Maximizing Business Travel Efficiency: The Benefits And Best Practices Of Using Business Travel Cards
Managing corporate travel and expenses can be a challenge. With many employees going on different trips, it can be hard to keep track, manage, and ensure everything is in line with company policies.
But don’t worry – there’s a great solution! CWT research shows that six in ten global business travelers say their employer offers them a card.
Business travel cards and corporate travel discounts can help you keep track of your travel expenses and simplify travel for employees and companies.
The Key Benefits of Using Business Travel Cards
Here are some key benefits of using business travel cards for corporate travel.
- Manage expenses: Business travel cards make it easy to keep track of all your travel-related costs in one statement. You can import your transaction data and make expense reports without saving physical receipts. Also, the expense management system automates everything for you, saving you time. Your finance department can keep track of your spending, and you can double-check your information for proper reimbursements.
- Employee convenience and satisfaction: Company travel cards make it easy for employees to book flights and hotels without having to spend their own money and wait for reimbursement. Whether they need to book a flight or accommodation, a business travel card makes the process more comfortable and shows your employees that the company trusts and cares about them. In other words, employees are happy and taken care of.
- Rewards and corporate travel discounts: Travel cards provide rewards such as corporate travel discounts, rebates, points, or miles for each dollar spent. Some cards may offset travel expenses or provide benefits such as free flights, hotel stays, or rental car. Corporate travel cards offer travel discounts, cashback, and gift cards to companies and employees.
- Travel insurance: Some credit card companies offer travel insurance if you’ve made bookings using your corporate travel card. A few company travel cards have travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, baggage, and rental car coverage. This feature can give you and your employees more peace of mind.
- Enhanced reporting: Company travel card programs provide all the information you need to track and analyze your travel expenditures so you can find ways to save money and maintain budgets. Manual expense records and paper receipts can lead to errors or misplaced receipts. With corporate travel cards, you can reduce those mistakes and track your business spending accurately. Every travel expense gets fast-tracked and recorded so you and your finance team know your expenses in real-time.
- Expense policy compliance: Corporate travel cards help companies to control their business travel expenses. By putting spending limits and restrictions on employee expenses, companies can make sure their employees are following company policies.
- Fraud protection and safety: One of the best parts about using corporate cards for business travel is that there are controls and security features built into them. Most travel cards come with built-in fraud protection, such as real-time tracking for suspicious activity and instant blocking and replacement in the event of lost or stolen cards.
In case an employee does lose a card while on a business trip, they can report and get their card blocked. And the best part? All expenses made on these cards will show up on your card dashboard, so there’s no room for fake or phony receipts.
Best practices for using business travel cards
The best benefit of having your employees use corporate cards for business travel is that you can have controls and security built into the cards.
- Establish transparent expense policies: Define clear expense policies before issuing travel cards, and create a clear and detailed travel expense policy. This policy should outline what is an eligible expense, what spending limits apply, and any approval processes to follow.
- Issue cards to trustworthy employees: Carefully consider whom you choose to give the travel card to. Provide travel cards only to responsible employees who regularly travel for business and have a history of responsible spending.
- Training and guidance for employees: Train your staff on how to use their travel cards. This training should include authorized or unauthorized expenses and what to store on expense records. Offer steps on understanding its uses, their base eligibility depending on grades and levels, and documentation requirements.
- Set spending limits: Set spending limits for each card according to the job role and employee needs. This way, you can keep costs under control and avoid any unnecessary spending.
- Regularly track and review: Keep track of expenses, monitor and review your cards and expenses on a regular basis to make sure you are adhering to company policies and to spot any discrepancies or cost-saving opportunities.
- Optimize rewards: If you want to see that your employees are getting the most out of their corporate travel cards, ensure they’re taking advantage of all the rewards and benefits they can get. That way, they can cover their travel expenses and get extra value for the company.
- Reconcile expenses promptly: See that your employees submit their expense reports and receipts as soon as possible. In this way, they will improve the reimbursement process and ensure accurate financial records are stored.
It’s important to remember that business travel cards are only as good as your company’s policies and needs. A travel card gives managers and finance departments control over their employees’ spending, so they don’t have to worry about unexpected costs. Furthermore, if you watch your travel card program, you can avail of rewards and corporate travel discounts. Don’t forget to make any changes necessary to get the most out of it and save money.
Business travel cards work best for you if you have frequent business travel and your staff knows how to make the most of them. Integrating your travel cards with travel & expense management software like ITILITE can help you streamline your expense management with automatic reconciliation, making your travel and expense process more efficient.