Updated July 3, 2013

Infographic: Business Travel Statistics

Business Travel Tips: Travel Perks for You and Your Company

Business travel can be exhausting but the long hours come with their rewards – not only for the traveler, but also for their employer and the U.S. economy.

(Click Image to Enlarge)
Infographics: Business Travel
Infographics: Business Travel © CreditDonkey

How Travelers Benefit

Business travel can pay off for the employee by providing job security. Whether they traveled for educational purposes (which makes them better equipped for the job than a new employee walking off the street) or they were able to score a great deal for their company, their commitment shown through their travels should help them solidify their place in their company.

Travelers whose companies utilize a frequent flyer or travel rewards credit card can also benefit by traveling in comfort.

  • Rewards can be redeemed for upgraded seats, getting the traveler out of the cramped coach seats into roomier business class seats on their flight; business travelers see the benefit in the extra room, with 33% of all rewards redeemed through the United Mileage Plus program in 2003 being Upgrade Awards.

  • Rewards can also be used to upgrade traveler’s hotel rooms, going from basic accommodations to a more luxurious room to lay their head. In fact, 70% of all frequent flyer rewards are used toward hotel stays.

  • And many programs have other perks that don’t cost rewards points, like complimentary access to airline lounges, giving the business traveler a comfortable place they can plug in their laptop while waiting for their next flight.

How Employers Benefit

Business travel often results in extra revenue for a company. Whether it’s through increased productivity thanks to knowledge gained at a conference or the addition of new clients, the investment they may in the travel typically pays off in the end.

If employers are smart with the payment methods used for travel expenses, they can also cut down on future travel expenses, bringing even more to their bottom line.

  • Frequent flyer programs: Many companies choose one airline to frequent. By doing so, they are able to accumulate quite a bit of frequent flyer points that can be used to pay for future flights and even hotel stays.

  • Airline and Hotel rewards credit cards: Nowadays, there are also rewards credit cards that specialize in travel rewards. Even if the employees’ travels keep them on the road instead of in the air, companies can earn rewards for purchases like gas, rental cars and hotel stays. These rewards are more often than not redeemed for future travels but depending upon the program, the business may be able to choose to redeem those points for cash back or even office supplies.

How the Economy Benefits

Rental car, gas, hotel stays, meals, and airfare – the business travel costs can quickly add up. Every travel related expense pumps money into the U.S. economy. It may surprise you to learn that all of the business travel that occurs in the U.S. results in $246 billion in spending. This translates to 2.3 million American jobs.

Negative Impacts of Business Travel

Of course, as with any situation, there are always draw backs. Here are some of the negative returns that business travelers may experience from their late nights, long drives and mad dashes through the busiest of airports:

  • Sleep deprivation affects performance: 23% of business travelers have fallen asleep during a meeting; 18% have said that their presentation went badly; and 14% have missed a meeting or a flight

  • Missing out on family, friends and events

  • Extra expenses resulting in interest charges: Some travel rewards cardholders have used their rewards program as an excuse to increase their spending, reasoning that the extra purchases will help them accrue extra points; but this can lead to the need to rollover balances to the next month and paying interest on their purchases

(Additional Writing by Meghan)

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Follow @CreditDonkey or write to Kelly Teh at kelly@creditdonkey.com
Kelly Teh is a features writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped travelers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

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Comments about Infographic: Business Travel Statistics

  • David Merrill from New York
    on October 19, 2011 10:47 PM said:

    Pretty in-depth analysis of business travel, Kelly.

    I can relate to the negative part of travel, particularly missing family! I was never much of a traveler, and now that I'm an internet marketer, most of my travel is from the kitchen table to my upstairs office.

    Nonetheless, travel for conferences and trainings is essential and it's great to get the "rewards"; and pretty cool to help the economy at the same time, as you point out.

    BTW, Kelly, Theresa Torres sent me to this most informative blog post. I'm glad she did, thank her for me!

  • Wayne@software application development from Minsk
    on October 20, 2011 12:46 AM said:

    With all those pics it was very interesring to read your post. Keep on posting such posts) I'll recommend it to my friends.

  • Kelly Teh
    on October 21, 2011 10:45 AM said:

    David and Wayne,

    I'm glad you enjoyed this infographic. David, I always find travel fun when I make it more of an adventure. For example, I like to go on fun cultural, archaeological types of adventures that are more off the beaten path (of course this is personal travel not business). Of course when you spend less time on stressors like layovers (more direct flights) and less car travel during your trip, it makes it more enjoyable, but more expensive. I guess that's where rewards can help.

    Kelly

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