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FAQs

Account Codes

N.B. The PeopleSoft Travel and Expense Module prepopulates account codes for many travel expense categories. 

  • Faculty and staff travel: 534200
  • Visitor travel: 534100
  • Student travel: 534260
  • Meeting registrations: 534300
  • Relocation reimbursement: 534500
  • Approved alcohol expenses: 599020

Booking + Travel Agencies

Can I use Orbitz or Travelocity to book business travel?

Using these services is discouraged and may delay reimbursement.They rarely provide the detail and clarity needed, per policy, when purchasing packaged travel.

Why should I digitally complete travel agency forms?

Doing so prevents errors based on illegible handwriting.

Are U.S. airlines required, even if another carrier is cheaper?

Anyone with a federal grant is restricted by the Fly America Act and must use a U.S. air carrier. Travel is permitted on foreign carriers when they codeshare with a U.S. airline. For additional and more specific information, see the Fly America Act (PDF).


Currency Exchange

How do I get reimbursed when I’ve I paid in foreign currency?

University policy requires writing dollar equivalents onto all receipts. Not doing so can slow reimbursement. The Travel and Expense Module automatically provides travelers daily foreign exchange rates for most major global currencies for days traveled from the university's contracted-provider XE.com.  Be preemptive by using a credit card to track expenses paid in foreign currencies. Cards for U.S. residents report transaction information in U.S. dollars.  Statement-supported U.S. dollar amounts can then be requested for foreign currency expenses. Be sure to supply all necessary detailed receipts along with your credit card statement when submitting for reimbursement. When exchanging cash, submit the bank or exchange kiosk receipt. 

I paid in multiple foreign currencies. How do I get reimbursed?

A credit card statement is best reimbursements in a foreign currency. Statements list the exact amount to be reimbursed. Lacking a credit card statement, use the built-in currency conversion tool in the PeopleSoft Travel and Expense Module. FOREX rates can also be manually entered as a last resort, but requires supporting documentation and is subject to audit by the Travel Manager.

Must American Express T&E card users identify currency conversion references?

No. The CWRU T&E card eliminates the need for a currency exchange references. The statement provides the exact dollar amounts for reimbursement as well as appropriate receipts. It also identifies exchange fees so CWRU can pay them.


Insurance

Do I need flight insurance for my international or domestic trip?

No. University travel policy prohibits reimbursement for this. Instead, CWRU reimburses fees for ticket change and reuse when an approved need for cancellation exists.

Do I need rental car insurance?

The University’s rental car insurance card covers employees and students on University business. Be sure to rent it in the name of "Case Western Reserve University, by Your Name." When renting for personal or professional reasons consider the discounted rates from CWRU preferred car rental agencies.

Do I need emergency medical evacuation insurance when traveling to remote areas?

No. The University provides this insurance through its office of Risk Assessment. Faculty, staff, and students must provide travel information and register to activate coverage. Contact Laura Corrigan at 216.368.4394.

Does the University reimburse travelers for rental car roadside assistance?

No. Insurance of any kind is not reimbursable for domestic and U.S. to Canada car rentals.


Reimbursements

Airline Reimbursement

CWRU allows me to retain frequent flier miles and hotel points. Can I accept these or other gratuities when travel planning?

CWRU policy allows enrollment in these programs and point collection. CWRU policy forbids event planners to receive miles/points or other gratuities beyond a "social gesture." For example, an overnight hotel stay would be unacceptable under this provision. See Section 10 of the CWRU Procurement Policy (PDF) for details.

Can I use my own airline reward miles for seating/cabin upgrades?

Yes, if you pay any associated costs. Upgrades to business class must meet policy requirements and receive Chief Financial Officer approval prior to ticketing if there is any expense to the University.

Can I be reimbursed for using personal frequent flier miles on CWRU business?

No.

I have enough money in my budget and flying more than five hours. Do I need Chief Financial Officer approval to purchase upgraded seating?

Yes.

Does the University reimburse travelers for airline fees such as extra legroom, exit row seating and early boarding?

Departments/schools have discretion when approving economy-class cabin ancillary fee reimbursements.


Automobile Reimbursement

Do I need receipts for highway toll reimbursements? Can I be reimbursed for using my personal E-Z Pass?

Yes. Toll reimbursement is receipt-based. Travelers are also welcome to submit their E ZPass statements.. Include your E-ZPass statement and note trip charges associated with CWRU business.

How do I get reimbursed personal vehicle mileage?

Specific origin and destination addresses are required. A general statement of "Cleveland" to "Columbus" is not specific enough. A Google Maps or MapQuest reference will work.


Expense Reimbursement

What if it’s difficult to obtain receipts in remote international destinations?

If you believe furnishing receipts for small, trip-related expenses will be difficult, buy a receipt book before you go. You may still use the University meal allowance (up to $48 per day for actual breakfast, lunch, and dinner expenses) and claim intra-urban public transportation expenses without furnishing receipts.

Are reservation documentation or itineraries proof for reimbursement?

Travelers need payment documentation, such as a receipt, with the last four digits of a credit card visible. Credit card statements may be submitted with itineraries to support expenses.

When using an online service such as Orbitz, Priceline, or Expedia, for hotel or travel packages, be sure payment method is indicated or provide a credit card statement.

Should travel reimbursement requests for non-employees and students include a Statement of Travel Expense form?

Yes, all travel-related requests must have a Statement of Travel Expense.

Can I prepay hotel or rental car charges if that saves money?

Yes. However, reimbursement is made only after the stay. A detailed hotel or car rental receipt is required.

Do I need taxi receipts to receive reimbursement?

Yes.

Is a credit card receipt enough for meal reimbursement?

All meals with food, tax, and tip totals above the University meal allowances require a detailed receipt specifying items purchased. Detailed meal receipts are readily available from most restaurants. Reimbursement for group meals must include names of attendees and the nature of University business discussed.


Flight Reimbursement

Can I be reimbursed for inflight food?

Departments/schools have the discretion to approve fees for food.

Can I be reimbursed for inflight Internet data service?

Yes, if the purchase is for university business and is approved by your department. In flight entertainment services such as Audio and Video on Demand are never reimbursable

Are upgrades to "premium" economy seating reimbursable?

No. Fares must be purchased at the lowest price available on the most direct route. Upgrades within a domestic economy-class (coach) cabin are the decision of the individual school/department. Travelers should know charges are added per segment

Can I receive airfare reimbursement before my actual travel date?

Yes, with the appropriate receipt showing actual payment.


Food Reimbursement

Is alcohol a reimbursable expense with a meal?

Yes. Reasonable purchases of alcoholic beverages are permitted. These must be listed separately from other travel-related charges in the PeopleSoft reimbursement request form using account code 599020. Some individual departments, as well as numerous state and federal grants, do not permit reimbursement for alcohol. Check your department's policy.

Can I add tips to the CWRU meal allowance?

No. The maximum allowance amounts ($10-breakfast, $12-lunch, $26-dinner) include a tipping allowance.


General Reimbursement

Who reviews travel reimbursement requests?

Accounts Payable handles travel reimbursement. To expedite paper-based visitor travel reimbursements, CWRU departmental staff should address them to Judy Gilchrist in Accounts Payable at the Cedar Avenue Services Center (LC 4910). Contact Travel Services if there are any questions on CWRU Travel Policy.

Are Global Entry and TSApre fees reimbursable expenses?

These expense types are not supported, by policy, for reimbursement.

Can I use the American Express T+E Card for personal purchases?

No. CWRU AMEX T+E Card Policy changed on October 15, 2014.  Personal expenses on the card no longer supported.


Hotel Reimbursement

Is laundry and/or dry cleaning a reimbursable traveling expense?

Yes, under certain circumstances and length of trip.

Can I be reimbursed for toiletries while traveling?

No.

Can I be reimbursed for hotel health club charges?

No.

My hotel meals are included on my folio. Is this adequate for reimbursement?

No. Meals above allowance amounts ($10-breakfast, $12-lunch, $26-dinner) must have detailed receipts. Those without detail are subject to reduction to permitted allowance maximums.


Luggage Reimbursement

Will CWRU purchase personal luggage or reimburse for luggage damage?

No. Purchasing luggage is the traveler’s responsibility.The traveler is also responsible for damage to personal luggage while on university business. If the airline, hotel, or TSA have damaged your suitcase, seek compensation from them.

Are airline baggage fees reimbursable?

Yes. Travelers must submit explanations for fees beyond standard amounts of personal baggage.

Do I need a checked bag receipt for each portion of a round-trip flight?

Yes. Submit individual bag receipts for all legs, both outbound and return trips.Does CWRU support ATM fees for cash withdrawals?


Other Reimbursement

Does CWRU support ATM fees for cash withdrawals?

Not in the United States. Most purchases should use the American Express T+E or personal credit card, including for taxi fares.

Is train travel reimbursable?

Yes. Include a receipt with form of payment -- cash, check, credit card -- clearly indicated. As with airlines, the lowest available coach-class fare is covered.

How do I submit a relocation reimbursement request?

Follow Travel Policy (PDF) and include a statement of travel expense. The account code for relocation is 534500.

What is the best way to pay for conference registrations?

University Purchase Cards or P-cards are recommended for conference and meeting registration. American Express T+E and personal credit cards can be used.

Can I use the T&E Module to pay a CWRU employee for their services or consulting?

No. As these are not reimbursements for supplies or travel, such payments should go through the Payroll Department. 


CWRU T&E Cards and Payments

 

Can I use my CWRU American Express Card for personal expenses?

Per policy, the card should be used only for CWRU business-related travel expenses.

Will I receive a mailed statement?

No. Cardholders are responsible for immediately setting up their card accounts online once they receive their physical card. Statements, daily charges, and reminders are available once this account is established. 

Who is responsible for payment?

The cardholder must submit payment reports that meet travel policy within the PeopleSoft Travel and Expense Module. Once approved, payments are transmitted to American Express daily. Once received by American Express, these take three business days to post to cardholder accounts. 

Should I pay AMEX myself for Business T&E Expenses?

No. Payments should be made through the PeopleSoft Travel and Expense Module per policy and your cardholder agreement.

Should a cardholder rely on the "My Wallet" function of the T&E Module to reconcile her/his AMEX T&E card account?

No. All cardholders should set up their AMEX online card account access immediately upon receiving their card. This AMEX online account, together with the electronic statement, should be used to reconcile expenses, credits, and payments without exception. Delinquencies often occur when there is not a regular online viewing of account activity.

When are statement payments due to American Express?

The 25th of each month is the due date for all current statement payments to American Express. Cardholders should understand their statement cycle cut and due dates so there is no confusion when AMEX sends emails that "encourage" earlier payment.  

Can I charge local equipment purchases on my T&E Card?

No equipment or services of any kind, including recurring phone bill charges, can be placed on the card. The only exception would be for incidental business expenses or approved minor equipment purchases (e.g. phone charger) while on travel. 

Does policy permit the booking of non-cardholder travel on the T&E card?

No. The university preferred travel agencies should be used if additional air tickets or hotel rooms for non-cardholders are needed. 

Should I contact American Express with my itinerary to let them know my travel plans?

Yes, especially for international travel. This reduces the likelihood of card suspension for security/fraud  concerns.

Are Cleveland area meals with guests permitted on the card?

Yes, as long as they are supported by the University Meal Policy, the department, and school incurring the expense.