Friday, May 27, 2011

The Right Plastic for Perks

Credit card issuers have been aggressively targeting business travelers because they have higher household incomes, better jobs and better credit ratings. Frequent fliers who use cards issued by their airline’s loyalty program can also earn miles from hotel stays, car rentals and even from things like mortgage payments. The benefits range from earning miles to having access to airport lounges. Have a specific benefit you would like to receive? Choose the card that is right for you! Do you enjoy waiting for your flight in an airport lounge? For this type of access you might get the American Express Platinum or Centurion cards. The annual fees of $375 or more cover entry into the lounges of American Airlines, Delta Airlines and US Airways. You also will receive annual membership in Priority Pass Select which is a program that provides access to 600 lounges worldwide. If you do not like accumulating foreign fees the best cards for you are American Express Platinum and Centurion cards; certain Visa cards issued by Cotinental, British Airways, IHG, Marriott, and Hyatt; Chase’s Sapphire Preferred; and Citi’s ThankYou Premier and ThankYou Prestige cards. Foreign fees could be as much as an additional three percent of the cost of goods and services purchased overseas. Some fees are high while others like Marriott’s are only $30 per year. If you would like to waive fees for checking baggage Continental’s MasterCard as well as Delta’s SkyMiles credit card will allow for one or two complimentary bags per traveler per flight. The American Express Platinum and Centurion cards give a $200 annual credit toward miscellaneous airline fees which can be used towards checking baggage. If you are interested in reducing mileage requirements American Airlines’ Citi card and USAirways’ MasterCard offer discounts on the number of miles required to book an award ticket. If you are interested in earning qualifying miles you might consider the top-tier cards offered by Continental, Delta, United, and US Airways. These cards allow holders to earn elite miles after they spend a certain amount of money. There are many different benefits for the different needs and wants of business travelers. Choose a card that has the right perks for you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Government Meetings

Ensure success in any economic environment.

As funding for government meetings comes and goes, three prominent trends are developing that people should be aware of to assist in executing a successful government meeting.

  1. Blacklisting = Nonexistent. Gone are the days of blacklisting cities as congress passed legislation to allow cities like San Francisco, Las Vegas, Orlando and Atlantic City back in the game for government business.

  2. Second Tier Cities = Flexibility. If you are looking for hotels that are willing to work with you on getting great meeting space and per diem room rates, second-tier cities are the way to go.

  3. Hybrid Meetings = Cost Savings. Government groups have been adding a virtual component to meetings allowing attendees to save on travel costs while still receiving educational credit.

Keeping these trends in mind for your next government meeting will ensure greater success across the board!