Comments (24)

Mar 7, 2010

From my experience (at an M/B/B), there was no stipend or per diem as in "Here's $50/day to cover your meals."

Instead, you were able to expense pretty much everything when you were on the road - from meals to taxis to hotels to drinks - within certain limits (that were rather flexible).

Mar 7, 2010

Thank You for the response. Do consulting companies let you book your own hotel rooms and flights so you can get points and rewards. (ex. Hilton Hhonors, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest etc.)

Mar 7, 2010

Depends on the firm. I'm rather certain that all firms let you get frequent flyer miles + hotel points. Some firms may make you use a company credit card (meaning no credit card points), but others let you use your own. It just depends...

Mar 7, 2010

I have worked in consulting and F500 and for both the main rule was "use your head". There were no fixed amounts, but you shouldn't be blowing $100 on dinner.

As for hotels and flights, the company let us make our own decisions. The system did prompt you for comments if you chose a more expensive flight, which was usually just a scheduling issue. I kept FF points and hotel points, but used corporate card to make reservations.

Mar 7, 2010

FWIW, $100 dinners certainly aren't encouraged, but a few members of my case team figured out ways to get them through on a fairly regular basis. This was pre-recession, though.

Mar 7, 2010

In my firm, you get per diem from high 30s to low 50s depending on the city. This doesn't include cab fare, phone cost, etc. but expected to covers meals and other misc. services (like dry cleaning). Obviously you can still charge in full per diem if there are team dinners where manager/partner is footing the bill and the hotel lounges always have breakfast. There are also ways to fold costs in the hotel bill, depending on who is checking.

Mar 8, 2010

Unless you're at a crappy consulting firm - you will always get the travel benefits of miles / points. The only exception to this might be your first training or other events where the firm pre books rooms - but call the hotel and you'll get the nights towards status.

You don't get a stipend. You swipe your corporate card and import your expenses and get reimbursed.

Per Diem is different at every firm. Most firms do it by location whereas other firms give you flat amounts and some firms do actuals.

Per Diem = This is your amount for food - I spent $39 on food but my per diem here is $50 so I pocket $11.

Actuals = My steak was $42.43 and $42.43 will be reimbursed to me.

Even if you use your company card - most company cards are AMEX. You sign up for AMEX rewards (the fee for membership though is a personal expense).

Mar 8, 2010

Actually I am allowed to expense my Rewards Membership fee along with an annual allowance toward books/magazines/membership.

Mar 10, 2010
brick:

Actually I am allowed to expense my Rewards Membership fee along with an annual allowance toward books/magazines/membership.

Which firm if I can ask.

Mar 10, 2010

2nd or 3rd tier if you ask people here, one of the bigger ones.

Mar 13, 2010

At my firm (MBB), $100+/person dinners definitely still happen. Helps to have senior people there but I have expensed $700+ for 6 people about once every two weeks. There really isn't a hard limit but usually going out to dinner with a few other junior people we will spend $200-$250 for 4 people.

Typical week I will expense $500 flight, $500 hotel for 2 nights, $300 food, $200 taxis/rental car. All this is put on personal credit cards which earn points and reimbursements are direct deposited into my bank account each Friday.

A lot depends on the personality of your superiors and, more importantly, the size and attitude of the client.

Obviously working on overall strategy for a $10B corporation, people won't bat an eye at the $250k in expenses that come through after a typical 3 month case. Working on a $100M business unit, however, the purse strings will be a bit tighter.

Mar 15, 2010
consultant09:

All this is put on personal credit cards which earn points and reimbursements are direct deposited into my bank account each Friday.

So your (MBB) company sends you a check at the end of the week covering all of your expenses?

Mar 16, 2010

MBB people use personal cards for expenses? I thought every consulting firm uses the firm AMEX? And its every week? Isn't it done when payroll is done?

Mar 16, 2010

My last firm (not MBB) gave us the option to use the corporate AMEX or any personal one. Our reimbursments lagged about three weeks though, give or take a few days based on what was going on in finance. Direct deposit every week is the heat, I haven't heard of that previously.

Mar 16, 2010

Corporate Amex is generally "mandatory" for all purchases, but most backoffice accounting guys don't give a shit about anything except airfares and car rentals (insurance through the card).

and for MBB - reimbursements generally have to be weekly since most people will rack up hefty bills - 4 days in a hotel, 2 fully-refundable tickets, cabs (sometimes plus rental car)... the list goes on. I'm responsible for something like 10 grand in expenses after a few weeks on my current case - don't know about you guys but my credit limit sure as hell doesn't go that high.

Mar 16, 2010
bleedblue82:

Corporate Amex is generally "mandatory" for all purchases, but most backoffice accounting guys don't give a shit about anything except airfares and car rentals (insurance through the card).

and for MBB - reimbursements generally have to be weekly since most people will rack up hefty bills - 4 days in a hotel, 2 fully-refundable tickets, cabs (sometimes plus rental car)... the list goes on. I'm responsible for something like 10 grand in expenses after a few weeks on my current case - don't know about you guys but my credit limit sure as hell doesn't go that high.

That's why you AMEX.

I have never heard of weekly and frankly, running a weekly payroll seems very cumbersome for any large institution.

Mar 16, 2010

Is the float worth it for the credit card points?

Back of the envelope calculation says hell yeah - I'd lend my company $x for a year if it meant getting 12*x points for the year. If that $x ends up just floating as part of your personal credit card's grace period, and never has to come out of your pocket, all the better.

Mar 16, 2010

Well, you have to be aggressive with your credit card points. Find a great credit card partner and use it aggressively. honestly - any amex card really is all about prestige - the loyalty rewards aren't great. Use chase or discover for the rewards.

Mar 16, 2010

I file expenses bi-weekly and reimbursed in 4-5 days. Allowed to use any credit cards for everything, except flights. Rental coverage comes through corporate contract.
With my Corp AmEx, I get points anyway, so doesn't make much difference since I use AmEx personally as well and I can move points between both accounts. Except for hotel points, AmEx SPG is crucial here. Also most Marriott special rewards are tied to their Visa.

Mar 16, 2010

@brick - 1 spg point is significantly more valuable than 1 amex point (cash + points spg redemptions are pretty awesome, and the amex --> spg xfer rate sucks).

@all those currently in consulting - Has anyone started using a 2% card (i.e. Schwab 2% cash back) instead of SPG/amex for non-hotel expenses? I feel like the cash would be pretty tempting...

Mar 16, 2010

I actually got the AmEx SPG few months back and now passing all expenses through that card to maximize points, especially for the 6 months promo. But yeah, with regular AmEx points are mostly for flexibility rather than best value. Don't use cash back, but definitely a better value given AmEx should be valued at $0.01/Point (or 1%).

Mar 16, 2010

Don't forget that spg can be transferred as well! Maybe fewer partner airlines than AmEx though?

Mar 16, 2010
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Mar 17, 2010