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Effective Date: February 1, 2015

Travel Card Policy (6.4.2)

Responsible Office Office of the Controller

1. Contents

    1. Contents
    2. Policy Statement
    3. Reason for Policy
    4. Definitions
    5. Who Should Know this Policy?
    6. Responsibilities and Roles
    7. Travel Card Procedures
    8. Unassigned Credit Card Charges/Unallowable or Personal
    9. Repayment Methods
    10. Typical Travel Card Purchases
    11. Guest Booking Considerations
    12. Restrictions and Limitations
    13. Lost or Stolen Cards, Fraudulent or Disputed Transactions
    14. Compliance with Policy; Violations and Consequences
    15. Related or Affected Policies
    16. Tools & References
    17. Contacts

2. Policy Statement

The University Travel Card is a corporate-liability Visa card, meaning that it is directly billed to and paid for by the University. The Travel Card is integrated with the University’s online travel and expense management system, streamlining the expense reporting process. It also eliminates the need for cash advances and reduces
the financial burden on the traveler.

When using the Travel Card, the following apply:

    • The Travel Card must be used when incurring travel and business expenses (while on a trip) using University Funds. When not using University Funds (for example, federally sponsored research where University Funds are not involved ) employees are encouraged to use the card for all University travel and business expenses;
    • Full-Time faculty and staff (paid through the University’s payroll system) who anticipate traveling on behalf of the University are eligible to apply for the Travel Card with supervisor approval;
    • The Travel Card may only be used for appropriate and allocable expenses as defined in the University Travel & Business Expense Policy (in addition to any other school/departmental policies, if applicable);
    • The Cardholder must review card charges in the expense management system in a timely manner and notify US Bank and the Travel Card Administrator immediately should any fraudulent changes be detected. Once applicable credits and refunds have been issued the card holder should complete an expense report to clear fraudulent transactions.
    • Approvers and Financial Approvers have oversight over a cardholder’s access to and use of the Travel Card; this includes the application process, reviewing and approving card charges for policy compliance, and ensuring that charges are reconciled in a timely manner;

  • Any identified fraudulent charges must be reported to US Bank and the Travel Card Administrator immediately;
  • Personal charges are allowed on the Travel Card only to the extent they cannot be easily separated from a University expense; any personal charges incurred on the card must be itemized and marked as “personal” in the expense management system and will be reimbursed by the traveler to the University following the process described in Sections 8.0 and 9.0 of this policy.
  • Cardholders must complete mandatory Travel Card training before a card can be issued;
  • Cardholder and/or Approver must notify the Travel Card Administrator in advance (or as soon as possible) whenever a cardholder is terminated or transferred to a different department.

3. Reason for Policy

Using the University travel card reduces the time and effort involved in the expense reporting process for the employee, automates the approval process, and improves before and after-the-fact reporting on University travel destinations and vendors. Improved reporting helps the University to locate travelers in the event of an emergency, assists with IRS required reporting about foreign activities, and strengthens the University’s negotiating position for improved pricing and services with travel vendors.

This policy and related procedures are designed to ensure that expenses on the Card are subject to appropriate review and approval, are reported and posted to the University’s books and records accurately and timely, that personal charges and unspent advances are appropriately reimbursed to the University, that processes are in place to prevent misuse of the card, and that should fraudulent charges result, they are detected and reported timely.

4. Definitions

“Ancillary” Personal Expense. “Ancillary” personal expenses are personal expenses incurred when making a purchase that is primarily for Boston University business purposes, and when the personal portion of the expense cannot be easily separated from the business portion when incurring the expense. A personal side trip that is part of an airline ticket purchased to attend a conference, or a rental car arrangement that includes some personal mileage, are examples of ancillary personal expenses.

Expense Management System. Electronic tool that is used by Boston University to automate the reporting, approving, and processing of travel and business expense reports. Currently, the tool being used is Concur Travel and Expense. All charges incurred by the Cardholder are automatically uploaded to this system to facilitate the expense reporting process.

Financial Approver. Individual assigned as the financial cost object approver in SAP (Financial Accounting) for a school/college/unit cost center. This person is responsible for completing a secondary approval for Travel Card applications. See “Roles and Responsibilities” section for more detail.

Approver.  Individual assigned as an employee’s direct supervisor in SAP (Human Capital Management). For any direct reports completing an expense report, this person is responsible for reviewing and approving Travel Card applications. See “Roles and Responsibilities” section for more detail.

University Funds. Any funds that are directly provided and administered by the University (e.g. endowment funds, gifts, general budget funds, and discretionary funds provided from University sources). University funds do not include those that are provided to Boston University by a sponsoring agency and allocated to a principal investigator or member of the faculty (e.g. federal sponsored/corporate grant).

5. Who Should Know This Policy?

Travel Cardholders, Approvers, Departmental Financial Administrators, Accounts Payable, Travel Department and Internal Audit should understand this policy. The Controller’s Office is responsible for compliance and the management of the card program and policy.

6. Responsibilities and Roles

A. Schools, Colleges, Units and Departments

Schools, Colleges, Units and Departments have an important role in monitoring overall compliance with the Travel Card Policy (and the Travel and Business Expense Policy), to ensure that travel and business expenses (including those charged to the card) are reasonable in nature. These responsibilities include confirming that authorized individual approvers are appropriate based on the employee’s role and assigned duties.

Schools, Colleges and Departments may impose more (not less) stringent controls over travel and business expenses than those required by this policy and are responsible for communicating and implementing any additional controls.

B. Cardholders

Each Cardholder must:

  • Complete mandatory training administered by the Card Services Department prior to the issuance of a Travel Card. The Card Services Department will contact new cardholders to arrange a training session (these are offered frequently);
  • Purchase travel arrangements and related incidentals in accordance with the University Travel & Business Expense Policy. Spending should always be consistent with each employee’s responsibility for stewardship and safeguarding of University assets. Use of the Travel Card for purchases of certain commodities identified in the “Restrictions and Limitations” section of this Policy is not allowed;
  • Ensure that each card transaction is assigned to an Expense Report within 30 days of the transaction date; expenses must be submitted within 30 days of the trip end date (or transaction date if charges are incurred for a cancelled trip);
  • Retain all original itemized receipts for card charges $25 or greater in accordance with the Travel & Business Expense Policy and attach them to the relevant transactions in the expense management system for expense report submission and approval;
  • Contact the Travel Card Administrator in writing to ensure that the most current information is on record (i.e., name change, address change, phone number, e-mail change, Approver change )

C. Approver

Each Approver must:

  • Review and approve all Travel Card applications from direct reports, ensuring that card limits are reasonable based on intended travel needs of the Cardholder;
  • Review and approve all cardholder expense reports in the expense management system in a timely manner (generally within 7 days of report submission by direct report). Delegation of Travel Card approval authority is not allowed without written approval of the employee’s Approver; the delegated approver should know the travel card and travel policies and have the knowledge and judgment to approve card transactions; the delegated approver cannot be an individual who reports to the cardholder and cannot be the cardholder.
  • Review and approve cash advance requests on “Cash Advance Request Form”; and
  • Work with departmental Financial Approver and Cardholder to reconcile any unassigned card charges based on the parameters of this policy (see “Unassigned Card Charges” section).

As part of the review of the Cardholder’s travel and business expense transactions (including those on the Travel Card), the Approver shall identify instances of misuse of the Travel Card. Instances of suspected non-ancillary personal or fraudulent use should be reported to the Travel Card Administrator as soon as they are identified for investigation and remediation. Training for Approvers is strongly recommended and encouraged. Prior to issuance of the Travel Card, the Approver must become familiar with Travel Card policies and procedures.

D. Financial Approver

Each Financial Approver must:

  • Provide a secondary review of all Travel Card applications for Approver review and sign-off, including ensuring that card limits are reasonable based on expected travel needs of the Cardholder;
  • Review and approve cash advance requests on “Cash Advance Request Form” (after Approver reviews and approves request);
  • Review monthly “Unassigned Card Charges” report distributed by the Travel Department and work with Approvers to ensure that Cardholders reconcile all outstanding charges in a timely manner; and
  • Communicate any intended changes in Cardholder employment status to the Card Services Department in a timely manner.

E. Travel Card Administrator (through Card Services Department) will:

  • Provide oversight of the Travel Card program and maintain documentation for transactions for Boston University. In the event the Financial Approver is unable to provide needed guidance, Cardholders should contact the Travel Card Administrator;
  • Manage and evaluate the Travel Card program, reconcile the unassigned charges account and serve as a liaison between the University and US Bank;
  • Create and maintain a list of active Cardholders for distribution to departments/schools as needed;
  • Approve and initiate any departmental approved cash advances requested on the “Cash Advance Request Form” (after Approver and Financial Approver review and signoff);
  • Develop, coordinate, and provide training programs for Cardholders and Travel Card Approvers to ensure that Cardholders and Approvers thoroughly understand, agree to, and abide by all business rules, policies, and procedures that govern the usage of the University’s Travel Card;
  • Perform audits on any and all Travel Cardholder accounts at any time. These audits do not require advance notice and may be performed by the Travel Card Administrator and/or by Internal Audit. Audits are a combination of desk reviews of expense reports and meetings with cardholders to review receipts and related documentation; and
  • Provide departmental metrics/reporting to facilitate the evaluation of policy compliance

F. US Bank will:

  • Authorize purchases 24 hours a day, 365 days a year;
  • Issue a temporary credit to the Cardholder’s account when notified of a questioned item. This credit will appear on the University’s US Bank statement the month following US Bank notification. If the dispute is resolved in favor of the University, US Bank will issue a permanent credit to the account; and
  • Upon proper authorization, issue a new Travel Card in the event that a card in lost/stolen or expires.

7. Travel Card Procedures

A. Cardholder Eligibility

  • All potential cardholders must complete two forms to facilitate the approval process, including:
    • Travel Card Application
    • Responsibility and Financial Liability Agreement
  • Within the limits of this Policy, University departments determine who is eligible to possess a Travel Card. The Approver and Financial Approver must sign off on the cardholder’s Travel Card Application.
    • Only full-time faculty and staff (paid through the University’s payroll system) who anticipate traveling on behalf of the University are eligible to apply for the travel card. Student employees are not eligible to hold a Travel Card.
    • Prior to the issuance of a Travel Card, the Cardholder must complete mandatory training administered by the Travel Card Administrator.
    • Prior to the issuance of a Travel Card, the Approver and Financial Approver must sign-off on the Cardholder’s “Travel Card Application” and collect the “Responsibility and Financial Liability Agreement” signed by the Cardholder. These forms must be provided to the Travel Card Administrator to facilitate the card acquisition process with US Bank.

B. Credit Limits

Each Cardholder has a specific monthly credit limit based on expected travel for University business purposes. In unusual circumstances and for legitimate business reasons, the monthly limit can be adjusted by the Travel Card Administrator with the written approval of the Approver and Financial Approver.

Card limits available in the application include:

Category Description Monthly Credit Limit
Level 1 Infrequent Travel (1-2 trips per fiscal year) $2,500
Level 2 Moderate Travel (Domestic) – 3-10 trips per fiscal year) $5,000
Level 3 Moderate Travel (Domestic and International) – 3-10 trips per year $7,500
Level 4 High Travel (11+ trips per fiscal year) $10,000

Monthly limits above $10,000 must have a valid business justification documented on the Travel Card Application and are subject to review by Financial Affairs.

C. Making a Purchase – Cardholders

Step 1
Before making any purchase, ensure the purchase is consistent with your unit’s guidelines for purchase approvals and that there are sufficient funds in the budget to support the purchase. If the purchase is related to a sponsored award, verify that the items to be purchased are allowable given the sponsor policies and the specific terms and conditions of the award. Refer to the sponsored award section of the Travel & Business Expense Policy for more information.

Step 2
Inform the vendor that the Travel Card will be your payment method. Provide the card account number and expiration date printed on the front and back of the card. You may also be required to provide the card verification code which is located on the back of the card.

Step 3
Card charges should be reconciled as incurred in the expense management system to facilitate the expense reporting process. All card charges are required to be assigned to an expense report within 30 days of the charge transaction date (date in which expense was incurred); the expense report must be submitted in the tool within 30 days of the trip end date (or transaction date if charges are incurred for a cancelled trip).

Step 4
Original and itemized receipt documentation is required to be uploaded for all card charges of $25 or greater. See Travel & Business Expense Policy for detailed information related to receipt documentation and retention requirements. All receipt documentation must be attached electronically to the related transaction in the expense management system via scan or photo if using the Concur smartphone mobile app. The mobile app currently supports all Apple, Android, and Blackberry devices.

In order to prevent fraudulent activity, please review all receipt documentation prior to upload and submission to ensure that personal and confidential information (i.e. full account numbers) is properly concealed. For example, it would be acceptable to use a black marker to cover full credit card account number information.

Step 5
Every month, click on the Expense tab in your user profile and scroll down to the “Available Expenses” section to ensure you do not have any unassigned credit card charges that fall outside the 30 day reporting window. Financial Approvers will receive a monthly “Unassigned Card Charges Report” from the Travel Department to monitor any unreconciled expenses.

As outlined in the terms and conditions of the “Responsibility and Financial Liability Agreement , amounts identified by you in your travel or expense report as personal expenses or as unused cash advances must be repaid to the University for details, see Section 9.0.

D. Lost Receipts

If the cardholder has lost a receipt and a duplicate cannot be obtained from the merchant, the cardholder must use the “Missing Receipt Affidavit” feature in the expense management system when completing and submitting a travel expense report.

E. Purchases Declined at the Point of Sale

Although the supplier may accept the Travel Card for use, the purchase could be declined at the point of sale. The following are possible reasons for a decline:

  • The transaction amount exceeds established limits.
  • The transaction amount exceeds the remaining available balance of total monthly spending limit.
  • The cardholder has not activated a newly assigned or renewed card.
  • The card has expired or has been terminated.
  • The cardholder or the merchant transposed the card account number during the exchange of information. All cardholders should ensure that the merchant has received the correct number for the correct Travel Card to minimize the occurrence of this type of decline at the point of sale.
  • The merchant enters an incorrect expiration date.

Cardholders should contact the Travel Card Administrator to determine the reason a purchase was declined at the point of sale.

F. Card Renewal

New Travel Cards are automatically reissued to all active cardholders prior to the expiration date. The card expires on the last calendar day of the month listed on the card. Generally, Travel Cards are issued for a three-year period. Upon expiration, a renewal card is mailed directly to the cardholder. The cardholder is required to destroy the expired card prior to receiving the new card. If a cardholder does not receive a card before the current one expires, contact US Bank for assistance. Cardholders are responsible for activating renewal cards.

G. Credit Limit Change

Cardholders may request a change in credit limit from the original pre-set limit. Requests for changes may be temporary or permanent. Requests for changes in credit limits must be in writing and be approved by the Approver and Financial Approver. Once the appropriate approvals are obtained, all requests for credit limit changes are directed to the Travel Card Administrator. It is strongly recommended that the Cardholder anticipate spending needs and initiate these requests in advance– generally at least fourteen (14) days prior to trip departure.

H. Replacement of Worn-Out/Defective Cards

To replace a card that is worn out or defective, the cardholder must contact U.S. Bank to request a replacement card. The replacement will be sent via Federal Express 2-day delivery direct to the address on file. Because the requested card will have the same number as the one it is replacing it will be sent ACTIVE to prevent suspending spending privileges.

I. Termination-Cancellation of Card

A card may be terminated or cancelled when:

  • The cardholder no longer uses the card;
  • The cardholder is no longer employed at Boston University; or
  • The cardholder has not abided by the Travel Card policy.

To close a Cardholder account, contact the Travel Card Administrator. When a Cardholder terminates employment with Boston University, the Cardholder has an obligation to surrender the Travel Card before the termination date, to assign any available charges (with appropriate receipt documentation) in the expense management system to an expense report, and to submit all open reports for processing.

The Approver and/or Financial Approver have the obligation to notify the Travel Card Administrator two weeks before the employee’s end date to arrange for cancellation of the card, and should also work with the employee to ensure all travel and expense reporting is complete.

If a Cardholder transfers to a new department, the approver and/or Financial Approver must collect and destroy the Travel Card. The Cardholder needs to fill out a new application form and obtain approval from his or her new department Approver and Financial Approver. Once the Approver and Financial Approver approve the application, the completed form will be sent to the Travel Card Administrator. The Cardholder’s former department Approver is responsible for ensuring that cards are returned and cancelled, as part of the standard termination procedures.

J. Advances

In general, the University does not provide cash advances. In the rare circumstance where an advance is needed, and after receiving the required approvals, a Cardholder may use the Travel Card to obtain a cash advance through an ATM. Advance requests must be approved by the Cardholder’s Supervisor, Financial Approver, and the Travel Card Administrator on the Cash Advance Request Form. For the policy and procedures related to travel advances, see “Travel Advances” section of the Travel and Business Expense Policy.

When funds made available for an advance are withdrawn, these funds will be reflected automatically in the Cardholder’s expense report and the Cardholder will be required to provide itemized receipts showing how the advance was spent within 30 days of returning from the trip. Any advanced amount not spent should be classified as Expense Type “Cash Advance Return” and will be deducted from any other funds due to the Cardholder. Any amount remaining resulting from an unused travel advance identified by the employee must be repaid to the University. Mechanisms for repayment are described in Section 9.0 of this policy.

8. Unassigned Charges / Timely Report Submissions / Personal Charges

Unassigned Charges

All card transactions must be assigned to an expense report within 30 days of the transaction date, regardless of when the Cardholder returns from a trip. All charges are required to be assigned, documented and approved in the expense management system within 30 days of the trip end date (or from transaction date if charges relate to a cancelled trip). For any charges that are not assigned within an expense report:

Within 30 days of transaction date Cardholder will be notified via email to assign and process transactions in the expense management system
Within 45 days of transaction date Notification will be sent to Cardholder and Financial Approver requesting that all transactions be assigned and processed in the Expense Management Tool.
Within 60 days of transaction date Notification will be sent to appropriate Dean or Vice President to escalate the issue (notification to President or Provost may be warranted in certain circumstances)

* Metrics on late travel reports and unassigned charges will be provided monthly to department and school/college financial administrators.

Transactions not assigned to an expense report within 60 days will be reviewed by the Travel Department, and the Cardholder’s Travel Card will be placed on “hold” status until charges are assigned. “Hold” status means that new charges cannot be made using the Travel Card until the hold is released. After 120 days, as required by IRS Accountable Plan rules, these amounts will be considered taxable compensation to the employee on Form W-2 and subject to the appropriate tax withholding.

Timely Report Submissions

Travel reports are required to be filed within 30 days after the end of each trip. Late filings of travel reports contribute to inaccuracies in financial reporting, and make departmental and central management of University resources more difficult. To minimize late travel reports and the related negative consequences to the employee and the University, the Travel Department commits to follow up weekly with employees who have delinquent expenses of 30 days or more, and their supervisors.

For reports delinquent by more than 60 days, a “hold” will be placed on the card. After 120 days as required by IRS Accountable Plan rules, these amounts will be considered taxable compensation to the employee on Form W-2 and subject to the appropriate tax withholding.

Example: An employee travels on University business and charges airfare totaling $600 on the University Travel Card for a trip ending on February 1. No travel report has been filed by March 1. The Travel Department reaches out to the employee and the supervisor on a weekly basis through April 1 with a reminder to complete and submit the travel report promptly; if the employee does not respond and the report is not submitted by April 1, the travel card will be placed on “hold” status. After June 1, the amounts will be charged to the department’s default cost center, will be considered taxable compensation to the employee, and will be included on the employee’s Form W-2.

Personal Expenses Charged to the Travel Card

Personal expenses are generally not allowed on the Travel Card. The only exception is for “ancillary” personal expenses. These are personal expenses incurred when making a purchase primarily for business purposes, when the personal portion of the expense cannot be easily separated from the business portion when incurring the expense. A personal side trip that is part of an airline ticket purchased to attend a conference, or a rental car arrangement that includes some personal mileage, are examples of ancillary personal expenses. Cardholders must use their own funds or a personal credit card to pay for personal expenses that are easily separated from University expenses. Use of the University Travel Card for any purchase that is 100% personal will be treated as a violation of University policy.

Personal Expenses Flagged by Employee

When completing an expense report for an expense that has both personal and business components, or a personal expense that was inadvertently charged to the Travel Card, the personal portion charged to the card should be identified as “personal” in the expense management system, and will then be flagged as an amount due back from the Cardholder to the University. If the total amount of “personal” expenses placed on the Travel Card is greater than the total due to the employee for out-of-pocket expenses, the employee will owe the University the difference. Mechanisms for repayment are described in Section 9.0 of this policy.

Personal/Unallowable Expenses Not Flagged by Employee

Amounts may be identified for additional review by the Travel Department or University auditors during an after-the-fact audit or review, if charges originally treated as University expenses appear not to have been valid business expenses. This could be the result of an undetected error in filling out the form (an amount not matching a receipt for an out-of-pocket expense, for example), an expense submitted twice in error, or an expense not allowed under University policy such as an unapproved upgrade. For such findings, the Travel Department will immediately notify the Cardholder and the respective school/department to verify or resolve
the finding. In the event the review establishes that the charges are not valid University expenses and the employee agrees with this determination, the employee may be asked to authorize a reimbursement to the University using one of the repayment methods noted in Section 9.0 of this policy.

If the card charge appears to be fraudulent, see section 14.0 (part B), “Compliance with Policy; Violations and Consequences”, for steps that will be taken by the University.

9. Repayment Methods

If it is determined that funds are owed to the University as a result of personal expenses charged to the Travel Card, unused travel advances, or charges determined not to be valid during an audit or review as described in Section 8.0 of this policy, and the employee is in agreement that these funds are owed, the employee will be given the option to select one of the following repayment methods to reimburse the University for funds owed:

  1. Deduct the full amount from employee’s next regularly scheduled paycheck. (One-time Salary Deduction)
  2. Deduct 50% of amount from employee’s next two (2) regularly scheduled paychecks. (Partial Salary Deduction)
  3. Payment by personal check (payable to Boston University)

10. Typical Travel Card Purchases

Typical Purchases Made by Cardholders:

  • Travel transportation (airfare, car rental, train, taxi, etc.)
  • Accommodations
  • Meals, including business meals
  • Incidentals
  • Conference registration fees and related travel transportation/accommodations
  • Passport/visa fees

For a list of common travel-related expenses, see the Travel & Business Expense Policy. The Travel Card should be used for all expenses incurred on a trip with the exception of cash-only transactions, such as tips and gratuities.

11. Guest Booking Considerations

Cardholders will have the option to book for Guests either via Cliqbook, Concur’s online booking tool, or with any other agency or web-based reservation service where VISA is accepted. In Concur, users will have a “book for a guest” option under the Travel tab. All reservations/bookings for guests and visitors will be associated with, and charged to, the individual’s Travel Card. These card transactions will be linked with and expensed though the Cardholder’s Concur profile. If a department has a need to reimburse a Guest for out-of-pocket expenses they should contact the Travel Department.

12. Restrictions and Limitations

The following table outlines common expense types and the preferred method of payment (Travel Card vs. P-Card):


* Catering expenses involving a contract must go through Sourcing.

** The University always encourages the use of the Terrier Marketplace to make supply purchases using the Shopping Cart process. Use of P-Card is intended for low cost items needed immediately.

Purchases that are prohibited with the Travel Card include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchases that are subject to any special regulations or require detailed documentation and/or special authorization in advance of the commitment of University resources such as furniture, drapes and carpeting, radioactive substances, controlled substances, equipment leases, service/maintenance contracts, consulting services, legal fees, mortgages, rents, real estate taxes, employee relocation services, translations and interpreting language study and donations are prohibited. Approvers and Cardholders should contact the Travel Card Administrator if there are questions about what purchases may be prohibited.
  • Payments for Services to an Individual: The IRS uses form 1099-MISC to track miscellaneous income for individuals and companies who have been paid $600 or more in non-employee service payments during a calendar year. Travel Card payments that would require 1099-MISC reporting to the Internal Revenue Service are prohibited.
    • Examples of persons who would receive a Form 1099-MISC form, and therefore cannot be paid with the Travel Card, include:
      • Human subjects
      • Independent Contractors providing services such as:
        • Attorneys
        • Guest speakers/Lecturers
        • Health care or medical care service
        • Honorarium
        • Performers
        • Physicians
        • Space/facilities
        • Royalties

Additional expenses that are prohibited with the Travel Card:

  • Charter Buses (without prior approval from Sourcing & Procurement)
  • Taxi Voucher Booklets
  • Gift Cards
  • Frequent Flyer Mileage Fees
  • Personal Auto Repairs
  • Personal EZ Pass
  • Lost/Stolen Property Replacement
  • Newspapers and Magazine not related to business purpose of travel
  • Trip Protection/Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Toiletries
  • Hotel Entertainment (including fitness room fees)
  • Airline Upgrade Fees (unless administratively burdensome to use a personal card)
  • In-Flight Movie Purchases
  • Additional Domestic Car Rental Insurance
  • Cellular Phone Charges/Bills
  • Non-ancillary personal purchases

13. Lost or Stolen Cards, Fraudulent or Disputed Transactions

A. Lost or Stolen Cards

In order to limit potential risk to the University and the Cardholder’s project or activity, action must be taken immediately to report lost or stolen cards as well as any unauthorized or unidentifiable charges. It is imperative that the cardholder take immediate action by following these steps:

  1. Contact US Bank. The cardholder should contact US Bank immediately for cancellation of the card account whether the card is lost or stolen. U.S. Bank representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (800) 344-5696. When reporting a lost or stolen card, the caller should advise the customer service representative the call is regarding a “Travel Card”. The cardholder is required to provide the Travel Card account number and the cardholder’s name in order to identify the caller.
  2. Notify the Travel Card Administrator of the Cancelled Account. The Cardholder should also contact the Travel Card Administrator and also inform the Approver and/or Financial Approver. A “Lost or Stolen Card Notification” form must be completed indicating card cancellation due to a lost/stolen card and then forwarded to the Travel Card Administrator.

B. Unidentifiable or Fraudulent Charges

Unidentifiable and fraudulent charges are charges that result from the unauthorized use of the card account number by a party who gains access to the card account number or establishes a counterfeit representation of a card account. If your statement contains an unidentifiable or fraudulent charge, contact the Travel Card Administrator immediately.

14. Compliance with Policy; Violations and Consequences

Violations of this Policy will be investigated and may result in one or more of the following actions:

  • Written warning
  • Mandatory attendance at additional training classes
  • Cancellation of Travel Card
  • Revocation of approver signatory rights (Approvers only)
  • Disciplinary action
  • Termination
  • Civil and/or criminal prosecution
  • Seeking restitution for lost funds

The Travel Card Administrator and/or Internal Audit regularly review Travel Card transactions, both through central electronic records and through in-person audits, and have the authority to investigate and to determine whether a policy violation has occurred. Major violations may be referred to the University’s Human Resources Office for further review (RC: 617-353-2380 / Med: 617-638-4610). Policy violations include but are not limited to:

  • Purchase of items for non-ancillary personal use
  • Sharing the Travel Card or card number with another person
  • Use of the Travel Card by a suspended or terminated employee
  • Receiving cash back from any refund, return or exchange
  • Purchase of items defined in Restrictions and Limitations
  • Failure to take immediate action regarding lost/misplaced cards, including disputed charges
  • Failure to return the Travel Card when reassigned, terminated or upon request of the Travel Card administrator
  • Failure to reconcile receipts and accounting information
  • Failure to appropriately review and follow-up on Travel Card activity (Approvers only)

A. Lending or Sharing Travel Card is Strictly Prohibited

The only person entitled to use a Travel Card is the person whose name appears on the face of the card. No Travel Card should be lent to another person for any reason. If the Cardholder is going to be absent from the office for an extended period, the Financial Approver may request a new card be issued and another person trained as backup.

B. Fraudulent and Non-Ancillary Personal Use

Non-Ancillary personal charges or fraudulent use of the Travel Card are a major violation of the established policies and procedures.

The Travel Card must be used solely for the purposes of Boston University and may not be used for any nonancillary personal purposes. The fraudulent or intentional personal use of the Travel Card is serious and will result in disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include suspension or termination of card privileges, and could include other actions up to and including termination and/or legal action. The University reserves the right to seek restitution for any inappropriate charges made with the Travel Card. Should inappropriate charges be identified by the Travel Department, the department will follow up with the Cardholder and respective department/school immediately. Depending on the outcome, the employee may be asked to authorize a reimbursement to the University. If there is activity that appears fraudulent, the card will immediately be placed on “hold” status; if there is evidence of actual fraudulent activity, the card will be cancelled and the Travel Department, in consultation with the respective school/department.

Should a Cardholder inadvertently make a non-ancillary personal purchase with the Travel Card, he or she must immediately (1) notify Approver, (2) notify Financial Approver, (3) notify the Travel Card Administrator, (4) assign the charge to an expense report in the expense management system and designate the expense as “personal”, and (5) submit the report containing the personal expense. If the cost of the personal or unallowable expense placed on the Travel Card is greater than the total due to the employee for out-of-pocket expenses, the employee will owe the University the difference. See Section 9.0 for additional detail about the repayment process.

15. Related or Affected Policies

Boston University Ordering and Contracting Policy
Boston University Code of Ethical Conduct
Sponsored Award Expense Review Policy

16. Tools and References

Travel Services Resources

17. Contacts

Shirley Hood, Travel Card Administrator
Denise Greene Senior Director of Payment Services
617- 353-3046
Matt Abrams, Assistant Vice President of Payroll Services
Nicole Tirella, Vice President of Financial Operations and University Controller