Most of travellers who work for large corporations are used to enjoyed extremely discounted rates at the largest hotel chains around the globe. Discount vary significantly depending the the chain, the specific property, the period of the year and the contract with the corporation. Typically discounted corporate rates go from a 10% discount to a 70% discount. Sometimes having access to the corporate contract at an hotel chain does not only give you access to a highly discounted rate but often to other benefits as well, such as free internet connection, room upgrade, free breakfast, access to the hotel business lounge, or late check-out. Moreover, the other major benefits of corporate rates over other types of promotions have to do with the cancellation policy: typically corporate rates can be cancelled by 6 pm of the check-in date with no penalties (other times there is a longer cancellation notice but it's quite reasonable). On the other hand, if you want to get a decent rate at an hotel and you are not entitled to a corporate rate, you will be left with advance payment rates, typically that do not provide any refund in case of cancellation.
Large corporation are very good at negotiating fantastic corporate rates that typically are chain-wide: this means that any hotel of that specific chain will provide you a certain level of discount, although the level of discount may vary from property to property. Because the discount are deep and based on how many room are sold each year using a specific corporate code, large corporation who have these contracts in place push all their employees, suppliers, contractors and consultants to use those corporate codes. The more rooms are sold on the corporate code, the better discount the travel team of the corporation will be able to negotiate for the following year. Typically corporate rates can also be used by employees for personal trips and vacation (as long the the bills are not expensed or charged to the company) and in some cases family members have access to the same rates.
For hotel chains, providing deep discounts to corporations allow the hotel chain to have higher occupancy rates and to have many people who book rooms directly with the hotel (or using the hotel website) rather than using website such as Expedia, Orbitz or Booking.com that charge to the hotel very high commissions. Corporate rates are not available through most of the booking websites and you are forced to use the hotel website applying to corporate code in the reservation search form. This is not a detail for the hotel, because they push you to their own website and aways from travel websites that charge them commissions from 10% to 25% on every booking made. Therefore, at the end of the day, everybody gets a pretty nice deal: you get a low rate, the corporation get another nigh sold using their corporate code and therefore a nice discount next year, and the hotel saves money because you book directly on their website. Moreover, if it's the corporation itself paying directly or indirectly for your stay, the corporation owning the corporate contract with the hotel chain enjoys the saving as well as your employer, client or supplier.
As a corporate traveller and experienced negotiator of corporate deals, I always suggest to my friends and colleagues to be fully aware of the corporate rates they might have access to as employees, consultants, contractors, customers or suppliers of large corporations. The benefits are great for everybody and people should not be shy at taking advantage of the opportunity.
This blog is about corporate travel and teaches people how to get access to corporate discounts for hotels they might be entitled to but not aware of. I met many employees and clients of large corporations who are entitled to fantastic hotel rates but do not use them because they do not even know that they exist or they do not have access to the corporate codes to access the rates.