Right after I get done complaining about my employer, they go and surprise me again. My company was taken over by an even bigger company last year(top 50 in the world) and a lot of employees were worried about benefits being cut and reduced salaries. So far, none of that has happened, it’s been great.
I actually received a small merit raise, which I immediately auto-saved, this year and I’ve been slowly uncovering more and more hidden benefits. Working for a mega-corp has it’s drawbacks but since there are so many employees it gives the company a lot of bargaining power when it comes to benefits.
Finding the Benefits
The toughest part about might be actually finding the damn benefits. One of my co-workers sent me a link to the fringe benefits page otherwise I never would have found it. Since I work for a subdivision of the company, the benefits page is not accessible through my homepage. I have to navigate to the top level company directory site in order to uncover all the national benefits.
There are a lot of useless things like office supplies, not sure why I would need to buy those when there’s a cabinet full of them down the hall(wait, maybe you’re not supposed to take those home?). And then there are a lot of things that are helpful but you might not remember them when you need it. My work offers benefits in the following categories:
- Computers & Electronics
- Cell Phones
- Cultural Events & Museums
- Health & Insurance
- Office Supplies & Promotional
- Residential Products
The benefits I found through my employer were pretty substantial: nice discounts on cell phone service and 10-30% discounts on everything from moving services to electronics. The larger your company is, the more likely you have some benefits like this so ask around and see what your employer offers.
Corporate Travel Status Match Benefits
Since I now have Companion Status on Southwest, I got pretty excited when I saw that my company offered a status match program with United and Delta. Once I read through all the program rules, sure enough Delta would match my SW Companion Status to their Gold Level.
I sent an e-mail from my corporate e-mail address and within a few weeks I had my gold status on Delta. United wouldn’t match my SW Companion Status but they would match my newly earned Delta Gold Status. So I got United to match my Delta status and now I have top level status on two new airlines.
Benefits of Delta Gold Status
- Unlimited Complimentary Upgrade(Discounted Fares) within 3 days of flight
- 100% Mileage Bonus
- Free domestic Delta economy comfort seats
- Waived fees on checked bags
- 4 free drink coupons(my favorite part!)
Benefits of United Gold Status
- Priority Standby, Check-in, baggage handling and boarding
- No checked baggage fee
- Airport Lounge Access
These benefits aren’t amazing but they’re definitely pretty solid for just a few minutes worth of work. Airlines are starting to charge more and more fees so any freebies that you can score will go a long way to offset those fees.
Readers, do you ever use any of your employer’s fringe benefits? Aren’t status match benefits the best? Or is there another benefit I’m not thinking of.
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-Harry @ PF Pro