The restaurants, hotels and airlines that are expensed the most

Revealed: The restaurants, hotels, airlines and ride-hailing fares that are expensed the most

  • Uber is the most-expensed ride-hailing firm accounting for 81 per cent of all receipts, with Lyft second
  • The airline category was hotly contested between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines
  • Meanwhile in the restaurant list the top five includes McDonald’s, Subway and Starbucks 

The most expensed restaurants, hotels and airlines by business travelers in the US have been revealed in a fascinating new report.

And it shows that workers are claiming back the most money on food they’ve spent in Starbucks and McDonald’s, hotel rooms at Hampton Inns, and flights they’ve taken with Delta Air Lines.

Uber, meanwhile, is the most-expensed ride-hailing firm accounting for 81 per cent of all receipts, with Lyft on 19 per cent.

According to a new report by travel expenses software provider Certify, the most receipts submitted by business travelers for expenses when it came to eating out are for Starbucks 

The wide-ranging report was compiled by Certify – an automated travel and entertainment expense management software provider – which analysed 10 million receipts submitted by US workers away on business in the first quarter of 2018.

The data was then broken down into categories for restaurants, hotels, airlines and ride-hailing.

In the restaurant category, Starbucks got the No1 slot with 4.7 per cent of receipts, with the average claim being $12.29 and over 16 per cent of receipts relating to breakfast purchases – more than any other restaurant. 

The most expensed hotel brand is Hampton Inn, where the average business traveller claimed for a total of $236.30 in the first quarter of 2018

McDonalds had 2.89 per cent of the share, with business travellers spending an average of $10.22.

Coming in third is bakery chain Panera bread, where the average spend is $46.61 and fourth is Chick-a-fil, where the average claim is for $26.45.

Rounding off the top five is Subway, with the average business traveller spending $20.51 at one of the sandwich chain’s outlets.


Tables of data compiled by Certify show the most expensed restaurants, left, with Starbucks topping the list. The most expensed hotel brand, right, is Hampton Inn

The top ranking restaurants also include Dunkin Donuts (6th), Burger King (7th), HMS Host (8th), Wendy’s (9th) and Jimmy John’s (10th).

In terms of hotels, most expenses are for stays with Hampton Inn, which accounted for 9.33 per cent of claims. The average spend was $236.30.

In second place is Marriott, with 8.46 per cent of expenses claims that on average were for $269.55.

When it comes to flying, the most expensed airline in the US is Delta, with the average claim being for $426.92 

A table showing the most expensed airlines by US business travelers

In third is fellow Marriott brand Courtyard by Marriott, which has 7.43 per cent of the share. Travelers spent $187.04 on average at one of these properties.

The rest of the top ten is made up of Holiday Inn Express (4th), the Hilton Garden Inn (5th), Hilton (6th), Holiday Inn (7th), Doubletree (8th), Hyatt (9th) and Fairfield Inn (10th).

The flight category was hotly contested with No1 airline Delta taking 19.92 per cent of expense claims. But American Airlines was close behind with 19.59 per cent of claims. Average spends with these two carriers were $426.92 and $323.45 respectively.

Third is Southwest Airlines on 15.74 per cent with the average expense being $261.45 and fourth is United Airlines on 14.26 per cent and an average of $392.11 expensed.

Fifth is Alaska Airlines, but this carrier only has 1.76 per cent of the share.

For riding hailing, Uber still dominates with 81 per cent of the share with Lyft coming in second with 19 per cent of the share

In the world of ride-hailing, Uber’s 81 per cent of the expenses share is still huge, but is down from 90 per cent a year ago.

This is because rival firm Lyft has been making up ground and now holds 19 per cent share of the market.

Major metro areas continued to dominate the U.S. ride-hailing market and unsurprisingly, San Francisco was the most popular U.S. ride-hailing city for business travelers. 

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