Travel: Reconciling Centrally Held Travel Cards


The University’s Travel Card Program was established to provide an option to reduce the out-of-pocket burden for employees, guests, and students who travel on behalf of the university.  Travel cards are designed to be assigned to individual employees to be used when they are in travel status.  All travel-related expenses can be charged to the travel card.   However, there are situations where a department may wish to use a centrally held travel card for multiple travelers, such guest travelers or students.  

All travel cards are held in the name of an individual, including centrally held cards.  The cardholder should be the only one making charges to the card and the one reconciling all charges to that card.  A centrally held card should never be given to another individual to use.  Centrally held cards are used primarily for airfare and some lodging. It is recommended to leverage existing contracts with hotel vendors to arrange for direct billing when possible. Centrally held cards cannot be used to pay for car rentals on behalf of other travelers.

Sometimes the individual holding a centrally held card will travel.  They will use the same card, but those expenses need to be on a separate expense report with the appropriate business purpose.  These will be processed as any other individual trip.  This article will address only charges for other travelers on the centrally held card with the purpose of reconciling the card.

Reconciling a Centrally Held Travel Card

‚ÄčExpenses for others paid for on a centrally held card are processed differently than the cardholder’s individual travel card expenses.  The process is as follows:

  • Centrally held cards should be reconciled once a month, using a separate expense report for each Trip Type.  Trip type (in-state, out-of-state, international) drives accounting general ledger (GL) codes.  Note: in-state trips are any trips where the final destination is in the State of Tennessee.
  • Trip Business Purpose should be “Centrally Held Card (Admin Use Only)“.  This business purpose will not require an approved request in the cardholder’s name for international travel expenses.  The request should be under the individual traveler’s profile.
  • Do not create a Travel Allowance/Itinerary.  The Lodging Central Card expense type does not require a travel allowance (itinerary). Any meal per diems must be claimed on an expense report submitted under the traveler’s Concur profile.
  • Only UT travel card charges can be processed on “Centrally Held Card (Admin Use Only)” expense reports.  No out-of-pocket expenses can be charged to this business purpose.
  • Do not use the standard Lodging expense type.  There is a new expense type, Lodging Central Card, for use with lodging paid on a Centrally Held Card.  This new expense type does not require a travel allowance/itinerary.
  • Receipt requirements are the same as for individual expense reports.
  • Each expense line item can be for a different traveler and must include appropriate documentation: 
    • If a request exists for the traveler:  copy of the traveler’s approved request to travel must be attached.
    • If a request does not exist for the traveler:  expense comments must include the traveler name, traveler’s trip name, trip dates, and business purpose of the travel.

Lodging Expenses on a Centrally Held Card

With an individual travel card, lodging expenses use the expense type ‘Lodging.’  This expense requires a travel allowance/itinerary indicating where and when the traveler stayed on a given night to be validated against the CONUS/OCONUS lodging per diems.  This expense type will not work with a Centrally Held Card, as two or more people could have lodging for the same dates. 

Lodging on centrally held cards will be expensed using the expense type, Lodging Central Card.  This expense type can only be used with the business purpose ‘Centrally Held Card (Admin Use Only)’.  It does not require a travel allowance as the cardholder is not the one traveling.    

The two expense types ‘Lodging’ and ‘Lodging Central Card’ are very similar, but there are some significant differences.  For Lodging Central Card: 
Trip Business Purpose must be ‘Centrally Held Card (Admin Use Only)’.

  • Expense Payment Type must be ‘UT Travel Card’.
  • The CONUS/OCONUS per diem rate must be entered. Since there is no itinerary for this expense type, there is no validation against the CONUS/OCONUS rates.  The user must look up the rate to compare it to the room rate in the itemization.  Visit these websites to find the CONUS and OCONUS to find these per diems.
  • Do NOT check the ‘Travel Allowance’ checkbox. 
  • Use the Lodging Central Card itemization

Lodging Central Card

If you have questions or need additional assistance utilizing the University’s travel system, please contact



Article ID: 136256
Thu 10/14/21 8:32 AM
Wed 5/31/23 12:22 PM