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Frequently Asked Questions - Travel & Conference

Employee Reimbursements FAQs (.pdf)
Employee Reimbursement Quick Guide (.pdf)

1: When I use the UR-AMEX Card, who pays the resulting bill? The University?
No, the University does not pay American Express-you are responsible for the charges you authorize by use of the card. If the charges are for University business and in accordance with the University's policies, the University will reimburse you. (Or supply you with money to pay them even before you have to pay AMEX.)
2: When will I be billed for charges on my AMEX Card, and how much time do I have to pay the bills?
American Express uses a monthly billing cycle. Charges appear on bills 15 to 30 days after they are incurred. Bills are payable on receipt and are "delinquent" if not paid within 30 days from the statement closing date appearing on the bill. Delinquency charges will be added to the account if the bill is not paid within 60 days. A "seriously delinquent" bill may result in suspension of charge privileges, and termination of one's AMEX account can result from failure to pay all "seriously delinquent" bills by their due date.
3: Must I wait until charges show up on my month-end American Express bill before filing a T & C Expense report to claim reimbursement?
No, you need not wait for your AMEX bill (with one exception - see next question). File the T & C Expense Report, attaching your UR-AMEX Corporate Card charge receipts and other documentation, as soon as you return from your trip. In most cases you will have received reimbursement before the AMEX bill is due, if not before it arrives.
4: Can I get a cash advance from the University to buy airline tickets early if that's needed to obtain a discount?
No need to get an advance or to use cash. Charge the tickets through the UR contracted travel agencies (NFT or Town & Country), using the University's advance ticketing process—Business Travel Account (BTA). (See section on   BTAfor details and restrictions.) Many favorable air travel rates do not require ticket purchase long before departure date. Usually, you may use your UR-AMEX Corporate Card for purchase of your tickets. File your travel report promptly on return from your trip, and in most cases you will have received reimbursement before you even receive your American Express bill.
5: I will be away on University business for a week. How much of a cash advance can I get to cover out-of-pocket expenses on the trip?
The University will advance you cash up to $200, charged to your UR-AMEX Corporate Card. (That figure is based on $50 for the first day and an added $25 for each of the remaining six days.) That should be sufficient to cover transportation to and from airports, tips, incidental expenses. Your other larger expenses will be chargeable to your UR-AMEX Corporate Card.
7: What else can a UR-AMEX Corporate travel Card do for me?
You will have $200,000 of added Business Travel Accident Insurance (BTAI), plus baggage insurance when your trip is charged on your UR-AMEX Corporate Card. You can enjoy assured reservations and simplified check-in and check-out procedures at leading hotels and motels, emergency medical and legal referrals 24 hours a day almost anywhere in the world through American Express Global Assist program, and you can count on prompt replacement of a lost or stolen card. In addition, you gain the flexibility of no fixed spending limit. The Global Assist Hotline provides UR travelers with emergency medical, legal, general travelers advice and referrals anywhere in the world and can be accessed by calling 1 800 554-AMEX, toll free in the U.S., or 312 554-2639 (collect) from locations outside the U.S.
8: Do I have to pay a membership fee for my American Express Corporate Card?
No. The card will be provided at no cost to you.
9: Who is eligible to apply for a UR American Express Corporate Card?
Any UR faculty member, or any staff member who expects to take two University trips in the next year or to spend $500 or more on business travel, is encouraged to apply for a UR-AMEX Corporate Card. Endorsement of the department chairman or the dean, director or vice president is necessary and indicates verification of the data supplied by the applicant. UR AMEX Corporate Cards must be returned and cancelled immediately when one leaves the University. A card may be suspended or recalled by American Express or by the University in accordance with terms of the agreement between them and the terms accepted by the cardholder.
10: Whose name will appear on the UR-AMEX Corporate Card?
Your name will appear on the card, along with "University of Rochester."
11: Can I get a second AMEX Card for my spouse?
No. The American Express Corporate Cards are available only to the participating company's employees whose duties involve business travel.
12: What if there is a mistake on my American Express bill?
If you have a problem, you should call American Express at 1-800-528-2122, or you may adjust the statement and write to American Express explaining the mistake. If you need to dispute an item, you must contact American Express promptly (within 60 days) to request that a formal dispute be noted and that a case be opened to investigate the charge(s). You should promptly pay all items not in dispute in the monthly statement.
13: I already have my own American Express Card. Should I give it up? Do I need two cards?
This is a matter of personal choice. It is generally desirable to keep business and personal charges completely separate. Keeping both cards makes that easy. Also, the personal card may involve a supplementary card for the spouse. If you wish to cancel a personal American Express Card and receive a partial refund based on remaining months to the expiration date, you may cut the card in half and return it to American Express with a letter of explanation.
14: If I keep two cards and get behind on one of them, will it affect the credit standing on the other?
American Express monitors payment history by account, not by the aggregate of an individual's accounts. However, if your UR-AMEX Corporate Card becomes seriously delinquent and/or suspended, American Express may perform a review of your personal AMEX card and determine appropriate action.
15: If I use my UR-AMEX Corporate Card extensively and pay promptly, will this be reflected in my personal credit rating?
No. Credit history acquired through the use of a Corporate Card is not reflected in an individual's personal credit rating. If your account becomes seriously past due and American Express turns the account over to an outside collection agency, American Express may report this to credit bureaus. (usually after 180 days past due).
16: For what period of time is the card issued?
Two years. Renewal cards are sent out about two weeks prior to the expiration date of the existing card.
17: If I lose my UR-AMEX Corporate Card what should I do?
Report the loss or theft immediately by calling the toll-free number 1 800-528-2122 and asking for "Lost or Stolen Cards."
18: Who is responsible for unauthorized charges when cards are lost or stolen?
You will not be responsible for unauthorized charges if proper notice is given to American Express that the card is lost or stolen.
19: How can I change the billing address or name used for my UR-AMEX Corporate Card?
You can report the change directly to American Express at the time of your monthly payment, and/or by calling 1 800 528-2122.
20: How will I get my UR-AMEX Corporate Card?
Your card will be mailed to you from American Express at the billing address indicated on your application.
21: May I use my UR-AMEX Corporate travel Card to pay for travel for my spouse who will accompany me on a UR business trip?
Although the UR-AMEX Corporate Card is intended for University business travel, its use for personal travel is not prohibited. Of course, your spouse's expenses are not reimbursable by the University.
22: Will my dean get a report of charges to my UR-Amex Corporate Card?
No. The American Express reports will show total dollar amounts of all charges incurred by all department travelers, by category and vendor, but will not list individual charges.
23: How will foreign currency charges on my UR-AMEX Corporate Card be billed?
Charges incurred in foreign currency are converted to U. S. dollars on the date the charges are processed by American Express. The rate of exchange used is the prevailing interbank rate within 24 hours of the conversion 1%. If an official rate is required by law, charges will be converted at that rate. If neither rate is available, the country's official tourist rate will be used. Charges converted by common carriers will be at their rates.
24: May I use the UR-AMEX Corporate Card to purchase supplies or equipment for my office or laboratory?
No. The UR-AMEX Corporate Card is meant to cover travel expenses on UR business. Use a Check-With-Order Form or a regular Purchase Order in accordance with UR purchasing policies and procedures.
25: Is there a "credit limit" on an individual's UR-AMEX Corporate Card account?
In most cases, there is no fixed spending limit on one's UR-AMEX Corporate Card. However, in certain cases, American Express will issue UR-AMEX Corporate Cards with an American Express defined spending limit. The cardmember will receive written notification if a spending limit has been applied to their account.
26: I'm taking three students on a field trip. Their travel expenses will be covered under a training grant. How do they buy their air tickets and pay hotel and other travel expenses?
Since you, as a UR faculty member, are traveling with the students you can buy their tickets and pay their other major expenses using your UR-AMEX Corporate Card. When you have returned from the trip, simply list all their names on your T & C Expense Report, attach their receipts as well as your own and UR will reimburse you in full. The T & C Expense Report can cite the training grant account so the expenses will be covered from the appropriate fund source. Also, for group travel where the number of tickets is large and the itinerary is known in advance, use of UR's contracted travel agencies (NFT or Town & Country) is recommended in order to take advantage of UR negotiated discounts.
27: I'm sending two graduate students working with me on a grant to do an experiment at a lab in California. They'll need air tickets, motel accommodations and some pocket money for meals and incidentals. Do I let them use my UR-AMEX Corporate Card?
No. You can purchase their air tickets using your UR-AMEX Corporate Card, or charge them to your UR account through the UR-BTA advance ticket program (described in section on BTA). Funds for lodging and out-of-pocket expenses can be obtained on your UR-AMEX Corporate Card and provided to the UR student as a cash advance. When the students return from their trip, file your T & C Expense Report in the same way as noted in the answer to question 26.
28: My research grant budget includes funding for a trip, and the budget has been approved by the granting agency. Do I need any further agency advance "approval" for the trip?
Many federal agencies require written approval prior to each foreign trip whether or not the trip was included in the proposed budget. Check with the Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA) in advance of the trip if you're in doubt about your grant's coverage of travel or for a particular trip.
29: If I have questions about how to fill out a Travel and Conference Expense Report, where can I get help?
The Travel Coordinator in the Finance Department will be pleased to answer questions and offer guidance to you.
30: Where can I get an application for a UR-American Express Corporate Travel Card?
From the Travel Coordinator in Finance, the Bursar's Office on the River Campus, the Medical Center Parking Office, the Cashier's Window at the Eastman School of Music, and University Department of Human Resources.