The days of fronting work-related travel expenses with personal funds and seeking reimbursement are nearly over. Beginning next month, university employees will have the option to use a new Visa card for expenses related to travel and hospitality -- everything from doughnuts and juice for a student meeting to airline tickets and hotel rooms overseas. The costs to bring job candidates and guest lecturers to campus or to host a retirement reception also will go on the travel and hospitality card.
Like its cousin the purchasing card (P-card), the travel card will be issued to individuals, not departments, and shouldn't be shared. Sharing a card voids the fraud protection on it. Departments decide which of their employees receive a card.
Travel cards are blue and labeled "corporate travel," P-cards are black and labeled "purchasing." Both are Visa credit cards.
Procurement services director Cory Harms said several issues drove the decision to add a travel/hospitality card:
- Security. Separating the purchasing categories reduces the chances of travel cards being compromised by hackers. Fraud is less likely.
- Higher spending capacity with two cards. In most cases, P-cards and travel cards both carry a limit of $4,900 per transaction and $15,000 per month. Higher limits are available for employees who book group travel.
- Workday. The finance platform that goes live July 1 includes a travel card expense module with hospitality fields (the P-card module in Workday doesn't).
Training has begun
Harms said a group of employees has been using and testing the travel card for several months. Procurement staff began leading training sessions this month and will offer two travel card training sessions per week through August at locations around campus. The travel card application will be available on procurement services' website after July 1. Employees with travel card privileges should register for a one-hour session in Learn@ISU.
P-card and travel card training will be offered weekly or biweekly year-round.
Harms said the travel card can't cover every travel expense. Exceptions include mileage on a personal vehicle or purchases from retailers that don't accept Visa cards.
Travel card holders who opt to do their own expense reporting will need to attend Workday training on expenses and travel. Otherwise, they will submit their receipts -- paper or scans -- to a procurement and expense specialist on their ISD (improved service delivery) team.
Travel and hospitality
Harms said about 2,400 employees have purchasing cards. He anticipates nearly that many could have a travel card.
"They may not travel, but if they're involved in any kind of hospitality or hosting, they'll use the travel card," he said.
After July 1, P-card holders who are issued a travel/hospitality card and complete training should stop using the P-card for hospitality expenses.