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Policy: University Travel Card Program 

Date: 07/31/06 Policy ID: FIN-017 Status: Final

Policy Type: University
Contact Office: Accounting Services
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To: Academic Division and the College at Wise.
Table of Contents: 

Policy Statement

  1. Eligible Employees
  2. Training Requirements
  3. Limitations on Use of Travel Card
  4. Travelers Checks for Travel Cardholders
  5. Special Cash Advances for University Travelers
  6. Cardholder Responsibilities
  7. Travel Card Termination
  8. Travel Card Security


Reason for Policy: 

This policy establishes general guidelines for use of the Travel Card.

The Travel Card is separate from the University Purchasing Card. Please see FIN-044, Use of the University Purchasing Card for information on that program.

Policy Summary: The Travel Card Program is managed by the State Comptroller's Office, also known as the Virginia Department of Accounts (DOA). This program provides a convenient means of charging travel-related expenses incurred while conducting official University business. The Travel Card is a charge card, not a credit card and, as such, is to be paid in full each month. The travel Card is the primary means of obtaining advance funding for University-related travel.
Definition of Terms in Statement: 

Travel Card Coordinator: The University of Virginia administrator of the Travel Card Program.  Contact information for this individual may be found on the Accounting Services website.

Travel Advance Funds: Special cash advances or other funds from the University that would be “loaned” out to the employee for reimbursement to the University at a later time.

Policy Statement: 

Only eligible employees who have completed the required annual training may use the Travel Card for reimbursable travel and related expenditures that are incurred while in travel status and reimbursable business and recruitment meals when not in travel status.

  1. Eligible Employees:
    All University Academic Division full-time faculty, classified staff and University staff who travel two or more times a year on University-related business or require an additional way to purchase business-related meals while not in travel status are eligible to apply for a Travel Card. Other classes of University employees who travel frequently such as part-time faculty and staff, teaching and research assistants and other graduate students may apply for a Travel Card with the written approval of their department head.

The University of Virginia's College at Wise and the Medical Center manage the Travel Card Program for their employees.

  1. Training Requirements:
    All applicants must complete training prior to receiving the Travel Card.  Per State guidelines, each cardholder is required to complete this training and submit a new Travel Card Agreement form annually.

  2. Limitations on Use of Travel Card:
    Travel Cards are to be used for reimbursable travel and related expenditures that are incurred while an employee is in travel status. Those items may include airline tickets, car rental, lodging, meals, parking/tolls, and copy/fax services.

    Since travel expenses cannot be reimbursed until after the trip is completed, registration fees and airline tickets should be purchased using a departmental Purchasing Card and not the Travel Card.

    Travel Cards may also be used for reimbursable business and recruitment meals when the cardholder is not in travel status. (For more information, see Policy FIN-004, Payment or Reimbursement of Business Meals.) All purchases must comply with the current State travel regulations. The Purchasing Card should be referenced for purchases outside these guidelines.

    In general, personal charges are prohibited. The only exception to this rule is when those items cannot be reasonably separated from reimbursable expenses. Examples of these expenses may include a personal phone call included in a lodging bill or a spouse’s dinner included in a restaurant bill.  Such expenses must be paid in full from the cardholder’s personal funds within the normal payment terms.

    The monthly transaction limit on a Travel Card is $3,000. A request for a higher monthly transaction limit must be sent to the Travel Card Coordinator with sufficient justification to support the increased limit. Requested limits over $5,000 will be forwarded to DOA for final approval.

  3. Travelers Checks for Travel Cardholders:
    A Travel Cardholder who is travleing overnight may charge travelers checks to the Travel Card. These must be purchased from the Cashier’s Office in Carruthers Hall.  The minimum amount allowed is $150 and the maximum amount is $500. Travelers checks purchased in excess of $50 per day require additional justification. Employees taking day trips may not obtain travelers checks through the University.

    Travelers checks may only be purchased by Travel Cardholders for the purpose of reimbursable University business. The charge must be placed on the Travel Card account.

  4. Special Cash Advances for University Travelers:
    In addition to travelers checks, the University offers special cash advances to University employees for extended foreign travel and for individuals who would not qualify for a Travel Card, such as graduate students. A special cash advance is a temporary loan between the University and traveler and must be repaid within 30 days of the completion of the trip. Per State guidelines, any individual who has had the Travel Card terminated by the Travel Card issuer or by the University for improper usage, late/non-payment, or after filing for bankruptcy, is not eligible for a special cash advance from University funds.

  5. Cardholder Responsibilities:
    The Travel Card will be issued in the employee's name. The contract is between the Travel Card issuer and the employee. The traveler is PERSONALLY LIABLE for all charges made against the card, and will be billed directly by the Travel Card issuer.  The University is NOT liable in the event of non-payment by the employee.

    The Travel Card is NOT a revolving credit card; therefore, it does not permit partial payments. The Cardholder must pay the account in full each month. Late payment charges may be incurred if the account is paid after the due date. These charges for late payment are the Cardholder’s responsibility and will not be reimbursed. A late payment may result in Travel Card suspension or termination.

    Per State guidelines, any employee who has been denied a Travel Card or had a Travel Card cancelled due to improper usage, late/non-payment, or after filing for bankruptcy, is not eligible for travelers checks or any other travel advance funds through the University.

    A Cardholder must return the Travel Card to the Travel Card Coordinator upon request or upon leaving University employment.

  6. Travel Card Termination:
    Employee participation in the Travel Card Program is subject to termination at the discretion of the Travel Card Coordinator for any reason, including but not limited to, the following conditions:
    • When the Travel Cardholder is no longer employed by the University;
    • When there has been improper spending with the Travel Card, such as personal use;
    • When the Purchasing Card was the proper purchasing method, even for business purchases;
    • When the account has been inactive for 12 months;
    • When the account has not been paid within 90 days of the due date;
    • When a Travel Cardholder is delinquent with a payment;
    • When a Travel Cardholder makes payment with a dishonored check;
    • When a Travel Cardholder files for bankruptcy;
    • When a Travel Cardholder exceeds maximum charge limits; or
    • When a Travel Cardholder requests cancellation.

  7. Travel Card Security:
    The Travel Card may only be used by the person whose name appears on the face of the card. The Travel Card may never be loaned to another person.

    Cardholders must never fax their card numbers. A cardholder may submit orders by fax, being sure to leave off the Travel Card number, and then call the vendor with the account number over the telephone.

    Cardholders must never include their entire card number in an email or email attachment. Emails may only reveal up to six digits of a Travel Card number.

    Internet purchases must be made from secure websites only. A secure website uses a Secure Socket Layer Version 2.0 or greater. Before submitting payment information to a web vendor, confirm that the small padlock appears to be “locked” rather than “open” and that the URL in the address window near the top of the browser window begins with https://. Unless both of these conditions are present, do not use the Travel Card to place an order at that website.

    If the Travel Card is lost or stolen, the cardholder must immediately notify the Travel Card issuer and the Travel Card Coordinator.


Use of the Travel Card
Requesting Travelers Checks
Travel Card Agreement form

Related Information: 

CAPP Manual, Section 20336: Agency Travel Processing
CAPP Manual, Section 20335: State Travel Regulations
FIN-004, Payment or Reimbursement of Business Meals
FIN-044, Use of the University Purchasing Card
Purchasing Card

Policy Background: 
Major Category: Finance and Business Operations
Category Cross Reference: 
Next Scheduled Review: 07/31/12
Approved By, Date: Policy Review Committee, 07/31/06
Revision History: Previous versions in effect from 7/31/06 - 3/20/11, 6/15/97 - 7/30/06.
Supersedes (previous policy):  University Travel Card Program, VI.B.10.