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Using the Card

Please use the card for official University business expenditures only, and not for personal expenses. Contact the vendor and agree to the price, quantity, terms, and delivery date.  The chart below provides guidance on when you should consider using your card to make a specific purchase:

Acceptable purchases include: Unauthorized purchases include:
Conference registration fees Personal purchases
Subscriptions Cash advances
Membership dues Excluded, high risk merchant categories codes (MCC)
Emergencies (products or services) Any item exceeding the card’s pre-established transaction limit
Internet orders (when item needed cannot be found from any other source) Alcoholic beverages may only be purchased for functions hosted by Northwestern and should be charged to account code 76727
Local purchases when there is no time to wait for next day delivery Travel related expenses, such as hotel accommodations, car rentals, taxi rides, etc., if NOT enabled on the card
Small dollar purchases when a purchase order (PO) is not necessary Under no circumstances should a purchase be split into multiple transactions to bypass the single transaction dollar limit
Local food and entertainment department expenses when in compliance with policy
Travel related expenses, such as hotel accommodations, car rental, taxi rides, etc., if enabled on the card

Purchases must comply with the following:

Prior to using the card, cardholders should confirm whether or not the given product or service is available through a Northwestern Preferred Vendor or in iBuyNU. More information is available on the PPS Preferred Vendor page.

Cardholders should also obtain a receipt at the time of purchase. If the purchase is made via phone, mail, or internet, make sure the vendor sends a receipt via email or includes the receipt with the goods when the product is shipped to you. This receipt is the only original documentation that a purchase was made using the card.