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Controller's Office > Departments > Payment Services > Credit Card Solutions > FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions - Credit Card Solutions

Q. What is a Departmental Card?
A. The Departmental Card is the University's equivalent to a corporate credit card. The Departmental Card is a regular VISA credit card that is 'tied-in' to a default Activity ID number but can be charged to another funding source (including grants) during the reconciliation process. Departmental Cards may be used to purchase commodities, pay for services, and facilitate travel expenses depending on the profile needed.

Q.What are the Departmental Card profiles available?
A. The Departmental Card is available in three (3) different profiles to best meet your purchasing needs. These include:
Commodity Use Only - This University administered credit card is issued to staff for the purchase of authorized supplies and services required for use in their department or program. Travel expenses are not allowed with these cards. The use of this card is restricted to the individual whose name is on the Card. Transactions must be placed in accordance with the University Card Procedures.
Departmental Travel Use Only - This University administered credit card is issued to authorized departmental staff for processing University business travel arrangements for students, non-employees and for University staff. This card is restricted to only travel related transactions and the use of this card is the responsibility of the person whose name is on the card. The Cardholder must not use this card for their own travel and under most circumstances; the Departmental Card must not leave the department. All transactions must be in accordance with the University Travel and Expense Policy.
Dual-Use (Commodity and Departmental Travel) - This University administered credit card is issued to staff for the purchase of authorized supplies and services required for use in their department or program and can also be used by authorized departmental staff for processing University business travel arrangements for students, non-employees and for University staff.

Q. What is a Travel and Entertainment Card?
A. The T&E Card is a VISA credit card that is issued to a staff member for their University authorized travel and designated entertainment expenses. The Cardholder is required to adhere to the University's Travel and Expense Policy when using this card for University business travel. Payment of transactions placed on this card is the responsibility of the Cardholder, the Cardholder subsequently requests reimbursement through the travel module.

Q. What is the Difference between a Departmental Card and a T&E Card?
A. There are several differences between the two programs; please see the following:
Departmental Card - FIU pays the bank directly. Charges are expensed monthly in the Purchasing Module in the PantherSoft System from all university funding sources, except Foundation Funds. Purchases are Florida Sales Tax exempt. Departmental Cardholders must have a main and back-up approver who will review the Cardholder's transactions for compliance to the Departmental Card Guidelines, reconcile the transactions to the funding source and maintain the Departmental Card transaction files for each Cardholder for audit and/or review purposes. These individuals must demonstrate the ability and willingness to follow the University's policies and procedures, be able to question the Cardholder's transactions and have access to the PantherSoft Financials System.
T&E Card- Cardholder pays the bank directly and will be reimbursed through the Travel and Expense Module in the PantherSoft System for approved and authorized travel and expenses. Reimbursement of transactions placed on this card can be expensed from all university funding sources, including Foundation Funds. Purchases are not Florida Sales Tax exempt.

Q. Who should be a Departmental Cardholder?
A. The Departmental Card should be issued to the actual full time University employee responsible for making purchases on behalf of their unit. The card profile must be assigned based on the cardholders' anticipated purchasing needs.

Q. How do I become a University Cardholder?
A. Eligible, full time employees may apply for a Departmental or T&E Card by completing the corresponding Card Application. The applicant must fully complete all sections of the application, including all required signatures. All cardholders must complete a training session and fully complete a Cardholder Agreement Form prior to receiving their card.

Q. How are my credit limits determined?
A. All cardholders begin with our standard "starter" card limits. Annually, we review our cardholders spend and evaluate if they are set at appropriate credit limits. If we note the trend that a cardholder is spending at their maximum limit, we may recommend permanent increases. However, if we note that a cardholder's credit limits are not used, we adjust their limits to correlate to their actual spend.

Q. What is a Business Unit Approver (BUA)?
A. The BUA is the Dean, Director, or VP of your Department.

Q. How do I submit my Application?
A. The completed Card Application must be forwarded to the Credit Card Solutions Team, Office of the Controller, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, CSC 438 or it can be faxed to 305-348-1623 for processing.

Q. Is Card training available?
A. Yes, training is available. The Controller's Office FSS team currently has instructor-led workshops available. The instructor-led workshops are required prior to being assigned any role in our program (from Cardholder, Approver, and Reconciler Role). Online resources are also available through topic specific PowerPoint Presentations and UPK Modules.

Q. What if the vendor does not accept Departmental Cards?
A. If the vendor will not accept the university credit card, you must coordinate the purchase via Purchasing Services, using the PO Process.

Q. Can we buy coffee and supplies for the Staff lounge?
A. No, the purchase of coffee and supplies (including appliances) is currently on the Departmental Card program's Non-Allowable Purchase list.

Q. Can the Departmental Card be used to purchase gasoline/fuel?
A. Yes, the Departmental Card can be used to purchase gasoline/fuel only for the following:

  • State vehicles and equipment

  • Rental vehicles when conducting official university business.

Q. Can the Departmental Card be used to purchase gasoline for a personal vehicle if it is my main means of transportation for business travel?
A. No, the Departmental Card cannot be used to fuel personal vehicles as personal vehicles will be reimbursed by mileage and not by actual fuel purchases.

Q. Where can we find a list of prohibited items?
A. A list is available in the Cardholder Manual.

Q. Are my card purchases exempt from Florida Sales Tax?
A. Departmental Card: Yes, All transactions made within the State of Florida or that are shipped to the University directly are exempt from the State of Florida Sales and Use tax. As a cardholder, you must always inform the vendor that the purchase is tax-exempt before the transaction is completed. A copy of the University's Certificate of Exemption is available under the Controller's Website.

If the vendor will not deduct the sales tax or will not honor the Florida Tax Exemption without additional paperwork, the Cardholder may continue with the purchase, but must note on the receipt that they requested that the sales tax not be charged and that the vendor refused. This notation documents that an attempt was made not to have the sales tax charged.

T&E Card: Purchases made with the T&E Card are not Florida Sales Tax exempt.

Q. Must I keep a receipt for every single transaction?
A. Yes, an itemized/detailed receipt is required for each transaction made with a university credit card.
Departmental Card: an itemized/detailed receipt must be submitted with the cardholder's monthly statement to their Departmental Approver for review and reconciliation.
T&E Card: an itemized/detailed receipt must be submitted with the cardholder's expense report.

Q. When is the deadline to process my monthly Departmental Card activity?
A. Departmental Card billing transactions regularly load the first business day of the month. All transactions in PantherSoft Financials system must be reconciled, posted to the Departmental ID, and approved within ten (10) business days of loading into the system.

Any charges not processed by the closing deadline will be automatically charged to the cardholder's default accounting on file and will not eligible for expense transfer.

Additionally, cardholders with three unjustified non-approvals in the same fiscal year will have their card limits temporarily suspended until they complete a retraining session.

Q. Why do I have a single transaction limit?
A. Single transaction limits are set as an internal control in order to avoid misuse of the state's funds.

Q. Can we have the merchant split a transaction to bypass my Departmental Card's single transaction limit?
A. Splitting transactions to bypass your card limit is against FIU Departmental Card regulations. Doing this could result in a suspension of your Departmental Card.

Q. How do I change my monthly and/or single transaction limits?
A. If you would like to make a change to your monthly and/or single transaction credit limit, please complete a Temporary Maintenance Request Form. This document must be signed by the cardholder's BUA in order for it to be processed by the Credit Card Solutions Team.

Q. I lost my Departmental Card or fear it has been compromised. What do I do next?
A. It is the cardholder's responsibility to report a lost or stolen card as soon as possible by contacting JP Morgan Chase immediately at their toll-free number 1-800-270-7760.

The Cardholder must be prepared to provide the following information to the Bank representative: the Departmental Card number, Campus address and telephone number and a brief summary of what happened. Lost or stolen cards reported by telephone are cancelled immediately. A replacement card will be issued and mailed to the Cardholder's Campus address within seven to ten working days after being reported. The Cardholder and Approver must closely monitor all transactions posted in FIU Financials and dispute charges that appear to be fraudulent.

Q. How do I dispute a Departmental Card transaction that I do not recognize?
A. The Cardholder must attempt to resolve any disputes or billing errors directly with the vendor. In most cases, the vendor will issue a credit to the Departmental Card account. If an agreement cannot be reached with the vendor, the Cardholder must complete the formal dispute process in the PaymentNet System within 5 days of the billing close date in order to be accepted by JP Morgan Chase.

Q. I accidently charged a personal expense to my FIU Departmental Card, what do I do next?
A. In the event that a cardholder has inadvertently charged a personal expense on their Departmental Card, please notify the Departmental Card administration immediately. The cardholder will be required to reimburse FIU for the transaction if the item cannot be returned.

Q. Can I allow other users access to my Departmental Card?
A. Each cardholder is responsible for the security of the card assigned to them. Use of the University issued Credit Card is limited to the Cardholder whose name appears on the face of the card. Under no circumstances will a card be given or loaned out to another person. All precautions must be used to maintain confidentiality of all information relating to your card, such as the card number and expiration date. The Card and/or Card number must never be left in a conspicuous place, emailed or shared with anyone else, even with a trusted colleague.

Any Cardholder sharing their Departmental Card information or allowing another individual to use their Departmental Card for purchases may have their Departmental Card cancelled.

Q. What are Inactivity Reviews?
A. Twice a year, a card inactivity review is conducted by the Credit Card Solutions Team. Cardholders who have not had card activity during the consecutive three month period prior to the review will be sent an Inactivity Notification via email.

If the card is still needed, a Cardholder is required to reply to the email with a justification as to why the card account must remain open. Cardholders may also reply to the notification indicating that the card is no longer needed request card cancellation.

If no response is received within three weeks of the notification, the card account will be automatically cancelled and the Cardholder will receive notification.

Q. What are some common reasons for a card to be declined?
A. If your Departmental Card has been declined, it could be due to the following reasons: the purchase exceeds your available balance or single purchase limit, the vendor's merchant category code is prohibited by FIU, or your Departmental Card could be suspended. Please contact the Credit Card Solutions Team immediately if your card has been declined.

Q. Where can I find a list of valid FIU account codes?
A. You can find a list of FIU account codes at

Q. What if I don't receive my statement in the mail?
A. If you did not receive your monthly statement, please log into the JP Morgan Chase PaymentNet System at www.paymentnet.jpmorgan.com >Transactions>Statements

Office of the Controller