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Travel Terms

This page details common terms related to travel policy and procedures.

Term Details
Itemized Receipt

An itemized receipt should contain the following information:

  • Business name
  • Date of purchase
  • Item(s) purchased
  • Price of each item
  • Total amount of bill
  • Method of payment
Per Diem  An amount of money that someone is given for daily expenses, such as food/meals or lodging.  At Ohio University, meals are reimbursed for university travel based on a per diem basis.  OHIO per diem rates are based on GSA rates that are determined by the Federal government.
Non-traditional Lodging An alternative to the traditional travel lodging arrangements, such as commercial hotels.  Examples include, but are not limited to, Airbnb, VRBO, hostels and dormitories.  For more information about non-traditional lodging options and the approval process please visit  Non-traditional transportation
Virtual Pay Card or Virtual Credit Card

A virtual card is simply a credit card number.  Virtual cards are online only and are not physically issued to a cardholder.  The card is held in the name of the organization and can only be used once, generally within a specified time (e.g., week or month).  There are a number of features associated with a virtual card that both useful and safe:

  • Cards are issued to the account holder (e.g., the university) as opposed to an individual
  • Cards can have a minimum and maximum credit limit per transaction per day
  • Cards are valid only for a specified time period
  • Residual balances remain on the virtual card, so the amount can be credited back to the account holder
  • Since cards are non-physical, it is almost impossible to clone them, which makes the card highly safe for online transactions.
Substantiation process IRS Publication 15, (Circular E), states that the employee must substantiate their business expenses by providing the employer the evidence of the amount, time, place, and business purpose of the expense within a reasonable period of time after they are paid or incurred.  
This process involves providing and attaching itemized receipts, in accordance with university policy, and charging the proper university account number(s) for the expense(s).
Lowest practical and reasonable cost The lowest practical and reasonable cost (e.g., airfare or hotel rate) means that the traveler selects the lowest fare or rate available at the time the travel is booked, that suits the practical business needs of the traveler (e.g., location, time, date).
Fly America Act All international travel, funded by the federal government must be in compliance with the Fly America Act.  The Fly America Act dictates that any foreign air travel that is financed by federal funds must be booked on U.S. Flag Air Carriers, regardless of cost or convenience.  This regulation must be followed by all OHIO personnel, students, trainees, consultants and collaborators who are reimbursed for air travel with federally primed or federal pass through funds.  For more information on the Fly America Act, please visit the Grants Accounting page.
GSA Rates  General Services Administration (GSA) is a federal government agency tasked with multiple functions including setting the federal per diem rates for lodging and meals/incidentals.  All per diem rates in Concur are based on the GSA rates.
TMC An acronym for Travel Management Company.  The travel management company is the preferred provider for travel bookings at Ohio University.
Less than first class Less than first class can be booked as an upgrade for any flights that are five (5) hours or longer of continuous flight time, from point to point.  International flights are the most likely to qualify for this the less than first class exception.  Less than first class airfare is defined as any fare available that is not labeled as a first class fare by the airline.   
CBT Stands for Christopherson Business Travel (CBT) and the travel management company for Ohio University