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Business travellers fail to reclaim £142 worth of expenses every time they head abroad

Business travellers are losing an average of £142 in unclaimed expenses on every business trip they take according to new findings revealed. The research, carried out by the DCC Forum, also found that fewer than 1 in 8 business travellers were ever able to fully reclaim all of their expenses from their business trips, with 60% unable to reclaim their expenses within two weeks.

The findings revealed that the UK’s business travellers do not do a good job of sticking to budgets set by employers, with 82.7% saying that they had exceeded their allocated spending limits. The average business traveller exceeds their budget by £162 every time they go abroad, with those who went on five or more business trips in a year spending £216 too much per trip – although this may in part be because 30% of business travellers admitted that they spent more money than they would on leisure travel because they knew they could expense the costs!  

The new research from the DCC Forum also asked business travellers their preferred payment option for reclaiming expenses. Less than 1 in 10 said that they were happy to use their personal funds while abroad, even if they could swiftly recoup the costs through expenses. Instead, almost 40% of those surveyed said that they would prefer to make any payments on business trips using a corporate credit or debit card provided by their business.  

Two thirds of business travellers said that they used a credit or debit card for the majority of their expensed purchases abroad, with less than 1 in 10 using pre-paid cash cards. Interestingly, mobile payments proved popular amongst a significant minority of business travellers, with 1 in 20 saying that they used mobile payments including Apple Pay for the majority of their payments abroad last year.  

Carrying out its research in partnership with CensusWide, the DCC Forum is the industry body that helps business travellers understand the choices available to them when they pay by credit or debit card abroad at a till or an ATM. Research found that currently fewer than 1 in 4 business travellers check the exchange rates and fees they will be subject to when making card payments before they travel.  

Jennifer Conneely, board member of The DCC Forum, comments: “Many of us find the prospect of business travel to be an exciting one, but it’s shocking to see how much money we’re losing every time we head abroad for work. Anyone who travels frequently for business already knows how much of a sacrifice it is in terms of time and it’s simply unacceptable that it’s proving to be such a financial sacrifice too. Employees need clearer instructions for how best to make their payments so that they can ensure they’re not left out of pocket, and employers should be educating their employees around card payment choices available abroad so they can make more informed decisions.”

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