P-Card FAQ

Procurement Card frequently asked questions are addressed on this page.

P-Card Training

  • Do I have to complete training before getting a Procurement Card (P-Card)?
  •  Yes. Training is required for all prospective cardholders, as well as fiscal officers/delegates. Training should be completed before submitting a P-Card application.
  • Who is required to complete the refresher training? How often am I required to complete refresher training?
  • P-Card refresher training is required for active cardholders and fiscal officers once a year. An e-mail notification will alert you when it's time to complete the online training and provide a deadline. The training should be completed by the deadline in order to ensure that the card account remains active.
  • Can I complete the training if I am interested in learning more about the P-Card program, but not interested in getting a card at this time?
  • Absolutely! The online training is available to any UC Davis employee who wishes to learn more about the program.
  • What do I need to complete the online training?
  • You will need your UC Davis login ID and Kerberos password to access and complete the training.
  • How long does the training take?
  • The training takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Applying for the Card

  • How do I apply for the P-Card?
  • Effective July 31, 2023, all card applications are submitted using the Request form in AggieExpense. Visit the Banking Card Program page for more information.

  • When applying for the P-Card, to whom do I send the original signed Cardholder Agreement?
  • Effective July 31, 2023, all required approvals are captured electronically when the application is submitted using the Request form in AggieExpense. 
  • Will my personal credit history be checked when I apply for a P-Card?
  • No. Your personal credit history will not be checked or affected when applying for or using the P-Card.
  • How long does it take to get a P-Card once the application has been submitted?
  • After Supply Chain Management has processed the application, it takes approximately two weeks for the bank to process the request and send the card.
  • Who is eligible for the P-Card?
  • The P-Card program is available to all campus departments, (UC Davis Health by exception approval only). In general, employees who regularly provide a purchasing function for the department and receive departmental approval are eligible for the P-Card. In order to ensure a proper separation of duties, fiscal officers are generally not eligible to be cardholders.
  • I am a Contingent Worker with Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), but I am not a UC employee. Am I eligible to become a Procurement Cardholder?
  • Yes. ANR has an internal approval process for contingent workers. Contact your appropriate Regional Office Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for instructions.

Issues with the Card

  • What do I do if my P-Card is lost or stolen?
  • Refer to Reporting Lost or Stolen Cards for instructions.
  • What if I find charges on my card for purchases I did not make?
  • Refer to Disputed or Unauthorized Charges for instructions.
  • I have recently changed my name. Am I required to get a new P-Card with my new name?
  • No. You will however, submit an AggieExpense Request to update the card with the name that matches your government issued identification. 
  • One of the cardholders I supervise made a purchase that was not an authorized expense. What can I do?
  • Your department has the option to request that the cardholder either return the item, or reimburse the university, per section V of PPM 350-10.

    If the item is being returned, the card account will be credited.  If the department decides to request reimbursement from the cardholder, please follow the instructions on the Personal or Unauthorized Purchases page.  In addition, you should refer the cardholder to PPM 350-22, and have them review sections IV.B on allowable purchases, and V.A on their responsibilities as a cardholder.

  • As the reviewer/fiscal officer of a cardholder I noticed a personal purchase was made, what do I do?
  • Please notify the P-card Administrator of the violation immediately, by e-mail to cardprogramhelp@ucdavis.edu . The expense should be repaid to the university following the instructions on the Personal or Unauthorized Purchases page.  In addition, you should refer the cardholder to PPM 350-22, and have them review sections IV.B on allowable purchases, and V.A on their responsibilities as a cardholder.


  • What kind of source documentation is required for P-Card purchases?
  • The business purpose of each transaction made with the P-Card must be supported by appropriate source documentation from the supplier. Examples of source documentation include invoices, detailed sales receipts, packing slips, subscription forms, and e-mail/Web site order confirmations. Source documentation must provide the department with enough detail (complete item description and price paid) to allow verification of all expenditures.  The supporting documentation must be electronically uploaded to AggieExpense on the reconciliation report.
  • I've heard that each purchase made on the P-Card can be recorded on a "Purchasing Log." What is a Purchasing Log?
  • A Purchasing Log indicates what was purchased on the P-Card.

Using the Card

  • What are the benefits of the P-Card?
  • The P-Card is a convenient way to purchase goods and materials up to the delegated transaction limit. The P-Card eliminates the need to process Aggie Enterprise Requisitions , makes purchasing easier for the employee, and because payment is immediate, suppliers often ship purchases faster.
  • How can I determine what I can purchase with the P-Card?
  • Refer to the Allowable Uses page for examples of what can be purchased with the P-Card.

    If your P-Card is assigned to a contracts or grants-funded account, there may be restrictions as to what can and cannot be purchased. In general, the more restrictive policy applies.

  • Can I use the P-Card to purchase against an agreement?
  • Yes. Although you can use the P-Card to purchase against an agreement, you may not exceed the delegated limit per transaction on the P-Card, even if the transaction limit on the agreement is higher. If using an agreement, provide the supplier with the agreement number to ensure appropriate pricing, terms, and conditions.
  • Does the P-Card transaction limit include taxes and shipping and handling?
  • Yes. When placing an order, be sure to consider any taxes and shipping and handling charges. The total of all charges cannot exceed the delegated limit per transaction on the P-Card.
  • Is it ever acceptable to split a transaction to bypass the delegated purchasing limit per transaction?
  • No. Orders exceeding the delegated limit on the P-Card are to be processed on an Aggie Enterprise Requisition. Procurement & Contracting Services will work with suppliers to get the best price for these purchases.
  • What is the difference between the P-Card and the Travel Card?
  • The P-Card is used to purchase many of the same types of items that can be processed on an Aggie Enterprise Requisition that becomes an Automatic Purchase Order (does not require approval of Procurement & Contracting Services). The P-Card cannot be used as payment for any travel or entertainment expenses, as the policies regarding travel and entertainment expenses are different from the policies regarding delegated purchases.

    The Travel Card is issued to employees for travel and entertainment-related expenses only (e.g., airline tickets, hotel charges, car rental, meals, etc.). Employees who regularly travel or entertain on behalf of the university are strongly encouraged to apply for the Travel Card.

  • Can the P-Card be used for registration fees?
  • In general, the Travel Card should be used for registration fees. The Procurement Card can be used for registration fees when there are no associated travel fees, such as registration for an online or virtual conference.
  • Can my department share one P-Card, or can I let a co-worker use my P-Card?
  • No. The P-Card cannot be transferred to, assigned to, or used by anyone other than the person whose name is indicated on the card. Neither the physical P-Card, nor its account number, is to be shared with, or transferred to, any other person to use. Violations of this policy will result in revocation of the card.
  • Once initiated, can a P-Card transaction be stopped?
  • No. Once the charge has been made, your account will be debited. The cardholder is responsible for making arrangements with the supplier to obtain a credit or billing adjustment.
  • Can the P-Card be used for any type of services?
  • Due to insurance and liability issues, service transactions are NOT allowed on the P-Card without a fully approved purchase agreement or repair order in place before the merchant is paid. 
  • Can the P-Card be used for repairs?
  • As long as a Purchase Agreement or Purchase Order has been established for the repair, the Procurement Card can be used. Learn more on the P-Card Repairs and Services web page
  • Can I use my P-Card to make online purchases?
  • Yes. Be sure that you use secure websites for online ordering. Secure sites have a website address that begins with "https."
  • Can the P-Card be used for sympathy gifts or employee non-cash awards?
  • Per Policy and Procedure Manual section 380-50 the P-Card may be used for sympathy gifts and non-cash awards for employee recognition. Review the policy for specific information on gifts and awards that are allowable.
  • What is the P-Card renewal process?
  • P-Cards renew every 2 years, and renewal cards are automatically issued to current cardholders. Expired cards should be destroyed promptly.
  • What do I need to do with my P-Card if leave the university or move to another department? How do I cancel my P-Card?
  • Refer to Canceling a P-Card for instructions.
  • Why are some P-Card transactions taxed a second time in AggieExpense? What do I do if a transaction has been taxed twice?
  • Refer to the information on the Procurement Card Use Tax page.
  • What do I do if a vendor doesn't charge tax on a P-Card transaction?
  • For non-California vendors that don't charge tax, a system-added tax will automatically be assessed on the purchase.

    If a California supplier does not charge tax, the cardholder should contact them to determine why a tax was not assessed. Some types of purchases may not be taxable (such as purchases for resale), and the supplier should be able to provide additional information.

  • I am using the P-Card for a subscription, and the supplier will periodically charge our card, instead of processing a single charge. Are recurring charges allowable on the P-Card?
  • Recurring charges are acceptable as long as the charges are reviewed by the cardholder on the statement and reviewed by others (i.e. Fiscal Officer) for appropriateness and accuracy.

    There should be an invoice, billing statement or another source document to substantiate each recurring charge. This documentation is to be reviewed and signed.

  • Can the P-Card be used for subscriptions?
  • Yes. Subscriptions are an appropriate purchase on the P-Card. Source documentation for a subscription may include a subscription form or confirmation slip from the supplier.

    See the Allowable Uses Page for more information on allowable P-Card transactions.

  • Can the P-Card be used for conference calls?
  • Yes. Conference calls are allowable on the P-Card. We recommend using the university Zoom agreement whenever possible.
  • Can the P-Card be used for any expenses associated with exhibiting at a conference?
  • The P-Card may be used for the purchase of materials and supplies in conjunction with exhibiting at a conference or trade show.

    The P-Card is NOT to be used for exhibit booth rentals. Booth rentals must be processed on an Aggie Enterprise Requisition to ensure that any applicable applications or agreements are reviewed and signed by an authorized buyer in Procurement & Contracting Services.

  • Can I use the P-Card for a room deposit?
  • No. Per P&PM 330-05, off-campus room reservations must be reviewed/approved by specific central departments on campus (e.g., Procurement & Contracting Services) and therefore cannot be processed on a P-Card.
  • I used the P-Card for a transaction made in a foreign (non-American) currency. Is there any type of fee associated with the currency conversion?
  • The currency conversion charge is 1.5%. 1% goes to Visa, the remaining .5% to US Bank.
  • My P-Card is assigned to an account that is funded by an outside agency or is federally-funded. Are there any special considerations for a card assigned to an extramural-funded account?
  • Supporting documentation for each expense must be complete and clearly indicate what was purchased on the card. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110 includes several areas that address supporting documentation, including subpart C.

    For cards assigned to a federal account with a specific end date, you should contact the Procurement Card Administrator when the contract has ended and request that the card be canceled.

  • Can the P-Card be used to purchase furniture?
  • Yes, the P-Card can be used to purchase office furniture for a limited dollar amount. See the Allowable Use page for information.
  • Can the P-Card be used to purchase gift cards?
  • In general, Aggie Enterprise is the preferred method for purchasing gift cards.  If the desired gift card is not available in Aggie Enterprise, it can be purchased using the Procurement Card.
  • Can Amazon Web Services (AWS) transactions be purchased on a P-Card?
  • The short answer is yes, but only if the following steps are taken:

    • 1.  The request for Amazon Web Services (AWS) must be reviewed by the Information and Educational Technology (IET) department, by filling out the AWS form.
    • 2.  IET receives the request and creates a ticket with the incident number for review. 
    • 3.  After IET checks the request for completeness and validates against the UC Davis Data Sensitivity Guide, the services can be paid with a Procurement Card.
    • 4.  The incident number (begins with 'INC', located in the confirmation email subject line from the UC Davis Service Desk) must be referenced in the AggieExpense report in the explanation field.
    If an account has already been created for AWS but not done through the IET department, please follow the process above.  Failure to do so will result in the department not being able to make payments going forward using their P-Card without review by IET.
  • Can the P-Card be used to buy custom imprinted or emblematic items?
  • Yes, in some cases. Printing on paper/paper stock is considered a covered service, requiring the service be provided by an university service/department, such as Repro Graphics.  If the printing will take place on something other than paper, and you are considering having emblematic items produced, you must be certain that any use of the UC or UC Davis names, seals, and trademarks is reviewed and approved by the Office of Trademark Licensing and that the supplier is licensed to use the UC logos.  The Office of Trademark Licensing provides information on how you can get imprinted merchandise produced and approved. Policy & Procedure addresses the use of the University name in 310-65.
  • What if I made a personal purchase on my Procurement Card?
  • Personal purchases made on the Procurement Card are a violation of policy. A best practice is using separate accounts for UC Davis business and personal shopping to avoid the accidental purchase of goods on a personal card.  If a personal purchase has been made, please follow the instructions on the Personal or Unauthorized Purchases page
  • Do I need to keep a hard copy of source documentation if I have already uploaded the documents in AggieExpense?
  • The attachment of supporting documents within AggieExpense meets the requirement that documents be retained for five years after the close of the fiscal year in which a P-Card purchase was made, and any other documentation, such as bank statements, need not be retained for longer than that period. It is important to note that the 5-year retention meets the Procurement Card program requirements ONLY and that other factors (such as the specific funding source) may require the retention of additional documents or retention for a longer period of time.