Travel and Expense Guidelines

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Travel and Expense Guidelines

Spend reduction

When reducing spend, we'll not take the easy route of (temporarily) reducing discretionary spending. Discretionary spending includes expenses like travel, conferences, gifts, bonuses, merit pay increases and summits. By reducing in these areas we put ourselves at risk of increasing voluntary turnover among the people we need most. Discretionary spending is always subject to questioning, we are frugal and all spending needs to contribute to our goals. But we should not make cuts in reaction to the need to reduce spend; that would create a mediocre company with mediocre team members. Instead, we should do the hard work of identifying positions and costs that are not contributing to our goals. Even if this causes a bit more disruption in the short term, it will help us ensure we stay a great place to work for the people who are here.

Renting Cars in the United States and Canada

Third Party Liability

Purchase the liability insurance that is excess of the standard inclusion of State minimum coverage in the rental agreement at the rental agency. GitLab’s insurance policy provides liability insurance for rental cars while conducting company business, but it may be excess over any underlying liability coverage through the driver or credit card company used to purchase the rental.

Purchase the liability offered at the rental counter if there are foreign employees renting autos in the US or Canada. While workers' compensation would protect an injured US employee, other passengers may have the right to sue. To ensure that Gitlab has protection when a foreign employee invites another person into the car we recommend the purchase of this insurance when offered at the rental counter.

Physical Damage – Collision Damage Waiver

Do not purchase the Collision Damage Waiver offered at the rental counter. GitLab purchases coverage for damage to rented vehicles. If travel to Mexico is required, purchase the liability insurance for Mexico offered at the rental counter. You should verify that the rental agreement clearly states that the vehicle may be driven into Mexico and liability coverage will apply.

Renting Cars- Countries other than the US and Canada

Third Party Liability

Purchase the liability insurance offered at the rental counter when traveling outside the US and Canada. Automobile Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability insurance are required by law in almost every country. Please verify this coverage is included with the rental agreement.

Physical Damage – Collision Damage Waiver

Purchase the Collision Damage Waiver or Physical Damage Coverage offered by the rental agency when traveling outside the US and Canada.

In the event of an accident resulting in damage to the rental car, the foreign rental agency will charge the credit card used to make the reservation with an estimated amount of repair costs if insurance is not purchased. If this happens, GitLab does not purchase Foreign Corporate Hired Auto Physical Damage Coverage to reimburse for damages.

Personal Use by Employee or Family Members of Business Auto Rentals

Coverage is not provided for personal use of automobiles or when family members are driving. Please evaluate whether your own personal automobile insurance provides an extension for this coverage. If it does not, or you are renting a vehicle outside the US or Canada or taking a US rented vehicle into Mexico, we recommend that you purchase the liability and physical damage coverage offered by the rental agency to protect your personal liability when not engaged in company business. GitLab will not pay for liability or damage to the rental vehicle resulting from personal use or use by non-employees.

Reimbursable Expenses

The procedure by which reimbursable expenses are processed varies and is dependent on contributor legal status (e.g. independent contractor, employee, etc.) and subsidiary assignment (Inc, LTD, BV). Check with PeopleOps if you are unsure about either of these. For information regarding the company expense policy, check out the section of our team handbook on Spending Company Money. The accounting team will review the expenses for compliance with the company travel policy. Exceptions will be escalated to the manager for review and approval. The CEO will review selected escalations at least annually.

Independent Contractors– Contributors who are legally classified as independent contractors should include reimbursable expenses on the invoices they submit to the company through our Accounts Payable mailbox ( These team members should also consider the terms and conditions of their respective contractor agreements, when submitting invoices to the company.

Employees– Contributors who are on GitLab’s payroll are legally classified as employees. These team members will submit expenses in the Expensify application. Expense reports are to be submitted once a month, at least. If you were not assigned a user license as part of the onboarding process, you can request one by contacting PeopleOps. Additional information on getting started with Expensify and creating/submitting expense reports can be found here and here.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

Purchases of goods and services on behalf of the company can be facilitated by sending requests to our Accounts Payable mailbox ( Note that this does not include travel expenses and other incidentals. These expenses should be self-funded then submitted for reimbursement within Expensify, or for independent contractors, included in invoices to the company (per the guidelines above). Once a request is made, Finance will reach out to coordinate payment setup. Most importantly, the team member making the purchase request is ultimately responsible for reviewing and approving the expenses, on a regular basis. All original invoices and payment receipts must be sent to AP (

Company Credit Cards

Team members carrying company cards in their name should submit the expenses within Expensify, on a monthly basis. These expense reports should tie to your monthly account statement which can be accessed in the American Express online portal. The statement cutoff is the 29th of each month. Of course, it is important to remember to attach all of the necessary receipts. If you have any questions on this policy, don't hesitate to reach out to the Finance team.

Although we have worked to reduce the number of outstanding company credit cards in an effort to centralize corporate purchasing, there are still certain situations where it may be more practical to issue additional corporate cards. Please contact the Finance team if you would like further information on this.

Team members carrying company cards should link their cards to Expensify. Below are instructions on how to sign up for an American Express account, link your card to Expensify, and submit these expenses in accordance with company policy.

Creating an American Express account and integrating with Expensify

  1. Register your card with American Express.
  2. Log-in to Expensify and click on your picture in the top right corner. Choose "Account Settings".
  3. On the left panel, choose the option for "Credit Cards".
  4. Choose "Import Card/Bank".
  5. Choose "American Express US (Business)".
  6. Provide your log-in credentials that you created when you registered with American Express.
  7. Enter in your card details. It will take a few minutes for the card to import, so do not click away from this page.

Submitting company credit card expenses

Company credit card expenses should be submitted in Expensify on the first business day of each month. The account statements will be available for download on the 29th of the month being reported. Note that company card expenses should never be commingled with reimbursable expense reports. Reimbursable expenses should always be submitted in a separate report.

  1. Log-in to the American Express portal and download the account statement.
  2. In Expensify, there is a "GitLab-Amex" policy, which will be used for submitting your company card expenses.
    • This is separate from the standard GitLab policy, which is to be used for reimbursable expenses.
  3. Create a report under the "GitLab-Amex" policy. This is where you will add the auto-imported expenses.
  4. Your report in Expensify should tie to the American Express account statement you previously downloaded.
    • Rarely, some expenses may not auto-import correctly. These errors include duplicated expenses and failure to import. This can be remedied by manually adding the expense in question. Always use the account statement as the single source of truth.
  5. Attach receipts to the corresponding expenses.
  6. Review the report to verify that it ties to the account statement and that all receipts have been attached.
  7. Submit the report.