Penn Travel Card FAQs

Penn Travel Card FAQs

GENERAL

What are the benefits of having and using the Penn Travel Card?
I already have an American Express travel card.  Do I need a Penn Travel Card provided by Bank of America?

ELIGIBILITY & APPLICATION

Who is eligible to apply for a Penn Travel Card?
I worry that my application may not be approved.  Should I still apply?
Does the application process have any impact on my personal credit score?
What about my usage of the card?  Will that affect my credit score?
How do I apply?
How long will it take for my application to be processed? When will I receive my card?
Once I receive my new Penn Travel Card, how do I activate it?
What is my Penn Travel Card Verification ID #?
Where do I get my pin number for my Chip and PIN card?
Does the Penn Travel Card have an annual fee?
Does the Penn Travel Card offer a reward program?

USE OF THE TRAVEL CARD

When should I use the Penn Travel Card?
What are restricted uses of the Penn Travel Card?
What is the difference between the Penn Travel Card and the JP Morgan Chase Meeting Card?

BILLING, RECONCILIATION & PAYMENTS

Do I send my payment to Bank of America?
What happens if I accidentally pay Bank of America directly rather than using Concur Expense?
How do I receive my monthly bill from Bank of America?
When should I report travel expenses?  Should I wait for the monthly bill?
Where do I complete the expense report for travel expenses?
Who is responsible for any late fees and finance charges?
What happens when I am late in reconciling my expenses?
I have submitted my expense report and due to additional approvals that were required, payment may be late.  Should I pay Bank of America directly?
What happens if my account becomes delinquent?
Are there other reasons besides an account being in arrears when a card may be cancelled?
Can I get a cash advance using my Penn Travel Card?
How can I change the credit limit on my card?

CARD MANAGEMENT

What if my Penn Travel Card is lost or stolen?
What steps do I take if I want to cancel my card?
Why am I receiving emails about a "small credit balance write-off"?

What if I transfer departments or am no longer employed by the University?
Where can cardholders go to for help?
How can I submit feedback regarding my experience applying for and using the Penn Travel Card?

 

GENERAL


1. What are the benefits of having and using the Penn Travel Card?

The new Penn Travel Card provided by Bank of America has been developed based on community feedback received from Penn travelers’ experiences obtained through surveys and focus groups.  The University has worked with Bank of America to ensure that the credit card is easy to obtain and convenient to use wherever your business travels take you. The credit card integrates with Concur Expense, part of Concur’s online Travel and Expense Management (TEM) application, to facilitate automatic payment of approved travel and business related expenses.

Cardholders will enjoy benefits such as:

  • Use of the Penn Travel Card helps to keep work-related travel and entertainment expenses separate from personal expenses;
  • Widespread merchant acceptance anywhere Visa is accepted;
  • Chip and PIN technology, particularly important for international travelers;
  • Applying for and using the Penn Travel Card will not impact your credit or credit score;
  • Penn Travel Card transactions are automatically loaded into your Concur expense account, making them easily available to place in an expense report without any need for manual entry;
  • Unique Penn branding on the card;
  • Reduced fees on international transactions;
  • No annual fee, and
  • Best-in-class fraud protection and other special benefits such as lost luggage and AD&D insurance.

2.  I already have an American Express travel card.  Do I need a Penn Travel Card provided by Bank of America?

The Penn Travel Card, provided by Bank of America, is the recommended University-sponsored travel card and all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.  Should you decide to cancel your American Express card once you receive your new Penn Travel Card, you may do so by calling the telephone number listed on the back of the card or your may complete this form. If you are an American Express cardholder and wish to keep your card for special reasons, please contact Travel Card Administration at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to have your transactions integrated with Concur.

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ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION

3.  Who is eligible to apply for a Penn Travel Card?

Full time faculty and staff who anticipate traveling or incurring qualifying work related expenses on behalf of the University are encouraged to apply for the Penn Travel Card.  The only prerequisite is that a valid Social Security Number is required as part of the application process.

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4. I worry that my application may not be approved.  Should I still apply?

Penn has worked with Bank of America to make obtaining this card as easy as possible.  If your job responsibilities require you to incur work-related travel or entertainment expenses, we encourage you to apply for the Penn Travel Card.

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5.  Does the application process have any impact on my personal credit score?

This is another advantage of the Penn Travel Card for cardholders.  Per Bank of America, there is no impact to a cardholder’s personal credit.  Bank of America will perform a “soft” credit check as part of the application process and only as a way to suggest an initial limit.  Only the applicant will be able to view this inquiry on his or her credit report.  The inquiry cannot be seen by others such as potential lenders performing a credit check and does not impact an applicant’s FICO or credit score.

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6.  What about my usage of the card?  Will that affect my credit score?

Per Bank of America, the account that has been established (along with its corresponding credit limit and/or usage) will not impact your credit or credit score; nor should it appear on your credit report when it is requested by others.

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7.  How do I apply?

You may apply by completing the Penn Travel Card Application.  Your School of Center will approve your application as part of the submittal process. The approver should be a School/Center representative with fiscal responsibility for your department.

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8.  How long will it take for my application to be processed? When will I receive my card?

Once your application is received by Travel Card Administration, it will be processed and the credit card will be delivered to your home address in approximately two to three weeks.

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9.  Once I receive my new Penn Travel Card, how do I activate it?

Once you are ready to activate your Penn Travel Card, please take the following steps:

  • Prior to activating your card, please refer to your veirfication ID you received by email when you successfully submitted your card application.  You will need that number to proceed.
  • Call Bank of America.  The sticker affixed to your new credit card will provide you with the appropriate telephone number.
  • Simply follow the prompts provided by Bank of America to complete the activation process.

In the event that you have misplaced the verification ID you received, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to receive this information.  Please save your verification ID since you may be asked for this information by Bank of America when making future customer inquiries.

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9a.  What is my Penn Travel Card Verification ID #?

When you receive your travel card, you will need to activate it before you begin to use it.  Your verification ID is XXXXXXXXX.  The verification ID is comprised of the first four number of your Penn ID and the five numbers of your home address zip code.  The Penn ID number is the middle eight digits found on your Penn Card.

Please retain your verification ID for future reference as it may be requested by Bank of America Merrill Lynch when you make any customer service inquiries in the the future.  Your verification ID is also required to set up an online account to access your Bank of America Merrill Lynch statement at www.fiapayments.com.  Once you have created a login and password, you will be able to see your statements, payments made and elect to receive statements by mail or electronically.  To create your login and password, click https://www.centresuite.com/Centre/Public/NewUserRegistration.aspx?site=2044.  Directions can be found here:  http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/penntravel/creditcard/online-account-management.html.

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10.  Where do I get the pin number for my Chip and PIN card?

It is customary for cardholders to receive a separate mailing containing the pin number.  If you did not receive this mailing, or need to change your pin number, you may visit https://cardportal.works.com/acctservices/

The cardholder will need the following information when you click onto the landing page:

  • account number on card,
  • exact name on the card,
  • security code on the back of the card (you will be asked to enter this information twice), and
  • the verification ID (first four digits of the cardholder's Penn ID followed by the home zip code).

The cardholder will be asked to create a user name and password for this website in the event that this information is required at a later date.

NOTE: When the pin number is created, a screen will briefly appear with the number.  Please have a pen and paper handy so that you record the number for future use. For complete instructions, please click here.

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11. Does the Penn Travel Card have an annual fee?

There is no annual fee for the credit card.  The Bank of America Corporate Cardholder Agreement states that an annual fee of up to $40 will be charged; however, the University has negotiated with Bank of America to waive this fee.

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12.  Does the Penn Travel Card offer a reward program?

The Penn Travel Card is not a rewards card. However, cardholders are entitled to all frequency points they directly receive through participation in programs such as those offered by hotels, airlines and Amtrak.

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USE OF THE PENN TRAVEL CARD

13.  When should I use the Penn Travel Card?

University faculty and staff can use the Penn Travel Card to pay for purchases associated with travel, entertainment or other approved reimbursable expenses while conducting business activities for the University.  The travel card is only for business use.  However, there may be instances when personal expenses such as gym fees appear on your hotel bill. An expense such as this can easily be noted as non-reimbursable within the Concur Expense system and will not be submitted for payment by the University. You will be responsible for submitting payment for all non-reimbursable charges directly to Bank of America.

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14.  What are restricted uses of the Penn Travel Card?

Cardholders may not use the Penn Travel Card for business expenses not outlined in the University’s Travel and Entertainment Policy or for personal charges. Additional information may be obtained by reviewing the Purchasing Services Credit Card Guidance Matrix.

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15. What is the difference between the Penn Travel Card and the JP Morgan Chase Meeting Card?

The JP Morgan Chase Meeting Card is intended for individuals who coordinate off-campus meetings and events on behalf of the University on an ongoing basis.  Expenses charged to this card may encompass all costs associated with off-campus meetings and events except for airline tickets.  Charges associated with individual business travel or approved University business entertainment should be placed on the Penn Travel Card.  Please visit JP Morgan Chase Meeting Card for more information.

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BILLING, RECONCILIATION & PAYMENTS

16.  Do I send my payment to Bank of America?

Through the Concur Travel and Expense Management (TEM) application, the University will facilitate payment of charges included on approved expense reports to Bank of America on your behalf.

Payment will be made when an expense report is submitted and approved.  Cardholders have full accountability for completing expense reports in Concur in a timely manner.  There is one exception to the above statement: any personal charges or otherwise non-reimbursable expenses are the responsibility of the cardholder and should be sent directly to Bank of America. You should submit your payment to Payment Center, Bank of America's online payment center at http://www.baml.com/paymentcenter or you may choose to send a personal check by mail to Bank of America, P.O. Box 15731, Wilmington, DE 19886-5731.  If you send your payment in with your monthly statement, use the mailing address listed. Finally, you may telephone Bank of America and provide your personal checking account information in order to facilitate payment.

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17. What happens if I accidentally pay Bank of America directly rather than using Concur Expense?

Making a payment directly to Bank of America for “reimbursable” business credit card transactions could result in a duplicate payment by the University (via your submitted Concur expense report) and your out-of-pocket payment. If this happens, please validate the duplicate payments in your Penn Travel Card (BOA) account, then submit the Penn Travel Card (BOA) Credit Refund Request Form.  All credit refund requests require approval from your Business Administrator.

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18.  How do I receive my monthly bill from Bank of America?

You will receive your monthly paper statement at your home address via U.S. postal mail.  You may opt out of receiving a paper statement by signing up for Bank of America’s Payment Center, its online account management system.  Cardholders can access Payment Center via the following link: http://www.baml.com/paymentcenter.  Additional information on the Payment Center option is available under the section entitled Account Management.

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19.  When should I report travel expenses?  Should I wait for the monthly bill?

You need not wait to apply charges to an expense report.  All credit card transactions, whether the charges are reimbursable or not, will automatically feed into Concur on an ongoing basis once the transactions are processed by the merchant and bank. This could be as quickly as within a 48 to 72 hour period, but international transactions may take longer. Cardholders are encouraged to then apply the reimbursable charges to expense reports as soon as practical.  However, the request for payment need not be submitted for approval and payment until later, such as at the end of your trip when all your expenses have been incurred.

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20.  Where do I complete the expense report for travel expenses?

Expense reports are to be completed through the Concur TEM system.  Please access Concur through the link below. You will be required to enter your PennKey (username and password) to access the system.

https://medley.isc-seo.upenn.edu/authentication/profile/concur?app=concurprod

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21.  Who is responsible for any late fees and finance charges?

The cardholder is responsible for any late fees or finance charges incurred on his or her account.  Such charges should be paid directly to Bank of America.

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22.  What happens when I am late in reconciling my expenses?

You may incur a late fee if your bill becomes past due.  If your account remains delinquent or unreconciled, Travel Card Administration will contact the cardholder and/or a financial officer from his or her School or Center.  It is the cardholder’s responsibility to submit an expense report promptly in order to obtain the necessary approvals to ensure that payment is made prior to the payment due date.

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23.  I have submitted my expense report and due to additional approvals that were required, payment may be late.  Should I pay Bank of America directly?

A cardholder should not directly pay Bank of America for charges which are regarded as reimbursable expenses.  Please contact your approver to facilitate the approval of your expense report.  It is the cardholder’s responsibility to monitor any circumstances that may arise so that payments are made to Bank of America in a timely manner.

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24.  What happens if my account becomes delinquent?

In the event that a card account becomes over 60 days past due from its payment due date, Bank of America will automatically suspend the cardholder's account.  This temporary hold on the account will be lifted once the full payment is received on the original balance which was due.  Should the account become delinquent by over 90 days, Bank of America may elect to cancel the cardholder's account.  If an account is past due by 120 days, the University reserves the right to pay Bank of America on your behalf while deducting an appropriate amount through payroll deduction.

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25.  Are there other reasons besides an account being in arrears when a card may be cancelled?

The University, as the administrator of the Penn Travel Card, reserves the right to cancel an account for reasons including but not limited to inappropriate use and violations of University policy.

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26.  Can I get a cash advance using my Penn Travel Card?

Cash advances should not be obtained via your Penn Travel Card.  Instead, an advance may be requested and fulfilled through Concur Express. Click HERE to access the Instructional Guide.

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27.  How can I change the credit limit on my card?

If you need to change your credit limit, you may send a written request to Travel Card Administration to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by intramural mail to Travel Card Administration at 3401 Walnut Street, Suite 440A, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6228.  The request must be accompanied with appropriate departmental approval and justification. You may access the approval form by clicking here.

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CARD  MANAGEMENT

28.  What if my Penn Travel Card is lost or stolen?

Cardholders should immediately call Bank of America Customer Service at 1-888-449-2273 to report the lost or stolen card.

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29.  What steps do I take if I want to cancel my card?

Cardholders may either contact Bank of America Customer Services at 1-888-449-2273 or they may complete this form and submit it to Travel Card Administration.

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29.  Why am I receiving emails about a "small credit balance write-off"?

Click Here for Explanation

30.  What if I transfer departments or am no longer employed by the University?

If you transfer to another department, you may keep your current Penn Travel Card; however, please notify Travel Card Administration at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to have your records updated.  If you are no longer employed by the University, your account will be closed immediately.  You must cut your card in half and submit it to your supervisor as part of the employee exit process.

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31.    Where can cardholders go to for help?

Bank of America:  Cardholders will have 24x7 access to the card providers’ help lines provided by Bank of America.  The contact information is conveniently listed on the back of the travel card.

University of Pennsylvania:  Please contact Travel Card Administration at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 1-215-898-3606 for program support and questions.

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32.  How can I submit feedback regarding my experience applying for and using the Penn Travel Card?

Your feedback is important to us as we continually strive to improve the experience of the cardholder.  Please contact Travel Card Administration at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 1-215-898-3606 if you would like to share your comments with us.