More Business Travelers Are Willing to Pay for Upgrades Out Of Pocket

Aug 17, 2018
Business traveler carrying suitcase down a terminal

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Business travelers are willing to spend more of their own money on faster Wi-Fi, and airline and hotel upgrades, along with other amenities to make their work trips comfortable. However, most of them don’t pay for upgrades, according to recent survey by Travelport.

While attitudes on business travel are positive overall, travelers have many opportunities to save money on faster Wi-Fi, gaining elite status to secure better hotel rooms or snagging free breakfast at hotels, according to the 2018 U.S. Business Traveler & Travel Policy survey. By holding the right travel credit cards, road warriors can save money on amenities that make life easier.

» Learn More: Five items that make any hotel room feel like home.

What are business travelers spending their money on?

According to the survey, over 85% of businesses reimburse flyers for work-related ancillary items, such as airplane Wi-Fi or checked luggage. On the downside, there are a lot of expenses that flyers cover on their own.

Around half of those surveyed said they pay out of pocket for key upgrades, including airline seats, upgraded hotel rooms, faster hotel Wi-Fi access and better rental cars. But nearly one in five travelers said they don’t pay for upgraded experiences when traveling on business.

Overall, employees are happy with their regular travel schedule. Of those surveyed, 83% said they see business travel as a job perk, while almost 90% said they can keep the airline miles and hotel points they earn.

How can business travelers save money on amenity purchases?

For business travelers who are on the road at least once per quarter, holding the right credit card can make all the difference in saving money on regular expenses. Top-tier credit cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer credits toward airline fees and points that can be used toward future travel.

In addition, The Platinum Card® from American Express also offers higher loyalty status with Marriott Bonvoy properties, Hilton Hotels, National Car Rental and more. Despite the card’s high annual fee, the savings from upgrades and other perks such as a $200 airline incidental fee credit with one carrier may outweigh the upfront costs.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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