Living with credit, Protecting yourself

Corporate card shenanigans — got some to share?

Jeremy Simon

While putting together a recent article on how to use a corporate card, I heard some pretty entertaining tales of corporate plastic abuse.

In one of those stories, a corporate card receipt listed a package of diapers as one of the purchases made during a company-sanctioned trip to the wholesale club. Unfortunately for that employee, no babies were on the payroll.

Another interviewee said a fellow employee decided to put a $4,000 car advance on plastic — but not the employee’s own. Rather, the employee opted to charge the advance to the company, making unwise use of the corporate card.

Meanwhile, one of my co-workers related how, at her old job with a national nonprofit trade group, the Web designer used the corporate AmEx to take a trip to Peru to meet her new boyfriend’s family. If that wasn’t enough, she also used the corporate card to buy groceries and clothes. Not surprisingly, she ended up getting fired. It took the designer some time to pay back all those charges.

Another co-worker tells of a highly-recruited Ivy League MBA intern at a former employer that bought everyone in a crowded downtown Philapelphia bar a drink to help celebrate his new job, charging the purchase on his corporate card. The result was an “exceptionally short banking career when he was unable to pay his card bill.”

And my editor tells the story about a co-worker at a former job who will forever be known as “Shoes” — for the $6,000 corporate card bill she racked up buying designer footwear.

Now it’s your turn, readers. Please weigh in with stories of the most wild or ridiculous charges ever put on a corporate credit card. Add a comment to this blog item, or send an e-mail to

Don’t worry — I’ll keep it anonymous, so even if the guilty party is your “friend,” you — I mean “they” — will remain un-named.

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  • Richard Sherwood

    I work for IM Flash which is a flash memory fab company formed by Intel and Micron. We were told in our pretravel meeting about 7 guys that were fired because they ran up a few hundred dollars on the corporate card at a strip joint. Lol