Faculty & Staff Travel

  • A travel request (PDF) form must be submitted for all University travel. This approval is also needed before any pre-purchases can be made such as airline tickets or conference registrations.
  • International travel requires Dean and President approval. 
  • Travel request form should be submitted 10 days prior to departure
  • Supervisor approval is required
  • If using multiple Cost Centers, indicate the amount to be charged to each one and obtain approval from all responsible parties
Travel Request Form (PDF)
All airline tickets must be purchased through the Business Office. Employees will not be reimbursed for tickets purchased individually.

  • Make your airline reservations as early as possible
  • Research options using online websites to find flights that will work within your schedule and budget
  • Contact the travel director for securing flights
    • Need name as it appears on your driver’s license or passport
    • Date of birth
    • Phone number to contact while traveling
  • Employees must not accept any airline benefits for personal use. Airline benefits include cash payments, discount coupons, free tickets, or frequent flyer mileage. Any sort of compensation to passengers who have been delayed or as rewards for frequent trips with a specific airline may not be accepted.  
Employees are encouraged to utilize the WSU Motor Pool whenever practical. Requests are processed through Facilities online vehicle reservation system. 

Enterprise/National has a contract with the State of Minnesota for rental vehicles used for state business travel. Both Enterprise Rent-a-Car (Parent Company) and National Car Rental may be used under this contract. Due to the high liability exposure for the service of this contract, it is recommended that state agencies use this contract. An exception would be granted based on rental availability. “First call” should be to Enterprise. Contact National only if Enterprise is unavailable to provide a rental. Below are a few highlights to keep in mind.

  • Possess a valid driver's license.
  • Must be an employee of the State of Minnesota.
  • Driver approval is required. (Rental vehicles are an extension of the campus motor pool.)
  • Driver must be 18 years of age or older and must be 21 years of age if renting and operating ten- to 12-passenger vehicles. Under no circumstances may individuals who are not state employees drive the vehicles.
  • Use corresponding corporate account ID numbers (in-state rentals: N25415 or out-of-state rentals: XZ19113) when making the reservation to ensure contracted rates are applied.
  • Renting for state business purposes only. No personal rentals allowed.
  • Extra costs for add-on devices or equipment, such as GPS, are not approved expenses.
  • Insurance is included in the contract.

See contract for more detailed information.

If another vendor is required, it is highly recommended the employee purchase the liability and physical damage insurance coverage offered by the rental company.

Procedures to Reserve Vehicles

Enterprise Rent-a-Car:
Rentals originating in Winona or other In-State rentals: Contact 507.454.4462 corporate account number N25415 or identify yourself as a Winona State University employee. Be sure to check the locations hours of service. Rentals originating in Winona can be processed on a purchase order, paid for individually (and seek reimbursement), or charged to your WSU individual travel credit card.

Rentals originating out-of-State: Contact 1.800.RENT.A.CAR (1.800.736.8222) or at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Reference corporate account number XZ19113 and be sure to check the locations hours of service. The renter will pay for these rentals at the time the vehicle is obtained with either a personal credit card (and seek reimbursement) or an agency travel credit card. Direct bill/purchase order is not accepted.

National Car Rental:
(Secondary only if Enterprise is unable to provide car rental) 1-800-CAR-RENT (1-800-227-7368) or at National Rental Car. For reservations, reference contract ID XZ19113 and decline participation in the Emerald Club. Be sure to check the locations service hours. The renter will pay for these rentals at the time the vehicle is obtained with either a personal credit card (and seek reimbursement) or an agency travel credit card. Direct bill/purchase order is not accepted.

The use of personal vehicles for University business is allowable but the driver’s auto insurance would be primary if there is an incident. It is highly recommended to use a State Motor Pool or State rental vehicle whenever transporting individuals for University business.
  • Reimbursement will be for actual miles traveled using the most direct route
  • Reimbursement will be from your primary work location or your residence, whichever is closer to your destination
  • If you choose to drive instead of fly to your destination, you will be reimbursed at the lowest possible airfare, instead of mileage reimbursement. Contact Travel Director to obtain an airfare quote, which is calculated using at least a two week advance purchase price ticket
  • Commonly traveled destinations
  • Complete an Expense Report (Excel) for reimbursement
AmTrak can be purchased through the Business Office or by the individual. Train, bus and taxi fares are all reimbursable expenses.
  • Legal Counsel has reminded agencies they must use licensed lodging facilities when conducting authorized Minnesota State Colleges and University business. This includes all employees, students and any other individuals authorized to travel or be reimbursed for allowable expenses. The use of AirB&B, VRBO and similar properties, are not recommended as the license status is unable to be determined. 
  • Upgrades are not allowed
  • Employees offered travel benefits/reward points by lodging facilities must not accept these benefits for personal use. Make sure your receipt does not have a member/account number listed and that you were not awarded any credit towards your stay
  • Select a reasonably priced facility and always request the State/Government rate when making lodging arrangements
  • Employees are responsible for paying for their own lodging and seek reimbursement. Visit the reimbursement page for more information. 
You may not use a purchase order or a direct billing method to pay for a conference registration fee. You must pay the fee and be reimbursed OR the fee may be purchased by the Travel Director on the WSU travel credit card. 

A special expense form (PDF) is needed for any registration fees that exceeds $1,000 per participant (this is a different form than the Employee Expense Report Form). This form is also required if there are additional meal costs associated with the conference that exceed the allowable amount.

  • A travel advance is used for individuals who wish to receive the funds for their trip prior to leaving. It may be obtained if the estimated expenses for the trip are greater than $50.00.
  • Advances pay on the paycheck prior to departure.
  • To receive a travel advance, you must submit a travel request form (PDF) and an Expense Report (Excel) form at least three weeks prior to the trip.
  • The amount of the advance should not include any expenses that will be prepaid by the university.
  • A traveler may not have more than one outstanding travel advance
  • The advance must be settled by submitting an Expense Report (Excel) with appropriate receipts and documentation within five (5) days of returning from the trip. Advances not settled within 28 days of return date will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck in their entirety in accordance with appropriate payroll deduction procedures.   

Travel card overview

WSU has a travel credit card program (separate from the PCard program) available to employees who demonstrate a continued need to travel for University business. This credit card program is a privilege which delegates authority to make travel related purchases specific to the cardholder only. (A separate program is available for faculty lead student group travel).

Credit cards provide the University with a cost-effective, convenient and streamlined method of purchasing travel, thereby reducing the amount of reimbursements to individuals.

How to Obtain a Travel Card

Only permanent State employees are eligible to apply for a travel credit card.

  • Attend training. Contact the Travel Director to set up an appointment.
  • Review and sign the appropriate forms; 1) Travel Card Application Form (signed by both the employee and supervisor); 2) the Travel Card Agreement (signed by the employee) and; 3) Delegation of Authority Form (signed by the employee).
  • Cards are ordered once approved forms are received in the Business Office. Employees are notified when the cards are available for pick up.

Cards with no activity for 18 months do not renew.

Cardholders are authorized to use the card to purchase travel expenses required for themselves as a function of their duties at the University. All transactions processed against the Travel Card must be made by the individual to whom the card is issued. Approval must be obtained, prior to making any purchases, by submitting a travel request form to the Business Office.

AUTHORIZED USE

  • Lodging – room and tax
  • Conference fees
  • Taxi and shuttle services
  • Rental car (Enterprise is the State contracted vendor)
  • Rental car gas
  • Checked bags
  • Parking

General use instructions

These cards have a maximum transaction limit of $2,500 and a monthly maximum of $5,000. Itemized paid receipts are required for all purchases and must be attached to the US Bank Activity Report submitted to the Business Office monthly. Receipts must include:

  • Vendor name and address
  • Date of purchase
  • Description of purchase
  • Amount paid

Tip – obtain a business card from taxis whenever possible. It will contain information that may not be on your receipt.

The travel card is the property of Winona State University and is not to be used for personal transactions under any circumstances, regardless of reimbursement to the University. A cardholder who makes an unauthorized purchase with the card; uses it in an abusive or inappropriate manner; or for personal use; may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, as well as revocation of the travel card, criminal prosecution and restitution of the unauthorized use. All charges that are not authorized and approved by the University will be the responsibility of the employee to whom the card is issued. The employee will reimburse the State of Minnesota at Winona State University for all incurred charges and any fees related to the collection of those charges.

UNAUTHORIZIED AND INAPPROPRIATE CARD USE/PUCHASES include, but is not limited to:

  • Personal purchases of any kind
  • Non University purchases
  • Airline tickets (purchased through the Business Office only)
  • Airline upgrades, pre-assigned seats or airline club admission fees
  • Optional travel/baggage insurance
  • Expenses of traveling companions
  • Expenses related to vacation or personal days while away
  • “NO-Show” charges (fail to cancel guaranteed room reservations)
  • Room upgrades or amenities
  • GPS or other add on devices issued with the use of a rental vehicle
  • Vehicle rental insurance for Enterprise/National as it is included in the State contract
  • Traffic or parking violation tickets
  • Meals/food or beverage
  • Alcoholic beverages, drugs or pharmaceutical products
  • Entertainment, recreation admissions, movies, etc.
  • Purchases for other individuals
  • Personal car gas
  • State motor pool gas
  • Supply items (only if in travel status and you have an immediate need)
  • Cash advances
  • Tuition
  • Memberships, unless in conjunction with, and a requirement to attend a specific conference
  • Subscriptions
  • Payments to individuals including honorariums, consulting or contributions
  • Relocation expense
  • Gifts, donations or contributions to individuals or organizations
  • Expenses for faculty and staff recruiting, advertising, or entertainment of prospective employees
  • Weapons
  • Pyramiding

Abuse includes, but is not limited to:

  • Making unauthorized purchases
  • Exceeding budget limits
  • Loss of receipts/not submitting receipts in a timely manner
    Process when abuse is suspect may include, but is not limited to:
    • Temporary revocation of travel card
    • Asking details about the purchase
    • Discuss with the supervisor or manager
    • Review with the vendor
    • Contact HR
    • Notify union representative

    If the cardholder is unsure of whether a purchase can be processed with the card, please contact the Business Office. Do not charge and inquire after the purchase has been made.

All travel cards are processed and paid through an automated system. It is important to meet the deadlines for transaction reconciliation to ensure timely payment of all University cardholder accounts under this program. Cardholders are responsible for cost reallocating their transactions at the end of each monthly billing cycle, which is approximately the 25th of the month. Reallocating is the process of assigning cost centers and object codes to each transaction. You will need to login to AccessOnline to reallocate your monthly transactions by the 1st of the month, regardless of holidays, weekends and vacations. This program can be accessed remotely. (Detailed instructions on this process are distributed to cardholders). Account activity reports are printed, approved and sent to the Business Office, with corresponding receipts, by the 4th of the month. Again, it is important to meet the deadlines of this process so payments are not delayed for the other University travel cardholder accounts.
The use of the Visa travel card results in a liability to Winona State University. It is not a personal liability for the cardholder. It is however, the responsibility of each individual cardholder to:
  • Safeguard the credit card and account number at all times; lost to stolen credit cards musts be reported immediately to 800-344-5696 and the WSU Travel Director immediately.
  • Keep the card in a secure location.
  • Do not allow anyone else to use the card.
  • Review, in a timely manner, monthly electronic statements from US Bank/AccessOnLine for accuracy and ensure all transactions posted are legitimate. If not, see section on returns/credits and disputed items.
  • Meet monthly deadlines established for statement reconciliation.
  • Obtain supervisor, or responsible party to the cost center, approvals on monthly activity report. Signatures indicate that all charges have been approved and are in compliance with University and State policy.
  • Obtain itemized paid receipts for all purchases and match amounts charged.
  • Keep out of pocket expenses separate from card purchases. Out of pocket expense are recorded on an employee expense report for reimbursement.
  • Return the credit card to the Business Office prior to any separation; medical, retirement, termination, etc.
  • Take all other steps necessary to ensure that the credit card is used only for authorized purposes

The travel card should be treated with a high level of care in all regards.

  • Do not loan the card to another individual.
  • Do not share the account number with another person. The only person authorized to use the card is the cardholder themselves.
  • The account number should be guarded carefully. Do not post the number or write in a location that is accessible to others.
  • If for any reason a travel card is out of service (fraud, employee separation, expired, etc.), the card must be physically returned to the Business Office for proper disposal.
  • If the card is lost or stolen, call US Bank immediately at 800.344.5696 available 24 hours. Also, notify the Business Office. 

Vendors are blocked by a merchant code (MCC Code); however, commodities are not. Just because the vendor accepts the credit card does not make it an authorized purchase. This program has been set up to block out certain vendors that do not fall within the travel card requirements. The travel card will be declined by a vendor if the merchant code has been blocked or if the credit limit on the card has been exceeded. If your transaction is being declined, contact the Business Office for assistance.
It is the cardholders’ responsibility to pursue any refunds allowed from purchases made on the credit card. This is a travel card and is used for travel related expenses only. Before making any purchases, be sure your 1) travel request has been approved, and 2) be aware of the vendors cancelation policy. If a purchase has been made and your plans have changed, or there is a billing error, first try to reach a resolution with the vendor. In most cases, disputes can be resolved directly between the cardholder and the vendor. The vendor should issue credit to the account for any item that has been discussed and agreed. A cash refund or check is prohibited unless the vendor insists that a refund must be issued by cash or check. These funds should be sent directly to Winona State University and deposited immediately. Contact the Business Office for proper handling of these funds. If you have a disputed charge and cannot reach resolution with the vendor, call the number on the back of your card within 60 days of the date the charge first appeared on your monthly statement.

Supervisors play a key role in the success and participation of this program. Responsibilities include;

  • Approve participation
  • Review purchases to ensure they meet the objectives and are within guidelines
  • Respond to misuse of the card
  • Ensure the account is closed upon separation of employment 

Maintaining the security of the Winona State travel credit card is the responsibility of the individual authorized to use the card. This is true for online transactions as well as for traditional use. While there is some liability protection against credit card fraud, personal diligence is required to prevent personal legal obligation of charges.

The following guidelines are recommendations for general online credit card use:

  • Document all online transactions. Print off the itemized receipt of payment at point of purchase.
  • Read the site’s security, “terms of use” and/or Privacy policy before proceeding with any transaction. If you feel uncomfortable with the terms, do not proceed with the transaction, but contact the site directly to discuss your concerns.
  • Do not save any credit card and/or password information on your computer or vendor websites. Most sites and browsers offer this option, but it provides a means for others to easily access this information.
  • Always use an up to date browser with a secure http connection indicated by https:// in the address bar of your browser and a “Locked Padlock” symbol near the address bar before proceeding with the transfer of any credit card information. The Technical Support Center (TSC) will also assist in installing and configuring your browsers to ensure the highest level of security possible.
  • Never email your credit card information.
  • Always password protect your computer and mobile devices and do not share them with others.
  • Report any concerns to the Business Office.
  • Additional training and information can be attained by contacting Teaching Learning Technology, or reviewing the Date Security Training.