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Procurement Card

Learn about using Procurement Card and managing Procurement Card accounts, roles, and transactions.

Office Hours

We provide office hours for individual questions every Wednesday from 9-10 a.m. Visit our office hours page. Scroll down to Procure to Pay & Travel and Expense and click the Zoom Link to the right.

UC San Diego's Procurement Card is a Visa card for faculty and staff who have buying responsibilities. The card simplifies buying and paying for most routine, low-cost goods, and services under $4,999.

The Procurement Card process involves the cardholder, U.S. Bank, and Concur.

Procurement Card Benefits

  • Accepted by all vendors that take Visa
  • Ensures payment to vendors within 48 hours
  • Eliminates purchase order and invoice processing
  • Combines ordering and paying into a single process
  • Includes payment information such as Transaction Date, Posting Date, and Vendor Name

Special Features

  • Limits transaction amounts to $4,999 (including tax, freight, and handling charges)
  • Limits monthly cycle limit to $20,000
    • The monthly cycle is the 16th of the month through the 15th of the following month
  • Includes built-in controls that prohibit restricted purchases

Is your Department ready for the Procurement Card program?

Check with your Department to make sure your department is ready to participate in the Procurement Card program. Questions to ask:

  • Has your central business office approved participation and indicated commitment to following program guidelines?
  • Has your department authorized one or more employees to become DAs?
  • Does your department have processes and controls in place for these situations?
    • Accepting transactions without identifying Purchase Order (PO) number reference
    • Reviewing individual purchases for procurement policy compliance
    • Prompt submission of receipts by cardholder
    • Verifying charges in a timely manner by reviewing transactions
    • Consideration of any special funding conditions
  • Is your department willing to complete the following?
    • Invest time in learning a new process
    • Accept a program that is evolving (through changes and refinement)
    • Participate in DA and Cardholder training classes
  • Does your department understand that the Procurement Card is a valuable tool for purchasing a broad range of products and services, but with necessary controls due to policy and best practices? Controls include:
    • A single transaction purchase is limited to $4,999 (including tax, freight, and handling charges).
    • Built-in controls prohibit restricted vendor
    • Personal purchases are not allowed.
    • Not all fund sources are appropriate for use with the Procurement Card.
    • Cards can be assigned only to a person, not to a department or unit. Cards may not be lent or shared.
If your department answered yes to the above questions and statements the please follow these steps:
1. Ask your business officer to assign the DA role to one or more qualified members of your department.
  • The DA(s) will oversee program compliance and administration for your department.
  • Read about R&R for more information.
2. Enroll the DA(s) in Procurement Card administrator training via UC Learning Center.
3. Identify cardholder candidates who either have or will be given purchasing authority.
4. Cardholder can follow these steps in Concur to submit a new card request:
5. Receive cards and request that cardholders activate them. 
6. Assign this additional Procurement Card role, if necessary, to support program use in your department:
  • Delegate Role

Procurement Card Expense Process

  1. Cardholder purchases goods or services
  2. US Bank submits expenses to UCSD
  3. Expenses are then imported into Concur
  4. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to check his or her queue for posted expenses after a purchase has been made
  5. Cardholders must review expenses in a timely manner. It is proposed that the cardholder should review transactions within 7 calendar days
  6. Once submitted, the Expense Report will be routed to the Financial Unit Approver(s) listed on the report for approval.

Procurement Card Reference Guide

The Procurement Card is the preferred method for buying many types of goods and services under $4,999. This reference provides basic guidelines and helpful information about your card:

Topic Description Need More Information?
Cardholder Responsibilities Cardholders given the authority to use the Procurement Card agree to comply with these procedures:
  • Keep your card safe and secure.
  • Obtain documentation on every purchase and upload to Concur.
  • Know policies regarding the application of California Use Tax.
See Program Roles.
Types of Purchases

You can use your Procurement Card for most goods and services under $4,999, including but not limited to:

  • Books and subscriptions
  • Cell phones, utilities, and other monthly fees
  • Computer supplies and peripherals
  • Electrical supplies
  • Equipment maintenance and repair
  • Food for student only programmatic activities
  • Lab supplies
  • Membership fees, certifications, online training and Professional dues
  • Office supplies
  • Publications
  • Rentals - No contract required (Conference booths, equipment, and location space)
See Common Purchases & Restrictions.
Purchasing Inventorial Equipment

Exceptions can be made to purchase inventorial equipment with the Procurement 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 use the Procurement Card to make an inventorial equipment purchase, review the Listing of Commodity by Procurement Teams to determine which strategic team might be able to assist you and request an exception to use the Procurement Card.
See equipment management basics.
Restricted Purchases

These goods and services cannot be charged to the Procurement Card:

  • Alcohol
  • Awards, employee incentive awards, gifts, and gift certificates
  • ATM/Cash withdrawals and money orders
  • Catering
  • Controlled substances and radioactive materials
  • Cylinder gases
  • Equipment
  • Flowers
  • Gasoline or diesel fuel
  • General purchases greater than $4,999
  • 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 Common Purchases & Restrictions.

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 FAQs
Lost, Stolen Card or Fraudulent Charges
Report your lost/ stolen card or fraudulent charges to your DA immediately. Immediately after please contact U.S. Bank fraud department: (800) 523-9078 See FAQs
Declined Transaction

A card may be declined if the vendor does not have the correct billing address. 

Your card may also be declined if the:

  • Purchase amount exceeds the single purchase limit or cycle limit
  • Supplier is restricted
  • Card is inactive
  • Account number is transposed during the sales transaction
  • The transaction falls within USBank’s fraud parameters

If you need assistance with a declined card, please contact U.S. Bank Customer Service at (800)344-5696 before submitting a request via the Services and Support portal. 

Bulk or Large 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 Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92121-2460

U.S. Bank Contacts

U.S. Bank Customer Service: (800) 344-5696

U.S. Bank Fraud Department: (800) 523-9078


Training and Authorization

Authorization and training requirements differ, depending on whether you're a cardholder or Department Administrator (DA). See the table below for more information:

Procurement Card Program Roles Required Authorization Forms Required Training via UCLearning


See How to Become a Cardholder for complete instructions.

Procurement Card Agreement with signatures required from:

  • Cardholder
  • Supervisor

Note: If the MSO/DBO/PI serves as the supervisor please ensure signatures are provided in both locations.

University Procurement Card Program (16 min training)
Procurement Card Department Administrator

See How to become an Procurement Card Administrator for complete instructions.

DA Authorization form with
signatures required from:

  • DA
  • Supervisor
  • MSO or DBO

Note: If the MSO/DBO/PI serves as the supervisor please ensure signatures are provided in both locations.


University Procurement Card Program (16 min training)


The Procurement Card program is designed to simplify buying and paying for goods and services, but some types of purchases are restricted. Some purchases may be restricted regardless of cost. Goods or services that exceed the $4,999 transaction limit.

For foreign purchases, UCSD uses Restricted Party Screening (RPS) on, escalation and export license reviews to ensure compliance with federal export control regulations. The cardholder is responsible for ensuring that all vendors located abroad are screened by Visual Compliance prior to completing any transaction. More information can be found on Blink by searching Restricted Party Screening. RPS training is also available via UC Learning.

The U.S. government restricts collaborating with or shipping to certain individuals or organizations. These restricted entities include terrorists, weapons proliferators, and denied or debarred parties. Certain transactions with restricted entities are prohibited, require an export license or require further review. Form more information please visit Export Controls.

Cardholder & Administrator Responsibilities

The Procurement Card is a Visa purchasing card issued by U.S. Bank to UCSD employees who have authority to buy goods and services on behalf of their departments. Each Procurement Card bears the cardholder's name but is actually issued to UCSD. Therefore, UCSD is responsible for making prompt payment to U.S. Bank.

However, cardholders are responsible for ensuring proper use of the card. Cardholders are responsible to use the Procurement Card in accordance with the cardholder agreement and Procurement Card Cardholder responsibilities.

Employees who have been designated as Department Administrators (DAs) are responsible for the proper use of Procurement Cards by overseeing department implementation and use of the card.

For detailed information on cardholder or administrator responsibilities, see:

Chart of Accounts (COA)

The Financial Unit approver is anyone who oversees use of the Chart of Accounts string attached to a made transaction. Chart of Accounts or COA is what was formerly known as account indexes:
  • For additional information regarding COA's please refer to the following PDF, this is an in-depth guide to COA's
  • If you have any questions on what to enter for the Financial Unit Information, please reach out to your fund manager.


You should file a dispute when you:

  • Are billed for merchandise that you never received
  • Have duplicate or incorrect charges that the vendor will not credit
  • Are not credited for a return

In case of a dispute, the merchant should be contacted directly by the cardholder.

The bank will take these actions on your behalf:

  • Work with the vendor to determine if the charge is valid
  • Contact you if further information is required
  • Credit your account while researching the dispute


If the dispute is valid, your account will be adjusted accordingly.

Procurement Card Team Audits/How Do I Comply

Learn about the post-transaction review process for Procurement Card audits.

The Procurement Card Program Team conducts ongoing reviews of transactions to ensure the Procurement Card program controls are being followed. This review process identifies transactions that might be considered high risk, as well as trends and usage to manage associated risks for procurement card activity. Card misuse includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Cardholders and departments comply with Procurement Card policies and UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS43
  • Purchases are properly authorized as official University business
  • Taxes are correctly applied
  • Purchases are not shipped to addresses other than UCSD locations
  • Detailed business purpose
  • Split transactions
  • Restricted purchases
  • Personal purchases
  • Purchases that should have been processed using a different payment tool or application

If you are a Department Administrator or Cardholder, you may receive an e-mail asking you to provide additional documentation, receipts and/or a detailed business purpose for selected transactions. If you receive one:

  • Attach the requested documentation and/or provide an updated business purpose.
  • Provide any additional information requested by the auditor

Commonly Requested Forms


U.S. Bank Contacts

  • U.S. Bank customer service: (800) 344-5696
  • U.S. Bank fraud department: (800) 523-9078

Procurement Card Program Administrators and hours:

  • Patrick Etienne: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Ryan Swenson: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Snigdha Podugu: M, T 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. & TH 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Find answers, request services, or get help from our team at the UC San Diego Services and Support portal.