Carnegie Mellon University

University Card Program Frequently Asked Questions

See below for frequently asked questions related to the University Card ProgramPurchasing Cards and Travel Cards. For information about HazMat Cards, which are overseen by Environmental Health & Safety, visit the EH&S website.

Visit the University Card Program website for more information on using purchasing cards at CMU.

General Card Program FAQs

These FAQs apply to all cards administered through the University Card Program, including Purchasing Cards, Travel Cards and HazMat Cards.

This code allows you to activate your new card and is also required when calling PNC to access any information for your card account.

This four-digit code was chosen by the card requester when your card was ordered.

If you have forgotten your activation code, please contact Procurement Services at


The cardholder should contact PNC Bank at 1-800-685-4039 immediately. Then, contact Procurement Services at A new card will be ordered and available within five to seven business days.

The cardholder should ensure that the merchant is using the correct account number and expiration date. Additionally, the cardholder should ensure that the merchant is not excluded as a result of the Merchant Category Code (MCC) Exclusions [.xlsx].

If there is still a problem, the cardholder can contact PNC customer service at 1-800-685-4039 for 24 hour support including reasons for declined transactions.

If additional support is needed, cardholders should contact Procurement Services at


The cardholder should contact PNC at 1-888-561-1874 and review recent transactions with PNC. They will remove the block once the purchases are confirmed to be legitmate.

The Business Systems Help Desk supports the Oracle Financial Applications, including the Oracle Internet Expenses – Procurement Card Application. Contact the Business Systems Help Desk at or 412-268-4666 for system and application access issues.

The Card Request Form, available in the Online Forms System (OFS), is used to request new cards, close cards, and request changes to cards like changing approver, default charge string, etc.

The Card Exception/Limit Change Form, available in the Online Forms System (OFS), is used to request an exception and/or a limit change.

Administrative Leadership Group (ALG) approval is required for all card changes. The OFS will route the form to the selected ALG member for approval.  Once you receive an email stating that the form is complete, the changes were made to your card.

For questions about making changes to a card, contact the Procurement Services at

The cardholder should contact the supplier and attempt to resolve the problem. If the problem cannot be resolved, the following actions should be taken:

  • Contact PNC at 1-888-561-1874 and report the transaction(s) (This step must be done first)
  • Complete a PNC Billing Inquiry Form [.pdf] and sent to PNC (No administrator signature is needed if the cardholder signs form)
  • Dispute form must be sent to PNC within 60 days of the transaction date

The cardholder should leave the disputed charge unverified in Oracle. Once the credit is received, the cardholder or their designate should allocate the disputed charge and the credit to the SAME account string. Please note that until the charges are verified and submitted for approval, the cardholder will continue to receive automatic outstanding transaction notices. 

According to the Purchasing Policy, Procurement Manual [.pdf], and Cardholder Agreement, this is not permitted. The following steps should be taken regarding personal purchases:

The Accounts Payable Deposit Form [.pdf] should be completed and submitted to Accounts Payable in the UTDC at 4516 Henry Street.  A check must accompany this form and should be submitted within five days of the occurrence.

If a personal purchase is not reported and/or repaired by the cardholder within five business days, the cardholder will have their card suspended immediately and will permanently lose all future card privileges.  Improper card use for unauthorized, inappropriate or personal purposes will be considered misappropriation of university funds and may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

If there are any additional questions, the cardholder should contact Procurement Services at

To close a card, the cardholder should submit a Card Request Form in the Online Forms System and indicate that the card should be closed.  The form will route to the selected ALG member for approval. Once approved, the form will go to Procurement Services who will close the card.  Once the card is closed, the form will be marked complete and an email notification will be sent to the requestor indicating that the request has been completed.  Please note, any outstanding charges must be verified before a card can be closed.

A list of Merchant Category Codes (MCC) exclusions are listed in the MCC Exclusions Document [.xlsx].

The following data should be included on each receipt:

  • Merchant name
  • Date of purchase
  • Reference to the credit card used
  • Amount of the purchase
  • Items purchased

Contact the merchant to request a receipt.  If circumstances prevent a receipt from being issued by the merchant, complete a Missing Receipt Form [.pdf]. The form should detail the same required information found on a receipt.

Purchasing Card (PCard) FAQs

Goods and services that are necessary for a university activity or event that are:

  • Allowable under university policies
  • Within limits assigned to the card
  • From suppliers that accept standard terms and conditions

For more information, review the Procurement Manual, which includes the University Card Program Guidelines.

Information on what can and cannot be purchased on a Purchasing Card can be found in the Procurement Manual, which contains the University Card Program Guidelines.

Goods or items that are classified as hazardous must be purchased via HazMat Card or purchase order. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) oversees and administers the HazMat Card. For more information on the HazMat Card, please visit the Environmental Health & Safety website.

Travel Card FAQs

  • Airfare
  • Lodging
  • Car rental and ground transportation
  • Actual meal costs or travel related business meals
  • Wi-Fi costs while traveling
  • Parking
  • Group travel arrangements
  • Conference registration

For more information, review the Procurement Manual, which includes the University Card Program Guidelines.  

No, but it is strongly encouraged to do so as utilizing a preferred supplier is beneficial for numerous reasons:

  • Compliance with Business and Travel Expense (BTE) Policy
  • Access to university contracted relationships and pricing
  • Better university negotiated terms
  • Increased safety and tracking for faculty, staff and students

Preferred travel suppliers are listed on the CMU Travel Information Page.

Information regarding preferred university travel suppliers may be found on the CMU Travel Information page.

Preferred travel suppliers are the recommended ways to arrange university travel, including:

  • Flights
  • Hotel
  • Rental Car
  • Parking
  • Car Service

For more information visit CMU Travel Information page.

Yes.  All applicable policies and requirements apply to the students. Working with CTP, the university's preferred travel supplier, is the ideal method when booking travel for students.  Their reporting, mobile applications, and 24/7 help desks can ensure that the university meets its requirements for supporting students during travel and help ensure their safety.

Yes, local travel may be booked for guests coming into the area on university-related business. Working with CTP, the university's preferred travel supplier, is the ideal method as the university is able to cover as much of the trip as possible, and not require university guests to incur expenses which they then must submit a Non-Employee Expense Report and wait to be reimbursed.

Travel Card purchases are verified through the Oracle Internet Expenses - Procurement Card Application module. Travel Card charges must be verified within 30 days of posting, and must have all necessary information so that anyone in the approval path and those monitoring compliance can understand that this was a legitimate business related travel expense. Card users may delegate the ability to create a verification report in Oracle but retain responsibility for ensuring purchases are verified in a timely manner.