Use this overview to determine the best way to pay for your MIT-related travel expenses.

Confirm cost objects to be used

You are not allowed to approve your own travel. Cost objects for travel expenses are overseen by one or more authorizers within your department, lab, or center (DLC). Be sure to communicate with the primary authorizer(s) or, as applicable, the backup authorizer in your DLC before you incur any travel-related costs.

If your travel is related to a sponsored project, confirm that you can charge your travel to the project’s cost object. In addition, check to see if prior approval is required for travel.

Explore payment options

When paying your expenses for MIT-related travel, you have three options—cash, personal credit card, or an MIT Travel Card. If you use an MIT Travel Card, you avoid most out-of-pocket expenses and eliminate the need for travel reimbursements. You also may use the Travel Card for local travel and dining expenses associated with a meeting, but you may not purchase personal items with the card under any circumstances.

Note that if you are using one of MIT’s preferred travel agencies, you must pay with either the Travel Card or a credit card.

Review reimbursable expenses

MIT allows costs such as transportation, lodging, and meals that relate directly to your travel. Local travel and dining expenses are allowed, but you must provide itemized receipts for all such expenses. Be sure you understand MIT’s travel policies on unallowable and non-reimbursable expenses before you incur any costs. 

Request approval for domestic per diem

A per diem is the right choice when you and your DLC decide that:

  • your trip will be so lengthy that keeping track of individual expenses will be unusually difficult or burdensome
  • your DLC is hosting a long-term guest and you want to cover that individual’s expenses

Review the whys and hows of per diems or request permission for a domestic per diem. Follow these links to download the Excel per diem request form (Mac or Windows).

The Details

Confirm cost objects to be used

You are not allowed to approve your own travel. Cost objects for travel expenses are overseen by one or more authorizers within your department, lab, or center (DLC). Be sure to communicate with the primary authorizer(s) or, as applicable, the backup authorizer in your DLC before you incur any travel-related costs.

If your travel is related to a sponsored project, confirm that you can charge your travel to the project’s cost object. In addition, check to see if prior approval is required for travel.

Explore payment options

When paying your expenses for MIT-related travel, you have three options—cash, personal credit card, or an MIT Travel Card. If you use an MIT Travel Card, you avoid most out-of-pocket expenses and eliminate the need for travel reimbursements. You also may use the Travel Card for local travel and dining expenses associated with a meeting, but you may not purchase personal items with the card under any circumstances.

Note that if you are using one of MIT’s preferred travel agencies, you must pay with either the Travel Card or a credit card.

Review reimbursable expenses

MIT allows costs such as transportation, lodging, and meals that relate directly to your travel. Local travel and dining expenses are allowed, but you must provide itemized receipts for all such expenses. Be sure you understand MIT’s travel policies on unallowable and non-reimbursable expenses before you incur any costs. 

Request approval for domestic per diem

A per diem is the right choice when you and your DLC decide that:

  • your trip will be so lengthy that keeping track of individual expenses will be unusually difficult or burdensome
  • your DLC is hosting a long-term guest and you want to cover that individual’s expenses

Review the whys and hows of per diems or request permission for a domestic per diem. Follow these links to download the Excel per diem request form (Mac or Windows).

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.
The MIT Travel Card streamlines your business travel and helps you keep track of expenses.
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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