Could you put over $200 on your Personal CC for work expenses?

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Posted 2/8/2013 by bethany1023 in NSBR Board
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bethany1023
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:36:18 AM
I'm traveling for work in April. Conference hotel wants the first night plus tax as a "deposit" against cancellation, the total of which is around $250. My employer seems to think that I should be able to just put it on my personal CCd and then have them reimburse me, which they would do within a week of the bill coming in.

We are NOT in a position to do this, DH was unemployed for all of 2012 and the job he was able to find has us living hand to mouth until he can get something closer to home.

The only CCd I have is a pre-paid one which I use for internet shopping and those times when you need to be able to use a CCd, like pay for a hotel. Works just like a CCd and I don't have to worry about trying to make yet another bill I can't pay. Until our finances are better I am not comfortable taking out credit.

I'm getting the impression that no one has ever brought this up before with my employer. Now I work for a pretty big company, you're telling me I'm the only one financially unstable enough to not be able to drop 250 bucks then wait the week it will take to get reimbursed?

so I'm curious, would you be able to do this?

Burning Feather
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:41:23 AM
Yes, I could, but that doesn't help your situation at all obviously.

I do think that it's unfair of a company to expect people to use credit upfront for a business expense.

What would happen if you go to Human Resources and tell them that you don't have an actual credit card and that the expense would be a burden for you? Could they issue a travel advance for that expense?

By the way, I don't think financial stability or instability plays a role in this other than the actual ability to do so. I find it unfortunate that your company is basically requiring an employee to have a credit card.

ETA: It's been a while since DH had to travel for work, but I believe that his company's policy is the same, even when mechanics are asked to travel to another airport to work on a jet that has to be repaired and where there are no maintenance personnel available (which basically means that it occurs that very night during work duty with no advance warning)



stefdesign
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:42:10 AM
Oh my gosh, I've been put into this position SO many times for work. I definitely would not do it. There must be some way to work around it... petty cash, an advance, or using your company's business account. In my experience, it's never 'just a week', to reimburse. It almost always takes weeks. If it were me, I'd speak up to my boss, and tell him or her that I don't have the budget to cover an unexpected charge of this size. If they want you to go, they'll figure something out. Perhaps you qualify for a company AmEx?

In my past experience, I was embarrassed to tell my employer that I couldn't afford it, but I had to do it. It just wasn't right for them to expect a large out-of pocket like that.

~SuburbanMom~
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:42:24 AM
Yes

Annabella
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:43:14 AM
At my job when you travel the company pays for transportation whatever form that may be. But yes hotel is on your (company issued) credit card, but is no different than a personal card because you have to pay it back yourself. Which also means waiting the cycle of submitting expenses and getting the reimbursement. I could float a $250 expense. However I've never heard of a hotel charging you before you check-in (except for those cheap deal sites). If that was the case I would ask for an advance from my employee. I had a friend who worked for a company where a position opened up that would require her to travel monthly, she had to turn it down for just this reason, she didn't want to float the expenses. I've worked for a handful of companies and their policies were all the same, company paid transportation upfront and employee paid hotel through personal card as well as meals, taxis, etc.

voltagain
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:45:36 AM
Could I? Yes. Would I? No.
I use my cc for everything then pay it off when the bill comes in. In 8 years I've carried over a balance to the next month only one time.

I don't have the extra to pay off the business expenses and if they were late for any reason paying me I'd be owing interest on those charges. It would not make me a happy camper to be paying interest because they haven't come up with a better system of employee travel.

*KAS*
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:48:01 AM
I would tell them that your family doesn't have credit cards, and see if there is a way that they can use a company credit card to pay the deposit. OR, have the hotel send you a statement, and ask if you can have until XX date to submit the deposit check, and ask if your company can advance the money -- either to you, or directly to the hotel.

If you do not normally travel, and this isn't something you could reasonabley assume you would need to do in order to do your job, then I don't think it's reasonable for your employer to expect this.

I travel for work constantly, but I'm given a company credit card that I use for most everything. There are the occasional times when I need to buy something where they won't take American Express or something and I put it on my personal card, but those are rare. But again, I travel more than 1/2 the year, so my lifestyle sounds a lot different. I assume you don't travel for them often?

moveablefeast
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:50:02 AM
BTDT, and no, I wouldn't be able to do that today.

Furthermore, it's not my responsibility to float business expenses using my personal credit.

I would go to my supervisor and ask them to push a reimbursement check. Chances are, if they call the right person in finance, they can hand-authorize a check to you quickly. Or find out whose business card can be used.

SDeven
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:52:12 AM
Yes, but DH is an inde contractor so it's not uncommon for him to have $850 to $1000 of expenses-to-reimbursed on his CC at any one time. (Some of his expenses get reimbursed, some are tax deductions.)

For a regular employement situation, however, why wouldn't the company hire a travel agent to make all their travel arrangements? Or give you your own company credit card?

I know lots of people carry personal credit cards for work/reimbursable expenses, but I don't think it's smart. You are on the hook for expenses not your own. You either trust your employee or you don't. A sizable company shouldn't be asking it's individuals to carry it's expenses.

Epeanymous
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:53:56 AM
I can, and I do. I can get that not everyone could, however.

crimsoncat05
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Posted: 2/8/2013 11:57:11 AM
I'd ask for a cash advance.

It's not ethical / right for the company to ask employees to put things on their personal credit cards... what if they don't reimburse you right away? then their lack of timeliness could affect the employee credit rating- not good!


kmk1112
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:00:34 PM
If you work for a large company, you shouldn't have to do this. They should set up a company credit card program for people who have to travel and have other expenses like this. Our most recent program (we change vendors every once in a while) is a card that is in my name, but not based on my credit, so anyone in the company allowed one could get one regardless of their personal credit. I make charges, and then the bill comes to me, but the company will pay the bill for me through our expense reporting system, so I just have to submit my expense reports in a timely manner.


scrapmingo
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:01:13 PM
I won an amazing trip via a PW contest to a resort we would never be able to afford otherwise. When the reservations were made, I still had to provide my credit card information to hold the room. I was taken aback but agreed. Then they told me how much our room cost $1750 PER NIGHT! I just about died. I asked a million questions about cancellation, weather delay etc before finally agreeing. The amount doesn't get charged but the card is on file so if we were a no show, it would have dropped. It jacked my anxiety level until we arrived- to the point I was calling the hotel when we were delayed for an hour for fear of them charging us!

It was very much worth it, it was an amazing trip!!

bethany1023
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:03:56 PM
Ok, I don't feel so immature now. Of course, that comes from talking to my mother who believes that we live like "college students" because I pay cash whenever I can as it just works out easier for me.

I have gone to our finance people and they basically said this is how we do it, and no, we won't make an exception. Our travel agent told me the same thing. Honestly, I've never had a hotel want a deposit, other than Great Wolf Lodge, and that was due to the nature of the hotel.

No, I don't travel for work very often. I typically go once a year, for training which is what this is. Interestingly enough, this rivals when I went to SanFrancisco last year and the hotel there wanted me to give them an extra 1,000 for "incidentals" that I "might" charge to the room. I was like um no.

Pridemom
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:08:15 PM
Could I? Yes. Would I? No.

I have a company credit card. But for those that do not, the finance administrative assistant reserves and pays for rooms, and handles travel arrangements. An advance can be requested for meal and gas expenses, if necessary. And we are a small non-profit, not a big for profit corporation. My dh's school district handles all expenses except meals when he has to travel.

Rhondito
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:14:04 PM
That is beyond ridiculous and pisses me off for you.
Your company should call and make your reservation and give the hotel a company credit card number. I work for a small company of about 35-40 employees and someone is always traveling. It is never assumed that an employee will cover any travel expenses and be reimbursed later.

LeoGirl76
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:15:03 PM
Most companies have Corporate Credit Cards. Apply for one, or ask your management for a travel advance.

PSILUVU
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:15:52 PM
Could I, yes. Have I, yes. Would I now, NO. Last time I travelled it took 7 weeks to be reimbursed. I could cover it but was really annoyed that I had to. I now use the firm CC, I only put firm charges on it and the bill goes right to accounting.

IMO it doesn't matter if you can or can't, you shouldn't have too.

MikeWozowski
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:16:23 PM
yes.

my husbands old company would often owe us as much as 5 - 7K in expenses.

eebud
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:18:09 PM
Could I? yes. Would I? No.

At this time, I don't have a company credit card because I have not traveled for work purposes in a long time and they cancelled all of the cards not being used. However, the company can get me another card quickly if I need to take a trip and I would expect them to do this. When I fill out expense reports, I put how much should be sent directly to my American Express. This is usually most of my expenses but occasionally someone won't take AE and I do put those on my personal card. That is usually just a meal or two.

megmc
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:20:54 PM
A lot of companies do this, and you have to hope that all the paperwork goes through. and that check gets there quickly.

pjynx
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:22:09 PM
Yes, I could. Some people here have enough need for cc's that they are issued a company card. I'm not one of those people. I don't travel frequently for business, but when I do, the hotel & airfare are always put on my personal card and I turn it in for reimbursement. I also don't have to worry about how quickly the company will reimburse me. We are a small company and our payables person will usually turn an expense check around the day after she received it approved from the manager. Because she knows that expense checks are money out of our pocket until we get paid, she doesn't wait for her weekly check run.

Pam

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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:23:00 PM
I could. I'm glad I don't have to travel for work and am never put in that position though.

obliolait
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:24:24 PM
it's very common to be reimbursed after a business trip. it's more convenient to have a company credit card, but the former is more common.

Shih Tzu Mommy
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:24:47 PM
Yes, but what I or anyone else can or cannot do does not matter. I have never had to pay for work travel expenses. Your company should be booking and paying for 100% either with a company issued credit card in your name or a corporate account.

MizIndependent
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:27:16 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but ccs accrue daily finance charges, right? And your company says it won't reimburse you until one week after you get your bill? So who pays the finance charges between the time you make the purchase and the time your company reimburses you? That's right, you do. So then, your company expects you to foot the finance charges for the $250, right?

My company has a card in HR for exactly this purpose. Granted, I work for a much smaller company but my boss does not expect us to personally pay for work related expenses.

schizo319
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:27:21 PM
I could, and have before (I actually had to call and have my credit limit increased because I only had a 500 dollar limit on my card at the time).

HOWEVER, I have a coworker who doesn't use credit cards at all. When she had to travel, she just mentioned it to the boss and they either put it on the company credit card or gave her an advance.

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:27:30 PM
DH keeps a cc for work events. He puts his lodging, travel expenses, meals, etc on the card. About a week after he files his expense report, he gets a check. Some companies will no longer issues cards or pay in advance due to abuse and losses of negligent workers. It is amazing how accurate and prompt people are when it is their own credit card they are using!

WillowJane
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:31:03 PM
Did you double-check that the hotel would not charge your card unless you did not follow their cancellation policy?

BabyBokChoy
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:36:09 PM
I think it is unreasonable that your employer expects that you fork over personal money when you are unable to cover for work expense, regardless when they pay you back.

At my work, the support assistants area's boss has a credit card that is used for exactly your type of situation.

Also, I get reimbursed as soon as I submit the expense report and it is approved. So if I put $200 on my credit card, I need not wait for the credit card bill, because there's always proof of registration etc when you put down a payment. So long before the credit card bill comes through, I would have the cash already.

writermom1
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:37:57 PM
I can now but there were certainly times in my life when I couldn't so don't feel embarrassed.

You also don't owe your employer an explanation. A simple "I don't have a credit card, what is another solution?" Is all they need. Say it with confidence as if you simply don't believe in them. Throw Dave Ramsey into the conversation if you want.
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tracylynn
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:40:24 PM
I put several thousand dollars a month potentially on a personal credit card for work - airfare, hotel, car rental, food, etc.

I always get paid on the next payday (as long as I turn in the report of course).

It works great because then I can get rewards, etc.

Hopefully they can work something out with you.

peapermint
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:43:24 PM
I could, but I carry a balance so it would piss me off to have to pay interest on what a better company would cover upfront.

If I remember correctly, where I used to work there was a company credit card for these purposes. Or maybe my department manager had it. (I'd been asked to use my own and refused and they had a backup plan.)

busypea
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:46:08 PM
I also work for a large company and employees are never expected to front the money and then get reimbursed. We have corporate cards to cover any of those kinds of expenses. I think it's totally inappropriate to expect employees to incur expenses with personal funds and then wait for reimbursement.

Several years ago, DH went to the Superbowl for work. His employer wanted us to pay everything personally and then they would reimburse. We said absolutely no. It was a lot of money and there was no way we were willing to put that on our personal card and hope they paid us in a timely way.

In your shoes, I'd be polite but direct and tell your manager your not comfortable with paying up front and they need to find a different way. You don't owe him/her an explanation of your personal finances or an apology.

AN
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:46:23 PM
This doesn't help, but yes, that is standard policy at my company. People use their personal cards to pay for expenses and then are reimbursed. The travel department does purchase airfare though, but everything else is on your personal card (hotel, taxis, ground transport, parking, meals, etc).

I will say, our reimbursement cycle is very quick, within 5 - 10 business days or less, so no one should ever have to float something beyond their credit card due date.

If you don't have a personal credit card, the company has two types of credit cards you can get.

- Personal expenses card: I believe this is a guaranteed issue card through the company, BUT, you are responsible for paying it and getting reimbursed. It's not really any different than using your own credit card except that if you don't have/can't get credit, you can get this one.

- A purchasing card: This is what most people think of when they think of a corporate credit card. You make purchases on it and then submit the receipts, but the company pays the bill directly. They REALLY restrict these cards and frown on them being used on travel, from what I understand. The only people that have them are admins or event planners that are putting $20k catering bills and such on cards.

I think it is a strange policy, and I do have employees that struggle with it (more than once I have used my credit card to pay for their rooms when traveling or something and then submitted for reimbursement). I don't agree with it and I don't really understand why they do it. But... that's what it is. It's an otherwise great company to work for, extremely accommodating and understanding (which is what makes this policy so strange to me). It isn't uncommon in corporate America from others I've talked to. It's not unusual for me to have $1000+ on my credit card waiting for reimbursement, but reimbursement is always fast and I've never had to pay interest on it or anything.

Fair or not, it really does go to show that credit has an impact on your career beyond just them checking a credit score for those in financial roles.

mdoc
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:47:13 PM
I could, but I never had to because I had a company credit card. There were people who worked for me who rarely had to travel and did not have company credit cards, and while they could put a work expense on their credit cards and get reimbursed if they wanted to (to get points or whatever), we would make other arrangements if they preferred not to.

I don't think it's right for your employer to expect you to front the cost.

GrinningCat
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:48:16 PM
It's a disgusting business practice. Completely unacceptable. You want an employee to travel, pay for it. Don't expect me to front money for your stupid trip.

Corrupt idiots.

WingNut
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:48:58 PM
No, I would not do this even if I could. I'm fortunate to have a corporate card but before I did, any major expenses were either charged to a company account (for things like airfare) or someone on my team would pay for it using their card. For instance, I recently went on a business trip where a fellow team member of mine (a subordinate to me) was in the same position as you. Her reservations were made be the coordinator of the meeting (so the room was guaranteed using his card) and at the time of checkout, I used my corporate card to pay the bill.

Can you possibly do something like this? Find out if your boss or another coworker going to the same event could make the reservation for you guaranteeing it to their corporate card.

cmpeter
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:49:07 PM
The company I work for (also issues my corporate card) would never ask an employee to front the money for a work expense. If you didn't have a corporate card, your manager would put the cost on their card. When my expenses come in, I submit an Expense Report along with receipts and reasons for the charges on our company website and those charges are paid directly to my corporate card. The exception would be if I had to pay for taxis, tips, etc. and I had to pay cash, then the company would reimburse me. But, those are small charges.

We do have employees that can't afford to put the travel costs on their own card...which is why a manager or even another co-worker with a corporate card would put the charges on their card.

My husband does not have a corporate card. That's more his choice as they are optional with his employer. He chooses to put all the charges on our personal card and wait to be reimbursed. We like to accumulate the membership points. He travels to the east coast a couple times a month and often internationally, so those points add up. But, if we were in a financial bind, we would not be able to do this.

ETA - Saw your update...do you have to stay at that particular hotel? Are you booking online? I find that if I book via Hotels.com or Expedia, etc. some of the rates are pre-paid rates. However, if I all the hotel and book directly, they don't require pre-payment. Maybe try booking via another method or another hotel completely.

scoobers
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:49:47 PM
Not a big deal, we do it all the time.


social worker pea
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:50:26 PM
This is how my husband's place of employment does it as well. Actually, last year this was a problem for us so he went to HR and was finally able to get them to book the flight. We paid the hotel and were reimbursed.

It was a big pain because we were in the middle of trying to buy a house and charging $1000 for business travel is not something we wanted to do.

OP, I'm sorry your employer won't work with you. THat's really frustrating!

little mama
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:52:53 PM
I could, but I would not.

mikklynn
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:54:32 PM
Bethany1023 - I want to say GOOD FOR YOU. You are a wise woman to not take on credit you can't afford. Please, do not let anyone make you feel bad for being financially responsible.

I admire you! You are behaving the way I am trying to teach my children to behave regarding money and credit.

jennifw
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:55:18 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but ccs accrue daily finance charges, right? And your company says it won't reimburse you until one week after you get your bill? So who pays the finance charges between the time you make the purchase and the time your company reimburses you? That's right, you do. So then, your company expects you to foot the finance charges for the $250, right?



The finance charges don't start if you pay your bill on time. In this case, I imagine it would work like this - make hotel reservation on March 1. Turn receipt into acct on March 5. Check by March 15. Bill for CC due April 1. Pay bill.

You wouldn't owe the charges if you paid by April 1. Make sense?

crimsoncat05
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:58:44 PM
My BF's company actually does it this way, too, I forgot. My BF has a separate card he uses JUST for travel expenses and gets reimbursed. I still think it stinks that he has to do it, though. One of his co-workers doesn't have a credit card (due to a previous bankruptcy, or something) so when he travels, they do cash advances for him.


nighthawk
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Posted: 2/8/2013 12:59:27 PM
I used to do it all the time but I was able to do so. I had a company card but it was sort of a pain to deal with so I just used my own except for flights because the company card got reimbursed automatically and I never had to see a bill.

You should be able to get an advance or a corporate card.

nighthawk
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Posted: 2/8/2013 1:02:10 PM
Do you have a travel dept? Talk to them and see what options are. When I was living in a hotel and insurance was paying for it (our house had a flood) they basically paid by fax the hotel. Obviously there is more than that but your company should be able to do something similar.

sweetandsour
PeaAddict

PeaNut 134,862
March 2004
Posts: 1,560
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Loc: north of 49

Posted: 2/8/2013 1:03:31 PM
I could, but I would not. I am travelling at the request of my employer, I don't feel like I should be out any $ if I don't want to be.

I work in a large finance dept and we would issue an accountable advance to you OR have our AP people call the hotel and place the deposit on the corporate purchasing account OR have the hotel bill us directly. The employees' terms of employment do not include fronting money for the employer!

OP, would you be able to file an expense claim for that deposit right away?

LippyMans
I like pizza Steve

PeaNut 28,105
January 2002
Posts: 15,070
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Loc: West Jordan UT

Posted: 2/8/2013 1:08:22 PM
When my DH traveled on business his company expected him to front the ENTIRE cost of the trip, then get reimbursed which took a few weeks. We are talking airfare, hotel, car rental, food, and any entertainment. It ended up being $3000-4000 up front. He was given about a weeks notice before he needed to be there.

I do not understand why a business would have their employee front costs for a business expense. In my opinion you want an employee to travel, they should have a company travel agent or be able to put it on a company card. I don't think employees should have to front a business expense!

Kerri W
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 7,171
October 2000
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Loc: Kentucky

Posted: 2/8/2013 1:31:10 PM
Yes. DH is in sales for a large, fortune 100 company and regularly charges a few thousand dollars a month on his personal CC. As long as he is organized with his expense reports he is reimbursed within the next pay cycle. He can have the travel dept make his flight arrangements and they will pay for them, but it generally is easier for him to do it himself thus using his CC.

Quite honestly I'm surprised how many companies are handing out company credit cards according to this thread.
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