Saint Louis University

Program Procedures

Amex P-Card Policies and Procedures

  1. If it is determined that a P-Card is needed, an Access Key and instructions to apply online will be provided by the Program Administrator (PA). This Access Key is necessary when completing the on-line application located at services. 
  2. Certain individuals will not be permitted to receive a P-Card i.e. Contract employees, students, temporary employees, an employee on leave from the University, a Web Re-con untrained employee, and anyone who has previously had their P-Card revoked.
  3. Training is required for both cardholders and card approvers. At the conclusion of training, the cardholder agreement must be signed in order to receive the card and/or access to the recon tool. The P-Card will only be distributed after all necessary documents have been approved and signed.
  4. Business Services, Sponsored Programs, and/or CPC is responsible for monitoring cardholders in the proper use and responsibilities of the P-Card.
  5. A P-Card is identified to a specific cardholder or department and charges made to the P-Card default to a specific departments fund number. Charges to other fund numbers, within a specific department, can be accommodated during the reconciliation process.
  6. The P-Card may be used for all of the allowable purchases described in this document. (See Allowable Purchases in the Attachment Section of this manual.) Department heads/business managers/supervisors have discretion to further restrict the use of P-Cards, as they deem appropriate within these guidelines.
  7. Cards will automatically be renewed/issued upon expiration. The PA will distribute these directly to the cardholder. Human Resources is responsible for advising the PA of any personnel that are terminated or otherwise leaves the University to ensure their P-Cards are deactivated and web access terminated in a timely manner. Departments should advise who will be the responsible cardholder of department cards when there is a change in personnel.
  8. Every cardholder will be subject to a six-month probationary period. During this time, CPC will evaluate the cardholder's use of the P-Card.
  1. The default limit setting on the P-Card for procurement of goods and services is $4,900 per transaction and $10,000 monthly. The business manager of the cardholder may request a higher or lower limit as appropriate. If the business manager needs to request an increase in his/her own P-Card limit, that request should come from the department head/supervisor.
  2. The P-Card is not to be used to modify an existing purchase order.
  3. Existing procurement policies must be followed. For example, transactions with vendors or individuals where a conflict of interest may exist are strictly prohibited. To ensure compliance with this requirement, please consult the Purchasing Agent with any questions. Do not supersede departmental procedures, if any, to obtain authorization to make a purchase when using the P-Card.
  4. Determine if the P-Card is the appropriate method to use for acquiring the goods or services needed. (See the attached list of prohibited purchases).
  5. Prior to your purchase, determine if there is a preferred vendor or p-card only vendor for the goods or services that are to be acquired. This list can be found at (click on Vendor Listing) or contact the Purchasing Agent. These are pre-selected vendors based upon a variety of parameters - quality, special discounts or rebates that may apply. When preferred vendors are used, the institution can leverage purchases to maximize the value to the university (i.e.: preferred quality, pricing, enhanced customer service, and timely delivery).
  6. The University is exempt from Missouri & Illinois State Sales Tax and the University Tax I. D. number is embossed on all P-Cards. To avoid paying sales tax initially or resolving a sales tax application at a later date, you should mention the University's tax-exempt status at the time of purchase. A copy of the Tax Exempt Letters can be obtained at although it is not required to use the card.
  7. Supporting documentation must be provided and maintained for all purchases. If the purchase is not made in person, request that an invoice, receipt, confirmation and/or packing slip be sent directly to the cardholder along with the purchase. The cardholder must retain this information for proper reconciliation and documentation of the charge.
  8. The department is responsible for ensuring receipt of the materials purchased and for following-up with the vendor to resolve any issues related to pricing, delivery discrepancies, damaged goods or application of sales tax in error. When placing the order, the department should ensure that complete shipping instructions are given to the vendor.
  9. If, for any reason, it is necessary to return goods that have been purchased, the department should contact the supplier and follow the directions provided for return of the merchandise.  Make a copy of the invoice for items returned.  Use this for backup when the credit appears in your recon.

The P-Card provides each cardholder with greater flexibility to make purchases. P-Card purchasing controls are designed to provide management with effective tools to monitor and oversee purchasing activities to ensure the achievement of University goals.

At management's discretion, each cardholder can have several different types of controls placed on their P-Card. Please see the Control Mechanisms.

Splitting transactions - if a purchase is over your single transaction limit, do not ask the vendor to split the charges. Splitting transactions is not permitted. If you have a need for a temporary or permanent limit increase, you should request approval from your manager and the manager should contact the PA.

Telephone/Internet Orders - all telephone and Internet orders will require a receipt for reconciliation and audit purposes. A packing slip can be used as a receipt for telephone orders. An Internet confirmation or screen print of order can be used as a receipt for Internet orders.

Taxes - DO NOT allow the vendor to charge tax. All purchases made are exempt from taxes. The P-Card identifies Saint Louis University as being tax exempt. The cardholder should advise the vendor of the Tax Exempt status and should monitor the purchases to verify that no tax was charged. If a charge occurs that includes tax, the cardholder will be responsible for reconciling this charge directly with the vendor.


A disputed transaction can result from failure to receive goods, fraud or misuse of the P-Card, altered charges, defective merchandise, incorrect amounts, duplicate charges, credits not processed, sales tax improperly added, etc. The cardholder is responsible for following up with the vendor and/or the card-processing bank on any erroneous charges, disputed items or returns. After the disputed transaction is resolved, a credit may be issued which, at the time of resolution, will appear on the cardholder's electronic Web Recon Statement. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to monitor any disputed transactions and credits issued.

The procedure for handling disputed transactions is as follows:

  1. Contact the vendor first to resolve any outstanding issues. Most concerns can be resolved in this manner.
  2. If the cardholder is unable to reach agreement with the vendor, the dispute can be handled by contacting American Express Customer Service at 800-492-4920.

If the cardholder is dissatisfied with the resolution of the disputed item, the Procurement Card Administrator should be contacted.


The Corporate Purchasing Card differs greatly from other Card products in that it has specific dollar spending limits set for each individual Card. There is a $4,900 maximum per transaction, along with a $10,000 limit per month per Card member. Any increases to these limits will require the following:

  • State the business need for the modification
  • Obtain your Department Manager's approval
  • Business Manager/Department Head should e-mail PA
  • Annual review of limits by PA can result in reduced limits in line with past use of the card.
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