Deciding how to pay for corporate travel can feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Corporate credit cards make sense for senior managers and other frequent travelers. However, corporate credit cards are not good options for employees who travel less than once a quarter. They carry the risk of loss or misuse. They also can’t be used by independent contractors or job candidates.
Employees who charge travel to their personal cards can be stuck carrying a large balance until they are reimbursed. In such instances, the company also misses out on corporate card rebates. These rebates can be as high as 1.5% of spending.
How do ghost cards work?
A ghost card represents the best of both worlds. It is a single credit card that is used to pay for travel for a number of employees. Here is how a ghost card works.
- A travel manager saves the ghost card in the organization’s online travel system.
- The travel system enables the manager to control which employees have permission to use the card. The manager can set the type of travel (flight, hotel, and rental car) that can be purchased by each employee.
- Employees purchase their travel within the online system. The system automatically submits the card details. The employees never see the full card number.
Will you get a huge credit card bill and have no idea who spent what and why? Not so fast. An online travel system with an integrated expense management tool makes the process a breeze. Here is how it works.
- Commercial credit cards provide electronic statements which include ticket numbers, hotel identifiers, renter names and destinations.
- The travel system knows which employee made each reservation by matching this data to details captured at the time of booking.
The expense system lets employees assign cost centers and add receipts to ghost card charges. Explanations can be required for bookings that fall outside of the travel policy. Managers review and approve all charges.