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Corporate Credit Cards in the U.S.


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The corporate credit card market continues to excite card issuers because its potential, particularly among smaller companies, is virtually untapped. Despite the massive efforts of Visa, MasterCard and American Express (and to a dramatically lesser extent, by Discover and Diner’s Club), at the end of 2005, card issuers had captured only two percent of the $16.2 trillion commercial consumption expenditure market. Companies -- small, midsized and large -- continue to rely overwhelmingly on cash, checks and Automated Clearing House (ACH) for their remittances.

Companies have increasingly turned to corporate cards to replace more traditional labor-intensive and inefficient paper payment procedures. As with the consumer market, segmentation is pervasive, with issuers competing to provide businesses with more custom-tailored functions and payment services. Even as product-differentiation intensifies, there has been a simultaneous emphasis on one-card programs among issuers courting companies --mainly in the middle-market -- with diverse functional payment needs. This fluidity among card categories and functions is likely to make one-cards the choice for companies looking to centralize spend control and to maximize processing efficiency.

Corporate Credit Cards in the U.S., the 5th edition of Packaged Facts’ popular report, looks broadly at the commercial credit card categories, and examines more in-depth and more critically the various products in those categories, looking at the benefits, and in some cases, drawbacks to employers, employees, suppliers and issuers. Next, the report examines current legal/regulatory issues, likely to impact the future of the commercial credit card market. The report also reviews each of the major associations/companies and issuers, as well as profile commercial consumers. It assesses the current state of the market and its potential and projected growth. And finally, the report discusses the actual opportunities and obstacles on the way to increasing both market share and product acceptance.

Report Methodology
The information in Corporate Credit Cards in the U.S. is based on primary research, including interviews with industry participants, and secondary research including articles appearing in financial, marketing, and trade publications, government business and financial regulatory agencies data, company literature, independent financial reports, and product advertising. Statistics on market revenues and marketer share are based on an evaluation of all available information on market sales and trends, including data for the top corporate card issuers, data from SEC company filings; and trends and figures reported by the trade press and Fitch Research. The analysis of consumer demographics and product usage rates primarily derives from the Simmons Market Research Bureau (New York, New York) Fall 2006 consumer survey.

About the Author
Elizabeth Rowe was the senior banking expert at Guideline, Inc. (a New York consultancy/business advisory firm) for 11 years, directing research covering the retail and commercial banking industries.

She has worked with the nation's largest banks as they assess new technologies, track emerging issues and trends in their industry and benchmark against new and traditional competitors.

She has taught at the ABA School of Bank Card Management and frequently speaks at conferences. She has been widely quoted in the financial press, including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, American Banker, Forbes, the Daily Deal, CNN/fn and Money Management Executive.

What You’ll Get in this Report
Corporate Credit Cards in the U.S. makes important predictions and recommendations regarding the future of this market, and pinpoints ways current and prospective players can capitalize on current trends and spearhead new ones. No other market research report provides both the comprehensive analysis and extensive data that Corporate Credit Cards in the U.S. offers.

Plus, you’ll benefit from extensive data, presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.

How You Will Benefit from this Report
If your company is already doing business in the corporate and commercial credit card market, or is considering making the leap, you will find this report invaluable, as it provides a comprehensive package of information and insight not offered in any other single source. You will gain a thorough understanding of the current market for commercial credit cards (corporate, purchase, fleet), as well as projected markets and trends through 2011.

This report will help:

  • Marketing Managers identify market opportunities and develop targeted promotion plans for corporate credit cards.
  • Research and development professionals stay on top of competitor initiatives and explore demand for corporate credit cards.
  • Advertising agencies working with clients in the banking and retail industries understand the product buyer to develop messages and images that compel companies to use corporate credit cards.
  • Business development executives understand the dynamics of the market and identify possible partnerships.
  • Information and research center librarians provide market researchers, brand and product managers and other colleagues with the vital information they need to do their jobs more effectively.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope and Methodology
      • Report Methodology
      • The Report
      • The Products
      • Cards by Type: Definitions
      • Purchasing Cards
      • Fleet Cards
      • Corporate Travel & Entertainment Cards
      • Small Business Cards
      • Payroll Cards
      • Prepaid Cards
      • Health Care Cards
    • Smaller Businesses in the United States
      • Small Employers Grew by 4% from 2001-2006
        • Table Factors Affecting Overall Business Conditions in 2007 (Percentage Distribution)
      • Characteristics of Small Business Owners
      • Small Businesses with Fewer than 25 Employees are the Most Desirable Cohort
      • Co-Branding is Hot Trend
      • New Technology Reaches the Small Business Card Market
      • Small Business Portals
    • The Commercial Card Consumer
      • Baby Boomers are Top Card Users
      • Active Card Owners by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
      • Skews by Educational Attainment and Individual Income
      • Business Cards Hugely Popular Among the Self-Employed
      • 1.2 Million Professional/Scientific/Technological Employees Are Active Card Users
      • Laptop/Desktop Workstations Are the Top Purchases Among Business Cardholders
    • The Commercial Card Regulatory and Business Landscapes
      • Lawsuits
      • Interchange Fee Suits
      • Governments and Interchange Fees
      • American Express and Discover Sue the Associations
      • AmEx and Banking Relationships
      • Currency Conversion Class Action Lawsuit
      • Initial Public Offerings
      • Visa's IPO
    • Marketing Strategies
      • Advertising Expenditures of Major Card Companies
      • AmEx Spent More than Half a Billion on Advertising in 2005
      • Brand Strategies of Largest Card Companies
      • Visa Sponsorships
      • American Express Sponsorships
      • Contests and Sweepstakes - Involving the Customer
      • Small Business Sweepstakes from MasterCard
      • Visa Savings for Business Contest and Small Business Makeover Contest
      • AmEx Takes a Philanthropic Direction
    • Market Projection
      • U.S. Commercial Card Spending to Reach $1.2 Trillion in 2010
        • Table Commercial Cards, By Segment (Historical and Forecast)
      • Corporate America to Increase Use of Credit Cards
      • Significant Obstacles Loom to Greater Commercial Card Acceptance
      • Market Potential by Card Type
      • Purchasing Cards:
      • Corporate Travel & Entertainment Cards
      • Payroll Cards
      • Small Business Cards
      • Health Cards
      • One Card
      • Areas of Opportunity
      • The Competitive Landscape
  • The Products
    • Introduction and Overview
      • Table Payment Types In The U.S., 2005 - 2010
      • Table Planned Use of Checks and Corporate Payment Cards
      • Unlimited Opportunity, Especially in Smaller Businesses
      • Segmenting is Key to Win New Business
      • Cards by Type: Definitions
      • Corporate/Purchasing Cards
      • Big Ticket Buys Scare Off Vendors
      • Pcards Decrease Paper Transactions and Provide Data
      • Mature for Mid-Sized and Large Companies, But Still Opportunity
      • Visa's Payment Systems Usage Survey
      • Travel & Entertainment Cards
      • T&E Typically the Second or Third Largest Spend
        • Table Distribution of 2006 Travel Expenditures
      • Small Business Cards
      • Fleet Cards
      • Wright Express and Voyager Leaders in Fleet Cards
      • Components of Fleet Card Revenue
      • An Opportunity and a Challenge
      • Payroll Cards
      • Employers of Low Wage Earners are Key Market
      • Regulation E to the Rescue
      • Beyond the Unbanked
      • Prepaid Corporate Cards
      • Great Substitute for Cash
      • Business Gift Cards from MasterCard
      • Health Care Cards
      • Big Opportunity for HSAs in Consumer-Driven Health Plans
      • Great Card Functionality Includes Lines of Credit
        • Table Healthcare Debit Cards In Issue, 2003 - 2005
        • Table Potential Healthcare Debit Card Market 2005 - 2015
        • Table Healthcare Transactions in the U.S., 2003
        • Table Health-Care Spending By U.S. Consumers and Businesses
      • One-Cards
      • Community Banks Issuing Cards Enthusiastic About Commercial Cards
        • Table Community Banks Offering Commercial Cards in 2006 and 2008
        • Table Commercial Credit Cards Offered By Commercial Banks in 2006 and 2008
        • Table Community Banks Interested in Increasing Commercial Cards Issued
        • Table Commercial Debit Cards Offered By Community Banks in 2006 and 2008
      • The Card Companies as Small Business Lenders
      • Top Five Lenders
      • Capital One Shakes Things Up
  • The Small Business Sector
    • Businesses in the United States
      • Small Employers Grew by 4% from 2001-2006
        • Table Factors Affecting Overall Business Conditions in 2007 (Percentage Distribution)
      • Survey of County Businesses, Department of Commerce
        • Table Number of Businesses, by Type, Employees and Annual Payroll
        • Table Employer Firms, Establishments, Employment, and Annual Payroll Small Firm Size Classes, 2004
      • Less than a Quarter of Firms Had Paid Employees
      • Home-based businesses
      • Most businesses are "self-made"
      • Business owners are highly educated, 3-in-10 are over 55 and 14% are veterans
      • Owners' income, role and hours vary
      • Characteristics of Small Business Owners
      • Small Businesses with Fewer than 25 Employees are the Most Desirable Cohort
      • Small Business Owners and Credit
      • How Businesses Use Their Credit Cards
        • Table Leading Small Business Credit Card Issuers, 2005
      • Co-Branding is Hot Trend
      • New Technology Reaches the Small Business Card Market
      • Small Business Portals
      • MasterCard's Portal
      • VISA's Portal
      • American Express' Portal
      • Micro-Portals
      • Visa USA
      • MasterCard
      • American Express
      • Segmentation
      • MasterCard Construction
      • Visa Signature Business
      • MasterCard and Wright Express
      • The Electronic Marketplace
      • AmEx Offers Electronic Meeting Negotiation Solution
      • Areas of Opportunity
  • The Commercial Card Consumer
    • Introduction
      • Simmons Market Research Bureau Data
      • Card and Cardholder Classifications
      • 11 Million Business Card Users
        • Table Usage Rates for Selected Credit Card Classifications: Used in Last Year, and Used in Last Month, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Total Number of Users for Selected Credit Card Classifications: Used in Last Year, and Used in Last Month, 2006 (in millions of U.S. adults)
    • Consumer Focus: Personal Demographics
      • Baby Boomers are Top Card Users
      • Active Card Owners by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
      • Regional Preferences for Card Brands
      • Skews by Educational Attainment and Individual Income
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Adult Age Bracket, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Adult Age Bracket, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Total Number of Users in Last Year for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications: By Gender, 2006 (in thousands of U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Gender, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Total Number of Users in Last Year for Selected Credit Card Classifications: Non-Hispanic Whites vs. Minorities, 2006 (in thousands of U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Race/Ethnicity, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Region, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Region, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Highest Level of Educational Attainment, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Individual Income Bracket (in Thousands), 2006 (U.S. adults)
    • Consumer Focus: Professional Demographics
      • Business Cards Hugely Popular Among the Self-Employed
      • Business Card Use and Length of Same-Company Employment
      • Smaller-Company Skew for MasterCard
      • 1.2 Million Professional/Scientific/Technological Employees Are Active Card Users
      • Business Cards and Business Purchasing Involvement
      • Laptop/Desktop Workstations Are the Top Purchases Among Business Cardholders
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Type of Job, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Executive/Managerial Job Title, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Length of Service with Company/Employer, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Total Number of Users in Last Year for Selected Credit Card Classifications: By Nature of Self-Employment, 2006 (in thousands of U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Nature of Self-Employment, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Total Number of Users in Last Year for Selected Credit Card Classifications: By Company Size, 2006 (in thousands of U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Company Size, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Total Number of Business Card Users in Last Year: By Industry in Which Employed, 2006 (in thousands of U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use Business Cards in Last Year: By Industry in Which Employed, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Selected Credit Card Classifications in Last Year: By Nature of Business Purchase Involvement, 2006 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Total Number of Business Card Users in Last Year: By Nature of Product or Service Business Purchase, 2006 (in thousands of U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Use of Business Cards in Last Year: By Nature of Product or Service Business Purchase, 2006 (U.S. adults)
  • The Commercial Card Regulatory Landscape: Lawsuits and IPOs
    • Interchange Fee Suits
      • Governments and Interchange Fees
      • American Express and Discover Sue the Associations
      • AmEx and Banking Relationships
      • Currency Conversion Class Action Lawsuit
      • International Cases of Interest
      • Initial Public Offerings
      • Visa's IPO
      • Visa and MasterCard Civil Antitrust Suits
  • The Market Size and Potential for Commercial Credit Cards
    • U.S. Commercial Card Spending to Reach $1.2 Trillion in 2010
      • Table Commercial Card Segments, Historical and Projected (billion $)
      • MasterCard and Visa Gain a Bit at AmEx's expense
        • Table U.S. Commercial Credit and Debit Card Spending Share by Brand, 2010
      • Corporate America to Increase Use of Credit Cards
      • Significant Obstacles Loom to Greater Commercial Card Acceptance
      • Late 2006 Financial Results for the Big Three
      • AmEx
      • MasterCard
      • Market Potential by Card Type
      • Purchasing Cards:
      • Fleet Cards
      • Corporate Travel and Entertainment Cards
        • Table Market for Travel and Entertainment Cards
      • Payroll/Prepaid Cards
        • Table Payroll Card Growth Prospects ($ figures in billions)
        • Table Recent Mergers in the Prepaid Sector
      • The Potential Market for Prepaid Cards - $1 Trillion
        • Table Potential Market Shares of Prepaid Products ($ billions)
      • Small Business Cards
      • Health Reimbursement, Health Savings and Flexible Spending Account Cards
      • One Card
  • Advertising and Marketing
    • Advertising Expenditures of Major Card Companies
      • AmEx Spent More than Half a Billion on Advertising in 2005
      • Spending on Print Rose Significantly Unlike on the Internet
        • Table Financial Services Companies in Advertising Age's Top 200 Advertisers
    • Brand Strategies of Largest Card Companies
      • Sports Sponsorships
      • MasterCard and World Cup
      • Visa Sponsorships
      • American Express Sponsorships
      • Contests and Sweepstakes - Involving the Customer
      • Small Business Sweepstakes from MasterCard
      • Visa Savings for Business Contest and Small Business Makeover Contest
      • AmEx Takes a Philanthropic Direction
  • The Competitive Landscape
    • Table U.S. Commercial Credit and Debit Card Spending Share by Brand, 2004 and 2010
    • Table Top U.S. Commercial Card Issuers - 2005
    • Visa Inc.
      • Table Visa at a glance:
      • Reorganization and Initial Public Offering
        • Table Commercial Card Sales Volume
      • Loyalty
      • Security
        • Table Survey of Commercial Card Usage by Financial Executives and Cash Managers (%)
    • MasterCard
      • Table MasterCard At A Glance
      • MasterCard's IPO
      • Litigation
      • Purchasing. Presentment. Payment.
      • MasterCard's SmartLink
      • World Cup Sponsorship - a MasterCard Victory
      • Performance
      • Payment Innovations
    • American Express
      • In Pursuit of Commercial Business
    • Bank of America
      • Table Bank of America At A Glance
    • JPMorgan Chase
      • Table JPMorgan Chase at a Glance
      • Leader in the HAS/FSA Market
    • Citigroup
      • Table Citigroup at a Glance
      • The Largest MC Issuer Became an Issuer of AmEx Cards
      • Prescription Drug Benefits on a Credit Card
    • U.S. Bancorp
      • Table U.S. Bancorp at a Glance
    • Capital One
      • Table Capital One at a Glance
    • Wells Fargo
      • Table Wells Fargo at a Glance
      • The WellsOne Card for Business
    • Advanta
      • Proud of its Focus on the Small Business Market
    • Discover Financial Services
    • Wright Express
      • Largest Issuer of Fleet Cards
  • Addresses of Bankcard Associations and Selected Commercial Card Issuers
    • Bankcard Associations
      • Commercial Card Issuers
      • Industry Sources

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