Corporate Travel: Per Diem vs Reimbursement

Corporate Travel


Everywhere you turn, there seems to be another pandemic in the news leading to disruptions in travel. The world has changed tremendously due to these events, forcing many businesses to alter existing policies. When you’re traveling for work and staying in hotels, it’s important to consider corporate travel per diem.

Not every employee of a company is going to be able to qualify for a reimbursement of their travel costs. Some will be eligible for per diem pay if they’re on a long assignment.

What are the differences between per diem and reimbursement? Keep reading to find out.

Corporate Travel

How Per Diem and Reimbursement Differ for Air Travel

Per diem and reimbursement differ for air travel in a few key ways. First, per diem is a set rate per day that an employer provides to an employee to cover food and lodging while traveling. This rate may vary based on the location of the travel.

Reimbursement is the actual cost of the food and lodging incurred by the employee while traveling. The employee is typically required to submit receipts to be reimbursed.

Per diem may be paid in advance of the travel or after the travel has occurred, while reimbursement must be after the travel has occurred.

Hotel Stays

When choosing a hotel to stay in, per diem and travel reimbursement differ in a few ways. Per diem is a set amount that you are given for each day you are on a business trip. This amount does not change, no matter how much your hotel room costs.

Reimbursement is the amount of money that your company will give you back for your actual expenses. This means that if your hotel room costs more than the per diem amount, you will be reimbursed for the difference.

Finally, with per diem, you are usually only able to stay in approved hotels, while with the reimbursement you have more flexibility in where you stay.

Miscellaneous Expenses

There are a few key ways that per diem and reimbursement differ for miscellaneous expenses for corporate travel. Per diem is only given for days when you are actually traveling, while reimbursement may be given for days when you are preparing for travel or debriefing from travel.

These differences can impact both the amount of money you have available to spend on expenses, as well as the level of documentation you need to keep for corporate travel.

Which One Do You Prefer?

Per diem and reimbursement both have their pros and cons when it comes to corporate travel. It really depends on the individual’s preferences and needs.

If you’re looking for more flexibility and control, then per diem might be the better option. If you’re looking for simplicity, then reimbursement might be the better option. Do some research and decide what’s best for you!


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