Review these key expensing policies before you travel to avoid costly errors.

Confirm trip approval

Be sure to obtain all travel approvals and documentation from the appropriate designee in your DLC prior to your trip. You are not permitted to approve your own travel.

Use your MIT Travel Card

The MIT Travel Card makes it easier for you to pay for business travel expenses, eliminates the need for advances and reimbursements, and decreases your out-of-pocket expenses. Be sure your card is activated before you leave, and don’t forget to memorize the PIN number. Learn more about using the MIT Travel Card.

Avoid charges that MIT won’t reimburse

Some miscellaneous expenses are reimbursable by MIT but are unallowable on sponsored projects. Some other expenses cannot be reimbursed under any cost object. Refer to Kuali Coeus if you have any questions about whether a sponsored project allows reimbursement of particular travel expenses.

Allowable and reimbursable under a sponsored project:

  • checked baggage fee
  • overweight baggage fee
  • oversized baggage fee
  • change fee
  • curbside check-in fee
  • fuel charge fee
  • confirmed same-day standby fee
  • paper ticket fee
  • spousal travel when the spouse is formally representing MIT (requires prior approval from the Office of the Provost)
  • seat fee

Reimbursable by MIT but unallowable under and cannot be charged to a sponsored project without specific approval from the sponsor:

  • upgrade fees, including “Economy Plus” (must be approved by your DLC)
  • airfare difference
  • blanket fee
  • pillow fee
  • code share flights when the designator code is a foreign carrier (code sharing is a mechanism by which a U.S.-certified carrier leases space on an aircraft of a foreign carrier)
  • alcohol (must be approved by your DLC)
  • prospective student visits
  • fundraising
  • resource development travel
  • entertainment (must be approved by your DLC)
  • gifts in lieu of hotel stay to guest or customary gift (must be approved by your DLC)
  • membership in airline clubs, such as the Admirals Club (you must seek reimbursement through VPF Accounts Payable with a “Request a Reimbursement”)
  • tips and gratuities
  • miscellaneous promotional expenses
  • non-recoverable expenses

Non-reimbursable:

  • frequent flyer mileage or rewards card fees
  • costs incurred by unreasonable failure to cancel transportation or hotel reservations
  • fines for automobile violations including parking tickets
  • personal auto repairs, insurance deductibles, and surcharges
  • lost or stolen tickets, cash, or property
  • travel accident insurance premiums
  • expenses not directly related to the performance of the travel assignment
  • hotel movie rentals and airline headsets
  • airfare, hotel, rental cars, or any other travel purchased with frequent flyer miles or rewards points and/or cost for frequent flyer miles or rewards points
  • toiletry items
  • medications
  • dependent care for non-faculty
  • health club fees
  • magazine, newspapers, and books unrelated to business
  • additionally purchased car rental insurance for domestic travel, excluding Alaska
  • personal credit card delinquency fees or finance charges
  • travel insurance (trip protection or trip cancellation insurance)
  • travel accident insurance

All expenses under the following trip purposes are unallowable (these trips cannot be charged to a sponsored project):

  • resource development
  • retreat
  • prospective student visit
  • president travel
  • fundraising
Collect detailed receipts

You must submit itemized receipts for all travel expenses in excess of $75. In addition, you must submit itemized receipts for the following expenses regardless of the amount:

  • meals or other expenses that include alcohol
  • business meeting meals
  • car rentals
  • hotel
  • airfare
  • all local travel and dining—Boston-area expenses with no airfare, Amtrak, or overnight stays—(“Local Travel and Meetings” trip purpose in Concur)

Receipts are necessary for post-trip reconciliation of expenses because your expenses may include unallowable or non-reimbursable charges. If you don’t have an itemized receipt as required above (and you have attempted to obtain one), change the expense type to a “non-recoverable expense” (allocated to a non-sponsored cost object) in the Concur reporting system and attach a Missing Receipt Affidavit.

To charge one of the above expenses with no itemized receipt to a sponsored cost object, you must obtain approval from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) or the sponsor.

Submit your report within 30 days

You (or the designated person within your DLC) must submit an expense report with all required documentation within 30 days of your return.

Retain receipts

To ensure the integrity of MIT’s travel documentation system, your DLC should retain and keep on file original receipts associated with Concur trips for the current fiscal year plus one additional year. This is necessary for audit purposes and is critical for travel under sponsored research projects.

See Buying and Paying Policies, Section 8.00 for the VPF Financial Record Retention Policy. The image below provides a visual guide of the policy (also available for download in PDF format).

Financial Record Retention Graphic

The Details

Confirm trip approval

Be sure to obtain all travel approvals and documentation from the appropriate designee in your DLC prior to your trip. You are not permitted to approve your own travel.

Use your MIT Travel Card

The MIT Travel Card makes it easier for you to pay for business travel expenses, eliminates the need for advances and reimbursements, and decreases your out-of-pocket expenses. Be sure your card is activated before you leave, and don’t forget to memorize the PIN number. Learn more about using the MIT Travel Card.

Avoid charges that MIT won’t reimburse

Some miscellaneous expenses are reimbursable by MIT but are unallowable on sponsored projects. Some other expenses cannot be reimbursed under any cost object. Refer to Kuali Coeus if you have any questions about whether a sponsored project allows reimbursement of particular travel expenses.

Allowable and reimbursable under a sponsored project:

  • checked baggage fee
  • overweight baggage fee
  • oversized baggage fee
  • change fee
  • curbside check-in fee
  • fuel charge fee
  • confirmed same-day standby fee
  • paper ticket fee
  • spousal travel when the spouse is formally representing MIT (requires prior approval from the Office of the Provost)
  • seat fee

Reimbursable by MIT but unallowable under and cannot be charged to a sponsored project without specific approval from the sponsor:

  • upgrade fees, including “Economy Plus” (must be approved by your DLC)
  • airfare difference
  • blanket fee
  • pillow fee
  • code share flights when the designator code is a foreign carrier (code sharing is a mechanism by which a U.S.-certified carrier leases space on an aircraft of a foreign carrier)
  • alcohol (must be approved by your DLC)
  • prospective student visits
  • fundraising
  • resource development travel
  • entertainment (must be approved by your DLC)
  • gifts in lieu of hotel stay to guest or customary gift (must be approved by your DLC)
  • membership in airline clubs, such as the Admirals Club (you must seek reimbursement through VPF Accounts Payable with a “Request a Reimbursement”)
  • tips and gratuities
  • miscellaneous promotional expenses
  • non-recoverable expenses

Non-reimbursable:

  • frequent flyer mileage or rewards card fees
  • costs incurred by unreasonable failure to cancel transportation or hotel reservations
  • fines for automobile violations including parking tickets
  • personal auto repairs, insurance deductibles, and surcharges
  • lost or stolen tickets, cash, or property
  • travel accident insurance premiums
  • expenses not directly related to the performance of the travel assignment
  • hotel movie rentals and airline headsets
  • airfare, hotel, rental cars, or any other travel purchased with frequent flyer miles or rewards points and/or cost for frequent flyer miles or rewards points
  • toiletry items
  • medications
  • dependent care for non-faculty
  • health club fees
  • magazine, newspapers, and books unrelated to business
  • additionally purchased car rental insurance for domestic travel, excluding Alaska
  • personal credit card delinquency fees or finance charges
  • travel insurance (trip protection or trip cancellation insurance)
  • travel accident insurance

All expenses under the following trip purposes are unallowable (these trips cannot be charged to a sponsored project):

  • resource development
  • retreat
  • prospective student visit
  • president travel
  • fundraising
Collect detailed receipts

You must submit itemized receipts for all travel expenses in excess of $75. In addition, you must submit itemized receipts for the following expenses regardless of the amount:

  • meals or other expenses that include alcohol
  • business meeting meals
  • car rentals
  • hotel
  • airfare
  • all local travel and dining—Boston-area expenses with no airfare, Amtrak, or overnight stays—(“Local Travel and Meetings” trip purpose in Concur)

Receipts are necessary for post-trip reconciliation of expenses because your expenses may include unallowable or non-reimbursable charges. If you don’t have an itemized receipt as required above (and you have attempted to obtain one), change the expense type to a “non-recoverable expense” (allocated to a non-sponsored cost object) in the Concur reporting system and attach a Missing Receipt Affidavit.

To charge one of the above expenses with no itemized receipt to a sponsored cost object, you must obtain approval from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) or the sponsor.

Submit your report within 30 days

You (or the designated person within your DLC) must submit an expense report with all required documentation within 30 days of your return.

Retain receipts

To ensure the integrity of MIT’s travel documentation system, your DLC should retain and keep on file original receipts associated with Concur trips for the current fiscal year plus one additional year. This is necessary for audit purposes and is critical for travel under sponsored research projects.

See Buying and Paying Policies, Section 8.00 for the VPF Financial Record Retention Policy. The image below provides a visual guide of the policy (also available for download in PDF format).

Financial Record Retention Graphic

Did You Know?

Expenses not directly related to the business purpose of your travel—fitness club fees and movie rentals, for example—will not be reimbursed by MIT.
MIT offers mobile travel-related tools and applications, such as TripLink and the Concur mobile app in the App Center of Concur.
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