FI0531 – Travel Card Procedures


This document states the University’s procedures related to its travel card.


This procedure applies to all University employees involved in the travel card process.


  1. Obtaining a Travel Card; Increasing Limits
    1. Employees who seek to obtain a travel card will apply through the University’s travel system. The travel system will route the request through workflow to the employee’s department head and to the applicable campus/institute travel card coordinator.
    2. In addition to completing the application through the travel system, prospective cardholders must also successfully complete the training program and questionnaire in the K@TE learning management system.
    3. Cardholders may request travel-card purchasing limit increases or decreases through the travel system. The travel system will route the request through workflow to the employee’s department head and the applicable Chief Business Officer.
  2. Cardholder Responsibilities
    1. The travel cardholder has the following responsibilities:
      1. Use the card only for prudent and reasonable business travel expenses;
      2. Ensure that all charges comply with applicable policies and procedures;
      3. Process all transactions in the travel system within 30 days after the trip has ended;
      4. Obtain receipts for all purchases exceeding $75;
      5. Never let anyone borrow the cardholder’s travel card;
      6. Immediately report any fraudulent or suspicious transaction to the:
        1. The card provider (as described in the Lost/Stolen Card section in this procedure)
        2. System Procurement Card Administrator
        3. Campus Card Coordinator
      7. Request the cancellation of the card when the cardholder plans to leave the University;
      8. Immediately start the transaction dispute process if an amount or charge does not appear correct (see section VII below);
      9. Ensuring that expenses to sponsored projects comply with the sponsoring agency’s policies.
      10. Once awarded, cardholders are expected to complete a refresh training if and when the card is renewed.
      11. Fully cooperate with any audits, investigation, or reviews of the travel card program.
    2. Cardholders must not attempt to send payment to the card provider.
  3. Department Head Responsibilities
    1. Department heads have the following responsibilities:
      1. Only approve travel card requests for employees who are responsible, in good standing, and capable of properly performing the responsibilities that come with the card.
      2. Establish procedures that ensure travel card transactions are processed in a timely manner, comply with policy and applicable receipts are attached with each transaction.
      3. Review all travel card transactions for compliance with travel policies, campus/institute procedures, campus/departmental procedures, and any spending limit constraints.
      4. For any cardholders that are leaving the University, ensure that the card is obtained from the cardholder and steps are taken to cancel the card. Before leaving the University, cardholders must ensure that all outstanding charges are reconciled. Department heads must work with their campus card coordinator when cancelling cards.
      5. Reporting any suspicious or fraudulent transactions to the System Program Administer.
      6. Fully cooperate with any audits, investigation, or reviews of the travel card program.
      7. Assist with the collection of any funds owed back by employees in their department.
  4. Processing Travel Card Transactions
    1. All travel card transactions will be uploaded into the University’s travel system. If the cardholder fails to see their transactions within a week, they must contact the System Accounts Payable Office for assistance. The employee must process these transactions as soon as their trip has ended. Failure to process these transactions in a timely manner will result in cancellation of the card and the charges may be reported as taxable income to the employee.
    2. Receipts must be attached to all transactions exceeding $75 before they can be processed.
    3. The cardholder’s department head and their campus/institute travel auditors will review all transactions. If the transactions are not processed in a timely manner, the cardholder’s immediate supervisor will also be required to review the transactions.
  5. Processing Meal Purchases
    1. The University provides employees with a meal per diem in accordance with the federal CONUS and OCONUS rates. (Please note that CONUS rates only apply to the continental United States and OCONUS rates apply to locations outside of the continental United States; the “continental United States” is sometimes referred to as the “lower 48” states). The per diem is not distributed to the employee until their expense report is processed, which is after their trip. Therefore, it is acceptable to purchase meals with the travel card while traveling. To net these meal transactions against the allowable per diem, the employee must refer to the travel card training materials located here: .
    2. The “Meals – Actual” amounts will be netted against the allowable meal per diems. If the “Meals – Actual” exceed the per diems, the employee may owe the difference to the University, if they have no other out of pocket expenses. Any amounts owed to the University will be deducted from their next payroll check.
    3. Meals for two or more people must be expensed using the expense type “Group arranged meals/events” or “Entertainment” depending on the purpose. The corresponding meal per diem must be deducted from the expense report for all individuals attending the event and claiming a meal per diem.
  6. Processing Unavoidable Personal Purchases
    1. Employees must not utilize the travel card for personal purchases, except for instances when the personal purchase cannot be easily separated from a business charge. An example would include rental car charges for personal days before or after a business trip. When personal charges are incurred in these unavoidable cases, the cardholder must identify the personal purchases under the expense type “Non-Reimbursable or Personal” in the travel expense system. The system will then deduct these charges from any out-of-pocket expenses. If the personal charges exceed the out-of-pocket expenses, the amount will be deducted from the cardholders next payroll check. Excessive personal charges will result in the card being cancelled.
  7. Lost/Stolen Cards; Fraudulent/Disputed Transactions
    1. The cardholder’s transactions will be uploaded daily into the travel system expense module and it is important that the cardholder review charges in a timely manner. If fraudulent transactions or inaccurate transactions are identified, the cardholder must immediately call the card provider (the provider’s number is located on the back of the card). The cardholder must complete the Statement of Disputed Item form and attach to the expense report.
    2. If the card is lost or stolen, the cardholder must:
      1. Call the card provider (the issuing bank). The number will be located on the back of the card.
    3. Any fraudulent or disputed charges and their corresponding credits must be assigned to an expense report with a business purpose of “Fraudulent/Disputed Charge” and they must be processed in the travel system. Cardholders must attach the “statement of dispute” form to the travel expense report. This will clear these charges from the traveler’s inbox and allow for a proper reconciliation with the charges from the bank. The System Accounts Payable Office can assist with obtaining the form at
    4. If a cardholder fails to report the fraud in a timely manner, the cardholder might be personally responsible for the charges and the cardholder would be responsible for cancelling the card.
  8. Declined Transactions
    1. If a travel card transaction is declined for a reason unclear to the cardholder, they should contact the bank’s customer service number on the back of the card. Common reasons for declines include exceeding established spending limits, card expirations and the merchant category code (MCC) is blocked.

Penalties/Disciplinary Action for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with these procedures could result in adverse human resources actions, up to and including termination. If a cardholder utilizes a travel card to make personal, wasteful, or fraudulent purchases, the cardholder might be subject to criminal charges and personal civil liability.

Responsible Official & Additional Contacts

Subject Matter

Office Name

Telephone Number

Email/Web Address

Policy Clarification and Interpretation

Accounts Payable


Related Policies/Guidance Documents

FI0531 – Travel Card Procedures
Version: 1 // Effective: 12/07/2023
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