3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure

Revision Date: 
July 1, 2017

* This procedure has been updated to accommodate Workday Financials business processes and terminology.  Please note the effective revision date.


  1. Overview
  2. Obtaining an Individual or Department Card
  3. Changing, Suspending, or Canceling a Card Account
  4. Roles and Responsibilities

1.  Overview

Yale Purchasing Card Program

The Yale Purchasing Card (PCard) is a University credit card program offered through JPMorgan Chase for the payment of travel-related services and the purchase of goods and services required for conducting University business.  The Yale Purchasing Card is a corporate-liability card; all charges incurred by individual/department cardholders are paid directly by the University to the bank that issues the card.

Since the University is liable for all charges made on the card, cardholders must use discretion and good judgment when making purchases and/or incurring expenses.  Cardholders are responsible for authenticating the validity of all charges incurred by submitting expense reports, on a regular basis, via Yale’s expense management solution.

If card usage is found to be in non-compliance with University policies and procedures, the cardholder will incur the charge(s) as a personal expense(s) and lose credit card privileges.  A notification will be sent to the dean, chair, department head, or lead administrator.

Purchasing Cards

The Yale Purchasing Card program includes two types of University-issued credit cards:

  • Individual Cards

This card is available to University employees who are authorized to purchase travel-related services and/or small-dollar supplies and limited services on behalf of the University, up to pre-approved limits. The card is issued in the name of the employee, upon approval of the lead administrator or operations manager and cannot be shared.

This card is issued only to University staff, with the following HR job categories Faculty (FAC), Clerical & Technical (C&T), Managerial & Professional (M&P), Postdoctoral Associates (PDA), and Service & Maintenance (S&M).

Each card is issued to a specific person, who assumes responsibility for authenticating the validity of charges incurred.

  • Department Cards

This card is issued to a department, but the responsibility is assigned to a primary user.  The department card provides a mechanism to secure travel-related services and/or to purchase small-dollar supplies and limited services on behalf of the department and its members.

This card bears the name of the department, not the name of an employee, and can be shared; however, it should be stored in the business office and not be given to individuals to take on business trips.

The department card can be used to pay for business meals, food or catering expenses, supplies, air and rail travel and hotel/conference deposits to secure space. The department should maintain a record on who initiated each purchase and indicate the name of the initiator on the receipt.

Permitted Commodities

Permitted commodities are sub-divided into two categories: travel related purchases and general purchases. The business office will determine, at the time of application, whether a card will be used for travel, general purchases or both categories. 

Some of the appropriate travel commodities include: 

  • airfare, train fare or other modes of transportation to/from the site of a business meeting or event

  • car rental charges

  • lodging charges

  • any business-related meal, including alcohol being charged to a federal sponsored agreement. The cardholder or the preparer must properly separate alcohol from food and charge this expense to the unallowable expense category when the business-related meal is being charged to a federal sponsored agreement.

Note: Travel expenses associated with relocation are not to be charged to the Yale Purchasing Card. Such reimbursement requests should be submitted using the Relocation Reimbursement form (see below under exclusions) and submitting it to the University Transportation Manager.

Some of the appropriate business related general commodities include: 

  • conference, seminar, and course fees

  • photo supplies and materials

  • professional membership, dues and license fees

  • stamps and delivery services

  • subscriptions, books, and journals

  • tools and building supplies


The excluded commodities and prohibited uses of the Yale Purchasing Card are as follows:

  • cash advances, ATM cash and traveler’s checks

  • University contract goods and services (i.e. furniture and fixtures, telecommunications) follow
    purchasing method as instructed on the Buying Guide

  • gasoline (except for rental cars or university vehicles)

  • Internal Service Provider (ISP), a University department that provides services for other University units e.g. Facilities

  • personal purchases (see exceptions listed under section 4, Changing, Suspending or Cancelling a Card Account)

  • restricted items as defined in Policy 3220 Purchases of Restricted Items

  • relocation expenses, see 3501 FR.46 Relocation Reimbursement form

  • social memberships

  • split transactions to circumvent single purchase dollar limit

Supplier Selection

Refer to the University Buying Guide to determine the preferred purchasing methods and supplier(s) as defined by commodity.

When using a Yale Purchasing Card for purchases greater than the competitive bidding threshold for other than contract suppliers, the cardholder must document quotes from suppliers or complete Form 3205 FR.03  Explanation for Sole Source Supplier as required.

Dollar and Transaction Limits

Yale Purchasing Cards are available in three transaction dollar limits as detailed below.  Department lead administrators or their designees approve the limit for either travel-related expenses or small-dollar supplies and services or both on an individual’s card at the time of the application.  Any changes to the limits must be requested and approved by the lead administrator or his/her designee.

If the card is issued to the lead administrator or his/her designee, the chair or the dean of the department must approve the transaction dollar limit at the time of application and any further changes to the dollar limit.

The following levels are an example of transaction limits for travel-related expenses or for supplies. Up-to-date departmental transaction limits can be found by running the Cardholder Commodity Report in Workday.

Standard Individual Card Limits

Travel Related Expenses

Level I

Level II

Level III

Single Purchase Limit




Monthly Limit





Level I

Level II

Single Purchase Limit



Monthly Limit



Standard Department Card Limits

Travel Related Expenses

Level I

Level II

Single Purchase Limit



Monthly Limit




Level I

Level II

Single Purchase Limit



Monthly Limit



Applying for a Card

Complete 3215 FR.06 Purchasing Card Request Form located on the policies and procedures website.

  • Individual Card: The employee to whom the card will be issued must provide requested applicant information.  The department lead administrator or his/her designee completes the remainder of the application.  Refer to the section on Purchasing Cards for eligible job categories. Issuance of the card to any other individual not on the job category list must be requested by applying to the Electronic Commerce Services with the reason for an exception.
  • Department Card: The lead administrator or his/her designee completes the application form and must approve and sign each application.  Please note the requester and approver cannot be the same individual.  Accordingly, if a card is assigned to the lead administrator or his/her designee, his or her supervisor must approve the application.

Scan the completed signed form to purchasing.card@yale.edu.

Security Verification

The requester must include his/her social security number, date of birth, and mother’s maiden name to allow for card activation and future verification of cardholder identity.  The issuing bank will not approve an application for a purchasing card unless this information is provided.

This information is confidential and will not be used to check the personal financial history of the applicant.

Card Activation

After the Purchasing Card Office has received the application, the cardholder will be sent an online agreement and training via email. After reading the cardholder agreement and training, the cardholder will be asked to sign the Cardholder Agreement by replying to the email. After this is complete the cardholder will receive the Yale Purchasing Card with instructions for activating the card.

To make changes to a card account, complete Form 3215 FR.06 Purchasing Card Request Form.  In the Action section, choose Change from the drop-down menu.  Scan the authorized form in PDF format to purchasing.card@yale.edu.  You can make any of the following changes:

  • cardholder name
  • email address
  • authorized commodity categories
  • single or monthly purchase limit

Suspending a Purchasing Card

Yale University may terminate the right to use a Yale Purchasing Card at any time for any reason.  The cardholder must return the Yale Purchasing Card to Yale University immediately upon request or upon termination of employment.  Improper use of the Yale Purchasing Card may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

A purchasing card account may be suspended if the:

  • Cardholder has purchasing card transactions unprocessed for more than 45 days
  • Cardholder shares the card with someone else
  • Cardholder uses the card for personal expenses not incidental to a business trip or for any other charges outside of policy
  • Cardholder consistently does not have the necessary receipts
  • Cardholder uses the card for any of the prohibited commodities without prior approval

Canceling a Card

To cancel a card, complete the Purchasing Card Request Form.  In the Action section, choose Cancel from the drop-down menu.  Scan the authorized form to purchasing.card@yale.edu or call 203-432-3227. In addition, the cardholder must:

  • Return the card to the department lead administrator or operations manager.  If the card holder is a lead administrator or operations manager, then it must be returned to the Purchasing Card Office.

  • Turn over all remaining receipts to the lead administrator or operations manager, and

  • Complete an expense report for any outstanding unprocessed card transactions.

Reporting a Lost or Stolen Card

Yale University is liable to JPMorgan Chase for all charges made against a card until reported lost or stolen.  Therefore, cardholders must alert the bank by calling the numbers below as soon as they become aware of the situation.  At the time the card is reported lost or stolen, the account will be closed and a new purchasing card will be sent to the cardholder.

If the purchasing card is denied for any reason during a domestic/international business trip and there is no other form of payment available, call the appropriate number below and request that the card be enabled to facilitate the trip home.

To report a lost, stolen, or declined card, the cardholder must promptly notify:

JPMorgan Chase directly by calling 1-800-316-6056 (domestic) or 1-847-488-4441 (international). You can contact your department lead administrator or operations manager and/or the Purchasing Card Office at 432-3227.

University Office or Department


eCommerce Department

Central process owner for purchasing card program (with oversight from the Controller) and expense reporting system. Responsible for monitoring the issuing (with proper approval from business office/shared service office), use, suspension and termination of PCards. Also, responsible for training all faculty and staff on proper use of PCards and Workday Expenses.

Business Offices

Responsible for maintaining a sound and adequate system of internal controls surrounding the use of and approval process of various purchasing card and out-of-pocket business transactions.


Approves exceptions and where necessary, delegates authority normally performed by the Controller. Consults with eCommerce on monitoring the use, suspension and termination of PCards.

Controller’s Office

Responsible for performing quality assurance reviews of PCard and out-of-pocket transactions.