Using the Card for Travel


The Visa Corporate Card is a multi-purpose charge card that covers over 95 percent of all transportation, lodging, meals, car rentals and gas. The Corporate Card can be used in place of all other payment methods for all ticketing and miscellaneous travel charges.

The card may also be used for material purchase while in travel status, not to exceed departmental set units.

Advance Request and Travel Authorization

All travelers are required to complete the Travel Authorization Form with itinerary and project/cost center to which the expenses will be charged. The authorization is a mechanism for obtaining internal approvals and also permits our travel agency, Preferred Travel of Braintree, to ticket your request.

The Travel Authorization Form may also be used to request a cash advance. Corporate Card holders should find the need for cash lessened by use of the card but may still request advances as the need arises. Any travel advance, or part of a travel advance not accounted for by the employee within 120 days may be considered income by the IRS and appear on the employees W-2 for that year. For more information on Travel Advances, please refer to Travel Policies and Procedures.

Air/Rail Tickets Purchases, How to Process Travel Transportation Purchases

Transportation purchased through Preferred Travel
Traveler will be required to provide Travel Advance & Authorization form number and the account which the travel will be charged at time of booking. Travel Advance and Authorization form is to be forwarded to Accounts Payable at that time. Billing will be completed via this information. Passenger receipts are to be submitted on the completion of trip. Transportation costs are NOT to be noted on the final Travel Expense Voucher.

Purchase of transportation other than with Preferred and travel completed within the 30 day credit card billing cycle (12th of each month)
An Advance Request & Authorization to Travel form should be completed prior to trip. Traveler is responsible for processing the airfare cost by submitting a Travel Voucher within 10 days upon completion of trip. The cost of the airfare should be included as part of the expenses to be reimbursed. Original passenger receipts are to accompany the Travel Voucher.

Note: If the Advance Request & Authorization to Travel form was submitted prior to trip please indicate Travel Authorization Log number in the upper right corner box of the Travel Expense Voucher.

Purchase of transportation other than with Preferred and travel outside the credit card billing cycle
Traveler will be responsible for processing a pre-trip voucher accompanied by the itinerary or copy of passenger receipts. An Advance Request & Authorization to Travel form MUST accompany the pre-trip voucher at time of submission to Accounts Payable. Original passenger receipts are to be submitted on the completion of trip with final trip voucher.

Third Party Travel

If a cardholder incurs expenses on his/her Corporate Card as a result of traveling for another Institution, it is the cardholder’s responsibility to seek reimbursement of these expenses from any third party. While waiting for reimbursement, a cardholder can request payment designating the employee’s travel advance account (90000-1340) on the Travel Expense Voucher. This will allow timely payment of expenses. However it is the cardholder’s responsibility to reimburse WHOI within 90 days for this travel advance. Any travel advance, or part of a travel advance not accounted for by the employee within 120 days may be considered income by the IRS and appear on the employees W-2 for that year.

Registration Fees and Deposits

The Corporate Card may be used for conference registrations and to guarantee overnight accommodations by phone or fax. Any deposits or registration fees are the responsibility of the cardholder.

Cash Advances

You may have been authorized to receive cash advances from an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) using your Corporate Card. If you have, you will be issued a PIN (Personal Identification Number). To ensure the security of your PIN, correspondence regarding the PIN will be directed to your home address.

If separate mailing of the PIN number is not received in time for travel, the cardholder has the option to call the customer service number on the back of the credit card (1-800-270-7760) to create their own 4 digit PIN number real time.

There is a 2.5 percent fee assessed on all cash advances with a minimum fee of $2.50. These fees will be billed directly to the Accounts Payable Office and not the individual cost centers/projects.

Individual banks have maximum withdrawal restrictions ranging from $350 to $500 per day. Any amount in excess of these restrictions may be obtained through a bank teller.

There is a limit of total cash advances a cardholder may have outstanding. This limit, usually $2,500, is set by the bank and is based on your total credit limit. When payments are made the cash advance limit is restored.

Hotel Confirmations

You may wish to use your Corporate Card to confirm "late arrival" hotel reservations. It is the responsibility of the individual cardholder to cancel his or her confirmed reservations. A cancellation number must be obtained to avoid incurring "no show" expenses. The Institution does not reimburse for "no show" fees.

Personal Charges

The Institution realizes that some personal charges on the Corporate Card are unavoidable. As an example, there may be items appearing on a hotel bill, some meals, movies, etc. that are the responsibility of the cardholder.

Please be aware that appropriate staff of the Institution periodically review charges made with the Corporate Card. Abuse of the Corporate Card for personal use will result in suspension of card privileges.


As with all reimbursements, itemized receipts are required for reimbursement of all expenses charged to the Corporate Card over $75.00 effective March 8, 2010. All receipts must be submitted with the Travel Expense Voucher or the Request For Payment, whichever applies to the particular charges you are requesting reimbursement for. Please refer to the Travel Guide located on the Web for more information regarding receipts.

Extended Travel

In the event a traveler is traveling on WHOI business for an extended period (30 days or more) that would preclude the traveler from reviewing and processing payments for their corporate card, the traveler may request Extended Travel Status. This will authorize the Card Program Manager to pay charges incurred during the travel and charge your Travel Advance Account.
» Extended Travel Request Form

Travel Expense Reimbursement

Individual cardholders are responsible for processing payment for all charges made to the corporate card. Payment can be made directly, by the cardholder to the card issuer and requesting reimbursement to themselves. This ensures the cardholder can keep track of payments made to the card issuer more accurately.

To receive reimbursement for expenses charged to the Corporate Card and paid by the cardholder, please submit a Travel Expense Voucher noting the cardholder as the vendor. Accounts Payable will do everything in it’s power to process these reimbursement request in a timely fashion, decreasing the time an individual’s personal funds are being used for reimbursable travel expenses.

If a cardholder desires, WHOI will make payments directly to the card issuer for items listed on a Travel Expense Voucher. This in no way relieves the individual cardholder of their responsibility for monitoring payments but does alleviate the need to use personal funds for business expenses. Though payments may be processed in less time, please plan on a minimum of 10 days from the time a completed expense voucher is received by Accounts Payalbe to payments appearing on your statement.

In all situations, the cardholder should contact the card issuer regarding payment problems. The Accounts Payable Office can assist you in reconciling these issues.

Approval Process

The Accounts Payable Office is required to have ALL budgetary approval signatures on the appropriate form BEFORE payments can be made. As any charges to an advance account are the personal liability of the traveler. The traveler must sign any form that charges an advance account.

Foreign Currency

Using the Corporate Card while in travel status insures the conversion rate will be the lowest available to the banking industry at the time of the transaction. Information from your statement will reflect the foreign exchange rate associated with your charge and facilitates reconciliation of your expenses as you are charged in US dollars. This does not prohibit the cardholder from requesting reimbursement prior to receipt of a card provider statement, but doing so may cause confusion in expense reconciliation.


If the Institution has reimbursed an individual for a charge made to the corporate card and a credit is issued to reverse the charge, it is the responsibility of the cardholder to reimburse the project or cost center. Taking a cash advance to clear the credit from your corporate card account may do this. The exception is for airfare credits which are handled separately and do not appear on your statement.

Record Keeping and the Transaction Log

When the credit card statement is received, the cardholder can verify that the transactions are appropriate. Any discrepancies should be investigated and acted on immediately. While the Accounts Payable Office will be happy to assist you, as the initiator of these charges and their payment, it is the cardholder that is most familiar with the transaction and must be responsible for mediating the variance.

Last updated: July 14, 2014