CUNY Credit Cards

CUNY participates in the New York State procurement card program and issues: 1) Purchasing cards (P-cards), designed to be an efficient and cost effective way to expedite small dollar purchases; 2) Travel cards (T-cards), for employee travel related expenses; and 3) Non–Employee Travel cards, (NET cards), for non-employee travel expenses.

CUNY issued credit cards entrust cardholders with a valuable tool, enabling them to make a financial commitment on behalf of the State of New York.

There are, however, certain inherent risks associated with a procurement card program.  Specifically, purchases are completed before supervision and oversight activities can occur.  Therefore, all individuals who receive a CUNY issued credit card are responsible for adhering to the CUNY, NYS and NYC policies and guidelines that govern their use.  For example: 

Purchasing Card (P-Card)
  • The purchasing card may only be issued to a tax-levy employee.

  • Only tax-levy expenses may be placed on purchasing cards.  Non-tax levy purchases are NOT allowed; even if there is an intent to return the funds to the State or pay for the purchases through non-tax levy funds.

  • Split ordering is strictly prohibited on CUNY issued credit cards.

  • Purchasing cards may NEVER be used to purchase items that are considered CUNY assets, or will be tagged by CUNY.  Any items that Property Managers currently tag, including laptops, IPads, and printers, CANNOT be purchased using a CUNY Purchasing Card.

  • Items that require category approval and system inspection through CUNYfirst CANNOT be purchased with the P-Card: Information Technology (hardware/software), Facilities/Furniture, Hazardous Materials, Legal Services, etc.

Travel card
  • A tax levy employee who wishes to have a travel card may only use the travel card for their OWN expenses related to travel. These include local transportation, conference fees, airfares, lodging (up to the GSA maximum per diem). See guidelines regarding per diem lodging and meal allowances for more information.

  • The travel card may NOT be used for any travel expenses for any other person - tax levy or non-tax levy.   

  • The travel card may NOT be used for non-tax levy expenses. 

  • A separate Travel Authorization is required in advance of the travel AND an Expense Report (with business purpose and receipts ) is required upon return.  Travel card transactions are reconciled through the My Wallet feature of the CUNYfirst Travel & Expense Center.

Non-Employee Travel (NET) Card
  • A Net card may be held by a tax levy employee to procure travel arrangements for non-tax levy employees.

  • A tax levy employee may NOT use the NET card for their own expenses related to travel.

  • Individual travel and expense reports are required with supporting documentation.

  • To ensure billing of lodging accommodations for non-employees to the NET card, cardholders should contact the hotel ahead of time, (generally, at least 72 hours prior to planned arrival), to obtain a credit card authorization form authorizing the hotel to charge all approved third party expenses to the NET card.  In most cases, hotels do not accept credit card authorizations for same day arrivals and may require presentation of a credit card at check-in to cover any damages and other incidentals.  Contact the lodging provider for specific policies, procedures and information.

Important Note

For P-card and NET card holders only, departments are required to submit CUNYfirst requisitions to support the University's monthly reclassification process, which charges credit card expenses to respective department budgets.  For example, if a P-card or NET card holder requests a $500 credit card limit and the department budget allows for an allocation to cover four months, then, the department must create a requisition totaling $2,000.00 with (4) separate requisition lines of $500.00 each, (e.g. $500 for July, $500 for August, $500 for September and $500 for October).  


Departments will have to edit the requisition throughout the fiscal year to create requisition lines for additional months commensurate with future budget allocations. Cards will not be activated until the department requisition is in place, (i.e. fully approved and passes budget check).






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Travel Card Applicants, please refer to CUNYfirst Travel & Expense for information regarding Travel Card request forms and procedures. 

P-Card and/or NET Card Applicants, please follow the procedures below:

  1. Read, complete and printout the NYS Citibank Credit Card Acknowledgement Application  NET card applicants must also familiarize themselves with the NYS Travel Card Program changes.

  2. Complete the CUNYfirst P-Card/NET Card User Access Request form to setup and/or modify the different functional roles associated with the card reconciliation and verification process.  Card Holders, Card Supervisors and Card Proxies must submit their own SEPARATE request forms to gain security access to the CUNYfirst Procurement Card module.  

Functional Roles - the functional roles described below MUST be established within CUNYfirst, PRIOR to cardholder use of a CUNY issued credit card: 

Card Holder (Mandatory Role)

The employee to whom the card is issued; responsible for using the card consistent with CUNY policy and procedures. Card Holders reconcile their transactions within CUNYfirst. All Card Holders must specify their Card Supervisors and card holders CANNOT verify their own transactions. 

Card Supervisor (Mandatory Role)

Supervisors review and verify cardholder transactions within CUNYfirst to ensure that purchases meet a business need; ensure that supporting documentation is attached and supervisors confirm department accounting information (i.e. CUNYfirst chartfields). Card Supervisors must submit their own SEPARATE P-Card/NET Card User Access Request forms.   

Card Proxy (Optional Role)

Proxies are authorized to reconcile transactions on behalf of cardholders.  Cardholders must inform proxies when card data is available for reconciliation.  Proxies must have access to cardholder receipts and should have CUNYfirst expertise and department fiscal knowledge to administer cardholder transactions. Card Proxies must submit their own SEPARATE P-Card/NET Card User Access Request forms.

Forward the completed application package, (including user access request forms for Card Supervisors and Card Proxies, if applicable), to Accounts Payable, located in Wingate Hall, Room 112.  Incomplete application packages will result in processing delays  Application processing takes approximately two weeks for card delivery.

Upon application approval and issuance of a CUNY issued credit card; and establishment of the above-mentioned functional roles, cardholders are responsible for using the card, consistent with CUNY, NYS and NYC guidelines, including, monthly reconciliation of ALL transactions.


Individually Held P-card Purchases

  • BOOKS - when business related
  • CATERING - adhere to CUNY Guidelines for Meals Served on Premises for Business Meetings
  • NON HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS - educational use ONLY e.g. oxygen, helium
  • PLANTS/FLOWERS - educational use ONLY e.g. Botany class


  • COMPENSATION - for Non-NYS employees
  • CONFIRMATORY ORDERS are not allowed on the P-Card
  • DONATIONS - includes any type of charitable contributions
  • EBAY
  • ENTERTAINMENT - includes movie/theater tickets, dinner, sightseeing, etc.
  • GIFTS/GIFT CERTIFICATES/TROPHIES - promotional items, flowers, plaques; includes retirement, birthday parties, etc. 
  • GIFT CARDS - must be nominal and given as an incentive to students or subjects to encourage participation in academic mission related activities.  Taxable to the recipient. Can only be purchased through a Purchasing Agent held P-card
  • MEDICAL SERVICES - includes controlled substances
  • PERSONAL APPLIANCES - includes space heaters, fans, humidifiers 
  • PERSONAL USE - includes cash advances, cash back, refunds and ATM use 
  • RECOGNITION GIFTS - includes staff morale and staff incentives
  • SOFTWARE LICENSES - includes SaaS (Software as a Service) Can only be purchased through a Purchasing Agent held P-card
  • SPLIT ORDERING is strictly prohibited on CUNY issued credit cards.
  • TAGGABLE/SENSITIVE ITEMS - includes Apple products (iPhone, etc.), computers, etc. 
  • TRAVEL - flights, hotel, incidentals, etc. Applies to both NYS and Non-NYS employees
  • WAREHOUSE MEMBERSHIP - includes Costco, BJ's and Sam's Club
  • WEAPONS - includes explosives and hazardous materials

**Note: Purchases above the single transaction dollar limit require justifications for a temporary increase





Every employee who holds a CUNY issued credit card is responsible for reconciling card statement transactions on a monthly basis within prescribed deadlines, including attaching documentation that supports the clearly stated business purpose for each transaction.

The Procurement Card module in CUNYfirst introduced a new business procedure for reconciling P-cards and NET cards.  Travel cards are reconciled through the submission of CUNYfirst expense reports using the My Wallet feature.  See CUNYfirst Travel & Expense for more information regarding reconciliation of Travel cards.  

On a monthly basis, Citibank files are loaded into CUNYfirst to facilitate the online reconciliation process.  Card holders are notified by email that transactions are available for reconciliation.

Card holder reconciliation of all charges on the current credit card statement AND supervisor verification of these transactions, must be completed within 5 business days of notification that transactions are available for reconciliation.

Card Holder Responsibilities 

Cards held by individuals, including P-cards and NET cards, will follow the same reconciliation steps:

  • Upon notification, review EACH transaction for accuracy in CUNYfirst.  In the event that incorrect or fraudulent charges are identified the card holder will follow the standard process for notifying Citibank and their Campus Card Administrator.

  • Document the business justification for EACH transaction in the "Comments" area.  Attach additional memos, as needed.

  • Attach supporting documentation to EACH transaction.  Please make sure that all attachments are legible.  Illegible attachments may result in processing delays and/or rejection by the Accounts Payable department.

  • Review default chartfields and, if necessary, modify them to reflect appropriate CUNYfirst department and expense codes.  Mainly, card holders will have to modify the Account chartfield to appropriately categorize expenditures (see P-card/Travel/NET card GL Accounts).

  • Notify your Card Supervisor that transactions are ready for verification.

Failure to reconcile and verify card transactions within 5 business days of notification or misuse of a CUNY credit card constitutes grounds for revocation of employee card privileges.

Card Supervisor Responsibilities

The second step in the reconciliation process is performed by the supervisor of the cardholder:

  • The supervisor of the cardholder is required to review each card transaction for every card held by one of their employees and verify that the charges are legitimate business purchases for business use.  In the event that the charge is NOT a legitimate business expenditure, the supervisor is responsible for obtaining repayment of the amount to CUNY; by following the normal Refund of Appropriations guidelines and processing repayment via a check payable to the City University of New York. 

  • Verify that complete and appropriate supporting documentation is attached to ALL transactions.  If proper supporting documentation is not attached.notify the card holder.

  • Review and correct chartfields to reflect appropriate CUNYfirst department and expense codes.  Mainly, supervisors will have to correct the Account chartfield to appropriately categorize expenditures, (see P-Card/Travel & NET Card GL Account Codes for more information).

  • Change the status of each transaction to "Verified," after they meet the following criteria: 

    1. The "Comments" area documents the transaction as a valid business expenditure;

    2. The correct supporting documentation is attached, and

    3. CUNYfirst chartfields are correct.

Card reconciliation AND supervisor verification of ALL transactions must be completed within 5 business days of notification that card data is available. 


Accounts Payable - Card Approver

The final step in the reconciliation process is performed by the Accounts Payable department, referred to as the Card Approver:

  • The Accounts Payable department provides final review and approval of card holder transactions and confirms appropriate account codes to ensure that expenses are reflected accurately in the CUNYfirst General Ledger.

  •  After account codes have been assigned, the Accounts Payable department, as Card Approver, will change the status of transactions to “Approved” in CUNYfirst.



Last Updated: 02/14/2022 10:05