Reimburse Me! Top Expenses in Business Travel


What do Starbucks, Delta Air Lines, Marriott and Avis Car Rental have in common? They're the restaurant, airline, hotel and rental car companies most frequently expensed by North American business travelers.

These are among the results of a report released Thursday by Certify, a provider of expense management and travel booking software. The SpendSmart report figures are for the first quarter.

The findings are based on millions of expenses captured by Certify from Jan. 1 through March, for small businesses to large enterprises.

In the restaurant sector, Starbucks was the company expensed most, with an average cost of $9.03, up 19.8 percent from $7.54 in fourth-quarter 2012. McDonald's and Subway rounded out the top three with an average cost of $8.03 (up 19.3 percent from $6.73) and $14.01 (up 17.9 percent from $11.88), respectively.

Delta Air Lines was the most expensed carrier, with an average cost of $373.80, down 21.2 percent from $474.25 in the fourth quarter. United and Southwest followed with average costs of $452.56 (down 8.1 percent from $492.42) and $289.44 (up 2.5 percent from $282.38), respectively.

(Read More: Delta Debuts App With 'Glass Bottom Jet' Map)

Marriott took top spot as the most expensed lodging with an average cost of $238.29, down 11.9 percent from $270.55 in last year's fourth quarter. Hampton Inn and Courtyard followed with average costs of $198.70 and $153.80, respectively. Fourth-quarter data for those two companies weren't provided.

(Read More: Marriott, IKEA to Debut Hotel Chain: Allen Wrench Not Included)

No. 1 in rental cars was Avis, with an average cost of $170.84, down 14.4 percent from $199.49 in fourth-quarter 2012. National and Hertz followed with average costs of $177.86 (down 2.6 percent from $182.71) and $243.84 (up 10.9 percent from $219.92), respectively.

(Read More: Is Avis 'Trying Hard' Enough With New Slogan?)

For more on the SpendSmart report, click here.


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