Business Travel

A ProCard is Required for All Business Travel Expenses

If you are travelling for Seattle University business, you are generally required to obtain a ProCard and use it for travel related expenses. Exceptions can be made for infrequent travelers (ex. a conference or professional development reimbursement once or twice a year).

Receipts are excepted for transactions on a ProCard up to $75.

Definition of a Business Travel Expense

Business travel expenses are expenses incurred by an individual while on university related business. For example – attending a conference or event. Typical expenses are: airfare, hotel, meals, ride services or mileage, and conference fees. A ProCard is required for SU business travel.

Requirements of a Business Travel Expense

The university allows necessary, appropriate and approved travel and business expenses incurred in the performance of university business. A purchase order is not required for travel expenses.


Egencia has been established as the university travel platform. It will provide travel arrangements for single or any combination purchase of airfare, lodging, or rental cars. It is required for faculty and staff arranging travel to turn to the Egencia portal for quoting and booking their business travel needs. By and large, Egencia provides competitive rates on travel, particularly when booked in advance. Exceptions may be made to the Egencia booking requirement when the rates for travel offered by Egencia result in higher costs than those provided elsewhere (i.e. a special rate offered by a hotel hosting a business conference, another travel agency, etc.). In such cases and to promote the efficiency of budgeted costs, an exception to this policy will be permitted and university faculty allowed to purchase travel outside of Egencia. Faculty and staff booking travel outside of Egencia must attach screenshots/printouts of the proposed travel in addition to the receipts of purchase from the chosen provider to document the need for the exception.


Egencia is required for booking all business-related travel. The university will allow the most economical fare, which is generally a coach class ticket aboard a regularly scheduled commercial carrier. Exceptions may be granted to fly business class for either international travel greater than eight hours (nonstop) when budget is available, or for a documented medical reason. Business class airfare requires prior written approval from the President, Provost or Chief Financial Officer. First class air travel is not allowable.
Air travel should be booked at least 14 days prior to departure as that will provide the best value to the university. An itinerary or e-ticket is the required documentation for coverage or reimbursement of fare. Both are commonly issued from online travel booking sites. The itinerary or e-ticket must include the travelers name, trip dates, price, ticket class, destination, and proof of payment. Upgraded seats, travel insurance and other nonessential expenses are not reimbursable. In accordance with the Fly America Act, commercial air travel funded by a federal grant must use a United States flag air carrier service. The university will not reimburse the equivalent cost of the ticket when personal airline miles or credits are used. Additionally the university will not reimburse a ticket cancelled without prior authorization unless related to a documented emergency.


The university will cover or reimburse lodging for business travel to non-local destinations. Lodging expenses are only allowed when traveling more than 50 miles away from Seattle University or your point of origin. Only expenses for standard room accommodations will be covered. The paid hotel bill (folio) is required documentation for coverage or reimbursement of a hotel stay. Egencia is the required provider for booking travel. If the hotel room is booked through an online travel reservation website, the traveler may print the itinerary. The bill or itinerary must show the name/s of the person/s staying, travel dates and proof of payment. Room service charges on the hotel bill require an original itemized receipt. Movies or other entertainment expenses are not reimbursable.


The university will cover the reasonable cost of meals while traveling via per diem or actual itemized receipt. For either option, individuals should not seek reimbursement for a meal that is included in some aspect of the travel such as a conference registration. When attending a conference that provides meals, per diem cannot be claimed for the covered expense. Per Diem is only allowed for travel more than 50 (fifty) miles from Seattle University (or from your point of origin).
Per Diem: Two options – Option 1 - The SU per diem (per day) reimbursement rate is $50. The following breakdown applies if traveling for part of the day: $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner. Option 2 – Government Service Administration (GSA) rates. These rates are available to choose on the Chrome River application wizard and are established and maintained by the GSA. Individual departments may choose which option best suits their available budgets for their participating travelers. No proof of payment is required for a per diem reimbursement.
Actual Meal Expenses: Original itemized receipts are necessary when choosing to be reimbursed for actual expenses.  A list of attendees and the business purpose are required when receipt includes payment for individuals in addition to the requestee. Tips must not exceed 20%. If the itemized receipt is not available, the lost receipt affidavit must document what was purchased to ensure it falls within the university’s meal and alcohol policy. NOTE: Actual expense should not exceed per diem allowances.


Ground travel for university business is covered or reimbursed as follows:

Personal car: A Point to Point map is required for documentation. This is a feature in Chrome River and will be generated for the user. The description entry must include origin address and destination address, the application will calculate total miles driven. The university follows the IRS recommended mileage reimbursement rate. Please refer to the IRS website for current rates. NOTE: an individual’s daily commute mileage must not be included in the total for point to point travel. An example: Individual lives in Tacoma and regularly commutes to campus, a particular event requires driving to Everett. Reimbursable mileage would only be the point to point travel from campus to Everett and back.
Bus or Subway: Original receipts are preferred but the university realizes that may not always be possible for these types of tickets and thus will cover or reimburse without receipts. Bus and subway transportation are recommended cost-effective forms of travel.
Ride Services or Taxi: Uber/Lyft preferred - Original receipts documenting date, pick up location, destination, and itemized charges are required for coverage or reimbursement purposes. Tipping may not exceed 20%.
Parking: Original receipts are required for coverage or reimbursement purposes. NOTE: parking for attending the normal workplace is not a covered expense.
Airport parking: For authorized travel, parking will be covered up to three (3) days maximum.
Rental Cars: Egencia is the required vendor for business travel. Rental cars are only allowed if they are required to do university related business. The size of the car should be appropriate for the number of passengers. Expenses incurred for gas will be covered or reimbursed when original receipts are provided. An employee renting a car for business purposes must decline insurance offered by the car rental agency. If additional insurance is purchased, it will not be reimbursed – The university’s insurance covers an employee’s use of a rental car for SU business. NOTE: ONLY in emergency circumstances are NON-university employees to drive cars rented for university business.

Incidental Expenses

Incidental expenses are miscellaneous expenses incurred while traveling. Examples include laundry (travel longer than seven days), internet/Wi-Fi access fees, and reasonable tips for housekeeping. The GSA per diem wizard on Chrome River includes up to $5.00 for incidentals. The university will reimburse an employee up to $5.00 per day when requested with per diem.

Conference Fees

The University requires a paid receipt showing fees and the dates of the conference. Most conference fees can be paid directly by the University through an invoice via ProcureSU or by the employee using a University Procurement Card.

Travel Cancellation

If University mandated travel restrictions trigger the need to cancel paid travel bookings – you should do so as quickly as possible.  Please see FAQ at: Travel Cancellation FAQ  with answers to the most common questions. This FAQ information applies to Business Travel Expenses.

It is the intent of Seattle University to make employees whole regarding their business-related travel expense reimbursements.  The University relies on departmental decision makers to be proactive and transparent – making fair and impartial decisions.