Use a Departmental Purchasing Card Step-by-Step

LAST UPDATED: January 22, 2015

Important Information

Departmental Purchasing Cards simplify the purchase of low-dollar goods and services that cannot readily be purchased through the Prime Marketplace or other contract suppliers. Departmental Purchasing Cards are used to pay for purchases that benefit your department, such as catering, supplies, and recurring charges. These cards are held by staff who are responsible for purchasing goods and services on behalf of their department. Never use the card for personal purchases. If your card is lost or stolen, immediately report it to the Financial Service Center, or on weekends, the bank.

Most Departmental Purchasing Cards have a single transaction limit of $2,500 and a monthly spending limit of $10,000.

The purchase of gift cards or gift certificates, hazardous chemicals or other hazardous materials, and computers is prohibited when using University credit cards.


  • 1

    Are the goods or services available through the Prime Marketplace or from a contract supplier? If so, you should do a requisition instead of using the Departmental Purchasing Card.

  • 2

    Is this a payment made to an individual? If so, complete the Service Provider Questionnaire to determine if payment should be made through the payroll process or as an independent contractor. Do not use Departmental Purchasing Cards to pay individuals.

  • 3

    Does this purchase require supporting documentation, such as an insurance certificate, quote, or service level agreement, or is this purchase for temporary staffing service? If so, do not use the Departmental Purchasing Card; create a requisition instead.

  • 4

    If you've determined that it's appropriate to use a Departmental Purchasing Card after reviewing the steps above, tell the supplier that the purchase is exempt from New Jersey State sales tax and provide Princeton’s exemption number, which is printed on your Departmental Purchasing Card. Or, if making the purchase in person, give the supplier a copy of the sales tax exemption form for the state.

  • 5

    Receipts are required for transactions of $50 or greater. You should use Concur to manage and store your receipts.

    There are three ways to send receipt images into your Concur Receipt Store:

    1) Take a digital image through the Concur mobile app
    2) Scan and email your receipt to
    3) Save and upload receipt images directly from your desktop.

  • 6

    Substantiate and submit your statement report in a timely manner. Departmental Purchasing Card statements are by calendar month; substantiate and submit your statement reports within 30 days of the prior statement closing date.


Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-0442

Princeton University
Office of Finance & Treasury
701 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540

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7 New South
Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-5040
Open Monday through Friday,
8:45 am — 5:00 pm


Customer service, cashiering,
check pick-up, financial system access


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