The top vendors listed on travel expense reports last year in terms of the percentage of receipts included Starbucks, Delta Air Lines, Avis and Marriott, according to a new report by travel and expense management software developer Certify.

The list differed somewhat from the vendors who earned top ratings in terms of business traveler satisfaction. Those included Chick-fil-A, Residence Inn, Southwest Airlines and Enterprise.

From 2012 to 2013, the top categories in terms of the percentage of T&E budgets remained the same: meals took the largest portion, followed by airfare, miscellaneous (such as groceries and personal items) and hotel expenses.

"Our results from 2013 indicate that employees and companies continually favor price-competitive products and services that are easily found in major cities," says Certify CEO Robert Neveu. "This is why vendors with broad national coverage such as Starbucks, McDonald's, Delta, United and Marriott continually rise to the top of receipts. The SpendSmart Report is also a valuable report for companies to plan ahead and determine which vendors offer the best value and the best prices."

2013 Most Expensed Vendors

For the full year of 2013, these are the top vendors by major spending category:


Most-Expensed: Marriott, average receipt, $225.43
Top Rated: Residence Inn

*2012 Most-Expensed Hotel was Hilton, averaging $270.55


Most-Expensed: Starbucks, average receipt, $9.58
Top Rated: Chick-fil-A

*2012 Most-Expensed Restaurant was Starbucks, averaging $7.54

Car Rentals

Most-Expensed: Avis, average receipt, $171.22
Top Rated: Enterprise

*2012 Most-Expensed Rental Company was National, averaging $182.71


Most-Expensed: Delta, average receipt, $390.72
Top Rated Airline: Southwest

*2012 Most-Expensed Airline was Delta, averaging $474.25

Percentage of T&E Budget Spent by Category in 2013

Meals: 22.5%
Airfare: 15.71%
Misc.: 14.92%
Hotel: 14.9%
Fuel: 12.33%
Cell Phone: 5.63%
Car Rental: 5.24%
Taxi: 3.16%
Shipping: 2.36%
Parking: 1.63%

To compare budget percentages for 2012, click here.

Certify also issued its quarterly report for the fourth quarter on Thursday. The top-expensed vendors for Q4 included Starbucks, McDonald's, Marriott, Hampton Inn, Delta, United, National and Avis. The biggest gainers for expensed items were Dunkin' Donuts, which moved up from sixth-most expensed restaurant to fifth-most expensed restaurants from Q3 to Q4; US Airways, which moved from fourth to third-most expensed airline and American Airlines which moved from fifth to fourth-most expensed airline in the last quarter. Southwest Airlines dropped from third place in Q3 to fifth place in Q4.

Q4 Highlights:

Most-Expensed Restaurants:

Starbucks: 4.98% of expenses, averaging $10.26 per receipt
McDonalds's: 2.97%, averaging $7.57
Subway: 1.73%, averaging $14.65
Panera Bread: 1.68%, averaging $37.00
Dunkin' Donuts: 1.27%, averaging $10.84 [moved up 1 spot from Q3]

Most Expensed Restaurants by Meal

•    Breakfast: Starbucks, 13.91%
•    Lunch: McDonalds, 3.03%
•    Dinner: McDonalds, 1.55%

Top Rated Restaurants

Chick-Fil-A: 4.3
Chipotle: 4.3
Panera Bread: 4.1
Jimmy John's: 4.1
Dunkin Donuts: 4.1
Most-Expensed Hotels
Marriott: 9.27% of expenses, averaging $225.96
Hampton Inn: 7.45%, averaging $195.88
Courtyard by Marriott: 6.28%, averaging $170.52
Hilton: 4.68%, averaging $189.71
Holiday Inn: 4.26%, averaging $148.42

Top Rated Hotels

Residence Inn: 4.5 [moved up 1 spot from Q3]
Westin Hotel: 4.3
Marriott: 4.2
Courtyard By Marriott: 4.1
Embassy Suites: 4.1

Most Expensed Airlines

Delta: 19.77% of expenses, averaging $408.14
United: 14.08%, averaging $419.29
US Airways: 9.7%, averaging $291.78 [moved up 1 spot from Q3]
American: 9.53%, averaging $352.20 [moved up 1 spot from Q3]
Southwest: 8.92%, averaging $297.94

Top Rated Airlines

Southwest: 4.2
Delta: 4.0
Alaska Airline: 3.8
American Airlines: 3.7
US Airways: 3.7

[United no longer in top 5]

Most Expensed Car-Rental Services

National: 18.2%, averaging $166.67
Avis: 16.18% of expenses, averaging $173.83
Hertz: 14.72%, averaging $226.80
Enterprise: 12.59%, averaging $182.86
Budget: 4.14%, averaging $186.09
Top Rated Car-Rental Services
Avis: 4.2
National: 4.1
Enterprise: 4.0
Hertz: 3.8
Budget Car Rental: 3.6

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