More than 40% of business travellers bill personal purchases to company cards

Four in ten business travellers admit to using corporate cards for personal purchases according to CWT research.

Some 46% of American and European travellers and 38% of travellers in Asia Pacific say they have used corporate cards for personal items, according to research commissioned by CWT.

Vice president of the consultancy arm of Carlson Wagonlit Travel CWT Solutions Group Christophe Renard said: "Travel managers need to address the misuse of company cards – and also work out why travellers don’t follow the rules."

The practice is "rife" according to the research, even though 63% of Americans, and 58% of Europeans, say their company has a policy against using corporate credit cards for personal purchases, with an enforcement ratio of 85% in both regions.

Some  69% of Asia Pacific traveller said their company has such a policy, with an enforcement ratio of 87%.

"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," said Renard.

"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."

Six in ten global business travellers said their employer provides them with a corporate credit card.

Those in Asia Pacific were likeliest to have one (67%), followed by those in the Americas (61%) and those in Europe (56%).

But while corporate cards are used to make personal purchases, the findings show that personal cards are also often used for business travel expenses.

Some 49% of business travellers always use their personal credit card when travelling for business. 

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