One of the perks of business travel is the ability to maximize frequent flyer miles and travel rewards. By choosing the right combination of airlines and credit cards, business travelers can start reaping the rewards.

Forge an alliance

Instead of racking up miles with a range of individual airlines, it is now easier than ever to maximize frequent flyer miles within a network of airlines. The proliferation of alliances between different airlines, such as Star AllianceTM and oneworld®, means that travelers can accrue miles with more airlines than just the one through which they were earned. To make the most of your business travel rewards, choose to travel on one of these networks whenever possible.

If your company’s travel program has one of these networks as a preferred supplier, choosing your go-to network is a simple choice. Otherwise, consider which airlines have a nearby hub or offer a higher number of flights to your most common destinations.

Pick a card—not just any card

With the right credit card supporting your business travel rewards efforts, you can rack up miles and rewards quickly. Responsible use of a travel rewards card for everyday purchases—and as your card of choice for when you’re on the road—can be a great way to rack up rewards.

Purchases on certain cards earn miles for use on specific airlines. This can be a great option for those who have a definite airline or alliance of choice. Many airline-specific cards also offer rewards and perks like double miles for travel purchases, free checked bags, and in-flight discounts.

Other cards offer points that can be exchanged for travel with a range of airlines. While this may lead to redeeming rewards based on convenience rather than a preferred airline, you may earn those flights more quickly on these cards. Additionally, rewards that offer points instead of miles provide added flexibility by allowing you to redeem them for cash back and non-travel rewards.

Lastly, when you choose a card to make the most of your business travel rewards, be sure to hunt for the best introductory offer. Some cards offer low interest rates for an established time period, while others offer a large number of points in exchange for spending a certain amount within the first few months of opening the card.

Adding it all up

Whether it’s just a little extra room to stretch your legs on a long flight or a rejuvenating stop at an airport lounge that you’ve gained access to, there are numerous ways to enjoy business travel rewards. Status and rewards can be leveraged for use on pure leisure travel, or business trips can be extended into what’s been termed “bleisure” travel.

For more information on making the most of business travel—for you and your organization—stay tuned to The Atlas from American Express Global Business Travel.