Man

As any business travel expert will tell you, there are many hidden tricks to saving money on business travel spending. And the number one trick many companies overlook is soft dollar airline programs. “Soft what?” You ask. Well, we’re here to tell you. Here’s a brief introduction to this beneficial cost-saving program that often has an immediate impact on travel budgets.

First, what does ‘soft dollar’ mean?

Soft dollars are in-kind benefits provided for real dollar spending. Think of it as cash-back rewards from a credit card - the more you use it, the more cash you get back.

What’s a soft dollar airline program?

Soft dollar airline programs pay you back for your airfare spending with that carrier. You receive points in exchange for spending a certain amount with that airline annually. The points can be used for things like free tickets, class of service upgrades and airline club day passes.

Soft dollars are in-kind benefits provided for real dollar spending.

Is it right for my company?

These soft dollar airline programs are ideal for small to mid-sized companies. Soft dollar programs reward your company for every dollar spent on business travel by employees for all published fares on the main airline and any partner airlines. When working with a travel management company, your company receives advice on how to use soft dollar tickets most effectively before they expire. Some very proactive agents will assist in providing advice on how to use soft dollar points to offset travel costs. These programs allow you to redeem points to avoid expensive plane tickets and get valuable perks like a club day pass or upgrade to make the trip a better overall experience.

What do employees get out of it?

Your employees benefit by participating in the soft dollar airline’s loyalty program. As your company racks up the soft dollars, they keep the miles and move up the status levels faster! Every booking made through the managed travel portal will receive credit. What’s more, with upgrades and lounge perks, they arrive to their business meeting prepared, well-rested, and able to perform their best.

Soft dollar programs are perhaps the easiest and most valuable travel tool you can implement.

How do I get started?

A travel management company can easily enroll your company in a soft-dollar program with any of the major airlines. You’ll provide specific company information like tax ID numbers and identify an administrator who will handle the points. Once enrolled, an agent will ensure all eligible travelers are in the program, and that your bookings are exclusively within the soft dollar airline program.

The benefits of soft dollar airline programs are clear. Your travelers will like stacking up loyalty miles for their personal use, while your company gains value for consolidating your airfare spending. With a travel management company tracking how your airfare budget is spent, you can see just how much money you’ve saved by redeeming soft dollar tickets on the more expensive flights. If you’re looking for immediate cost savings, soft dollar programs are perhaps the easiest and most valuable travel tool you can implement.

Download a PDF of this article