Which Credit Card– Yours or the Companies? There is a Difference!

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           Recently, we had a visit with a professional services individual who is travelling on a weekly basis on company business.  Because he is a young millennial employee, he thought that there would be no problem using his personal credit card for company business.  His logic, rather interesting, was that he could acquire airline miles on his card, and be able to use the miles earned to help “pay” for an overseas trip with his newlywed wife.

            All was well for the first couple of trips.  He managed his fiscal resources in such a way that he was willing to “float” the money until his expense reimbursement came through for the travel that he had completed.  Nobody at the company knew any differently.

            However, on the third trip, he travelled to a city where snow was deep and plentiful.  As he was going down the road, a car in front of him spun out of control.  He was unable to stop his vehicle in time and a resulting accident ensued.  Thankfully, no one was hurt—however, the rental car and the other vehicle sustained significant damage.

            The young professional reported it to his office when he returned—and stated that he had used his personal credit card to pay for the rental car.  Well, as one might imagine, his supervisor was not happy—the reason being that because he was on company business, he should have used the company credit card, which, because it was a company sanctioned business trip, had an insurance provision if any accident occurred when the company credit card was used on company business.

            The young professional admitted that he DID NOT use the company credit card, but used his personal credit card because he wished to accrue the attendant airline miles for personal benefit.  His supervisor was very unhappy and displeased and shared this with the young employee.

            Luckily, the whole situation worked out in a satisfactory manner, however, the supervisor made it very clear that when any employee travelled on company related business, the employee was expected to use the company credit card—that is why it was issued to each employee!

            As we have written previously—this is an ideal time to have this matter addressed in an employee or operations manual that all employees are responsible and liable to follow.  Thankfully, no one was hurt, the young professionals’ credit card covered the accident, which he was NOT responsible for.

            Policies of this nature are important for any company, of any size.  Do not allow employees to use a “county option” mentality when travelling on company business.  State clearly and explicitly what the corporate expectations are and hold each employee to those expectations.
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