University Credit Cards

LAST UPDATED: June 26, 2018

What You Should Know

There are two University credit cards. The Travel and Expense Card is used for expenses related to University-sponsored travel and for individual business expenses such as conference registration fees, group business meals, and professional memberships. The Departmental Purchasing Card simplifies the purchase of low-dollar goods and services that cannot readily be purchased through other preferred methods, such as the Marketplace or contract suppliers.

Who Should Have a Travel & Expense Card?

Travel & Expense Cards may be held by faculty, staff, and in some cases, students. The card is a financial tool intended for individual business expenses, like travel, books, professional memberships, or local business meals—expenses that the cardholder may otherwise have had to incur using out-of-pocket funds.

It may be appropriate to issue a Travel & Expense Card to an individual in your department who:

  • travels two or more times per year for University purposes,
  • is responsible for arranging and paying for guest or group travel, and/or
  • frequently incurs non-travel business expenses, for example, group meals in the Princeton area.

Who Should Have a Departmental Purchasing Card?

Departmental Purchasing Cards may be held by staff members who are directly involved in purchasing on behalf of the University. As part of their normal job functions, they may pay for low-dollar departmental goods and services that cannot be purchased through the Marketplace or contract suppliers on a Departmental Purchasing Card. These cardholders must be familiar with and adhere to the University’s preferred purchasing methods and policies. Individuals who frequently travel on University business, or who incur individual business expenses, both travel and non-travel, should consider using the Travel and Expense Card.

Important Note

The successful completion of University Credit Card compliance training is required for all cardholders. This training is available online through the Employee Learning Center.

Cardholder Responsibilities

Cardholders are responsible for adhering to the University’s Credit Card Policy. Before receiving a card, cardholders and managers must sign and submit a Travel and Expense Card Application or Departmental Purchasing Card Application, to acknowledge these responsibilities:

  • Ensure that purchases are appropriate, allowable, and reasonable.
  • Obtain and provide receipts for transactions of $50 and greater.
  • Document a business purpose or description for all transactions.
  • Substantiate and submit your University credit card activity in Concur within 30 days.
  • Ensure that suppliers do not charge sales tax.
  • Settle any disputes related to card purchases.
  • Immediately report a lost or stolen card to the Financial Service Center or, on weekends, the bank.
  • If you leave Princeton University, return the card to your department.

Spending Limits

The default credit limit for a Departmental Purchasing Card is $10,000 per month and $2,500 for a single transaction. Standard limits for Travel and Expense Cards are $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000 per month. Cardholders may be approved for exceptions to these spending limits based on a valid business purpose and with approval from the department head or chair. Contact the Financial Service Center for information about changes to card limits.

University Credit Card Substantiation

Travel and Expense Card transactions must be submitted on an expense report in Concur every 30 days. Departmental Purchasing Cards have monthly statements, starting on the first of the month and ending on the last day of the month. Statement reports in Concur should be substantiated and submitted for approval within 30 days of the statement end date.

The transaction substantiation process includes documenting the business purpose for all transactions, selecting the correct expense type, and ensuring that your charges are allocated to the appropriate ChartFields. Receipts should be attached for transactions of $50 or greater.

Expense delegates may assist with substantiation, but only the cardholder may submit the report for approval.

Timeliness of Substantiation

Email reminders will be sent to cardholders and their approvers when card transactions are overdue for substantiation and submission.   If a transaction has not been substantiated and reaches 90 days in age, the cardholder will be offered a brief grace period in which they must submit the transaction in Concur. After this grace period, the University credit card will be suspended until the cardholder’s transactions are made current.

Resolving Errors & Disputes

Cardholders are responsible for initiating the process for resolving incorrect billing, missing deliveries, or other card purchase problems. Disputed charges remain on the cardholder’s account until resolved or credit is received.

First, contact the supplier directly when you notice an error. Ask for a refund to the credit card. Keep a record of all interactions with the supplier. If you are unable to resolve the issue yourself, contact the Financial Service Center at (609) 258-3080.

Note: Cardholders must initiate this dispute process within 60 days of the date of the erroneous charge. After 60 days, if an incorrect charge has not been reported, the cardholder will be responsible for the expense.

Transactions with possible errors or disputes should still be substantiated in Concur, including information about the possible error or dispute. Any subsequent corrections or credits to the transaction in question will then offset the original transaction, and should also be substantiated and approved.

Annual Reauthorization Process

As part of our routine compliance monitoring program, the Office of Finance and Treasury conducts periodic reauthorizations of University credit cards.   The purpose of this reauthorization process is to ensure that Department Heads have reviewed and agreed that all cardholders under their purview have a continuing need for their University credit card, that the card is used in accordance with University policy, and that the card has a reasonable credit limit based upon the type and frequency of purchases made.

Lost or Stolen Card

If your card ever is lost or stolen, immediately report this to the Financial Service Center or, on weekends, the bank at (888) 449-2273, or at (509) 353-6656 outside of the U.S. and Canada.


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

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

Google Map
Princeton Shuttle


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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