Travel Card Information
To activate your new card: Call the phone number on the sticker affixed to your card, follow the instructions as prompted. If you have problems with this procedure email firstname.lastname@example.org or call x 4181.
Statements will no longer be sent in the mail, to download a copy of your statement follow the Cardholder Quick Reference Card. If you have problems with this procedure call x4181 for an appointment for one-on-one training (about 10 - 15 minutes).
What advantage does the Travel Card provide employees?
The main advantage the travel card provides employees is the convenience of making hotel, airline, and seminar registrations. Employees will no longer need to complete hotel orders or to request travel advances. Employees can make arrangements by telephone, mail, fax, or through the Internet.
Employees can also use the card for meals while in business travel. When staying at a hotel, employees can charge movies and other incidental expenses to the card (although those charges are not reimbursed). The card will eliminate the problems that arise when hotel will not accept Commonwealth hotel orders. Employees will be able to make travel arrangements quickly when travel decisions are made at the last minute. Finally, employees can reduce the amount of cash they take with them on a business trip.
Is it fair to expect an employee to accept the burden of carrying the charges on a personal card pending reimbursement, which will almost never occur prior to payment date? It appears that one who travels a great deal could be out of pocket a substantial amount of money at bill paying time. Why should our employees tie up their money? For some, this could be $1,000/$2,000 at a given period. Are there going to be cash advances made available to people?
An employee who files an accurate travel expense voucher, with all required receipts attached, by the 15th day of the month (i.e. 15 days after the billing cycle ending date), will always receive the funds to pay the credit card bill before the due date. Employees will not be out of pocket for any travel; therefore, travel advances will not be granted.
Note that since the billing statement is not attached to the travel expense voucher, employees do not have to wait for the billing statement to request reimbursement for travel. Only receipts must be attached.
How will the travel card affect an employee's personal credit?
Per the travel card company, the travel card will not affect an employee's personal credit in any way.
Will employees have to pay a finance charge?
Since employees must pay the balance in full each month there is no finance charge. If payment is not received by the bank on the due date there is a 14.25% finance charge. There is no grace period.
Why do employees have to make the call to the credit card company, and then to Purchasing, to report lost or stolen cards or erroneous charges? Why can't the employee just call Purchasing? Employees do not need to deal with another company, e.g. Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
If an employee loses his or her card, the credit card company must be notified immediately. Since the loss or theft may be discovered in the evening or on the weekend, it would not be practical to have Purchasing place the call. In addition, the credit card company will have questions regarding when and where the card was last used legitimately, and the employee is in the best position to answer these questions. Similarly, employees are in the best position to answer questions about why a charge is erroneous.
Employees are asked also to contact Purchasing so that Purchasing can act quickly to have a new card reissued and to assist in solving any disputes, if necessary.
Is there a dollar limit on the card? If so, in cases of several trips made in close time proximity, what happens if the limit is exceeded?
The dollar limit for University employees is $5,000 per month subject to responsible person's approval and sufficient cost center budget allocations. Based on the history of travel for University employees, it should be a rare occurrence that this limit is not adequate; however, if an employee believes that he or she may exceed the limit, the employee should contact Purchasing. Purchasing will work with the employee so that the limit is not exceeded.
Do employees have to use the card, or can employees be reimbursed from other receipts submitted?
Cardholders must use the travel card for all allowable travel expenses unless the employee pays in cash, the employee uses his/her personal credit card, or the vendor does not accept the travel card. If an employee chooses to pay for travel expenses with cash or with a personal credit card, the employee will be reimbursed for all expenses.
Is it a violation of the travel card policy if an employee does not submit the travel expense voucher to Purchasing within two weeks of returning from a trip?
If an employee wants to be reimbursed before his/her bill is due, the travel expense voucher must be submitted as soon as possible; however, it is not a violation of the procedures if requests for reimbursement are made later.
How do managers notify Purchasing of persons needing cards?
Qualifying employees may request a travel card by submitting an enrollment form to the Purchasing Department via their immediate supervisor/responsible person. Travel cards will be given to all eligible employees upon completion of training.
Is the travel card separate from the Voyager card?
The travel card is separate from the Voyager card. Use of the Voyager card for gasoline expenses for MU vehicles is encouraged.
What happens if an employee is forced to cancel a non-refundable airline reservation or has to cancel a hotel reservation on short-term notice because of a higher priority project imposed by the University? Is the individual employee now liable for these expenses?
The policy for cancellations does not change with the implementation of the travel card.
The University will pay for any costs that are not recoverable if an employee cancels his/her travel arrangements for a valid business purpose and the change is approved by the employee's supervisor. An employee who cancels his/her travel arrangements for personal reasons is liable for any costs that are not recoverable.
What advantage(s) does the proposed new travel card have over placing the charges on one's own personal credit card?
The travel provides the convenience of a credit card to employees without affecting and without regard for an employee's personal credit. In addition, the card is marked "Tax Exempt" so that sales tax will not be charged. Finally, for employees who travel frequently, the travel card allows an employee to collect all business expenses on one document (the billing statement).
It seems that the travel card was implemented primarily for the organization's benefit. If that is so, why is the employee required to assume the responsibility for travel card payments?
The main reason is that is would be too difficult to track expenses to the correct cost centers when all university travel would be on one statement. A reasonable alternative may be that the University assumes responsibility for the monthly payments contingent upon the employee providing copies of approved travel expense statements to verify authorization of charges. (Employee writes check to Millersville University if unauthorized or personal expenses are charged.)
Experience has proven that when employees pay the bill subject to reimbursement, they are much more likely to adhere to the rules and will more likely keep expenses within the maximum rates allowed. When relieved of the responsibility to pay the monthly payments to the credit card company, experience has shown that employees fail to be as diligent. Considerable time is then spent contacting employees who did not attach receipts and/or filed incomplete, inaccurate, or vouchers in violation of policies and established rates.
Conference registrations charged to the travel card months before the conference may not be reimbursed until months after charges appear on employees' travel card statements.
An employee does not have to wait until travel has been completed before filing the travel expense voucher, but only needs to attach the receipt for reimbursement to the travel request form. In the case of a conference, the confirmation will serve as a receipt; if the conference sponsor does not provide a confirmation, the monthly credit card billing statement will serve as a receipt. (This is the practice currently in place for employees who put conferences or airfare on their personal credit cards.)
What options are available to employees who don't want responsibility for a (or another) credit card or who object to providing the last 4 digits of their social security number to the travel card company?
An employee who does not want responsibility for a (or another) credit card, or who objects to providing their personal information to the travel card company, must pay for travel either by personal credit card or cash and request reimbursement via a travel expense voucher. There will be no cash advances made except in unusual circumstances. Please note that personal credit cards are not tax exempt and the University is not obligated to reimburse for taxes paid, and that University Legal Counsel has ruled that it is a violation of the State Ethics Law to generate frequent flier miles (or any similar types of discounts, credits or promotions) for personal gain when using a personal credit card for University business.
If, as the credit card company asserts, "the travel card will not affect the employee's personal credit in any way," then they don't need the social security number. A separate identification number can be assigned.
The social security number is used not as a method of checking or tracing an employee's personal credit, but as a security measure for when an employee contacts the credit card company to report a lost or stolen card or to make inquiries. Use of the social security number is standard practice by credit card companies throughout the United States as it is the most reliable method of assuring that the identification number belongs to only one individual.
If the employee opts not to accept/use the travel card, what alternate method is available for securing exemption from Pennsylvania sales tax and from the rental tax for hotels in Allegheny, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties?
There are no alternate methods in place for securing exemption for Pennsylvania sales tax and rental tax if an employee opts not to use the travel card; however, a vendor may grant an exemption if an employee produces identification or other proof that he or she is engaged in business travel on behalf of the University.