Insights & Trends
6 Ways to Use a Corporate Card

6 Ways to Use a Corporate Card

Alex Roha

20 May 2022
4 minute read

$32.3 billion.

That was the projected market size of the global corporate cards market, $32.3 billion in 2020—a number expected to compound by 7.3% between 2020 and 2026.

In other words, more businesses are waking up to the many benefits of corporate cards, which take the form of both purchasing cards (p-cards) and corporate credit cards and enable employees to make authorized business expenses. Their evolution has come a long way in recent years, with built-in AI technology, cashback rewards programs, and automatic policy limits.

And companies using the corporate card from Navan Expense enable their finance teams to stay in control while offering employees a simple way to pay without pulling out their personal credit cards. Additionally, smart virtual and physical cards with built-in policies ensure responsible spending, real-time transaction visibility, and automated expense reporting for all business spend.

Virtual Card Synergy

For Navan, offering a virtual card alongside a physical card is essential for ease of use and financial freedom.

Similar to how a corporate credit card works, a virtual card features a unique 16-digit virtual card number generated digitally. Employees can use that number for online checkouts and download it to a mobile wallet for in-person purchases where virtual cards are accepted.

Like corporate cards, the same built-in controls and expectations are set to ensure employees stay within policy, security is managed, and payments can be easily reimbursable.

Below are examples of where corporate and virtual cards can work harmoniously in a company’s tech and expense stack.

Hotels and Overnight Stays

Business travelers should feel empowered to spend what they need on the road; viewing overnight business travel as a perk, not a pain. Companies looking to leverage business travel for strategic growth should encourage travelers to attend in-person events, conferences, and customer-facing meetings with their best foot forward, rather than worrying about fronting the bill for a $1,700 hotel stay.

A corporate card with built-in policy controls gives admins peace of mind. When employees travel, predetermined spending limits ensure admins receive notifications for charges above particular thresholds or in certain merchant categories. Many hotels no longer require a physical card for check-in, so virtual cardholders can seamlessly access their overnight stay.

Meals In and Out of the Office

Whether catering for a company all-hands or paying for the third coffee of the day during a business trip, corporate cards are an easy means to help busy employees refuel. Modern corporate cards have spending limits and built-in per diems to better regulate employee spending.

Global Travel

Like paying for a hotel, business travelers need swift expensing solutions for all parts of the travel journey. International travel, with varying languages or currencies, make the experience even more complex. But expenses shouldn’t be another worry for travelers or admins as employees cross borders; smart corporate cards offer a great solution.

A card’s multi-currency support eliminates cash conversions, and upgraded security controls mean fraudsters across the globe can’t access company funds. Smart cards also put an end to expense reports by automatically adding electronic records at the point of purchase.

Some cards will also offer traveler incentives that companies can choose to disperse or enable employees to use, like access to airport lounges or free miles.


Once a business traveler has arrived at their location, odds are they will need a means of travel to their next stop. Navan Expense corporate card users can book rideshare through strategic partnerships with companies like Lyft, Uber, and Grab, which allows ravelers to automatically provide location and destination information for quick and easy access to transportation.

Some business owners are offering commuter rideshare services to employees as the back-to-office trend continues globally.

Recurring Subscriptions and Fees

A corporate card with a built-in expense management software solution for financial leaders and admins means total visibility into monthly spending of recurring fees. Entire subscriptions meet automatic approvals, whether a consistent stream of supplies or business technology like Adobe Suite or Slack.

Once the corporate card is set, users can view these purchases at a granular level or just “set it and forget it” so admins and employees can streamline reoccurring business needs.


As companies look to nurture their employees’ career growth, educational tools and opportunities are an excellent option for future business development. Some team leaders in departments like sales may need monthly training courses, while the brand department may want a senior designer to take a course online.

Perhaps a marketing manager sees a last-minute signup spot for a marketing webinar. Rather than fronting the bill and waiting for reimbursement, the marketing manager is already aware the purchase is in policy based on the card account. If purchases aren’t, employees will receive a notification immediately. And, if users don’t have their wallets handy, employees can easily plug in their virtual card attached to the respective employee account.

A Corporate Card That Scales With Companies

Passing out cards to employees doesn’t mean handing out unlimited freedom. While the above examples offer ways for employees to feel confident in spending company funds, admins and financial leaders are still at the helm of their corporate card programs.

From startups to enterprises, the Navan card is one card companies need to remove cash flow burdens from employees. Because spend controls are built into Navan cards and auto-enforced at the point of sale, finance leaders can prevent policy violations and distribute cards confidently.

Ready to start using Navan today? Get up and running in 5 mins.

Return to blog

More content you might like