FAQ

How do I activate my PennCash account?
Who can use PennCash?
Why should I use PennCash instead of some other form of payment?
How safe is my PennCash?
What's the difference between PennCash and the SFS line of credit (Bursar)?
If I have a meal plan, may I still use PennCash?
Does my PennCash transfer from year to year?
How do I get a PennCash refund?
How do I get a refund of my a Value Transfer Station or a Vending Machine?

 


How do I activate my PennCash account?

Your account becomes active automatically as soon as you make a deposit. Load value to your PennCash account via:

  • Online—the easiest and fastest way to load PennCash. You (or anyone you allow) can load value securely to your PennCash account using Visa or MasterCard.  Visit www.upenn.edu/penncash or campusexpress.upenn.edu

  • PennCard Center—visit 3451 Walnut Street, 150 Franklin Building. Load value at the PennCard Center using Visa, MasterCard, check or cash.

  • VTS (Value Transfer Station)—Add cash to your PennCash account.  Please note that VTS machines accept paper currency only and do not give change. Machines are located in the libraries and at other locations around campus.

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Who can use PennCash?
Anyone who has a valid PennCard may use PennCash. It is a built-in feature of the PennCard. Click here for details.

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Why should I use PennCash instead of some other form of payment?
PennCash is a quick, easy and smart way to make "cash free," "credit card free" purchases on campus. Convenience and safety are primary reasons. If you don't wish to carry cash or a pocket full of change, PennCash has many advantages. Here are just a few:

  • There are no membership fees or minimum balances.
  • If you report your PennCard lost or stolen, your money is secure and immediately available when you receive a replacement card
  • You can easily add value to your PennCard—available for you to use within minutes!
  • PennCash is accepted in places where other forms of payment, such as credit cards, are not—library copiers, vending machines, etc.
  • Your remaining balance is instantly displayed on your transaction receipt and your account history can be accessed  online securely
  • PennCash is an increasingly popular option for Penn faculty, staff and students. Exciting new opportunities to use PennCash at additional locations are already being planned!

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How safe is my PennCash?
If you lose your PennCard, your PennCash account is frozen as soon as you notify the PennCard office or Public Safety. The value of your account is not stored on the card so if you lost your card, you do not lose your money.

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What's the difference between PennCash and the SFS line of credit (Bursar)?
PennCash is a declining balance account that is intended for flexible spending around campus. You control the amount of PennCash you add to your account and how much you spend. Unused PennCash may be refunded to you when you leave the University, or you may also choose to donate your unspent PennCash to the Penn Fund. The Student Financial Services line of credit (also known as the SFS account or Bursar) is extended by Student Financial Services to those students who are in good financial standing with the University. Any purchases made to your SFS line of credit are added to your tuition bill and are due on a monthly basis. SFS is intended to be used for educational purposes, such as textbooks or computers. For more information about SFS, please go to the SFS website.

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If I have a meal plan, may I still use PennCash?
Absolutely! PennCash and meal plans are separate accounts that are both linked to your PennCard.

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Does my PennCash transfer from year to year?
Yes!  As long as you have an active account, your PennCash transfers from year to year while you are at the University. The University reserves the right to close a PennCash account when the cardholder graduates or withdraws from the University (with respect to students), terminates employment (with respect to faculty/staff) or if the cardholder's PennCard expires.

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How do I get a PennCash refund?
Refunds will be made either: (1) in cash, if the amount is less than $20, and the cardholder requests the refund in person at the PennCard Center; (2) credit to the cardholder's credit card; (3) by check to the cardholder's last known address; or (4) by donating unused PennCash to the Penn Fund. Please submit your requests via email to the PennCard Center at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , call 215-417-CARD  or stop by the PennCard Center. Any other questions concerning the PennCash refund policy, please refer to the PennCash Refund Policy.

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How do I get a refund of my a Value Transfer Station or a Vending Machine?

Occasionally, there may be a malfunction and you may not get the purchased item when using your PennCard.  When this happens, request a refund online or in person, and we will work with you to get the appropriate refund.

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