Travel Procedures


Airline American Express Corporate Card Business Meal Reimbursements
Car Rental Day Travel Dependent Care
Expense Reporting Expense Voucher House Hunting Expenses
International Travel Lodging Meal per Diem Rates
Miscellaneous Expenses Moving Expenses Pool Vehicle
Purchasing Card for Travel Registration Fees Taxi
Telephone Tips Travel Advances
Travel by Chartered Aircraft Travel by Personal Vehicle Travel by Privately-Owned Aircraft  
Travel to/from Houghton County Airport    

Travel Advances

Cash Advance Form

A cash advance is an authorized payment of money (check or direct deposit) by the University, directly to an individual or third party in support of anticipated travel expenses for University business. Employees with access to a Purchasing Card are enouraged to use the card for allowable University travel expenses. Employees holding an American Express Corporate Card are discouraged from requesting cash advances.

A travel advance form is also completed to purchase an airline ticket for University business at Superior Travel.

Travel advances are considered a loan which is repaid by completing a Travel Expense Voucher. Any unused portions must be returned to the University via the Cashier's Office. Cash advances will not be issued to individuals who have an outstanding balance with Michigan Tech.

Requests for such advances are to be made on a Request for Advance of Funds form approved by a department chair/director, at a minimum, or the next higher level of authority. Employees may not approve a Request for Advance of Funds for themselves. The department chair/director or next higher level of authority must pre-approve funds being requested for travel outside the United States or Canada (See: International Travel) and a copy of this written approval must be attached to the Request for Advance of Funds.

A travel advance to or on behalf of a non-University individual (non-employee and non-student) will only be issued upon the specific written preapproval of the appropriate Provost/Vice President which is to be attached to the Request for Advance of Funds form. The Request for Advance of Funds is to be signed by the traveler and an employee of the University (department chair or higher). The employee(s) signing the form will be held responsible for proper accounting.

Checks are normally issued on Wednesdays. If an emergency exists and funds are needed immediately, the employee may hand-carry the approved form to Accounting Services, have it reviewed and, if approved, receive cash from the Cashier's Office (vs. check) for the amount requested.


The employee who is to travel or who is responsible for obtaining an advance for a non-employee, when authorized, does the following:

  1. Completes a Request for Advance of Funds.
    1. Traveler's name, identification number and department
      • Check box after traveler's name IF the individual is a non-Michigan Tech person - the individual is neither a Michigan Tech employee nor a Michigan Tech student.
    2. Select Cash Advance if requesting cash to be used during travel OR to request reimbursement for an airline ticket purchased with personal funds*
      • Indicate amount
      • Indicate if the amount should be paid by check or direct deposit. If payable by check, indicate if the check should be held for pick up or sent to the department
      • If requesting reimbursement for an airline ticket, include a copy of the receipt


    3. Select Airline Ticket for tickets purchased through Superior Travel
    4. Destination and purpose of the trip
    5. Dates of departure and return
    6. University index which will fund the travel expenses.  Airline tickets will be charged to the respective index at the time the American Express bill is received.
    7. Optional: Enter cost of airline ticket. (Note: this information is not necessary for Accounting Services personnel, but may be helpful for the person approving the form.)
    8. Obtain signatures on the form:
      • Signature of the traveler
      • Signature of the department head, department chair, or higher
  2. Forward to Accounting Services.
  3. Retains a copy for departmental records.
  4. Report any cash advances on a Travel Expense Voucher upon completion of travel.

Advances are considered to be loans to persons to/for whom issued, regardless of form (check, cash, airline ticket, prepayment fee, etc.); disposition of advances must be accounted for within ten days of completed travel via the submission of a Travel Expense Voucher and the prompt return of any unused monies.

*If purchase date and travel date are not too far apart, you can avoid completing the advance form by claiming the ticket purchase on your Travel Expense form.


American Express Corporate Card

The University has an agreement with American Express Travel Related Service Company, Inc. to assist employees who frequently travel on University business in obtaining an American Express Corporate Card. This card is intended primarily for University business, but may also be used for personal expenditures. It is the employee's responsibility to pay the American Express bill when it is received.

All faculty and staff, who travel at least once a year or host functions on behalf of the University, are eligible to apply for the American Express Corporate Card.  An annual fee of $35 is assessed to each card holder.  It is at the discretion of the department chair/director to reimburse employees for this fee.


  • No preset spending limits  
  • Collision insurance on rental cars is provided (see rental car section-excludes trucks, cargo vans & pick-up trucks)
  • As long as your account is in good standing, the Card is available for your personal spending.  

American Express is solely responsible for credit approval and issuance of the card. Nonpayment of charges may result in revocation of card privileges. Once a card has been revoked for late/nonpayment, the employee will be unable to continue to participate in the program. Late payment fees are the responsibility of the cardholder.

Card privileges will be withdrawn upon termination of employment with the University. The employee must return the card to Accounting Services before the last day of work.


An employee who travels and desires to participate in the American Express Corporate Card Program does the following:

  1. Requests an American Express Corporate Card Application  from Accounting Services.
  2. Completes the Application and returns it to Accounting Services with a memo signed by the department chair/director authorizing the employee to apply for the corporate card.

Accounting Services personnel will forward the application to American Express for review and approval. The Card should be received from American Express in about two (2) weeks.

The holder of an American Express Corporate Card does the following:

  1. Charges University-related travel expenses (meals, lodging, transportation, etc.) on the American Express Corporate Card.
  2. Files for reimbursement of University-related travel expenses on a travel expense voucher (See: Expenses Reporting Section).
  3. Receives a monthly bill from American Express.
  4. Promptly pays all charges directly to American Express.

Any discrepancies on American Express billing should be resolved by the cardholder.


Purchasing Card for University Travel Expenses

Employees who travel on University business are encouraged to charge airline tickets, car rentals and gas for rental car, lodging, and registration fees to the University Visa purchasing card.

To charge University related travel expenses on a purchasing card, the employee makes travel arrangements, providing the purchasing card number for those University related travel expenses which are to be charged. 

It is the responsibility of the cardholder to reallocate all purchasing card charges from E210 to the appropriate travel expense code, including a new description field that must contain the travelers name, date of travel, destination and purpose of the travel.  Original receipts for all items charged to the purchasing card must be retained by the cardholder. 

Upon completion of the travel, complete an expense voucher indicating those expenses charged to the purchasing card in the appropriate section and those which are reimbursable (meals, gasoline, tolls, taxis, telephone, tips), in the other section of the voucher.  Reimbursement cannot be claimed for expenses charged to the purchasing card as these expenses are directly charged to a university index.  Forward the voucher to Accounting along with copies of receipts for expenses charged to the purchasing card and the original receipts for the reimbursable items. 

In the event that the purchasing card is not accepted, or the vendor merchant codes are blocked by the university to prevent specific goods/services from being charged, contact the purchasing department for assistance.

The university purchasing card provides collision insurance coverage on car rentals; therefore the traveler should decline the car rental company’s Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW option.) 

The cardholder is responsible for all charges made to the purchasing card and also for obtaining a receipt of purchases.  When using the Internet, you should either print the summary page before submitting the order, or print the confirmation e-mail showing the itemized purchase, or contact the company to request a receipt.

To receive a department purchasing card:

  1. Complete the Michigan Tech purchasing card application/agreement available from the Purchasing Department and the Web site http://www.admin.mtu.edu/acct/dept/pur/purchcard/index.html.
  1. Obtain the appropriate signatures and return it to the Purchasing Department.

For detailed information on the purchasing card, refer to the Purchasing website.


Registration Fees

When possible, paying registration fees with the University purchasing card is encouraged. An alternate way to pay registration fees is via a check request.

When a University purchasing card is used to pay registration fees the department is responsible for submitting any registration materials directly to the conference/seminar.  Registration fees must then be reallocated to the proper travel account code (E701).

To pay the fees with a check request, complete the online check request form. Registration materials and documentation indicating what the registration fee includes can be uploaded as an attachment to the check request or submitted to Accounting Services separately referencing the specific check request number that it is regarding. Accounting Services will issue the payment and mail it directly to the payee along with the registration forms.



Michigan Tech will pay only actual room costs supported by the hotel bill for each day that lodging away from home is required for business reasons. When traveling, employees are expected to use good quality, but reasonably priced hotels or motels whenever practical. It is understood that when attending a conference, travelers will stay at the conference hotel.

The minimum corporate/government rate should always be requested. The University purchasing card is a good option to pay for lodging. Lodging must be reallocated to the proper travel code (E708). If the purchasing card is not used, the original paid hotel bill should be attached to the Travel Expense Voucher for reimbursement.

It is the employee's responsibility to cancel reservations by the required time of the hotel. The person canceling the hotel reservation should note the cancellation number and the name of the person accepting the cancellation call. Room costs due to failure to cancel will be deducted from subsequent reimbursement.

If there is a chance that arrival will be later than the required check in time, employees should request a guaranteed late arrival reservation on their credit card.

An allowance of $10.00/night may be claimed if staying at a private residence with family or friends.


Travel by Personal Vehicle

Travel Forms

Mileage Allowances

Individuals who use a non-University vehicle for University-related travel will be reimbursed for actual miles traveled at the effective mileage rate (56 cents per mile effective January 1, 2014, previously 56.5 cents per mile in 2013). Insurance coverage, gas, oil, towing, repairs, etc. are included in the mileage rate. When traveling on University business, the departure and termination point for determining the actual mileage will be the employee's home. Reasonable vicinity mileage will be reimbursed; however, a log of vicinity mileage should be attached to the Travel Expense Voucher when it exceeds 100 miles. There will be no mileage reiumbursement for travel between university properties within Houghton County.

Individuals driving privately-owned vehicles on official University business are afforded NO protection under the University's insurance policy.

Those individuals approving this mode of travel should consider that air travel may be less expensive when time and subsistence costs are included. Every effort should be made to travel at the most economic means practical. In general the extent of reimbursement will be limited to those expenses which would have been incurred had the traveler moved from point to point in a manner resulting in minimum cost to the University.


Travel by Pool Vehicle

Travel Forms

The University has a number of pool vehicles available for use by authorized individuals. Although pool vehicles are furnished with gasoline credit cards, these cards may not always be honored by certain vendors. When an individual must pay for such items as gasoline, oil, or minor repairs, receipts must be attached to the Travel Expense Voucher in a separate grouping which is charged to the pool vehicle account. These expenses will not be reimbursed for a personally owned vehicle. For major repairs, contact the Motor Pool Supervisor.

To drive a University-owned vehicle, an individual must have a valid driver's license. To operate a vehicle rated for carrying 16 or more passengers, an individual must have a valid chauffeur's license or an operator's license with a class 3 endorsement. An individual who has 6 or more points of traffic violations will not be permitted to drive any University-owned vehicles.

Persons should call the Motor Pool to reserve a vehicle. Instructions regarding records to be kept and services to be performed for vehicles are given to the traveler at the time the vehicle is obtained.

To request and reserve a motor pool vehicle, contact Husky Motors as far in advance as possible, either in person at the service building, by phone at 7-2700, by fax at 7-3291, online , or by e-mailing fleetservices@mtu.edu.

Unauthorized drivers and guest passengers, including spouse or relatives, are afforded NO protection under the University's insurance policy.

Accident Reporting
The driver of any University-owned vehicle which is involved in an accident must immediately report the accident to a local law enforcement agency and must also report the accident to the Motor Pool Supervisor as soon as possible.

The University furnishes accident report forms in the University vehicle's glove compartment for the driver's use when reporting an accident. A completed report must be submitted for each accident involving a University-owned vehicle, whether major or minor damage has occurred. Sign the completed form and forward it to the Risk Management and Insurance office.

When another vehicle is involved, be sure to obtain the names and addresses of witnesses. If witnesses are reluctant to provide this information, record the license plate number of two or more cars that have stopped. Be sure to obtain the name and address of the insurance company with whom the other driver is insured.

Individuals driving privately-owned vehicles on official University business are afforded NO protection under the University's insurance policy.


Rental Car

The use of a rental car should be justified as an economical, business necessity and not as a matter of personal convenience. All rentals should be at the corporate/government rate or the lowest possible rate per day. When traveling in groups, sharing of cars should be practiced to minimize costs.  The use of rental cars is appropriate for those situations where other methods of transportation are unavailable or impractical.

The University purchasing card can be used to pay for rental cars and gas for rental cars. These expenses must be reallocated from E210 to E710.

All terms and conditions of the car rental agreement should be read and followed, particularly with regard to who is authorized to drive the vehicle and driving on non-paved roads. Violations of the agreement or any driving regulation may leave the University responsible for additional damages. The University's insurance policy does not cover rental vehicles.

Rental car companies provide optional insurance coverage for collision damage waiver, personal accident insurance, and personal effects insurance.

  1. Collision Damage Waiver: Most rental car companies hold the renter responsible for all damages to the vehicle, regardless of fault. This coverage should be declined if you are covered by other sources such as:
    • American Express Corporate Card - the vehicle will be insured, excess of other applicable insurance [generally the driver's personal insurance], to its full value for collision, fire, theft, vandalism, etc. The Collision Damage Waiver MUST BE DECLINED for this coverage to be applicable and the vehicle rental charged to American Express.
      • American Express Corporate Card and the University purchasing card do not provide coverage outside of the U.S. and Canada, so the employee must accept the auto liability and collision damage coverages when renting a vehicle in a foreign country.
    • Personal automobile insurance - Travelers should check with their personal auto insurance agent.
    • Other - certain other charge cards also provide this or similar coverage. Check your charge card agreement.
  2. Personal Accident Insurance: This coverage provides accident/medical and death benefits, all of which are already provided to University employees. Travelers who accept this optional coverage do so at their own expense.
  3. Personal Effects Insurance: This coverage provides against loss of property. University property is covered under the University program. The traveler's personal property may be covered under the traveler's own home owner/renter insurance. Check with your insurance agent. Travelers who accept this optional coverage do so at their own expense.


An employee requiring the use of a rental car for University-related travel, does the following:

  1. Makes all necessary arrangements with the appropriate rental car company.
  2. Saves all receipts (gas and car rental).
  3. Attaches documentation from the rental agency and gas receipts to the Travel Expense Voucher.


Travel to/from Houghton County Airport

Travelers will be reimbursed for mileage (at the current rate) from their home to the airport and return. Actual parking fees will be paid without receipts if the fees are less than $10 per day.

This is to be entered on the Travel Expense Voucher as a "personal car expense".


Travel by Commercial Airlines

Travel Forms

Employees have four options for purchasing airline tickets:

  1. Booking through Superior Travel Agency
    1. Make the airline arrangements with Superior Travel and indicate the ticket should be charged to the University.
    2. Submit a completed Request for Advance of Funds form to Accounting Services.

    The airline ticket is not included on the Travel Expense Voucher since it will be charged to an index upon payment by Accounting. Changes to tickets must now be made on or before the departure date of the originally ticketed flight in order for the ticket to hold value.  Changes requested after the departure of the originally ticketed flight are not permitted and the ticket will no longer hold any value.

    A picture I.D. is required at the departing airport. Superior Travel charges a $30 service fee.

  2. University purchasing card
  3. American Express Corporate Card
  4. Personal credit card*
    1. Make travel arrangements providing personal credit card
    2. Upon completion of travel, complete an expense voucher indicating the charges for the airline ticket.
    3. Forward the voucher to Accounting Services along with original receipt, showing proof of payment (i.e., online confirmation, credit card statement, etc...)If the traveler prefers to be reimbursed prior to their trip, a cash advance may be requested.

Travel by commercial airlines should be on the most reasonably priced flights available between points of departure and destination.

*No reimbursement of frequent flyers, coupons, personal vouchers, or certificates.


Travel by Chartered Aircraft

All requests for the use of chartered aircraft must be submitted to the Purchasing Department.  Charges incurred for chartered aircraft obtained in any other fashion will not be reimbursed to the person making such arrangements. Receipts need not be obtained for aircraft engaged in this manner since charges will be billed directly to the University. Charters will only be made with F.A.A. certified charter operators.

  1. An employee needing to charter an aircraft submits a Purchase Requisition Form  to the Purchasing Department which indicates the following:
    • Names of all passengers
    • Suggested Vendor
    • Destination
    • Departure date and time
    • Return date and time
  2. The Purchasing Manager will provide an estimate of charges upon request.


Travel by Privately-Owned Aircraft

Employees may not travel by privately-owned aircraft (as opposed to commercial aircraft) on University business. Employees who are pilots or crew members of private aircraft traveling on University-related business are not covered by the University's travel insurance policy.


International Travel

Travel Forms

The University provides some liability coverage to employees traveling internationally on university business.  This coverage does not include the costs of medication or health care, which should be covered separately by a health care plan or temporary additional insurance.  The coverage is limited to general liability, which provides coverage for personal injury and/or property damage to others, auto liability, workers compensation (if eligible), and some medical assistance coverage that is not available through Aetna.  This coverage includes accidental death and dismemberment, emergency medical evacuation, emergency family travel assistance and repatriation of remains. 

For coverage to apply, an international travel request form must be on file with the Office of Risk Management prior to departure.  If the form is not received by Risk Management prior to traveling, this coverage may not apply.

All international travel must have prior approval of the Department Chair/Director or the next higher level of authority.  International travel includes any travel on University business outside of the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and Canada.

Chartis Travel Guard International Services provides medical, personal and travel assistance services for individuals traveling to foreign countries.  Please print a copy of the card which can be folded and carried in your wallet. The card contains the phone number and policy number along with a list of services provided.  Coverage applies to anywhere in the world except the United States (including its territories and possession), Puerto Rico, or any country or jurisdiction which is subject to trade or economic sanctions imposed by the laws or regulations of the United States of America.

Flight information and contact information abroad (telephone numbers and addresses) must be provided to the department chair/director or next higher level of authority prior to departure.

International expenses include expenditures incurred for travel, meals, lodging, transportation, passport fees, exchange rate fees and other items necessary for the conduct of University business.

Ordinarily General Fund indexes cannot be charged for international travel. Any exception must be approved by the Provost or Chief Financial Officer prior to travel.

The source of the currency exchange rate used to complete the Travel Expense Voucher (such as the date, bank or Web site used) must be indicated on the voucher. One currency converter can be accessed at http://www.oanda.com/converter/classic.


  1. Prepare an International Travel Request form prior to departure which includes the following information:
      1. Identification number of the traveler
      2. Destination
      3. Date of departure - business/professional travel
      4. Date of return - business/professional travel
      5. Purpose and benefits derived to the university (if charging a general fund index, justification is also needed)
      6. Source of funds
  2. Obtain appropriate signatures: Department Chair/Director or next higher level of authority 
  3. Submit the completed form to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance


Meal per Diem Rates

Travel Forms
Meal per Diem Rates Policy

Michigan Tech will reimburse employees for reasonable meal expenses (breakfast, lunch, dinner) incurred.  Meals not covered in a conference fee are reimbursable at the per diem rates which are established through federal guidelines and IRS regulations.  The per diem rate includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

         The standard maximum allowances for meals, including tips are:


$ 9.00





Full Day Rate


         The Houghton per diem rate is $46.

         If an employee is traveling to an "IRS KEY CITY" the following allowances apply:

$ 9.00
Full Day Rate

To be in compliance with IRS guidelines, the meal per diem claimed must be the rate in effect for the area where you stop to sleep.  Therefore, the per diem rate for each calendar day is determined by the location where lodgings are obtained for that night.  On the day of returning home, the Houghton per diem rate of $46 must be claimed.

The following percentages may be used to determine the foreign per diem by meal:







Full Day Rate


For example, if the foreign per diem is $80/day, the following amounts may be claimed.







Full Day Rate


The IRS Key Cities and the applicable per diem rates can be found under M&IE (meals and incidental expenses) rate on the http://www.gsa.gov website.

Choose appropriate Previous Years' Maximum CONUS Per Diem Rates to find applicable per diem rates for prior travel.

Business meals while incurred on travel must be reported on the Travel Expense Voucher under the "Banq/Meals - Attachment" section.  Attach a copy of the Business Meals and Banquet  form to the Travel Expense Voucher.


Miscellaneous Expenses

Incidental expenses such as bridge toll charges, parking fees and excess baggage handling charges require receipts when the costs exceed ten dollars. Laundry and dry cleaning services are allowed when expenditures are supported by out-of-town receipts and are reasonable in nature.



Business and personal telephone calls will be reimbursed up to $10/trip without receipts. An original receipt (hotel bill or telephone bill)  is required for telephone charges in excess of $10/trip.



Tips are reimbursable for normal services associated with business travel such as services, porters, etc. Actual tips up to $4.00/day are allowed.



The cost of taxis or other transportation to and from hotels, airports, etc. in connection with business activities is reimbursable. If available and practical, public limousine transportation to and from airports should be used.  

Receipts are required when the costs exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00).


Dependent Care

Dependent care expenses in excess of those normally experienced will be reimbursed to Michigan Tech employees traveling on University business. Receipts are required and a maximum of $50/day will be paid. Because this is a selective benefit in that only certain employees (those with dependents) may be reimbursed, this reimbursement falls under IRS Code Section 61 and must be treated as taxable income to the recipient. Applicable FICA, Federal and State taxes on the amount reimbursed to the traveler will be withheld from a future paycheck.


Expense Reporting

The policies and procedures described herein are in general terms to allow reasonable flexibility and do not cover every possible situation. Items of an unusual nature should be explained on the corresponding expense report.

Travel Expense Vouchers for reimbursement of business-related expenses are to be approved by the department chair/director, at a minimum, or next higher level of authority. The Travel Expense Voucher presents all costs incurred and is to be accompanied by original receipts where required. Where receipts are missing, it is up to the individual to attach an explanation and to obtain duplicates before a request for reimbursement is submitted.

Accounting Services personnel review all Travel Expense Vouchers to determine compliance with policies concerning reimbursable travel expenses before a reimbursement is processed and/or a Travel Advance is cleared. The authorizing individual, however, remains accountable for ensuring compliance with all University travel policies.

The traveler is expected to submit a Travel Expense Voucher to Accounting Services within two weeks of completion of travel. Processing vouchers which are received after this two week period may be delayed in processing.


Completing the Travel Expense Voucher


Within two weeks of completion of University-related travel, the employee (or employee on behalf of a non-University individual) does the following:

  1. Complete and print a Travel Expense Voucher.
    • Any expenses which have been charged to the purchasing card should be reported in the appropriate section, i.e. airline tickets,registration fees, lodging deposits. Reimbursement cannot be claimed for any expenses charged to the purchasing card, as these expenses are paid directly by a University index.
    • Expenses that are reimbursable should be reported under the day incurred and in the appropriate line item, e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner,taxis, tolls, etc.
    • If a cash advance has been obtained, it must be reported on the travel expense voucher.
  2. Attach copies of receipts for expenses charged to the purchasing card and the original receipts for the reimbursable items. If money is owed to the University, deposit the appropriate amount directly to the Cashier's Office and included receipt with Travel Expense Voucher.
  3. Obtain the authorized signature of the financial manager for the index which is to be charged for the expenses. All vouchers must also be approved by the department chair/director or next level of authority.
  4. Forward the completed and approved Travel Expense Voucher, with all supporting documentation and receipts attached to Accounting Services.


Completing the Day Travel Expense Voucher

All travel expenses for trips which do not include an overnight stay must be reported on the Day Travel Expense Voucher.

Within 2 weeks of completion of University-related travel, the employee does the following:

  1. Complete and print a Day Travel Expense Voucher. When residing in another state and day travel is claimed, meals are taxable and per diem is claimed at residence rate (where you reside).
  2. Attach all original supporting documentation and receipts.
  3. Obtain the authorized signature for the index to be charged. All vouchers must also be approved by the department chair/director or next level of authority.
  4. Forward the approved Day Travel Expense Voucher with all supporting documentation and attached receipts to Accounting Services.

The Internal Revenue Service requires that any reimbursement for meals when there is no overnight stay is taxable income to the employee. Applicable FICA, Federal, and State taxes will be withheld from a future paycheck on the amount reimbursed for meals.


House Hunting and Moving Expenses

Policy: House Hunting and Moving Reimbursements

Procedures: House Hunting and Moving Reimbursement - New Employee

Procedures: Moving Reimbursement - Active Employee

Form: Moving/House Hunting Expense Form

Form Instructions: House Hunting Expenses or Moving Expenses

Note: There is only one form, but the intial selection on the form is to indicate whether you are claiming House Hunting OR Moving expenses. So, if both are being claimed, it will be necessary to fill out a form for each using the instructions according to the expenses being claimed.



Accounting Services
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