Common Problems Encountered When Issuing Incentive Travel Certificates

For many companies, issuing incentive travel certificates is a simple yet effective way to motivate their employees. After all, almost everyone appreciates getting a gift card.

However, in some instances, these travel certificates are not as easy to use as other types of gift cards.

For one, the company issuing the travel certificate has to pay a high cost upfront in order to limit restrictions and make it more convenient for the recipient. In some cases, the certificates have restrictions and vague language like "subject to allotment" or "subject to seasonal surcharges" which present hassles to the end user.

Another area where travel certificates can disappoint recipients is in the terms and conditions written by the manufacturers. Simply put, these terms and conditions suggest that the manufacturer is encouraging the end user to avoid using the certificate.

All of these contribute to the frustration of the recipient, which can backfire on your company. In the end, it's the manufacturer that profits while the company that issues these certificates absorbs many of the hassles involved.

Why, then, do companies still use these certificates for their incentive programs?

The appeal of these certificates hinges greatly on the low cost enjoyed by the company issuing these certificates. In most cases, the costs of these certificates are well under the current rates for accommodation and transportation, thus making them enticing. However, the certificate's manufacturers still have to profit, so it is fairly common for these certificates to be valid only for the lowest level of rooms. Plus, they count on the recipients not using the certificates given to them.

Many manufacturers use a breakage model where a substantial number of certificates are not redeemed at all. This offsets the low cost of each certificate, allowing them to profit well.

That is not to say that all travel certificates are essentially useless. If you want to issue these to your employees or even your loyal customers, you have to carefully look at your available options. Ideally, the certificates you choose should not cost the recipients additional costs and should not have vague and unfavorable terms and conditions. Failure to check these can undermine whatever your goals are for issuing these travel certificates. Instead of reaping the benefits of a good incentive program, your use of a travel certificate can make you look bad in the eyes of the recipients, whether they are customers or your key employees.

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  • Evan Polin
    Sandler Training

    "I've been working with Bruce and his team on two projects and they've been great to work with. Bruce has helped us set up a referral/incentive program for us to roll out with our clients and strategic partners. Bruce was great to work with. He's set up a 7 tier program that allows for flexibility and he's also helped us to market the program."

  • Kevin O'Keefe
    Vice President World Wide Sales, Maginatics, Inc.

    "Beverly arranged and managed the early Envivio Sales incentive trips for us. Each of our events was an outstanding and motivating experience Our Sales team appreciated the attention to detail and to fun. Qualifying for the "trip" was a motivating factor behind many end of year sales pushes. I will use Beverly again in the future."

  • Mickey Poorman
    Laird Technologies

    "Peak Performance’s attention to detail and personal service made me feel like I had a true corporate meeting planning partner that I could rely on throughout the planning process right up until I was on site. I look forward to doing more meetings with them."

  • Marco Lopez
    C& J Energy Services, Inc

    "I have used your services two years in a row and you all have made my vacation a great one. You have the most helpful and considerate employees. Always very friendly, respectful and willing to make my travel experience a good one. Thank you and keep up the great job."

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