Who should hold a University credit card?

Important: All individuals who hold a University credit card agree to adhere to University policies on business expenses, travel, and credit card use, including the requirement for timely substantiation of their credit card activity. Failure to use the card in compliance with University policy can result in revocation and possible disciplinary action and/or pay deduction.

Who is eligible to hold a Travel & Expense Card?

Travel & Expense Cards may be held by faculty, staff, and in some cases, students. The card is a financial tool intended for individual business expenses, like travel, books, professional memberships, or local business meals—expenses that the cardholder may otherwise have had to incur using out-of-pocket funds.

It may be appropriate to issue a Travel & Expense Card to an individual in your department who:

  • travels two or more times per year for University purposes,
  • is responsible for arranging and paying for guest or group travel, and/or
  • frequently incurs non-travel business expenses, for example, group meals in the Princeton area.

Who is eligible to hold a Departmental Purchasing Card?

Departmental Purchasing Cards may be held by staff members who are directly involved in purchasing on behalf of the University. As part of their normal job functions, they may pay for low-dollar departmental goods and services that cannot be purchased through the Marketplace or contract suppliers on a Departmental Purchasing Card. These cardholders must be familiar with and adhere to the University’s preferred purchasing methods and policies.

Should a cardholder have both types of University credit card?

The cases where a single cardholder carries both a Travel & Expense Card and a Departmental Purchasing Card should be rare. The cards are designed to accommodate minor overlaps in their typical uses, so you should carry the card that suits the majority of your activity.

For example, if most of your credit card activity is the purchase of goods and services for your department, but you infrequently need to book travel for a guest, you are best served by the Departmental Purchasing Card. You will be able to pay for your guest’s airfare using your Departmental Purchasing Card.

In rare cases where a staff member expects significant use of both cards, for example, a staff member who travels several times a year for University business but is also responsible for the department’s goods and services purchases, it may be necessary to hold both cards. Provided that each card is used in accordance with University policy and transactions are substantiated in a timely manner, holding both cards is permitted.