University of Vermont

UVM Purchasing Card - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Purchasing Card

Click on a question to view the answer. Click on the arrow  ^  to return to the list of questions.  If you don't see your question here, check the online cardholders manual or Contact Us.

Getting A Card

  1. Who needs a Purchasing Card in my unit?
  2. Who can get a Purchasing Card?
  3. How do I obtain a Purchasing Card ?
  4. How long will it take to get a new card?
  5. When I apply for a Purchasing Card, will my personal credit history be checked?

Using A Card

  1. Where can I use a Purchasing Card ?
  2. What are the restrictions on Purchasing Card use?
  3. Can I obtain a cash advance?
  4. Can I buy personal items and reimburse the budget?
  5. What is my transaction limit?  Cycle limit?
  6. When does the cycle begin and end?
  7. What information do I need to submit for airfare purchases?
  8. Why did I receive this email?


I've made the purchase, but...

  1. What if my default chart string is no longer correct, but my card hasn't expired?
  2. A vendor called, and my PurCard was declined.  What do I do?
  3. I lost my receipt.  What should I do?
  4. When will my budget really be charged for these purchases?
  5. When do I need to reallocate a transaction?
  6. I was charged sales tax.  What am I supposed to do?
  7. I missed the reallocation period.  How do I get these expenses on my budget report to the correct chart string and account?

Etc., Etc.

  1. Who is the Program Administrator?
  2. My card is lost or stolen. What should I do?
  3. How can I obtain more transaction logs?
  4. I'm leaving UVM.  What do I do with my card?
  5. I'm transferring to a new department within UVM.  What do I do with my card?   Can I bring it to my new department?

 

Who needs a UVM Purchasing Card in my unit?

Consider the following:

Did you or your staff place many low dollar value (less than $4,999.99) orders?
Do you make frequent pick-ups at local suppliers?
Do your suppliers accept MasterCard® as a means of conducting purchase transactions?
Do you purchase airfare?
Do you travel?
Do you hold conferences at off-campus locations?

See the Getting Started page for some help developing departmental policies and guidelines for card use.

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How do I obtain a UVM Purchasing Card?

Purchasing Cards are obtained by filling out a Cardholder application, having it signed by the appropriate dean, director, chair and forwarding it to the Procurement Services.  Cards will be issued only after the cardholder has taken the required web based training.

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Who can get a Purchasing Card?

Any employee of the University (faculty, staff, or paid graduate student) may be issued a Purchasing Card with supervisory approval.  PurCards are not issued to temporary employees.

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Where can I use a UVM Purchasing Card?

The UVM Purchasing Card will generally be accepted by any merchant within the authorized Merchant Category Codes (MCC Codes) who accepts MasterCard.

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What are the restrictions on Purchasing Card Use?

The UVM Purchasing Card may be used for transactions up to $4,999.99 with merchants included in the Merchant Category Codes (MCC Codes) selected by Procurement Services.  Monthly cycle charges normally cannot exceed $25,000.  The cycle limits can be lower if requested.

The following materials must be obtained through Procurement Services, with all required approvals, via purchase requisition:

Animal orders
Capital equipment - greater than $5,000
Hazardous materials - contact Environmental Safety
Radioactive orders - contact Radiation Safety
Maintenance agreements
Items costing greater than $4,999.99
All personal  services, such as consulting, catering, printing, etc., requiring an Independent Contractor versus Employee determination (non-incorporated vendors)

The above listed materials and services may only be procured and paid for through the UVM Procurement Services.

Your Purchasing Card cannot be used for any of the following :

Alcohol
Cash advances
Firearms, ammunition
Gifts
Personal Purchases
Tuition reimbursement

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Can I obtain a cash advance?

No.  The Merchant Category Codes (MCC Codes) associated with cash advances have been turned off on your Purchasing Card.   Charges for such items will be declined at the point of attempted purchase.

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Can I buy personal items and reimburse the budget?

No.  The Purchasing Card is for University business purposes only.  Making personal purchases via any University purchasing mechanism can jeopardize UVM's tax exempt status with the State of Vermont.

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Who is the Program Administrator?

The Purchasing Card Program is administered by Procurement Services.  The assistant director of Procurement Services  is the Program Administrator.  See the Contacts page.

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When I apply for a Purchasing Card, will my personal credit history be checked?

No.  Since all Purchasing Card transactions are paid by the University, they are not connected to an employee's personal credit history.

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My Card is lost or stolen.  What do I do first?

If your card is lost or stolen, call the Mellon Bank Mastercard Service Center immediately, 1-800-258-9275, then contact the Program Administration team.  Procurement Services will work with Mellon Bank to get a new card issued for you.

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What if my default chart string  is no longer correct, but my card hasn't expired?

You may still use your card, but you must reallocate the purchase to a different chart string and/or account. Send an email of the change to the Program Administration team to change the default chart string.

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How long will it take to get a new card?

It generally takes two weeks from the time a card is ordered to the time it is received in Procurement Services.  When the card is received, Procurement Services performs some administrative tasks and will mail it to the cardholder.

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What is my transaction limit?   What is my cycle limit?

The transaction limit is $4,999.99.  The cycle limit is $25,000.

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When does the cycle begin and end?

The cycle begins on the 28th of the month or the next business day.  The cycle ends on the 27th of the month.

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What information do I need to submit for airfare purchases?

Effective July 1, 2002, airfare may be purchased with your Purchasing Card. Click here for details.
Please indicate the following:

  • Name of the traveler
  • Destination
  • Business purpose of the trip

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A vendor called, and my PurCard was declined.  What do I do?

Notify Procurement Services that you received a decline.  The staff will need to know: 

  • the last six digits of the purchasing card number
  • name of the cardholder
  • date of attempted transaction
  • name of the vendor
  • dollar amount
Procurement Services will contact Mellon Bank to determine the cause of the decline, and take appropriate measures to correct the problem.

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I lost my receipt.  What should I do?

Contact the vendor and request a copy.

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When will my budget really be charged for these purchases?

The purchasing card cycle ends on the 27th of the month (unless the 27th is a weekend or holiday, then the next business day is the end date). PurCard Journal reports are due to Procurement Services after 10 days of receipt of the Mellon statement.

Procurement Services has 30 days to pay the bill. Journal entry transactions for the cycle ending the 27th of month #1 will have that date as a journal date.  The transaction will be processed against your chart string when you have completed your reallocation and submitted the journal for posting.

For example:

Transaction Date Cycle Date PeopleSoft Journal Date
2/10/07 2/27/07 3/01/07
2/28/07 3/27/07 4/01/07

It is possible to have transactions that are almost two months old by the time they are processed in PeopleSoft and expensed to budgets.

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When do I need to reallocate a transaction?

Reallocation must be completed before the PurCard Journal report is submitted to Procurement Services (10 days after you receive the statement from Mellon Bank).  The reallocation process is currently available on-line in PeopleSoft via the interim journal process.  

If the transactions are no longer available to reallocate in the interim journal process or have already been charged to your budget, you will need to enter a journal entry to transfer the expense to the new chart string or account.  The Journal Entry Policy provide guidelines on how this can be accomplished.

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I was charged sales tax.  What am I supposed to do?

Contact the vendor and request that the tax amount be credited back to your purchasing card.

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I missed the reallocation period.   How do I get these expenses on my budget report to the correct chart string and account?

If the transactions are no longer available to reallocate in the interim journal process and have already been charged to your budget, you will need to create a journal entry to transfer the expense to the new chart string or account.  The Journal Entry Policy provide guidelines on how this can be accomplished.

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How can I obtain more transaction logs?

You no longer need to use transaction logs.  The PurCard Journal Entry process will produce a printed report for each cycle.  The true reallocation process will also provide a printed report.

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I'm leaving UVM.  What do I do with my card?

Cut up the card and return it to Procurement Services with a note of explanation.  Cards may not be left for other department members to use.

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I'm transferring to a new department within UVM.  What do I do with my card?   Can I bring it to my new department?

Cut up the card and return it to Procurement Services with a note of explanation.  You will need to apply for a new card in your new department.  Procurement Services must obtain the authorized signature of the current supervisor and budget manager on the application.

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Why did I receive this email?

Each time transactions are downloaded from Mellon Bank, Procurement Services sends an email notification to cardholders and  designates.  Review the email to verify the accuracy of the charge.  Unless the purchase is for airfare, Procurement Services does NOT need to receive the email with the printed cycle report.  There are separate instructions for airfare purchases and corresponding email.

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Last modified November 02 2010 09:20 AM

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