Commercial Card Program

The Procurement Service Center manages the Commercial Card program for the university which includes three types of university-liability credit cards available for employee use, as well as a centrally managed lodge card program used exclusively to fulfill bulk payments to specific suppliers. All of the university card products are VISA cards and they are provided by US Bank. All transactions charged to the Commercial Cards are paid directly to the issuing bank, and payments are generally made daily on business days.

The university-issued credit cards available to employees are the Travel Card, the Procurement Card, and the Managed Spend card. Each card type is available to university employees as well as to affiliate fiscal staff, with the approval of the appropriate individuals within their department. The campus departments  are responsible for determining and managing which employees should have a Commercial Card, and ultimately the department is liable for all charges made with cards assigned to their employees.

Travel Card
The Travel Card is designed to facilitate payment of University travel-related expenses.

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Procurement Card
The Procurement Card allows the cardholder to make small-dollar purchases directly on behalf of CU, allowing tax exemption.

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Obtaining a Commercial Card

All Commercial Card applications are processed electronically via the Request function in the Concur Travel and Expense Management System. Card application Requests can be created and submitted by the requesting employee, or by their assigned Delegate in Concur. Applications submitted in Concur Request will route electronically in the system for the required approvals.

Cardholders can be employees or affiliate fiscal staff. In some instances, non-employees may apply for a Commercial Card, however the sponsoring department must first obtain Person of Interest (POI) “Type 15 Security Access” for the individual. All applicants are required to complete the online Skillsoft training appropriate to their application type.

Travel, Procurement and Managed Spend Cards are issued with appropriate department approval and upon successful Skillsoft training completion. Please refer to the individual card pages for more details on required training as well as for the department and/or campus approvals required for the application.

Information provided in the application Request in Concur will be used to establish the new card account. Cardholders are expected to maintain the information associated with their account and should submit a Concur Request Update form when information on their account needs to be changed or updated. Cardholders should work with their department to determine the appropriate mailing address for the cardholder’s account.

Card Spending Limits

Commercial Card products are issued with varying credit limits, dependent on the card type, the expected use of the card and the garnered approvals. As Commercial Cards are not intended to be the primary way of purchasing goods and services for the university, credit limits on the revolving accounts are closely managed.

Travel Cards are issued with a standard monthly credit limit of $3,500. Procurement Cards are issued with a recommended $3,000 monthly credit limit and a $1,000 single purchase limit. Requests for higher Travel Card and Procurement Card limits will be considered with the appropriate department, campus, and PSC approvals. Refer to the Travel Card Handbook and the Procurement Card Handbook for more information on requesting higher card account limits.

Those Commercial Card accounts with revolving monthly credit (the Procurement and Travel Cards) will reset on the 25th of the month, or on the next business day should the 25th fall on a weekend or holiday. Reconciling transactions incurred during the billing cycle does not impact the available credit on any card account.

Activating a Commercial Card

Commercial Cards are mailed to cardholders at the address provided in the application. Once the requested Commercial Card is received, it will require activation before use. The information included with the card will provide options for online activation, or activation by automated phone system. When completing the activation, be prepared to provide the following required information. Note that the information provided in the Concur Request application will be used in setting up your account – the original Request form can be viewed in Concur if needed to confirm what was originally submitted.

  • 16-digit account number
  • Mailing address include zip code
  • Work phone number
  • Last 4 digits of your employee ID
    • The activation system will instruct you to use the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, but please disregard and use the last 4 digits of your employee ID. The Commercial Cards are university-liability card accounts, and do not link to your personal information.
  • Self-selected PIN number (see How the Card Works below)

How the Card Works

The Commercial Cards are designed for both domestic and international use, therefore they incorporate Europay, Mastercard, VISA (EMV) chip-and-PIN technology as well as traditional magnetic stripe technology. In countries that have adopted EMV standards, card transactions will be authenticated by the embedded microprocessor chip in conjunction with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or a signature. In countries that are still in the process of adopting these standards, cardholders may encounter merchants without EMV readers that will be authenticating transactions with the magnetic stripe (typically in conjunction with a signature).

For this reason, cardholders will have the opportunity to create a PIN with US Bank at the time the card is activated. This self-selected PIN is intended to support EMV chip-and-PIN processing only – the card and PIN cannot be used to obtain cash advances at an ATM. If cash is required in advance of a university-sponsored trip, please refer to the PSC Procedural Statement for Cash Advances.

Keeping the Card Secure

Cardholders are expected to keep their university-liability Commercial Card(s) secure at all times. The cards should be handled with the same care as one would handle their own personal credit cards. They should not be shared with other individuals, should be kept in a secure location when not in use, and should be monitored for suspicious or unknown activity.

Additional tips for keeping your card and account secure:

  • Never provide account information over the phone if you did not initiate the call with the intent to place an order.
  • Do not respond to emails requesting credit card information, and do not click on links in emails asking for you to confirm payment information. These phishing scams continuously grow more sophisticated – when in doubt, contact your campus information security or IT office for assistance.
  • Do not send your 16-digit card number by email or leave the number on a voicemail message. The Commercial Card Office will never ask you for your 16-digit account number to locate your account information.
  • Do not share your card account information with other employees.
  • Ensure the website where you are entering payment information is secure. This can be confirmed by looking for the connection security details near the URL in your browser.
  • Act immediately when unknown or suspicious activity is detected in your account. See Disputes and Lost or Stolen Commercial Card below for more information.
  • If your card becomes lost, report it to the bank immediately.
  • Update the Commercial Card Office immediately when you have a change in address, phone number, or other account details. This update is completed in Concur Request through the Procurement Card Update and Travel Card Update forms.
  • Review all emails received from the Commercial Card Office and from Concur. These emails contain important information and notifications regarding your account activity.
  • When the card account is no longer needed, (either due to a change in job responsibilities or termination of employment), immediately notify the Commercial Card Office by submitting a Concur Request for the Procurement Card or Travel Card.

The university – specifically the department – is liable for all charges incurred on a lost or stolen card up until the time it is reported to the bank. See Lost or Stolen Commercial Card below for more information on how to notify the bank of a missing card.

Using the Commercial Card

Each type of Commercial Card available to university employees and affiliate fiscal staff has specific intended uses, allowability and restrictions. Please refer to the information contained in the handbook for the specific card type to learn more about what is allowable and what is prohibited.

Employees who obtain and use a Commercial Card are expected to maintain their responsibilities as a cardholder including the timely submission of expenses in Concur Expense. Additionally, when expenses are submitted for reconciliation in Concur, cardholders are acknowledging and confirming the expense system certification statements relative to their submission.

Sponsored Project & Gift Fund Guidelines

When purchases are made on a Commercial Card that will be allocated to sponsored project or gift funds, the department is responsible for ensuring those transactions are allowable according to the specific terms for the grant/award or other funding source. Cardholders should ensure that the purchases of goods and services for sponsored projects comply with:

  • The overall intent of the award/funding source;
  • The specific detail of the sponsor/funding source regulations; and,
  • The university’s policies and procedures.

Additional guidance for sponsored projected/gift fund expenditures is provided by the appropriate campus sponsored project and/or accounting offices.


Each Commercial Card product has specific intended uses as well as restrictions. Please refer to the Travel Card Handbook or the Procurement Card Handbook for more information on restricted purchases. Improper or unauthorized use of a university-issued Commercial Card could result in card suspension or cancellation, and possibly in other disciplinary action up to and including employee suspension or termination.


If there is a problem with an order or purchase made on a Commercial Card, the first step is to request a credit from the vendor. If the cardholder is unable to obtain a credit by working directly with the merchant, a formal dispute can be recorded with the bank within 60 days from the cycle closing date (25th of the month) immediately following the transaction date. This includes instances where:

  • The charges were unauthorized, including instances of charged amounts differing from authorized charges and/or duplicate charges.
  • The vendor has issued a credit voucher, or otherwise said they will issue a credit, but no credit has been received.
  • The merchandise ordered was not received, was returned, or was defective.
  • The charges were unrecognized. If fraud is suspected, the bank must be immediately notified.

 The cardholder dispute process should follow the steps below:

  • Contact the bank to report the disputed charge. The bank will ask questions to determine if the charge qualifies for dispute.
  • If the charge is disputable, the bank will send a form to the cardholder to return with their authorized signature.
  • The bank will immediately issue a credit for the disputed amount, pending correspondence with the merchant.
  • Both the originally disputed charge and the credit issued by the bank will need to be reconciled in the expense system (Concur). Refer to the section on reconciling Procurement Card or Travel Card transactions for more detailed information.

Reconciling Commercial Card Transactions

Transactions made on university issued Commercial Cards will be imported directly into the Concur Travel and Expense Management System. Transactions generally appear within one week of when the purchase was made but can take up to 10 business days. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to reconcile all transactions in Concur and submit for approval. Once expenses are assigned to a report, allocated by the cardholder, and submitted for/granted all approvals, the transactions will import to the Finance system and post to the general ledger.

Cardholders must submit card transactions within 90 days for the transaction, or within 90 days of the end of a trip when travel-related, to avoid potential tax implications including having the amount of the transactions added to their taxable earnings. Refer to the Finance Procedural Statement for Business Expense Substantiation and Tax Implications to learn more.

For detailed how-to articles on how to submit expenses for reconciliation in Concur, visit here.

Lost or Stolen Commercial Card

Cardholders are responsible for the safekeeping of a university issued Commercial Card. In the event a card is lost or stolen, the cardholder is responsible for immediately notifying US Bank directly at 1.800.344.5696 (outside the U.S., call collect 1.701.461.2010). If there were not fraudulent transactions made on the lost or stolen card, no additional actions are required in Concur or with the Commercial Card Office once the bank is notified.

The cardholder is also responsible for monitoring their Concur profile for unauthorized charges, including those related to a lost or stolen card. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the bank immediately once detected at 1.800.344.5696. Once reported to US Bank, the cardholder will need to reconcile the fraudulent charge along with any credit/refund issued by the bank in Concur.

Closing a Commercial Card Account

When a cardholder terminates employment, or otherwise no longer needs a Commercial Card, their card account can be cancelled by submitting a Request for the Procurement Card or Travel Card in the Concur Travel Card and Expense System. The cardholder employee and their department should ensure that all transactions remaining in Concur have been reconciled and submitted prior to the employee’s last date of employment.

Lost or stolen cards and suspicious account activity should be immediately reported to the bank at 1.800.344.5696.