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Express Card Quick Reference Guide for Cardholders

Learn the basics about using the Express Card.

The Express Card is the preferred method for buying many types of goods and services under $4,999. This quick reference provides basic guidelines and helpful information about your card. Select a link below to learn more:

Topic Description Need more information?
Cardholders given the authority to use the Express Card agree to comply with these procedures:
  • Keep your card safe and secure.
  • Obtain documentation on every purchase and forward it to your Express Card Department Administrator (ECDA).
  • Know University policies and procedures regarding departmental purchasing authority.
  • Know policies regarding the application of California Use Tax.
See cardholder responsibilities.
Types of
You can use your Express Card for most goods and services under $4,999, including but not limited to:
  • Advertisements
  • Books, subscriptions and dues
  • Cell phones, pagers, and other monthly fees
  • Computer supplies and peripherals
  • Electrical supplies
  • Equipment maintenance and repair
  • Lab supplies
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • Office supplies
  • Publications
  • Rentals
  • Services
See common purchases and restrictions.
Inventorial equipment cannot be purchased with the Express Card. At UCSD, inventorial equipment refers to items that:
  • Are non-expendable
  • Stand alone
  • Have a normal useful life of one year or more
  • Qualify as tangible personal property (can be appraised for value) with an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more
If you need to purchase equipment, review the Listing of Commodity by Procurement Teams to determine which strategic team might be able to assist you.
See equipment management basics.
These goods and services cannot be charged to the Express Card:
  • Alcohol
  • ATM/Cash withdrawals and money orders
  • Catering
  • Controlled substances and radioactive materials
  • Cylinder gases
  • Employee incentive awards
  • Equipment
  • Flowers
  • Gasoline or diesel fuel
  • General purchases greater than $4,999
  • Gifts or gift certificates
  • Independent contractor or consultant services
  • Meeting refreshments
  • Moving expenses
  • Personal expenses
  • Postage
  • Purchases that require the signing of contractual documents, including maintenance or license agreements and leases
  • Split purchases
  • Temporary staffing services
  • Travel and entertainment
See restricted items
(includes alternative payment methods).
>State and
federal grants
The Express Card cannot be used to purchase goods and services that are not allowable under the terms of your fund, including state and federal contracts and grants. See your ECDA if you have questions about departmental funds.
Disputes Cardholders are responsible for following up with a vendor regarding any erroneous charges, disputed items, or credits that should appear on their statements.

All disputed transactions must be submitted within 60 days of the transaction date.
See How to File a Dispute.
Returns If you return an item to a vendor, the vendor should credit your Express Card.

Forward all documentation regarding the credit to your ECDA.
See How to Exchange or Return an Item.
Lost, stolen card or fraudulent charges
Report your lost/ stolen card or fraudulent charges to your card immediately. See Reporting Lost/ Stolen Card or Fraudulent Charges.
Making a purchase You can use your Express Card to purchase low-dollar supplies in person or by phone, fax, or mail. You can also purchase items through a secure Web site. See How to Make a Purchase with an Express Card.
Declined cards A card may be declined if the vendor does not have the correct billing address. Be sure to provide this address:

University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code _____*
La Jolla, CA 92093-_____*

*Insert your Mail Code

Your card may also be declined if the:
  • Purchase amount exceeds the maximum
  • Supplier is restricted
  • Card is inactive
  • Account number is transposed during the sales transaction
If you need assistance with a declined card, contact U.S. Bank Customer Service at (800) 344-5696.
See Reasons Your Express Card May Be Declined.
Shipping purchases If your purchase is being shipped to Receiving, request that the vendor use this shipping address:

University of California, San Diego
Attn: Cardholder's full name, phone #, building, and room #
7835 Trade Street
San Diego, CA 92121-2460
See How to Make a Purchase with an Express Card.
U.S. Bank Customer Service: (800) 344-5696.