11 Corporate Travel Policy Expense Reimbursement Mandating Use of Corporate Card Mandating the use of a corporate card program can provide significant oversight and control of travel spend. Given the potential benefits of card programs that can translate into savings and financial benefits for companies, many organizations elect to mandate their card program. Without a mandate, travel spend visibility is decreased and duty of care responsibilities are more challenging. There are pros and cons for employees required to use a corporate card, but using a personal card to cover travel expenses also has its advantages and disadvantages. Using personal cards can more easily allow for the employee to collect and keep reward points. The downside of using a personal card for business travel is that trips can be quite expensive and reimbursements don’t always come fast enough, leaving the employee to pay their monthly statement out of pocket. Another downside to using personal cards for business travel is that there is potential impact to an employee’s personal credit rating if the employee’s monthly payments are delayed. Companies often prefer to provide a mandated corporate card program to employees for employee satisfaction and duty of care. In the event of an unexpected emergency, companies can use an employee’s last credit card transaction as a way to track them for security purposes. Card Program Liability Individual liability programs — where the cardholder is responsible for payment to the card issuer — were popular for many years as a way to ensure timely submission of expense reports. The expectation was that the cardholder would be motivated to submit their expense report in a timely fashion in order to get reimbursed and have sufficient funds to make their corporate card payment. This approach typically requires a credit check on the employee’s personal ability to pay and can have an impact on the employee’s personal credit rating. With the advent of better expense reporting tools that not only make it easier for an employee to submit their expenses, and in many cases even submit receipts using their mobile phone, but also offer reminders to employees and their management that expense transactions are waiting to be reconciled, organizations have become more willing to take a corporate liability approach. This eases the credit burden on employees and gives the organization more control over timing of payment, which can lead to additional financial benefits from the card issuer. Even with individual liability programs, the card issuer often looks to the organization as ultimately responsible for payment if collection efforts with employees are unsuccessful, thus making corporate liability more attractive and now considered a best practice. 7 “83 Percent of Female Business Travelers Report Safety Concern or Incident in Past Year,” GBTA and AIG Travel Stud y, October 18, 2018, https://bit.ly/2GxwKMb.