AMEX, Ritz-Carlton Offer Hotel Folio

American Express has reached an agreement with Ritz Carlton to provide AMEX corporate card customers with free reports that analyze and itemize their lodging expenditures at 40 Ritz-Carlton properties across North America.

“We’ve never seen greater corporate demand for Hotel Folio than right now, as businesses take proactive steps to control travel costs and strengthen their expense management programs,” said Jay Cary, vice president of interactive product management and global commercial card at American Express.“Working together with The Ritz-Carlton, this agreement gives managers greater spend visibility and the insight to make better informed spending decisions, while making life easier for travelers dealing with expense reports.”

The partnership with The Ritz-Carlton adds to the folio agreements that American Express has in place with a number of leading hotel companies. American Express’ folio agreements now cover nearly 80 percent of its clients’ global commercial card hotel transactions in the U.S., more than any other corporate card issuer. American Express collects folio data from nearly 15,000 hotel properties with seven major hotel chains across North America and around the world.

As companies continue to sharpen their focus on controlling business travel spending, this partnership gives American Express customers more data and greater visibility into their spending, creating more opportunities to save, AMEX said. In addition, hotels can benefit from participating in the Hotel Folio program: studies show a marked increase in spending consolidation at participating hotels by companies enrolled in the program.

"The Hotel Folio program will make us a more effective partner in helping our corporate customers manage their travel costs and streamline their expense reports,” said Simon Cooper, president of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. “In a tight economy, more and more of our business guests want to track their costs, and we are pleased to partner with American Express on this innovative travel management tool.”

Hotel Folio provides a detailed breakdown on hotel spending is crucial to clients because lodging is the second largest area of travel and entertainment (T&E) for corporate card clients, AMEX says. Breakdowns of lodging expenditures can help companies evaluate ancillary spending and investigate opportunities to further manage their T&E costs. Folio data also enables companies to track the use of negotiated room rates, as well as improve expense report processing. American Express’ Hotel Folio reports provide key data on hotel expenditures across vendors, geographies, departments, and employees, broken out from overall lodging charges.

American Express also offers a Room Rate Analysis Report providing data on room rates, including the average, minimum, maximum, and most frequently booked room rate information for properties and cities. Companies can use this information for supplier and cardmember compliance management, AMEX says.