A Travel and Entertainment (T&E) card is a charge card that is issued by a banking institution or merchant service provider to a business so it can pay for hotels, airline tickets, automotive rentals, meals and other business-related expenses. Travel cards are 30-day charge accounts – like traditional, non-revolving accounts – with all payment due in full before the next billing cycle. There are some Travel and Entertainment card plans, typically on corporate cards, that give the cardholding company a quarterly summary of all charges that have been applied to the card.
The very first T&E card was issued in 1950 by Diners Club, and later by American Express in the late 1950s.
Many of the best merchant service providers offer robust information management systems as well as superior reporting tools. This provides the merchant client a great savings by offering efficient expense tracking and more controlled spending on their T&E cards.
In addition, many entertainment and travel cards provide merchant clients with valuable additional benefits in order to increase both overall value and employee morale. Cardholder peace of mind is enhanced by the free or inexpensive insurance coverage available through the T&E card firm, and cardholder purchasing power is enhanced by special offer from providers of travel products and services.
There are several types of travel cards, some of which are issued by the best known credit and charge card companies such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner’s Club, Carte Blanche, Discover and others. As a result of their solid reputations in the payment card industry, virtually all of the card brands are accepted worldwide.
American Express, which has created among the most prized charge cards, is a company that specializes in the issuance of Travel and Entertainment (T&E) cards. American Express services all of the cards that it issues, serving as its own transaction processor with its own processing network.
The Visa One Card, on the other hand, is a comprehensive purchasing and travel card solution that unites both the control and function of a traditional purchasing card with the power and flexibility that a traditional T&E charge card has. The many features of this Visa card include a no interest, non-revolving balance, a no-cost web-based card management tool, the ability to assign spending limits, daily detail to streamline the accounts payable process, the ability to choose from two distinct billing structures and special rebate programs.
Visa Business Travel, another travel card by Visa, is the premium credit card for business travelers. It offers 2X reward points on train and airline travel, auto rentals and hotels. Some of the rewards issued with this particular card include unlimited 1% rebate on roundtrip airline ticket costs, top-of-the-line merchandise and gifting cards from well-known merchants, plus many elite benefits of travel, such as hotel privileges and concierge service. The Visa Business Travel card requires a $50 company fee with no additional fees for additional employee cards.
Additional features that this Visa card has include the best rewards for company spending, travel with all airlines with no frequent flyer program limits, premier concierge service as well as unique travel discounts, company spending reports, consolidated billing, a small yearly company fee and no-cost employee cards that can have spending caps established.
In addition to these great features, Visa also offers the most rewarding gift certificates, travel and goods rewards, the disbursement of reward points to single or grouped accounts and the options to redeem reward point value for all card purchases.