Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.
By: John Tunningley
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking after reading the title of this article.
“This isn’t for me. I never travel for work.”
Maybe you’re thinking, “my business provides a credit card and I can’t use my own.”
While one of these statements may be true at the present time, they likely might not always be true for you. Personally, I think if you get the opportunity to travel for work, you should go for it.
Today, I want to tell my own story about how work travel has helped to change my life and how it can help you earn points and miles for your next vacation.
Finding the Right Job
First and foremost you have to find a job that you enjoy doing and that may have some opportunities for travel. One of my go-to interview questions is always how much travel will be involved.
Often, employers will worry you don’t want to travel which is completely understandable in many circumstances. I have been fortunate over the years to have incredibly supportive family and friends.
When considering a new job, always be sure to ask about travel requirements
I have a dog that my parents or girlfriend watch while I travel for work but don’t have any children to worry about which has made my work travel easier on me. I travel almost every other week in my current position and when I asked how much travel would be involved in my interview, I was pretty much told however much I wanted.
I don’t think they expected me to want to travel every week.
By day I work as an architect and have traveled around the country surveying stores for new locations and have loved every minute of it. While not everyone has this opportunity, if it does arise and you can navigate it with your other commitments, I strongly suggest giving it a try.
Most companies allow some degree of flexibility and many will help you to find the right mix of travel and time at home. While finding the right job for traveling is difficult it can easily be done in the early stages of interviewing and I’ve found being open and honest is the best practice.
It won’t work in every industry but if you can find the job that allows you to find your right mix of time on the road and at home it can change your life.
Using Work Travel to Pay for Personal Travel
If you’ve perused 10xTravel at all, you already know that our secret to travel is earning points—credit cards make this easy. Work travel allows you to rack up a ton of points for no money out of pocket. Simply put all of your travel expenses on your credit card and, when your company reimburses you, pay off your credit card bills.
Work travel provides a great opportunity to earn a ton of credit card points
In the past year, I’ve earned over 25,000 points (not including signup bonuses) charging my travel and meal expenses to my Chase Sapphire Reserve card—I used these Ultimate Rewards points to book a ticket to Europe this fall on Iberia.
This has helped boost my points balances and allowed me to add an extra trip to my calendar this year.
How To Navigate Work Credit Cards And Bookings
Some companies offer you a company credit card for travel expenses. Sometimes, this is non-negotiable but, when given the application for the work card at my current job, I simply asked if it was required. I was told it wasn’t a requirement and from there I noticed asking questions was in my best interest.
It started with my first work trip. We have a wonderful lady in the office who is in charge of booking all the trips and has just about everyone’s rewards account numbers that she manages—which I appreciate—but, after she booked my first flight, I knew I was missing out on a bunch of points.
I was able to put the hotels and meals on my card but not much else and I knew I wanted more. I asked if I could put the charges for the flight on my card and was told that company policy was for her to book all the flights using the company card.
Flash forward to a few weeks later and I casually mentioned to my boss that I wish I could just book all my travel on my own and to my surprise he told me I could. Because our office doesn’t use a third party service there are limited discounts we are able to get and he told me if I want to book my own flights he didn’t care.
Lucky for me, he is the one who has to approve all of my expense reports so every trip since I’ve booked my own flights and sometimes his as well and raked in the points.
If you are considering looking for a job with some travel, go ahead and take the leap. Mention that you’re willing to travel to your boss or during an interview and see where it can take you.
Never underestimate the points that work travel can earn you and make sure you’re putting every expense that you can on your personal card. Since the Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns 3X points on travel and dining, it is my go-to card.
(Chase Sapphire Reserve: Learn more)
If you want to earn a ton of Amex Membership Rewards points, The Platinum Card from American Express is a great option thanks to its 5X earnings on airfare purchased directly with airlines.
Remember, don’t be afraid to ask. If your company offers you a company credit card, see if you can decline. Ask what expenses can and can’t be put on your personal card and make sure you save your receipts for reimbursements. Put as many of those expenses as you can on your personal card and watch as your miles start to pile up.
Don’t forget to file your expense reports right away. There’s no point earning these points if you won’t be able to pay you credit card bill on time!
Lastly, enjoy those extra points and miles. Use them to book that trip of your dreams that you’ve been waiting to take!