Where Do Business Travelers Spend the Most? Surprise!

A recent survey prepared by Certify analyzed spending habits of business travelers and some of the results were quite surprising. While many think business travelers fly first class and stay at 4-star hotels, the real world is far from that.

For example, the most expensed restaurant? Not Morton’s Steakhouse or even Outback. Nope, the most expensed was Starbucks, representing over 5% of the total cost of meals. Second place went to McDonalds. By meal category, Starbucks wins again for breakfast with over 14%. McDonalds was the dinner winner but had less than 2%. For those who are curious about lunch, the winner was Subway with just over 3% of the purchases. Despite this, the top rated restaurant was Chick-Fil-A, which actually was the most expensed restaurant in Atlanta. Yep, this sounds a lot like the life of a road warrior.

For airlines, passengers might not totally enjoy flying Delta but this was the airline most expensed by a wide margin. They were followed by United, Southwest, American, and US Air. However, the travelers’ ratings tell a different story with Southwest winning. Alaska Airlines placed second with Delta, United, and American ranked below.

A bit surprising, Marriott was the most expensed hotel chain followed by Hampton Inn, Courtyard, and Holiday Inn. Much more surprising, Hilton came in fifth place. When it came to rating hotels, the winner was Starwood’s Westin. Residence Inn and Marriott were second/third followed by Garden Inn and Hilton. It is worth noting the differences between first and fifth place were quite small.

In the car rental category, Avis came out on top with over 17%. National placed second, but their average amount expensed was higher. Hertz was a disappointing third. Enterprise, which placed fourth, was rated the highest, followed by Avis, National, and Hertz.

Certify is a company that provides travel and expense products. A copy of the report can be obtained from their website.

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  1. But Certify doesn’t work with Accenture, IBM, Deloitte or the companies that have a significant share of business travellers and could potentially “move the mark”

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