When savvy consumers find a great credit card that allows them to accumulate points or earn cash back from their issuer, they look for every reasonable opportunity to get the most out of this benefit—at the grocery store, at the gas station, at restaurants, and wherever they shop. Some people are even more creative, using their cards to pay for home renovations, college tuition, or even a tax bill from the IRS. When you are being rewarded for using your credit card, every dollar counts.

Many corporate credit cards offer similar incentives for their customers. They may provide reward points, cash back, or even discounts with specific merchants—which raises an important question: Why aren't more smart, well-run companies taking a proactive approach to maximizing these benefits from their corporate cards?

Middle-market companies (those with annual revenues below $500 million) spend an estimated $7.8 trillion on business-to-business expenditures each year (Dun & Bradstreet, 2012). According to MasterCard, nearly $1.8 billion of these payments could be made with corporate cards, but on average companies use cards for less than 5 percent of their payments. In an increasingly digital world, where most middle-market companies have adopted corporate cards, more than 50 percent of business-to-business payments today are still made by check.

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