American Express Corporate Card Manual


This manual explains the use of the American Express Corporate Card, available to Humboldt State University employees for expenses while traveling on University business.

A. Eligibility

An American Express Corporate Card can be issued to any Humboldt State University employee who anticipates taking one or more trips annually on University business. The program excludes hourly intermittent employees and students. Failure to use the Card for business purposes within one year may result in the cancellation of the Card.

B. Procedures for Obtaining an American Express Corporate Card

Contact the Financial Services Office, (SBSB, Room 345) at extension 3521, to obtain an application. Complete the application and return the ORIGINAL application to Financial Services. Your application will then be previewed by the Associate Vice President for Business Services. Once all signatures are obtained, your application will be submitted to American Express for processing. If your application is approved, you can expect to receive your Corporate Card in approximately 7 to 10 days. Financial Services will notify you via email when the Card is available and will have you sign a Card Receipt Acknowledgement Form.

C. Using the Card

The American Express Corporate Card is to be used for Humboldt State University business only and is for the payment of travel expenses, including air and auto transportation, lodging, meals, etc. The Corporate Card is not transferable, which means that the card member only may use it; it must not be loaned or given to anyone else. Card members may NOT request additional Cards for their spouses or children.

D. Valid Date Notification (Month/Year through Month/Year)

Cards are valid for two years. Card members in good standing will automatically receive a renewal Card for the next membership period, shortly before the expiration date shown on the Card. The new Card becomes valid only on the date imprinted on the Card. The old Card should be cut in half and discarded.

E. Protecting the Corporate Card

The Corporate Card is valuable property that instantly establishes financial credibility around the world. Here are some simple steps that you should take to protect it:

  • Sign it immediately.
  • Keep the Card in a conspicuous place in your wallet so you'll notice if it is missing.
  • Make sure the Card is returned to you after each use.

F. Terminations/Resignations

The Card is valid only while you are employed with the University. If you terminate for any reason, you must RETURN your Card IMMEDIATELY to Financial Services, Student and Business Services Building, Suite 345. Failure to do so may prevent release of your final pay warrant.

G. Lost or Stolen Cards

In spite of precautions, Cards occasionally are either lost or stolen. If this should happen, call American Express, toll-free, at 1-800-528-2122 to report the loss, and immediately follow with written notification to:

Corporate Special Services Department
American Express Company
P.O. Box 53780
Phoenix, Arizona 85072-3780

In addition, report the loss to Humboldt State University's Financial Services, 1-707-826-3521. A voicemail message, (with your name, department, date and time), is sufficient if the office is closed.

A replacement Card will be sent to the campus with 7 to 10 days. Financial Services will notify you via email when the Card is available and will have you sign a Replacement Card Receipt Acknowledgement Form.

If the Card is lost or stolen while you are traveling and you need an immediate replacement, visit the nearest American Express Travel Service office to report the loss. Usually, a replacement Card can be obtained by the end of the following business day. The American Express Emergency Travel Assistance Service will assist you in making lodging and other ongoing travel arrangements so that you can continue your trip without further, undue interruption.

H. Annual Fees

There are no annual membership or cardholder fees to the employee or to the University.

I. Card Member Benefits

  1. No Pre-Set Spending Limit
  2. There is no credit limit on the Card. By using the American Express Corporate Card, travelers will not have to tie up their personal credit for business expenses.

  3. Worldwide Acceptance for Most Travel Expenses
  4. The American Express Corporate Card is accepted for almost every business travel expense including:

    • Transportation
    • All major domestic and international airlines, steamship lines, and most railroads and car rental agencies.

    • Accommodations
    • Hotels, motels, motor inns and resorts throughout the world.

    • Dining
    • Restaurants, inns, etc.

    • Auto Repairs
    • Participating U.S. dealerships and tire centers.

    Look for the "American Express Cards Welcome" emblem on display.

  5. Check Cashing Privileges
  6. Your personal check for up to $1,000 may be cashed ($200 in cash, $800 in American Express Travelers Cheques), subject to local regulations and cash availability, at any one of the 1,700 worldwide American Express Travel Service and Representative Offices.

  7. Express Cash
  8. Travelers will be able to obtain up to $500 cash in any 7-day period from any one of over 39,000 Express Cash ATM's worldwide. This accessing of Express Cash funds would be from a personal checking account. A personal identification number (PIN) is required for use of the ATM's.

    Up to $500 of American Express Travelers Cheques (in any 7-day period) may be obtained from special dispensing machines located at major airports, hotels, commercial locations and any American Express Center.

    An application for this service can be obtained by calling 1-800-CASH-NOW. Call this toll-free number, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with any questions you have about Express Cash, or to find out the newest locations in any place you visit. An authorized officer of the University must approve/sign your application before it can be submitted to American Express.

  9. Automatic Travel Accident Insurance
  10. Every time you travel on a licensed common carrier by air, land, or sea, and charge your tickets to the Corporate Card, you are automatically covered by $200,000 Business Travel Accident Insurance while you are on the common carrier.

  11. Automatic Baggage Insurance
  12. Every time you travel on a licensed common carrier by air, land, or sea, and purchase your tickets with the Corporate Card, you are automatically entitled to baggage insurance.

    • Check baggage
    • American Express will provide a maximum of $500 above airline settlement, up to claimed loss.

    • Carry-On baggage
    • The Insurance maximum is $1,250. Coverage for high risk items is limited to a combined maximum of $250 for each trip. These high-risk items include jewelry, sporting, photographic or electronic equipment, computers and audio/visual equipment.

  13. Emergency Medical Services
  14. The Corporate Card member may charge emergency medical and dental services to the American Express corporate Card at hundreds of hospitals, clinics and dental facilities in the United State and abroad.

  15. Travel Receipts and Documentation
  16. Travelers appreciate the availability of complete receipts giving the date, place and account of each expenditure. Rather than having to keep track of cash expenditures or collecting a variety of receipts from many different payment methods, the American Express Corporate Card charges will be presented on a single receipt at the time of each transaction. The American Express billing statement will also include hard copy of expense documentation.

J. Charging with the American Express Card

  1. Obtaining Airline Tickets
  2. Follow directions as printed in the Humboldt State University's Campus Travel Manual

  3. Itinerary Changes en Route
  4. If you need to change your airline itinerary while en route, the changes may be charged to the American express Corporate Card and submitted on your travel expense claim for reimbursement. Whenever possible, the amount of any unused portion of a ticket should be transferred to the new ticket (to avoid having a credit issued).

  5. Other Expenses
  6. Other expenses may be charged providing they are consistent with the University's Policy and Procedures governing travel.

K. Maintenance of Your Account

  1. Billing
  2. American Express will bill you once a month, at your home address, for all charges received prior to a monthly billing cutoff date. The card member is solely responsible for all charges incurred. The statement received will identify:

    • Previous balance
    • New charges
    • Payments/credits
    • New balance
    • Cut off date for the processing of charges, payments, and credits.

    The statement will be supported by descriptive billing of all activity associated with the account during particular billing period. As an aid to employee reconciliation, a hard copy of all charges and credits associated with the billing will be enclosed with the statement.

    The billings will allow ample time for reimbursement by the University before the due date for payment. You are responsible for paying these bills promptly.

  3. Change of Address
  4. You must notify American Express if you change your address. Either complete the section on the reverse side of your monthly American Express statement within 15 days of establishing a new address, or call your account representative, toll-free, at 1-800-528-2122.

  5. Change in Card Member's Name
  6. If your name changes for any reason, contact the Financial Services Office to obtain a Name Change Authorization Form. The completed form will be submitted to American Express by Financial Services. A replacement Card will be issued within 7 to 10 days. Once the replacement Card is received, the original Card shall be returned to Financial Services.

  7. Inquiries
  8. Questions about your bill should be directed to the American Express Special Services representative at 1-800-528-2122, or write to:

    Corporate Special Services Department
    American Express Company
    P.O. Box 53812
    Phoenix, Arizona 85072-3812

    To ensure proper handling of the question, the person placing the call or writing should provide all pertinent information, including the University's name, card member's name and account number, transaction date and number, amount, and any other applicable information.

  9. Disputed Charges
  10. Resolution of disputed charges is the responsibility of the employee. University employees may contact American Express by calling a toll-free number, 1-800-528-2122, in the event of a disputed billing or other customer service issues.

  11. Payment Terms/Delinquency Assessments
  12. Payment is due upon receipt of your statement.

    American Express will take the following action concerning delinquent card members:

    • At 30 days' delinquency
    • American Express will print a delinquency notice on the card member's monthly statement informing the card member that the account is delinquent and requesting payment.

    • At 45 days' delinquency
    • American Express will print a delinquency notice similar to the 30-day notice on the card member's monthly statement, notify the card member that Card privileges have been suspended and Card charges will not be accepted at establishments that accept the Card. The suspension will remain in effect until the entire delinquent balance is paid. If the delinquent balance is more than $25.00, American Express will assess a delinquency charge of $29.00. The delinquency charge is the sole responsibility of the card member and not Humboldt State University. This must also be paid in full before charge privileges can be reinstated.

    • At 60 days' delinquency
    • American Express will notify the card member that Card privileges have been cancelled, and assess a delinquency charge of 2-1/2% of the delinquent balance. The entire delinquent balance, plus the delinquency charge, must be paid in full before charge privileges can be reinstated.

L. Travel Expense Reporting

Adoption of the American Express Corporate Card System does not change procedures for travel expense reporting. Actual receipts for charges—including air ticket coupon, expenditures of $25 or more for lodging and meals, auto rental agreement forms, etc.—must still be submitted with the travel expense claim to Accounts Payable.

If the travel expense voucher is complete, reimbursement will be made by check within 7 to 10 working days from the date the claim is received by the University Accounting Department. If the travel expense claim is incomplete, reimbursement will be delayed pending receipt of the necessary information.

M. Consequences of Misuse

If you make unauthorized charges on your American Express Corporate Card, your card may be canceled with no chance of reinstatement. A limit may be placed on your card if American Express can show that your account is in arrears as to prompt payments.

N. Other Information

For listing of benefits of the American Express/State of California Government Card for Humboldt State University, see Attachment A.

For travel information, please consult Humboldt State University's Campus Travel Manual

Attachment A: Benefits of the American Express/State of California Government Card for Humboldt State University

  • The "Government Card" is unique to any other card. It will identify the traveler as GOVERNMENT and to be used for official government travel.
  • The Card emphasizes "GOVERNMENT", "FOR OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT TRAVEL USE", and "CSU Humboldt".
  • The Card is a working tool for the frequent traveler.
  • The Card will give you access to the State's air (Y-CAL), car rental and hotel rates. The Card can be used as a payment vehicle for business hotel expenses, and in many instances, can be used to effect the Transient Occupancy Tax waiver. (This can save up to 17% of the hotel room cost.)
  • The Card allows the frequent traveler to keep business and personal expenses separate.
  • The Card gives the employee "GO-POWER" to do their jobs without the need to wait for administrative support. They can fly at a moment's notice, and pay for expenses at government rates, reducing many delays.
  • The Card will reduce the need for the use of cash. The Card can be used for over 97% of all travel-related expenses.
  • The Card produces global vendor spending that enables more effective negotiation on behalf of the State of California traveling population.
  • The traveler is completely responsible for the payment of the Card in full, each month. CSUH will reimburse the Card holder in a timely manner and the traveler will pay American Express.
  • There is no fee for the Card. The $55 fee has been waived to CSUH on behalf of the State of California's Multiple Service contract.
  • All "Corporate Card" benefits are associated with this Government card, including airline and baggage insurance.

Attachment B: State of California and American Express Government Card Employee Agreement

Memo to Cardholder

The American Express Government Card has been offered to frequent travelers of the State of California to facilitate government travel. By applying for and receiving a State of California, American Express Government Card, I as a card member have read the information on the Government Card numbered below and agree to abide by this policy.

The American Express Government Card will hereinafter be referred to in this agreement as "the Government Card".

I agree to the following regarding my participation in the Government Card Program:

  1. I agree to use the Government Card only for actual and necessary business travel expenses, which are reimbursable by law.
  2. I agree to maintain my account at less than 30 days past due by submitting my Travel Expense Claim in a timely manner. I understand at 45 days past due the charging privileges will be suspended. I further understand at 60 days past due the Government Card may be cancelled. At that time, I agree to settle my balance in full with American Express. I understand that any portion of my account that goes to Collections will reflect on my personal credit score.
  3. I agree to follow the established procedures set forth in this memo for using the Government Card.

If the card is lost, stolen, or misplaced, I will immediately notify American Express by telephone (800-528-2122). I will also inform the Program Administrator of this loss. I understand that failure to notify American Express of the theft, loss, or misplacement of the Government Card will make me personally responsible for any fraudulent or unauthorized use.

I agree to surrender the Government Card immediately upon my retirement or any termination of my employment, or upon the request of any authorized representative of this Department. Upon termination I agree to settle all balances with American Express.

Should you not wish to comply with the Policy, please return your Card to the Program Administrator (Financial Services, SBS #345) and request your Card be canceled. Make sure your Card is paid in full to avoid injury to your credit history.

Are you traveling frequently or find yourself on the road and want to check your bill or pay your bill on-line? Great news! Save time by managing your Government Card account online with Manage Your Card Account. Manage Your Card Account allows you to review both your Personal and Government Card activity and reconcile expenses at any time online 24/7, without having to call American Express or wait for American Express monthly statements to arrive in the mail.

In addition, you can be set up to make payments for Corporate Card charges online and/or by phone.

If you have any questions about enrolling in or using Manage Your Card Account, you can also access the online tutorial located the site as well.