Certify, part of Emburse, a global leader in expense management and accounts payable automation, has released its 2019 SpendSmart™ Year in Review Report. The report highlights key data insights and trends in corporate travel spend, and identifies the most popular airline, meal, lodging, and transportation services among North American business travelers, based on more than 50 million receipts and expenses submitted by Certify users.
The food delivery category saw the fastest growth, seeing an 86% year-over-year increase in transactions. DoorDash overtook Grubhub as the most expensed food delivery service with 29.5% of all transactions, followed by Grubhub with 27.3% of transactions, Uber Eats with 25.6%, 12.3% for Postmates, and 5.3% for Seamless.**
Seamless was the most expensive food delivery service in 2019, with an average receipt of $86.09 compared to $60.52 for Grubhub, $54.13 for DoorDash, $43.40 for Postmates, and $24.59 for Uber Eats. Seamless was also the highest-rated service, scoring 4.8 in Certify’s 5-star rating system, followed by Uber Eats at 4.6, and with DoorDash and Postmates tying for third place with 4.5-stars.
Scooter rentals saw a major increase in use, rising by 222% over 2019. Lime remained the most expensed service with 50.0% of all receipts/expenses compared to 42.1% for Bird, 3.9% for Skip, and 3.8% for Razor. Bird was the most expensive scooter service, with an average cost of $10.28, versus Skip at $8.83, Scoot at $8.73, Lime at $6.88, and Razor at $4.85. Skip was the top-rated scooter service in 2019, earning a perfect 5-star customer rating. Ride-hailing (including taxis) overtook meals as the most expensed category for the first time since 2015, with 17.5% of transactions. Meals were close behind with 16.8% of all transactions, at an average cost of $39.09. Airline travel was the third most popular category, with 13.1% of receipts. Average airfare expenses increased 11.1% in 2019 to $308.40.
Lyft remained slightly cheaper than Uber, with an average fare of $25.35 compared to $25.81. However, Lyft’s average fare increased by $0.85 over 2018, compared to a $0.07 decrease for Uber. Taxis were yet again the most expensive option, with an average fare of $34.55.*
Other items of note from Certify’s 2019 SpendSmart Year in Review Report data:
- Uber was the most expensed vendor overall, taking 12.6% of all receipts.
- Uber also made the biggest jump on the list of most expensed vendors overall, increasing nearly 4% from 2017 to 2019.
- Starbucks was the most expensed food option in 2019, with 24.4% of transactions, and an average cost of $13.23.
- Chick-Fil-A was the highest-rated among the top five most popular restaurants, with 4.7 out of 5 stars.
- Marriott (16.8%) surpassed Hampton Inn (14.7%) as the most expensed lodging provider in 2019. Marriott was the most expensive of the five most expensed hotel chains, with an average per-stay cost of $307.47, and also the highest-rated at 4.5 out of 5 stars.
- Delta was the most expensed airline in 2019, earning 26.4% of all category transactions, followed closely by American Airlines with 25.9%.
- Southwest Airlines ranked as the top-rated airline, with an average user rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
- National Car Rental held the titles of both highest-rated and most expensed car rental company in 2019 with 36.8% of receipts and a 4.5 out of 5 star customer rating.
“It’s interesting to see the transition of many aspects of business travel away from traditional categories and vendors,” said Kenny Eon, general manager at Certify. “Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft have now dominated for several years, and lodging services like Airbnb have also firmly entered the mainstream. With dockless scooter rentals up 222% over the year and food delivery transactions rising by 86%, it’s clear that business travelers place a major emphasis on convenience in all areas of their trip.
“As scooters are rapidly becoming a ubiquitous form of transport for business travelers, organizations need to ensure that they update their travel policies to avoid duty-of-care issues, such as providing guidelines on wearing helmets. CFOs and corporate travel leaders that have this kind of detailed insight into their employees’ spend can make faster, more informed decisions to help improve policies and ensure compliance and traveler safety,” Eon added.
* The average transaction prices for all car-related expenses analyzed by Certify may or may not include tips.
** Certify does not have visibility into whether food delivery services were used by workers while traveling or from their offices.
About Certify, part of Emburse
Certify is part of Emburse, a global leader in expense management and AP automation solutions, which is trusted by more than 4.5 million users in more than 120 countries. Over 14,000 customers, from start-ups to global organizations, rely on Emburse’s tailored, highly-configurable solutions. Emburse enables organizations to make faster, smarter decisions, empower business travelers to recapture lost nights and weekends spent doing tedious expense management, and help make users’ lives – and their businesses – better. For more information about Emburse, please visit emburse.com.
Certify is rated as a Leader in expense management by analyst firm, IDC, and is trusted by more than 10,000 organizations including Boot Barn, H&R Block, Men’s Warehouse and Virgin Galactic, to streamline expense processing, purchasing and travel booking. For more information about Certify’s solutions, please visit certify.com.