Search within:

Types of Payment Cards and Limits

Types of Payment Cards

Ohio University has partnered with the Bank of America to provide the payment card program. This program encompasses several different kinds of cards. New card types may be added as they become available in the banking industry as business needs dictate. Each card is configured with a set of merchant category codes (MCC) that are part of each card’s spend profile. An MCC is a code that classifies a business according to the types of goods or services that it provides (e.g. airfare, books and periodicals, hardware equipment, etc.). An MCC group is made of similar MCCs and is included or excluded from a pcard’s spend profile in order to allow or disallow purchases from various types of vendors.

The program consists of the following types of cards and MCC groups:

Purchasing Card

A university payment card that can be used to make qualified purchases that may not be available in the university e-procurement system. Purchasing cards include MCCs that apply to the majority of vendors with which the university does business. Excluded MCCs include items like: cash advances, bank transfers, loan payments, etc.

Department Card

A university payment card that can be used to make qualified purchases that may not be available in the university e-procurement system. It includes MCCs that apply to the majority of vendors with which the university does business. Departmental cards require the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer to have control procedures in place and to designate a card custodian for each departmental card.

Travel Card

A university travel card can be used to pay for hotels, airfare, transportation, conference fees, membership and other types of transactions that may occur when one is traveling (e.g., grocery stores, bookstores, drugstores, office stores, etc.).  It includes MCCs that apply to the majority of vendors used for transactions such as those listed.

Declining Balance Card

A declining balance card can be used in certain circumstances for non-university employees. A declining balance card has a set limit that declines with each qualified purchase on the card.

Corporate Travel Card

A corporate travel card is a virtual card (meaning it is not a physical card) that is available in Concur that can be used to charge airfare for university employees and guests (including students), and rental cars for arrangements made through university vendors.

Accounts Payable Card

The accounts payable card is a central card that is maintained by the Finance area to pay vendors on an emergency basis and serves as part of the business continuity plan.

Purchasing and travel cards are only available to university employees or a graduate student with an employee status that have an active assignment in HR at the time of the card application or as long as they are a university employee.  Declining balance cards are available to undergraduate students, non-employees, and temporary agency employees as well as employees and graduate students. 

Transaction Limits

Every pcard has two types of transaction limits associated with the card, referred to as the spend profile – a monthly credit limit and the single transaction limit.  Available limits are listed on the Pcard Application.

The monthly credit limit is the total dollar amount that can be charged to a card over the course of a card billing cycle. Monthly credit limits should be requested based on spending needs. CFAO’s may request changes to a monthly credit limits when necessary. All card applications requesting monthly credit limits greater than $25,000 require chief financial officer approval.

Single transaction limits are the limits set on individual transactions. Single transaction limits are selected at the time of card application and should be reflective of the role and business need of the cardholder. Exceptions to the standard single transaction limits are not common. However, exception requests can be made by the CFAO [or delegate maintained in the Financial Approver and related Metadata (FARM) system] using the “Card Limit Exception Process”.

Card Limit Exception Process

A planning unit CFAO (or delegate maintained in FARM) can request either or both a temporary increase to either the single transaction limit or the monthly card limit by submitting the request to The temporary increases can be requested in standard increments as shown on the pcard application. (ex. Cardholder has a single transaction limit of $1,500, but needs to make a purchase for $2,000. The cardholder would be increased to the next standard limit which is $2,499.) The request will be routed to the pcard administrator to make the adjustment in the banking system and the requestor will be notified once the adjustment has been applied. Please keep the following items in mind when making a card  limit request:

  • Requests for increases to single transaction limits up to $10,000 and monthly transaction limits must be submitted and approved by the planning unit CFAO or designee and must include detail to support the proposed increase.
  • Any increases approved by the CFAO must be for an allowable expense for the card under the purchasing card policy and procedures.
  • All requests above $10,000 must be approved by the Director of Payments or designee. The payment card is not a substitute for standard procurement processes (Purchase order, contract review, insurance requirements, etc.) and, as such, increases may be denied.