Student Group CDEP Cards

The American Express Corporate Defined Expense Program (CDEP) is a debit card for student groups. This card was specifically requested for the use of our students to make funds available for purchasing supplies for programs and events. With this privilege comes the responsibilities of using this card. The card is issued in a student’s name and should be treated with the utmost care.


The CDEP card can ONLY be used by the person it is issued to.

A student may NOT lend their card to another student.

This card is only to be used for student programming and NOT for personal use.

The minimum credit limit on a card is $500. The maximum credit limit will be based on the amount allocated by your recognizing organization financial officer up to $10,000.00 for any group, unless special permission is granted. No credit line can go over the amount of revenue in the student’s account.

The close on this card is the 25th or 26th of each month. Students must access their account online every month to review their account regardless of when the card was last used. This is to ensure that balances are correct and to quickly identify any fraudulent transactions.

Each card has spending limits. A student cannot go over their limit without approval from their program treasurer.

This card is used ONLY to make appropriate purchases. A cardholder cannot obtain cash with this card.

If a CDEP card is lost or stolen, immediately contact American Express using the customer service number located on the back of the card or the American Express website.

Inappropriate Purchases

  • Alcohol for undergraduate students
  • Gift cards (if needed, this must be done via purchase order)

Be aware that your group’s recognizing organization may further restrict purchases.

Sales Tax

CWRU Student Groups are not tax exempt. Your group will need to pay sales tax. If a contract is done in CWRU's name and not the student groups name, then it will be treated as tax exempt.

After Purchase

Cardholders must complete and submit a payment request in CampusGroups within 14 days of purchase.

Each purchase must come with a detailed receipt. The scanned receipt should be uploaded to the payment request submission.


The penalty for misuse of the CDEP card will result in a written warning, the loss of the card usage, loss of funding from their organization and depending on the severity of abuse, judicial and/or criminal charges.

Application Process

Each student group must decide how many cards they will need to effectively run their organization, and who will hold CDEP cards. Plan carefully and make sure everyone who requires a card gets their application in on time. If a student is working on multiple projects, make sure there is a high enough credit limit on the card to cover multiple projects. Adding funds to a card will be done on a case-by-case basis. Your program treasurer will make that decision and request the upfund.

There will be an open application at the beginning of each semester. All applications must be received prior to the deadline specified in the form description. Any application that comes in after this time will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The application must be completed and submitted by the person who will be using the card. The form cannot be submitted on behalf of another person.

Card Pickup

Your program advisor will be contacted when the cards come in for distribution. Patricia Hannan (assistant to the Travel Services Manager) will make that contact.

Your umbrella group's advisor will distribute the CDEP card.

Card Activation

The cardholder must activate the card prior to use.

  1. First, carefully read the activation instructions included with your card.
  2. When asked for a phone number and address during the activation process, provide the contact information listed below. This applies to all student CDEP card activations.

Michael Kurutz
Travel Services Manager
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7075
Your cell phone number (the same one you provided when applying for the card)

If you have difficulty activating your card online, call the telephone number listed on the back of your card for assistance. 

Online Account Access and Reconciliation

After activating the card, the cardholder must set up their own online account access. The cardholder is responsible for signing in at least once a month to reconcile each month, check the current balance, and identify fraudulent transactions.

CDEP transactions (individual line-item detail) will be uploaded to Peoplesoft and charged to the Speedtype that has been established through your request on a monthly basis to allow for reconciliation of the charges against the transactions that have been submitted in CampusGroups payment module. Please ensure that all transactions have successfully posted in both locations – PeopleSoft and CampusGroups. This is critical for groups that are getting their CDEP transactions reimbursed by their recognizing group.


For questions regarding approved applications or problems on a student’s card, contact Todd Rasmussen( or program administrator Michael Kurutz(

For other questions, including the application or payment request process, contact your recognizing organization financial officer.

If a CDEP card is lost or stolen, immediately contact American Express using the customer service number located on the back of the card or the American Express website.

Last Updated: August 11, 2023