Poll: Paying for Travel: Corporate vs Personal Card

For almost five years I have paid for all of my travel expenses (except for flights) with a personal Citi card. Each month or so, I would sit down for a few hours and file my expenses. Yes, it was a pain in the neck. But over five years I’ve probably gotten close to a hundred thousand airline miles. A nice perk!

Recently, however, my company changed over to a corporate card. Supposedly doing expenses will be easier, but we’ll still have to file expense reports. But we won’t get any more miles! I understand why the company is doing this, but I’m pretty unhappy about it. Of course, there is nothing I can do about it. Sigh. It made me curious though. How many companies use corporate cards? Is it just the bigger companies, or smaller ones too? My company has about five thousand employees, so we’re not huge. I guess we are large enough, with a large enough amount of required travel, for this to make a difference.

So, Readers: How do you pay for travel? Any words of wisdom you would like to share?

How do you pay for travel expenses?

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  1. they recently just changed our policy to mandatory corporate card usage. they also changed policy so that we have to use the corporate booking engine for everything – and frankly, the american express AXIOM site sucks. i’m definitely not getting the cash back that i would’ve with my own card, AND it’s not providing us any conveniences.

  2. At my company, they have us do everything on personal cards and submit expenses. Sometimes we must use cash for things (taxis in cities not mandating credit cards be taken), so we submit these too. With a corporate card, accounting/finance would have about the same workload, and most people prefer the points / miles.

  3. Some companies I’m aware of actually still provide points to card holders despite the cards being corporate. A member of my family uses a Platinum Amex for all travel related expenses and receives Membership Rewards points for those purchases.

  4. My company has required us to put all expenses on the corporate AmEx for some time, probably forever.

    But I signed up for AmEx Membership Rewards so I do get some benefit out of it.

  5. Our travel policy requires use of company card for lodging, car rental, and airline tickets for all frequent travelers. (>= three trips per year). The downside is less points, the upside is that it is split disbursement directly to the corporate card…

  6. We have a company Amex which we are encouraged to use. However, it is not mandatory and given how its acceptance in the UK is not the best, I put everything on a personal card I can earn miles on. Keeps things simple as fuel for company car is not permitted on the company card for tax reasons so I would need two cards anyway. Good to have the corporate card higher credit limit available as back up though.

  7. small company in the North America, about 5-10k working elsewhere…airfare paid for by the company…hotel and everything else paid using personal card then reimbursed upon return.

  8. Corporate card (no points) for items below $500, and I always seem to misplace my corp card and have to use my personal card for expenses above $500. This way I maximize points while minimizing the number of receipts that have to go in on my non-card expense report.

    Many of my prior companies offered points cards to their ee’s…this created some odd dynamics and mightn’t have been in the best interests of the company.

  9. Corporate Amex is mandated. Last year, I paid for a points membership, knowing that will all my usage, it would pay off. My employer just announced that they are telling AMEX to cancel all rewards memberships, even though the employees paid for it.

  10. I’ve had several corporate Amex cards and the 45 day grace helps so you don’t have to float on your personal funds. If you get behind on expense reports and pay the corporate card out of your own pocket getting the credit back off the account takes an act of congress. AP will never cooperate; resist the urge to pay it off and expense later – this never works out.

    My most recent employer forbid us from buying/joining the Membership Rewards program. I left that chintzy company and this was one of the big reasons. If I am going to be away from my family and home three and four nights a week I am getting my points and miles and there is no discussing it – for me it is a deal-breaker. I need my perks. 😉

  11. Current company (100K+ employees) has a corporate Master Card with everything directly billed/paid for by the company. I still have to file expense reports to reconcile everything, but all the charges show up directly in the expense reporting system so it’s mostly a matter of allocating them out. It’s allegedly mandatory but I know of some infrequent travelers who use their personal cards and get away with it, but I haven’t really tried it as I’m a fairly frequent traveler. We’re nagged if our expenses go out unallocated over 60 days and the threat is cancellation of the corporate card.

    At previous companies I’ve worked with that had corporate Amex cards, the employee was still responsible for paying the bill; if the company got behind in processing expenses (as one company did when they switched from one reporting system to another) the employee had to float the money. That was a bit of a disaster. At those companies, corporate card use wasn’t mandatory so I generally would use a personal card to get the points/miles where I wanted them.

  12. I, too, do not like the “mandatory” use of my corporate AMEX policy at my large company. I was wondering if there is a case law or a precedent where a company couldn’t mandate its employees must use their corporate card??? Since I have to give my SSN for this mandated card it would seem to me that I don’t have to use their card if I didn’t want to. Has anyone heard any legal ruling on this?

  13. We have the option to use our corporate card or our personal. Everyone I work with has tried to get me to use my personal but I gat freaked at this and still can’t make the switch. For now, as I leave tomorrow on another trip, I use my corporate card. Oh and maybe I should note, I actually work for the government so it’s a government card and they can’t force us to use it.

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