Certify Releases Q2 2015 Report on Business Expense Trends

Uber Is Now More Popular Than Taxis for Business Travelers, While Airbnb and Lyft Are Also Gaining Ground, According to Latest Survey

PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwired - July 16, 2015) - Leading cloud-based travel and expense management software provider Certify announced the results of its latest business spending report, covering the second quarter of 2015. The report tracks spending across major categories such as food, airlines, lodging and car rentals and highlights top vendors for business travelers using data from millions of business expense receipts processed in Certify.

Certify’s Q2 analysis uncovered new trends in the sharing economy. Uber, the popular ridesharing service, continues to grow with business travelers, comprising 55% of ground transportation receipts compared with taxi services at 43%. In Q1, Uber had 46% of receipts compared with taxis at 53%. When including rental car data, Uber grew from 8% in Q2 of 2014 to 31% in Q2 of 2015. During that same 12-month period, taxi usage declined from 37% to 24%, while rental cars dropped from 55% to 45%. Top cities for Uber customers, based on percentage of receipts, are San Francisco (79%), followed by Dallas (60%) and Los Angeles (54%). Lyft, although comprising only 1% of ground transportation receipts, showed growth of 153% in ridership over Q1.

Certify also measured business adoption of Airbnb, the fifth most popular online travel-booking site, specializing in online room rentals While receipts from Airbnb are small, Certify’s data shows growth of 143% over Q1. Business travelers stay longer in Airbnb accommodations -- 3.8 nights compared with 2.1 in a hotel -- and gave Airbnb a satisfaction rating of 4.72 stars, compared with 4.04 stars for hotels. The cities with the highest percentage of Airbnb bookings by business travelers are, in order, San Francisco, with customers spending an average of $558 per stay, followed by Chicago ($248), Seattle ($221), Miami ($139) and Tampa ($103).

In other categories, top travel vendors based on percentage of receipts include Starbucks, McDonald’s, Subway, Delta, United, Marriott, Hampton Inn, National and Enterprise.

Companies providing the most value for business travelers include Lyft, US Airways, Courtyard by Marriott and Avis:

  • Lyft: $22.51 a ride compared with $30.03 for Uber and $34.48 for taxis.
  • U.S. Airways: $302.46 per ticket, compared with highest-priced airline United ($413.19).
  • Courtyard by Marriott: $173.48 per night, compared with highest-priced hotel Marriott ($243.07).
  • Avis: $179.85 per rental, compared with highest-priced car rental agency Hertz ($215.85).

"Our latest survey shows that for the first time, Uber overtook taxicabs, when competing for the business traveler dollar," says Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify. "Along with an uptick in the use of both Lyft and Airbnb, it’s clear that the sharing economy is here to stay for business people. We believe this market shift is based on both convenience and price, since these newer services are typically more cost-effective compared with traditional vendors. Established travel providers will need to adapt quickly or face further market share erosion to the sharing economy."

The quarterly Certify SpendSmart™ Report analyzes vendors, expense amounts and satisfaction rating data on corporate expense reports collected directly from end users. Certify SpendSmart™ reports on millions of receipts and expenses, delivering valuable insights to Certify clients and the business travel and expense industry at large. Certify has been tracking corporate travel and expense data since 2009 and uniquely offers integrated travel booking, travel and expense management and reimbursement in one system. Previous reports are available here.

Q2 Highlights:

Most-Expensed Restaurants:
Starbucks: 4.67% of expenses, averaging $10.77 per receipt
McDonald’s: 2.73%, averaging $7.75
Subway: 1.65%, averaging $16.69
Panera Bread: 1.62%, averaging $37.9
Dunkin’ Donuts: 1.32%, averaging $11.57

Most Expensed Restaurants by Meal
Breakfast: Starbucks 14.31%
Lunch: Subway 3.41%
Dinner: McDonald’s 1.59%

Top Rated Restaurants (On a scale from 1 to 5, as indicated by travelers)
Chick-Fil-A 4.5
Chipotle 4.3
Starbucks 4.2
Panera Bread 4.2
Dunkin’ Donuts 4.1

Most Expensed Airlines
Delta: 20.07%, averaging $410.64
United: 13.46%, averaging $413.19
American: 11.7%, averaging $364.14
Southwest: 11.15%, averaging $304.84
US Airways: 07.58%, averaging $302.46

Top Rated Airlines
Alaska Airlines 4.5
Jet Blue 4.4
Southwest 4.4
Delta 4.1
American 3.6

Most-Expensed Hotels
Marriott: 8.76% of expenses, averaging $243.07
Hampton Inn: 8.15%, averaging $228.52
Courtyard by Marriott: 6.52%, averaging $173.48
Hilton Garden Inn: 4.10%, averaging $190.13
Holiday Inn Express: 4.04%, averaging $239.08

Top Rated Hotels
Hyatt 4.4
Hilton 4.3
Homewood Suites 4.3
Westin 4.3
Marriott 4.2

Most Expensed Car-Rental Services
National: 23.82%, averaging $180.52
Enterprise: 16.27%, averaging $181.78
Hertz: 14.49%, averaging $215.85
Avis: 13.79%, averaging $179.85
Budget: 03.96%, averaging $196.16

Top Rated Car-Rental Services
Enterprise: 4.2
National: 4.2
Avis: 4.1
Hertz: 4.0
Budget: 3.8

To see the data live online go here: http://www.certify.com/CertifySpendSmartReport.aspx

About Certify

Certify is the leading online travel and expense management solution for companies of all sizes. Organizations worldwide book travel and complete expense reports quickly, easily and cost effectively using Certify cloud and mobile applications. For more information about Certify please call 207.773.6100 or visit http://www.certify.com.

Contact Information:

Media contact:
Kevin Wolf
(650) 327-1641