‘Four in ten’ business travellers use company cards for personal purchases

A new survey reveals that four in ten business travellers admit to using corporate cards for personal charges despite company policies forbidding the practice.

The research commissioned by Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) shows 46 per cent of American and European business travellers said they had used their company to card to buy something for their personal lives, while 38 per cent of those in Asia Pacific did the same.

This comes despite 63 per cent of Americans, 58 per cent of Europeans and 69 per cent of APAC travellers saying their company has a policy against the use of corporate cards for personal purchases.

Even more worrying is the fact that 85 per cent of both European and American travellers reported the policy is enforced, while 87 per cent of those in APAC said the same.

Overall, six in ten business travellers around the world said their company provides them with a corporate card, with those in the APAC region the most likely to have one (67 per cent), followed by Americans (61 per cent) and Europeans (56 per cent).

Nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents said they always use their personal card for business purchases while travelling. Those in APAC are significantly more likely to do so at 55 per cent.

Christophe Renard, VP of CWT Solutions Group, the consultancy arm of CWT, commented: “Travel managers need to address the misuse of company cards – and also work out why travellers don’t follow the rules.

“The use of personal credit cards for business expenses means companies find it difficult to track spend – and that makes it a lot harder to enforce policies. If companies don’t want to issue credit cards to all employees – which is understandable – virtual credit cards are a useful compromise. Travellers don’t have to use their personal cards for business expenses, and companies know exactly how their money is being spent.”


Subscribe to the BBT Newsletter

Join the Buying Business Travel newsletter for the latest business travel news.

Thank you for signing up!