Amex: Q2 SME Travel Spending Tops 2019 Levels

Second-quarter travel and entertainment spending on American Express corporate cards by the small and midsize corporate segment exceeded pre-pandemic levels from the second quarter of 2019, the company announced Friday. While such spending by large and global companies remains well below 2019 levels, it nevertheless increased notably from the first quarter, according to Amex.

Small and midsize enterprise T&E spending in the second quarter was 108 percent of 2019 levels, according to Amex. That spending on Amex corporate cards by the large and global corporate segment was 60 percent of what it was in the second quarter of 2019, but that is up from 38 percent in the first quarter of 2022. American Express CFO Jeff Campbell called that uptick a sign of a more meaningful business travel recovery.”

“We don’t see demand in the T&E categories declining significantly anytime soon,” added American Express CEO Stephen Squeri, “based on the strength of future bookings coming through our consumer travel agency and the trends of our partners in the travel industry like Delta are experiencing, particularly in the premium space.”

Total second-quarter spending on American Express corporate cards was $153.1 billion, up from $135.7 billion in the first quarter and up 28 percent year over year. Average second-quarter spending per Amex’s Global Commercial Services division cardholder also increased to $9,512 from $8,682 in the first quarter and from $8,180 in the second quarter of 2021. The number of corporate cards in force increased 11 percent year over year to 16.4 million.

T&E-related spending during the second quarter made up 26 percent of volume on all Amex cards worldwide, up from 23 percent the prior quarter. Airline-related spending comprised 6 percent of all second-quarter volume, up from 5 percent in Q1.

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