If you’re a business looking for a reliable and cost-effective way to manage your travel expenses, corporate hotel rates can be beneficial. They offer discounts and hotel loyalty programs to provide the best value.
It’s a great way to save money and simplify travel bookings. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get the most out of your corporate hotel rates.
What Are Corporate Hotel Rates?
A corporate hotel rate is a negotiated rate, also called the CVGR (company volume guaranteed rate), provided to a business, organization, or individual. Hotels offer rates based on volumes guaranteed by companies that have frequent travel and require hotel services.
These rates are usually less than the standard or public rates. Corporates use the rates for their employees, customers, or visitors.
Here are the main elements of a corporate hotel rate.
- Hotel contracts: Hotels and organizations make a formal agreement with each other to establish a corporate rate or CVGR.
- Structure: These corporate rates depend on volume, frequency, billing arrangements, and online booking systems.
- Terms and conditions: The contract comes with tailored terms that can include things like flexible cancellation plans, room upgrades, and complimentary services.
- Types of corporate rates: The corporate rate categories are classified based on volumes with negotiated rates for large accounts, preferential rates for frequent travelers, and consortia rates for travel consortium members.
- Billing: Companies may set up a billing system with the hotel to simplify payments on hotel accommodations. The payment can be through bill-to-company(BTC), a centralized billing system for multiple travelers, or consolidated invoices.
- Travel management platforms: Online booking platforms allow corporate clients to access negotiated rates and manage reservations conveniently.
Strategies to Negotiate the Best Corporate Hotel Rates for Your Company
Negtiating hotel rates and hotel loyalty programs can be an effective way to save money. Here are the steps to negotiate the best corporate hotel rates.
- Research and Identify Your Needs
To get a good hotel deal, understand what your travel expenses will be. Look at your business travel history and how many hotel room nights you plan to use annually.
Determine a list of what your company needs for hotel accommodation, room nights, destination, and any extras like Wi-Fi and breakfast. Consider different types of hotels that include star category classification, hotel chains, stand-alone, and local preferences.
- Prepare a Clear Request for Proposal (RFP)
Write a detailed RFP that covers everything about your company. It should include room nights, contract duration, eligibility, and what you need or want. Also, list the rates you’re looking for, like whether it’s a daily rate, a weekly rate, or a monthly rate. You should also include any extra services or amenities you want, like meeting room access and a complimentary breakfast.
- Contact the Hotels
Get in touch with multiple hotels. You can do this over the phone or by email, and you might even want to meet them face-to-face for a discussion. Make sure to introduce your business, let them know you want to work with them for the long haul, and ask them to participate in your RFP.
- Consider Eligibility Criteria
There are two points to consider when negotiating. Firstly, employees may be eligible for certain category hotels and have a fixed budget per room night based on their employee level. Secondly, hotel managers will check if your company can get corporate rates based on the business volume you guarantee.
To get corporate rates, hotels need an average of 100 nights per year. Major hotel chains need 250 nights per year, and smaller companies can negotiate for 50 nights annually at independent and boutique hotels.
- Review Hotel Offers and Negotiate
Once hotels answer your RFP, look at their proposals, making sure you know what rates, services, and special terms and conditions they’re offering. Compare them to your company’s needs and preferences. Negotiate with the hotels that give the best deals. Be ready to talk about the rates, services, and any extra perks or benefits. Negotiate other terms, like cancellation policies, different room types, and adjusting the number of nights.
- Consider Using a Travel Management Platform
If your business does a lot of bookings with hotels and other travel-related services, you might want to consider using a travel management company(TMC). A TMC has relationships with the hotels and can work with them to get you the best prices and services.
- Extras and Frills
You’ll probably get some resistance from hotel managers because they want to ensure their company’s profits. But if you can meet them halfway, you can work something out that works for both of you. If you don’t think you can get lower rates, ask for frills like complimentary breakfast, cocktail hour, or other extras.
- Leverage Hotel Loyalty Programs
If your business relies heavily on a hotel chain, consider signing up for their loyalty program. These hotel loyalty programs can give you discounts, complimentary nights, and other benefits that can help you save money.
- Review the Terms Before Signing the Contract
Tie up any loose ends by checking out the terms and conditions. If you want a decent cancellation window for your corporate hotel booking, check with the hotel on their cancellation window. It can be anywhere from 12 hours to a couple of days. Negotiate the retention fee, which is a penalty for canceling outside of the window. Ask about the terms and conditions of the retention fee. Use your travel management platform like ITILITE to get the best rates and reduce travel expenses.
Once you work out the deal, put all the talking points in the contract. See that it includes all the terms agreed on, the rates negotiated, and any other details. Ensure everyone involved signs the contract.
Wrapping Up With The Best Corporate Hotel Rates
Negotiating hotel rates can be a hassle, but it can also be a great way to save money and get a better deal with your hotel choice. Be honest and professional when you talk to them, and write down all the details to avoid any confusion.
Help the hotels by giving them feedback on the quality of services, cleanliness, and any issues faced during stays. Maintain a good relationship with them and get the best service.
ITILITE is here to help you get the most value on business travel with the best corporate hotel rates. Our platform collaborates with the top hotels worldwide to ensure you get the best deals and a top-notch travel program.