University Credit Card Policy

I.   General Policy Statement

Syracuse University will provide authorized employees with a credit card at the University’s expense to purchase selected goods and materials and/or University business travel expenses.

The credit cards have one of three different purposes: a procurement card, a travel card, or a dual procurement and travel card. The procurement card may be used to purchase supplies, retail items, and small dollar purchases and has a $3,000 per transaction spending limit. The travel card may be used for transportation, hotels, meals, and conference registrations with a $9,999 per transaction spending limit. The dual card may be used for all of the above and has the spending limits as stated above when purchasing the identified commodities allowed within each of the two purposes. The same credit card will be issued for all three purposes and will include the Syracuse University New York State sales tax exemption number. The proper name of the individual will be embossed on the credit card along with “Syracuse University.”

II.  Reason for Policy/Purpose

The Credit Card Policy exists to provide guidelines to the Campus Community regarding how to obtain a card application and if approved for a card how to appropriately utilize a University issued credit card.

III.  Policy

General Policy Guidelines

How to obtain a Card Application

Before a credit card is issued to an employee, a properly completed and authorized University Credit Card Acceptance Statement must be submitted to the Manager, Credit Card Program (MCCP), Purchasing Office, Skytop Office Building, Suite 140.

Required approvals of application

The issuance of credit cards will require the approval of the Chancellor for direct reports of the Chancellor, the approval of the Division Heads (Vice Chancellor and Provost, Senior Vice Presidents, and Director of Athletics) for individuals in their respective division, or their delegates and the approval of the Director of Purchasing. It is the approver’s responsibility to indicate whether the credit card is for procurement, travel, or both. Issuance of cards is not automatic and a business need must be demonstrated that can’t be met through other means such as payments through disbursement processing.  If approved, new cards are typically issued within 30 days of approval.

Cardholder Responsibility 

The cardholder is responsible for the card’s safekeeping. The card may not be transferred to, assigned to, or used by anyone other than the designated cardholder. The bank or the University may, at any time, suspend or close the card for any reason and the cardholder will surrender the credit card to his/her supervisor upon request.

The credit card is valuable property which requires proper treatment by the cardholder to protect it from misuse by unauthorized parties. The cardholder is required to activate (as per instructions received with the card) and sign the credit card immediately upon receipt. The credit card may be used upon activation.

Credit Cards expire every three years; training will be essential for each card issuance and renewal. A New Card Request must be accompanied by a completed training record before an application will be reviewed for processing. Corporate Card Services will notify the cardholder via email when it is time to complete the renewal training. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to complete all required training prior to the card’s expiration date. Replacement cards are issued one month prior to the card expiration date. If training is not completed, the corporate card will be closed. The Issuing Bank, Syracuse University, or the cardholder may choose not to renew a Credit Card if it shows no transaction activity for eighteen consecutive months, or if the University has found evidence of improper use. When the current card has expired or when a new card is issued to the cardholder, it is the cardholder’s responsibility to destroy the card (cut it in pieces) and discard. If the cardholder’s employment is terminated for any reason, the cardholder will give the card to his/her supervisor to destroy. The supervisor must promptly notify the MCCP at 315-443-1957.

It is the cardholder’s responsibility to obtain itemized transaction receipts for charges incurred above $50.00 from the vendor each time the credit card is used. Itemized transaction receipts should include”

  1. Date of the transaction
  2. Name of Merchant
  3. Transaction details (what was purchased)
  4. Itemized receipts for restaurant transactions are required
  5. Conference registration forms if applicable

For purchases where no receipt is generated (e.g., a recurring subscription expense or other standing order), a copy of the associated monthly cardholder statement and a complete explanation of the expense must be kept.

As indicated in the University’ Travel Policy, “Substantiation of the business purpose and reasonableness of all expenses is required. Individual transaction receipts shall be submitted to the appropriate departmental individual for monthly reconciliation.

Each credit card has a pre-set per transaction maximum spending limit (currently $3,000 for procurement and $9,999 for travel). Splitting of transactions is not allowed. The cardholder will be advised of his/her limits. The monthly limit is authorized by the Chancellor, the Division Head, or their delegate and the Director of Purchasing. Extraordinary circumstances that may require a change may be addressed to the MCCP at 443-1957.

Approval of Expenditures

It is the responsibility of the Chancellor, the Division Heads, or their delegates to monitor the use of the credit card and to authorize the credit card limit.

The individual responsible for approving the credit cardholder’s expenditures must be an authorized signer on the chart string charged, must be in a position of authority higher than the cardholder who incurred the expenditures, and must review the business nature and the substantiation of charges incurred by the cardholder before submitting the monthly credit reconciliation to Disbursements Processing. Additionally, this individual is responsible to call upon the Purchasing Office, or Internal Audit , as appropriate, to report potential improprieties. Through review of the expenses the business purposes need to be clearly documented. Each business purpose must include:

  1. Who incurred the expense or who benefitted; specific names of individuals/groups are required
  2. What the expense entailed (e.g., item purchased or activity conducted)
  3. Why this is a University expense (i.e., specific reason, purpose)
  4. Where the event or activity took place (if not apparent in transaction detail or receipts)
  5. When the event or activity occurred (if not apparent in transaction detail or receipts)

Reviewers must ensure they have proof of purchase documentation from the cardholder kept locally and that they can readily support charges in case of an audit. Required recordkeeping should align with the University’s documentation retention policy. Reviewers should be aware of potential misuse.

Lost /Stolen Credit Cards

Lost/stolen activity on credit cards shall be documented immediately and the following steps are to be followed:

  • The cardholder is to report the incident to his/her immediate supervisor, and the supervisor or cardholder is to immediately contact the bank’s 24-hour toll-free answer center at (800) 270-7760.
  • The cardholder or supervisor also needs to contact the MCCP at 315-443-1957 or email to alert of the lost/stolen activity on the credit card and confirm that notification to Chase has been completed.

Card Use Appropriateness

Cardholders may only use the Credit Card for University business transactions. Personal transactions are not permitted. The Credit Card may be used for  goods, services and travel/event-related purchases based on the type of card requested.

In addition to this Credit Card policy, all Credit Card transactions must comply with the University’s policies and procedures governing Expenditures and Purchases. Cardholders who allocate expenses to a sponsored project account must also comply with their respective sponsoring agency’s policies. Cardholders who do not comply with the University policies and procedures may have their Syracuse University cardholder privileges revoked.

Misuse of the Credit Card may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of card privileges and/or other disciplinary action

Policy violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchasing items with the credit card for personal use.
  • Splitting transactions to circumvent the per transaction limits.
  • Failure to return the credit card when reassigned, terminated, or upon request.
  • Use of the credit card or account by the cardholder after notice of its cancellation may be considered fraudulent and further action by the University may take place against the cardholder.
  • Failure to submit properly completed reconciliation statements in a timely manner. All receipts must accompany the monthly reconciliation statement.
  • Failure to report a lost or stolen credit card to the appropriate person immediately after discovery.
  • Transferring assignment of the credit card to another individual.
  • Repeatedly allowing sales tax to be charged when the purchases are tax exempt.

The credit card should not be used for the purchase of radioactive materials and products that contain hazardous materials. In addition, the credit card should not be used for donations, contributions, or fines and penalties.

Sales Tax

Syracuse University’s NYS sales tax exemption number is displayed on the credit card. Sales tax exemption certificates for New York State and other states may be obtained by contacting the Purchasing Office at 315-443-2281. Sales tax is not automatically exempt by using the credit card.

Vendors require the certificate to provide sales tax exemption. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to make certain that sales tax is appropriately charged to the credit card. Cardholders should bring sales tax issues to the attention of the MCCP at 315-443-1957.

Information and Assistance

Contact the individuals listed below for information and assistance regarding:

  • Credit Card Policies and Procedures – Manager, Credit Card Program (MCCP), 315-443-1957
  • Credit Card Accounting Issues – Disbursements Processing, 315-443-1853

To request a credit card, complete the Acceptance Statement which may be found on the Purchasing Office website and forward to: Manager, Credit Card Program, Purchasing Office, Skytop Office



Amended: May 2011
Amended: May 2007
Amended: June 25, 2014
Amended: Aug. 30, 2022