Bloomberg Línea — Despite high airfares and rising hotel costs around the world, this year will see corporate or business travel budgets return to pre-pandemic levels, experts predict.
A Morgan Stanley global survey of 100 corporate travel managers shows that the majority believe their companies will return to investing in business travel for their executives.
Some challenges for the business travel industry are airfares and hotel room rates, which have increased as millions of people reactivate their vacation or business travel plans.
In this regard, products designed for business travelers, specifically mileage or points plans, could also see changes.
“Travel budgets are expected to see a marked improvement in 2022, with 2023 returning to near ‘normal,’” Ravi Shanker, an equity analyst covering North American transportation for Morgan Stanley, said in a report. “What’s most interesting is that nearly half of respondents expect 2023 budgets to increase over 2019 overall. And of those who expect budgets to increase, the majority believe 2023 budgets will be 6% to 10% higher than 2019.”
For now, the business travel industry in Latin America is worth, as of 2022, $43.7 billion, according to consultancy IMARC Group, and could reach $66.7 billion by 2028.
As Morgan Stanley and IMARC analysts point out, business travel around the world tends to incorporate elements of ‘bleisure’, one of the biggest trends in the industry. As such, it will be interesting to see how companies across the travel industry incorporate their products and services into attractive plans and packages that allow business travelers to accrue benefits such as miles or points.
“The emerging trend of ‘bleisure’ travel, which incorporates the elements of business and pleasure, and offers leisure or recreational activities to relieve stress and improve work efficiency, is positively influencing market growth,” says IMARC Group.
Within this panorama, Bloomberg Línea presents its List of the best credit card for travel in Latin America.
How Bloomberg Línea chose the cards
According to Bloomberg Línea’s editorial team, after consulting corporate travel experts on what benefits card issuers should offer their clients through credit cards and services, a sample of the cards that best represent business travel trends in the region was obtained for customers looking to accumulate air miles or earn points that represent opportunities to not only save, but also to procure experiences.
The following factors were taken into account when choosing the cards:
- Reasonable fees for the services and benefits they offer
- Issuers offer ongoing benefits or campaigns rather than one-offs
- Whether the card is accepted by various airlines or travel service providers (hotels, VIP lounges, etc.)
- What they offer matches or improves on offers found on suppliers’ websites
- Whether they offer compensation for services paid for but not received
Bloomberg Línea’s list of the best bank cards for travel in Latin America focuses on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, as well as those cards that take into account the entire continent.
Miles, points, access to VIP lounges and concierge services, the possibility of shorter lines at immigration or security channels... everything adds up to make a card attractive to the user.
Costs and requirements vary from market to market, even for the same card from the same issuing bank, so it is always advisable to read the ‘fine print’ in the terms of contract.