Small business programs can help companies without negotiating clout get something from travel suppliers in return for their business. But like anything else, they're vulnerable to fraud if no one is minding the store.

That's the situation at shipbuilder Austal. A defense contractor with a U.S. base of operations in Mobile, Ala., the company last year sued one of its travel coordinators for using Delta SkyBonus points for $56,000 in personal travel. Like many airlines, Delta rewards points to enrolled organizations when they buy tickets. Those points are redeemable for future travel. It's a frequent . . .

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