Chris Christie’s $1 Million Amex Charges (Bonus Category Spend) Can Remain Secret

A court ruled that Chris Christie’s travel expenses can remain secret because… security. (HT: Tocqueville)

The head of the Governor’s protection unit “swears … that release of the [American Express bills] would increase the risk of harm to the governor,” because it would provide details like the number of security officers traveling with him (even though Christie has spoken publicly about the number of officers detailed to him and that have accompanied him on specific trips).

When Christie travels out of state for his Presidential campaign, his campaign pays for his travel but New Jersey picks up expenses for his security. (Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s campaign doesn’t stick his state with a similar tab.)

Apparently Chris Christie spent 22 times as much on his and his detail’s travel expenses last year as his predecessor spent in his last year as governor — and that was the super-corrupt former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine who was charged with misuse of customer funds in connection with the bankruptcy of MF Global.

My reaction is two-fold,

  • Well, travel costs are up since the depths of the Great Recession
  • You kind of have to respect that level of manufactured spend, even if they’re doing it with taxpayer money.

$1 million in travel, that’s an irresistible amount of bonus category spend. Though he may be improperly benefiting from it for his presidential campaign, it’s unlikely he’s able to pocket the miles. Instead, New Jersey is using American Express cards for state purchasing. No Membership Rewards points accumulating in anyone’s individual account.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I will never forget one of my wife’s customers from many years ago. At the height of the dot com bubble, she was running all of a major tech firm’s IT spending through her personal AMEX and enjoying the fruits of the membership rewards points. We’re talking close to 8 digits in spend annually. Heady days those were and that company is long since gone.

  2. I thought you could upgrade corporate cards to Membership rewards cards if you were willing to pay the annual fee personal.

  3. For the record, Jon Corzine wasn’t charged with anything.

    I think shitty manager is more applicable than “corrupt”, since he wasn’t stealing any money.

    Otherwise love the blog!

  4. @Hugh
    yeah I do have some serious questions about how someone who espouses the ideas that Bernie does could possibly garner his level of support. We are talking about a guy who leaves any logic of dollars and cents at the door and puts little to no thought in the ramifications of his idealistic policies. $15 min wage and free public college for all are enough to tell you he is a loon

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