When employed by the Canadian Federal Government, each employee is issued an amex card to be used for all business related travel. While master cards are to be used for any other purchases, all travel must be paid for with these amex cards which are issued in the name of each individual employee. There are very strict rules around the use of these amex cards. If any employee is found using these cards for personal purchases, they will be dealt with most seriously. Also, all travel that are booked using the amex cards must be pre-approved by the appropriate management personnel. Again, if any employee is found using their amex card for unauthorized travel, this will not be dealt with lightly by the management.
Although each amex card is issued in the name of each employee, it actually has no effect on their personal credit rating one way or the other. Nor are the employees to which the cards are issued, responsible for paying for travel charges applied to the amex card, provided that the travel was pre-approved in the proper procedure. However, upon receipt of reimbursement, each of the employee is expected to pay off their amex balance immediately. There is no tolerance for carrying a balance or missing payments when using the amex card.
One might think that giving each employee their own amex card to use for company travel would eliminate a lot of office paper work. However, on the contrary, there is more paper work created by the time an individual employee has made their travel request, had their trip pre-approved, booked their travel, received their travel itinerary, and then filled out and submitted all of their appropriate paper work necessary for the proper reimbursement.
For anyone familiar with the Federal Government, this really should come as no surprise to all. Decisions and policies are made with as much red-tape as possible and one often feels like their days are spent spinning their wheels rather than accomplishing anything useful. The issuing and use of amex cards for each individual employee is just another example of how the government wastes the time and tax payer money, rather than grasping the concept, that the fastest, most efficient route, is a straight, unobstructed line.
Even still, you seldom hear anyone complain. What other job allows administrative staff to travel across the country several times a year, to stay in four or five star hotels, and with a ridiculous daily allowance? So, although the use of amex cards for each individual employee may seem like an awful lot of trouble and expense, employees are content to go with the flow of the business, reaping the benefits of being a Government employee.