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Using Gift Cards For Employee Travel Expenses

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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We recently discussed how 63 percent of companies were spending more than $100,000 annually on employee travel expenses. With more and more employers using telecommuting and teleconferencing, the need for business travel has slowed down, but not by much. Employee travel has grown by about 3 percent in recent years, while the average travel budget has stayed the same.

Employee travel expenses can easily get out of hand if they are not closely monitored. Here are some easy ways to use gift cards to help businesses save money on employee travel expenses.

Rewarding Employees Who Travel, Within Budget

Employees can help reduce travel costs by making smart travel choices. Flying during off-peak times, staying at a smaller hotel or motel, and renting a smaller car are a few of the easy ways to save money on travel costs. Since some of these options can be a sacrifice for your employee, one way to reward them is with a gift card. One option: restaurant gift cards. These are a good reward option that allows employees to spend extra time with their families when they return from traveling.

There is also a cool app in production that can help do this for you. Upside, from the founder of Priceline, sells flights and rooms in business packages at low prices. Users can earn up to $150 in gift cards to various merchants, simply by traveling to a different airport or staying at a hotel that is a bit further away. The app is currently in the Beta stage and they are looking for partners and customers to participate.

Use Gift Cards To Save Money

Many brands of gift cards can be purchased in bulk at a generous discount. This is perfect for traveling. Food, gas, and office supplies are some of the essentials that all employees need while traveling. 21 percent of business travel budgets go to food. Provide employees with a $100 restaurant card to use while they are traveling and that $100 could potentially be costing you only $90. Using gift cards can also help you stay within a particular budget by loading the card with only the amount that has been budgeted. Nearly all gift cards can be reloaded and used again and again.

By incentivizing employees, we can get them to care more about saving their company money when it comes to business travel. Showing them you appreciate the effort they are putting in to save costs, can save your company thousands in unnecessary travel expenses.

Here are 10 common tips employers use to reduce employee travel expenses.

Topics: Gift Card Trends, Employee Incentives & Engagement, employee travel, employee travel budget, employee travel expenses, gift cards, using gift cards for expenses, using gift cards to stay in budget

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