University Credit Cards

The University has credit cards available for staff and faculty to use for regular business purposes.

Expand all

Purchasing 101 at the University of Minnesota

Policies & Best Practices for both P-Cards and T-Cards

  • Sales Tax: For purchases in the state of Minnesota, sales tax should not be charged on PCard transactions with few exceptions. When making a tax-exempt purchase, have the University ST3 Form ready to provide if the supplier requests proof of tax exemption.
  • Transaction Limits: Individual transactions are limited to $2,500 with a $10,000 monthly limit. Limits can be temporarily raised but require CLA approval. Contact your designated accountant for more information.

Requesting PCards and TCards

Getting a Procurement Card (PCard)

Getting a Travel Card (TCard)

  • Eligibility: Any employee (including graduate students) that travels three times or more a year are strongly encouraged to get this card.
    • 3 times may be recommended; however, the card can also be issued to a traveler who would otherwise be put under financial hardship by paying for travel out-of-pocket.
  • To apply: 

PCard | Procurement Card

The University approved PCard can be used by employees to pay for authorized purchases that are directly charged to the University.

Using the University Procurement Card

The PCard is used just like a normal credit card, with a few additional guidelines.

Reconciling Charges

After a transaction is made, the cardholder will need to provide documentation to the finance team.

  • Complete one PCard Receipt Information Form for each transaction.
    • By clicking the link above the form will be automatically downloaded to your desktop.
  • Collect/gather other documentation:
    • An itemized receipt of the transaction
    • Approval to use the account string (if applicable)
  • Submit the form and paperwork electronically to the Student Finance Assistant.
    • Email documents to
      • Option: You can submit your full paperwork through MyWallet on MyU.  Follow this job aid for assistance.

TCard | Travel Card

A university-paid card program for travel-related purchases.

Using the University Travel Card

The TCard is used just like a normal credit card, with a few additional guidelines.

  • All purchases made with a TCard must be for the cardholder.
  • TCard holders cannot pay for another traveler's expenses.
  • Meal per diems cannot be put on the TCard.
    • Meal per diems must still be paid out of pocket and then reimbursed.  See Reimbursements for more information.
  • Uses:
    • Airfare
    • Baggage Fees
    • Car Rental
    • Conference Registration
    • Ground Transportation (Uber/Lyft/Taxi)
    • Lodging
    • Parking
    • Rental Car Gas

Reconciling Charges

After a transaction is made, the cardholder will need to provide documentation to the finance team.  This process is done through Chrome River.

CLA 3-Strikes Policy

CLA has established this policy to support compliance with the university policy.

  • CLA Procurement Card Guidelines
  • After three violations (each, not combined) in a 12-month period, the University Credit Card will be deactivated.
    • Violations include, but are not limited to,
      • Late reconciliations not submitted within departmental deadlines
      • Inadequate justifications
      • Missing itemized receipts
      • Paying sales tax inappropriately
      • Purchasing unallowable items
      • Seeking employee expense reimbursement for a transaction already claimed on a PCard
      • Splitting transactions to avoid the PCard limits


When providing a tip, please consider the following:

  • The maximum tip allowed is 20% of the purchase amount. If the service was poor, less than 20% is appropriate. 
  • Be aware of any tip (gratuity, service fee, etc.) automatically added to the bill by the restaurant, which is typical when large groups of people are being served. 
  • If purchasing a catering order, then use discretion or consult with the Psychology Accounting Team for guidance in calculating the tip.

Types of Catering and Tip Guidelines:

  • Simple Catering - When the food is prepared at the restaurant and dropped off at the event location and the tip is for the delivery person. For example, a $200 tip (20%) on a $1,000 catering order from Subway would be disproportionate. 
    • $0-100: Maxiumum 20% with an amount cap of $10
    • $100-$500: Maximum 10% with an amount cap of $25
    • $500 and above: Maximum 10% with an amount cap of $50
  • Partial Service Catering - When the food is prepared at the restaurant and delivered to the event location with the delivery person setting up and taking down the catering. For partial service, the delivery person is not present throughout the event.
    • Maximum 15% tip with no amount cap
  • Full-Service Catering - When food is prepared at the restaurant and delivered to the event location with the restaurant employee staying to provide services throughout the entirety of the event.
    • Maximum 20% tip with no amount cap


Justifications are needed for all financial transactions.  While an expense may be perfectly legitimate, it can be flagged in an audit if it does not have a complete justification in the documentation.

Components of a Good Justification (5W’s)

The Writing Justifications Guide contains further explanations and examples.

A reasonable justification requires a who, what, where, when, and why/how (5W’s)

  • Who: Who is involved in the transaction? (Travelers, Stakeholders)
  • What: What exactly is being paid for?
  • When: For travel, when will the travel take place? For supplies/equipment, when will the items be used? For services, when will/were the services be provided?
  • Where: For travel, where is the destination? For supplies/equipment, where will the items be stored or used? For services, where will the services be provided?
  • How/Why: How does the purchase benefit the university? Why is the purchase necessary?

Other things to include

  • For Charges to Sponsored Projects:
    • identify the project (project number, study title, etc.), principal investigator (PI), and a detailed explanation of how the expenses directly support the aims of the grant.
  • For Subject Payments 
    • All identifying information should be removed and the statement "Documentation will be kept on file in the department, available for audit” should be included.
    • The identifying documents should be held in the lab in the case of an audit.
  • Any Oddities
    • Anything out of the norm should be included in the justification. Clarifications and extra details pertinent to the payment should be included.
Sarah Jahn
Finance and Grants Manager
S253 EltH | 626-7975
Kamran Motevaze
Finance Professional
S252 EltH | 626-8146
Angela Park
Finance Professional
S254 | 625-5429
Svena Saenvilay
Student Finance Assistant
Anjeanette Roy
Grants Coordinator
N256 EltH | 626-0871
Kristen Abernethy
Grants Coordinator
S250 EltH | 624-4325
Elliot Skurich
Senior Grants Administrator
Abby Roberts
Student Finance Assistant
Revision create time