virus, anything deemed “non-essential travel” was quickly dispensed. 

Two and a half years on, global COVID restrictions have eased, and corporate travel is showing every sign of bouncing back. In fact, according to new research conducted by American Express, 42% of UK businesses are looking to increase the amount of business travel they undertake, while more than two-thirds (68%) plan to increase their spending in this area by 50% or more compared to current levels.

This latest shift in the landscape means that business owners and CFOs must reevaluate their company’s financial priorities once again — and for those who are now balancing the books to accommodate renewed travel expenditures, the company credit card they use can make all the difference. 

Capitalizing on travel benefits

For business owners anticipating more frequent work trips for themselves and their employees, the recently relaunched American Express®1 Business Platinum Card offers several exclusive new travel benefits as part of their Membership Rewards®2 Programme — including £200 worth of annual travel credit when you spend at American Express Travel Online, and 10,000 bonus reward points (equivalent to £600 in value) per month when £10,000 or more is spent on the card. 

Reward points can also be earned and quickly accumulated at every stage of a trip: One point for every £1 of eligible spend on your card, doubling to two from October 2022 when you spend more than £10,000 per month (with double points capped at a generous 120,000 per year). These points are then available to be spent however the financial decision-maker sees fit — including on future travel perks.

For many “frequent flyer” businesses, the financial and pragmatic value of this is clear; however, an even more significant benefit for decision-makers to consider is the positive impact the return of successful business trips can have on employee engagement, productivity, and morale. 

According to the recent research conducted by American Express, UK business travel remains a highly sought-after perk — but one that employees have high expectations for. In fact, 71% of respondents say they would leave their role if their employer didn’t prioritize their well-being during business trips. Sixty-two percent of respondents said there is more their employer can do to make trips easy, productive, and fuss-free for their teams, while almost three quarters (74%) agreed that perks such as flying in business class and getting access to lounges enable them to be more productive on their trips.

The renewed potential of corporate travel 

After the last few years of uncertainty, in which an initial mass switch to remote work evolved into the “new normal” of hybrid working arrangements, the networking and team-building opportunities offered by corporate trips may become even more valuable in a post-pandemic world.

With many employees now spending less time together in the office, business trips provide not only a chance to connect with colleagues and clients in person, but an entire experience to look forward to and remember. For business owners, they represent a unique opportunity to make their employees feel valued — so when it comes to travel perks, choosing a reasonable standard of quality can pay dividends. 

For example, access to over 1,400 airport lounges removes much of the usual stress of catching flights, replacing it with a premium experience — and often even turning the travel into a highlight of the trip. Meanwhile, Business Platinum Cardmembers also receive access to benefits at over 600 luxury hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries worldwide. A £400 credit on qualifying charges, as well as a room upgrade if available, is added when the Cardmember books Fine Hotels + Resorts.

Building memorable perks such as these into the employee experience can add long-term value for businesses: Indeed, 87% of decision-makers and 88% of business travelers agreed that business travel builds company culture, while 85% of decision-makers said it leads to higher profit and revenue. Ultimately this means that if the right company card is used to manage spending, accumulate rewards, and utilize benefits, a business trip is a smart investment rather than an extra expense. 

Learn more about the American Express® Business Platinum Card.

This post was created by Insider Studios with American Express.

1 An annual Card fee of £650 will automatically be charged to your Account on or after the anniversary of your Account opening date.

2 LIMITED TIME OFFER: Until 16 November 2022, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points with The American Express® Business Platinum Card when you spend £8,000 in your first three months of Cardmembership. £650 annual fee. Terms apply.

T&Cs: If you are approved and spend £8,000 on purchases on the American Express® Business Platinum Card Account within the first three months of Cardmembership, 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points will be awarded shortly after the end of the three months. Business Gold or Business Platinum Cardmembers who are enrolled or have been enrolled in the Membership Rewards programme in the last 13 months, are not eligible for the bonus. All introductory offers are subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time.

One thought on “Business travel is making a comeback. Here’s how the right choice of company card can maximize its success.

  1. I am very grateful that you enlightened me, and, most importantly, just in time. To think, I’ve been on the Internet for six years, but this is the first I’ve heard of it.

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