Travel & Expense Reimbursement

Bloustein faculty and staff must follow Rutgers’ policy for domestic and international travel and expense management. Rutgers will reimburse employees for reasonable, necessary, appropriate, and approved travel and business expenses incurred while conducting university business. Travelers should be mindful to keep costs low whenever possible. All Expense Reports must include a full explanation of the rationale for charging the expenses. Travelers are encouraged to submit their expense reports as soon they return from their trip. Any expense report submitted beyond the 60 days will require an exception request explaining why the expense report was late. The letter must be approved by Bloustein’s Associate Dean of Administration.

Travel (air, train, hotel, car rentals) must be booked using the Rutgers Travel Services Online Booking Tool (Concur) or by contacting Direct Travel, the Rutgers-approved travel agency via RutgersTravel@dt.com  or phone# 1-888-818-1067. Travel that is not booked using the Rutgers Travel Online Booking Tool or Direct Travel will not be considered Rutgers-related travel and will not be reimbursed.

Watch the online travel booking tool demo here.

Getting Started:

Travelers and delegates will need the following before completing a reservation:

  • Travel Profile – each user must save their travel profile before making a travel reservation. Please add our business staff as travel assistants in Concur for us to be able to book travel on your behalf.  This will allow also us to make adjustments if needed and add project accounts to your reservation.
  • Charge allocation – users must know where charges for their trip are being allocated.
    • A 6-digit Project ID and 3-digit Task are always needed whether the travel is being charged to grant, gifts, faculty research or development accounts, operating and other discretionary accounts.
    • Travelers should reach out to business_admin@ejb.rutgers.edu to obtain this information if needed.
  • Credit Card – a personal credit card is required to book hotel reservations. The credit card is used to guarantee the booking and is not charged unless the reservation is canceled within the hotel’s cancellation penalty period.

Please note:

Airfare and Amtrak tickets purchased using Concur are charged directly to Rutgers. Please reach out directly to Direct Travel to complete your reservation if:

  • your reservation contains personal travel.
  • you would like to pay for an upgrade using personal funds.
  • you are taking a non-Rutgers employee companion whose travel will not be paid for by Rutgers. The travel agency can split payment and will ask for a personal form of payment for the comparison.
  • you are having trouble booking a complex, multi-city reservation.
  • you have been allocated a limited amount of funding and need to split the cost of your trip.
  • you are extending a trip for a personal stay and will pay out of pocket if there is an additional cost to the university.

Group Travel for faculty and staff with a traveler profile in Concur has 2 options:

Option 1 – Coordinate preferred flights among group members and book individually using the Rutgers Travel Services Online Booking Tool or by contacting Direct Travel.

Option 2 – The group leader completes the Group Travel Approval form and contacts Direct Travel to book the travel once approved.

The following travel arrangements can be done outside of the official booking tool or RU travel agency:

  • Hotel reservations associated with conference room blocks
  • Airbnb, Vrbo, and other home-share providers
  • Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center
  • Uber, Lyft, and other ride-share providers as well as car service
  • Other local transportations such as trains, bus transits, taxis
  • Other travel services not provided by Direct Travel

International Travel

Any Rutgers student, faculty, scholar, or staff considering international travel must visit the Rutgers Department of Risk Management website to register for international travel.

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should register their plans with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) – this free service enables the embassy to notify travelers of safety conditions at their destination and quickly contact them in an emergency. See International Travel for more information.

There are certain scenarios where Travel Request/Approval Forms are still required. These forms are completed via DocuSign. You need to refer to the Travel Approver Listing to identify the designated approvers for each unit/division. You may reach out to the business staff to assist you in completing these forms.

Non-Employee Travel – For candidates, guest speakers, students, other visiting guests, etc. (required before contacting the travel agency via phone or email).

Group Travel ApprovalFor groups including student groups. This is not for Study Abroad programs.

Travel Accommodation Policy Exception Request FormFor a policy exception request (i.e., medical exemption).

Study/Learning Abroad Travel FormsFor faculty-led and externally provided study/learning abroad petition and authorization forms, please visit the EVPAA Travel Guidance webpage.

Direct Travel can be reached at 1-888-818-1067* or RutgersTravel@dt.com.

*Available 24/7 for urgent bookings.

For questions or technical support related to Concur Travel, please email RUTravel@finance.rutgers.edu.

You can find all this information on Rutgers’ Booking Travel site.

Other Helpful Resources

The university will reimburse individuals for reasonable, necessary, appropriate, and approved travel and business expenses incurred in the performance of university business. Individuals must exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with the policy and the proper documentation provided in the expense report. Expense reimbursements may be disallowed if unreasonable or unallowable. This information is stated in Rutgers Travel & Expense Policies.

The Oracle Expense Management is the current online tool used to submit business expenses for reimbursement for Rutgers employees. New employees should complete Expense Management Access Form before using the online tool. Non-employees, including students and visitors, do not have access to Oracle Expense Management. The business staff will assist non-employee travelers in getting reimbursed via RU Marketplace.

For new employees, click here for instructions on how to use the Expense Management system.

Bloustein School Expense Reimbursement Policy

Travelers must submit their expense reports within 60 days after their return to the worksite. However, travelers are encouraged to submit their expense reports as soon they return from their trip. This will give the business staff enough time to process all submissions before the 60-day window allowed by the University. Any expense report submitted beyond the 60 days will require an exception request explaining why the expense report was late. The letter must be approved by Bloustein’s Associate Dean of Administration.

Note: Reimbursements submitted over a year of incurring expenses are considered taxable income because they are deemed outside of the reasonable period required by the Internal Revenue Code. The expense reimbursements will not be processed through Expense Management, but through the payroll system as extra pay. Employees must complete the “Business Travel Reimbursement Over One Year” form. The form needs to be signed by the Dean and the New Brunswick Chancellor. Please see Reimbursement for Expenses Incurred More Than One Year Prior for detailed information.

Follow these steps when submitting an expense report: (Non-employees should skip Step 3)

  1. Employees should itemize their expenses on the Travel and Business Expense Reimbursement (TABER) spreadsheet.
  2. Collect, scan, and save expense receipts, along with travel itinerary, and conference/meeting agenda (if applicable).
  3. Create your expense report using the Expense Management tool by clicking on Create Report. Type in a detailed purpose for your trip or business expense. Click Save or go to Step 4.
  4. Upload all the documents from Steps 1 & 2 to the Expense Management online tool. Save the expense report. DO NOT hit the “Submit” button. You may also send all the documents to business_admin@ejb.rutgers.edu and have your business delegate upload the documents for you.
  5. Send an email to business_admin@ejb.rutgers.edu to notify the business staff of an expense report that needs processing.

For non-Rutgers employees, follow steps 1, 2, and 4. The business staff will contact you for further instructions.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses
Including but not limited to…

  • Supplies that can be purchased through RU Marketplace
  • All Professional Services (must be processed through RU Marketplace, e.g., printing, photography, marketing, etc.)
  • Unnecessary meals for office or staff/faculty meetings
  • Charges for reservation changes unless there is a business justification
  • Purchase of travel accident or life insurance
  • Fees for social or non-mandatory activities at conferences such as tours, workshops, fun runs, etc., that are not business-related
  • Housekeeping tips
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Laundry and valet services for business stay less than a week
  • Meals included in the cost of conference/meeting fees
  • Late fees or interest on credit card
  • Repairs of personal vehicles used on university business
  • Spouse/family member’s travel costs
  • The purchase of hardware or software (due to licensing issues)
  • Lost/stolen cash or personal property
  • Flowers/gifts and gift cards
  • Other non-business related expenses

Examples of Acceptable Business Purposes

  • Attended ____________conference to enhance my research/teaching skills and to network with other professionals in my field
  • Served as a guest/keynote speaker at _____________
  • Chosen as panelist at ________________
  • Traveled to conduct meetings required for my research as part of my university grant
  • Purchased book for my research grant ________________ or for my research on __________ .

Please note that when submitting a backup receipt that has someone else’s name on it, you should obtain a memo from the person named on the receipt authorizing reimbursement and noting that he/she will not request separate reimbursement for the same expense. Include the memo to the list of your backup receipts for submission. This scenario may happen on group travel where individuals are sharing rides and lodging (e.g., Uber/Lyft receipts, hotel/lodging receipts, etc.).

Please review the expense report checklist below which can also be found in University Procurement Services – Reporting Expenses.

 Airlines and rail (Amtrak) tickets are prepaid by the university. Travelers must purchase airline and rail (Amtrak) tickets through the Rutgers Travel Services Online Booking Tool (Concur) or by contacting Direct Travel, the Rutgers-approved travel agency via RutgersTravel@dt.com or phone# 1-888-818-1067. Travel that is not booked using the Rutgers Travel Online Booking Tool or Direct Travel will not be considered Rutgers-related travel and will not be reimbursed. Tickets for local/commuter train services (NJ Transit, NYC Subway, etc.) cannot be purchased through Direct Travel. Travelers can submit costs associated with these tickets for reimbursement. Baggage fees that are personal in nature are not reimbursable. Fees for upgraded or extra legroom seats are not reimbursable. Fees and additional airfare associated with an itinerary change or cancellation require a business purpose for reimbursement.  Travelers may receive frequent flyer miles for traveling on Rutgers business. Be sure to include frequent flyer/hotel loyalty account numbers when completing the traveler profile.

A receipted bill or registration confirmation with fee and payment noted and a copy of the fee sheet detailing the conference itinerary (or brochure) are required to substantiate the business purpose, the period of the trip, and the amenities provided by the conference or meeting.

Travelers may request a university check via a Check Request in RU Marketplace to pay for conference registrations and hotel reservation deposits.  If a credit is received, the traveler is responsible for obtaining a refund check made payable to Rutgers or having the credit applied to their bill.  The credited amount should be noted on the expense report as part of the trip reconciliation process.

Travelers are reimbursed for their meals when travelers are actively in travel status which is defined as traveling: for at least 12 consecutive hours; or at least 100 miles from the Rutgers departure point. When a traveler is not in travel status, meals are considered a personal expense and are not reimbursable. Travelers have two meal reimbursement options. Travelers must select one option for the entire trip to receive reimbursement.

Travelers cannot request reimbursement for a meal that is included in some aspect of the travel, like a meal provided at a conference. Per diem must be prorated for any meal provided by any source. Breakfast or lunch reduces the per diem by 20 percent, dinner reduces it by 60 percent.

Business Meeting Meals

Travelers who host (pay for) a business meal can request reimbursement with supporting documentation: a detailed business purpose, a list of attendees including affiliations, and an itemized receipt with proof of payment.

Travelers can submit credit card receipts to show meal expenses. Meals funded by an account that restricts alcohol must include a statement confirming that no alcohol charges are included on the receipt. If charges for alcoholic beverages were included, then these charges must be deducted from the receipt, or charged to an account that permits alcoholic beverages.

If a traveler chooses to drive rather than fly to the destination, mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the lowest cost of commercial coach airfare. Please include an airfare quote before the scheduled travel date with the supporting documentation.

Travelers who use a personal car for Rutgers business purposes can request reimbursement at the current authorized mileage rate. Travel miles should be calculated from Civic Square unless the employee’s home is closer to the destination. The expense report must include: specific origination and destination location(s) (use Google Maps or MapQuest to track distance) and a detailed business purpose. Tolls and parking fees are also reimbursable with original receipts. Gasoline for a personal vehicle is not reimbursable; the mileage reimbursement rate covers this cost. Gasoline expenses are only reimbursable for rental or university-owned vehicles.  Check for the most recent mileage reimbursement rate Reporting Expenses webpage.

All hotel reservations must be made through the Rutgers Travel Services Online Booking Tool (Concur) or by contacting Direct Travel. Exceptions are made for hotel bookings associated with conference/convention room blocks and Airbnb, Vrbo, and other non-hotel stays. Lodging is reimbursed at 100 percent of the actual expense for a standard hotel room. The expense report must include:

  • an original hotel receipt that includes the rate and itemized detail of costs,
  • dates of stay and proof of payment
  • a copy of the reservation confirmation provided by the travel agency

Travelers can choose to stay at a hotel other than a conference hotel. If the conference hotel is not chosen, reimbursement will not exceed the conference hotel rate without justification and approval from the unit. An explanation of the exceptions must be included in the reimbursement request and attached to the expense report. Travelers who don’t have an itemized receipt for lodging should contact the hotel and have the hotel fax or email a copy of the required itemized hotel folio. If a receipt is unavailable, the Lost Receipt Certification Form may be submitted, but it must include proof of payment.

Staying at a private residence requires the traveler to obtain a W-9 (US) or a W-8 BEN  (International) from the landlord to be reimbursed. Tax exemption certificates can be used by the traveler via http://uco.rutgers.edu/tax-services when applicable.

All rental car reservations must be made through Rutgers Travel Services Online Booking Tool or by contacting Direct Travel.

Travelers can rent up to an intermediate-size car and request reimbursement when the cost of the car rental is less expensive than alternative means of transportation (e.g., taxi, car service, or train). Travelers must include the business justification, rental agreement, and the original final receipt to request reimbursement.

The university currently has a negotiated agreement with Enterprise and National Car Rental which includes insurance domestically.

U.S. and Canada: Travelers must purchase collision insurance (often called Collision Damage Waiver Insurance on the rental contract) when booking any vendor other than Enterprise and National Car Rental. Travelers must also purchase the minimum liability insurance if it is not automatically included in the contract.

For international car rentals, all insurance coverage must be purchased (e.g. Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), and Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS)). 
Tolls and parking fees are also reimbursable with original receipts. Gasoline expenses are only reimbursable for rental or university-owned vehicles.

If a traveler chooses to drive rather than fly to the destination, car rental fees plus fuel cannot exceed the lowest cost of a commercial coach airfare. Travelers should include an airfare quote with supporting documentation. Meals or lodging will not be reimbursed while driving to the destination.

Reimbursement may be requested for ground transportation from the traveler’s home, or from their worksite to the airport, bus, or train station. Before using either taxi, alternative ride-share, or car service, the traveler should determine that it is more economical and reasonable compared to personal car usage, adding in tolls and parking. If a car service will be used, the traveler should contact the university’s Preferred Car Service Suppliers.

A cash advance is an advance of payment to cover work-related expenses, such as lodging, meals, and incidentals when needed.  Cash advance requests are created before expenses have been incurred, and are submitted for approval within Oracle Expense. Delegates cannot request a cash advance on behalf of someone else.

  • Cash Advances travel can be requested up to 90 days before the departure date
  • Cash Advances will be paid out two weeks before the trip begin date
  • Cash Advances will be automatically deducted on the first expense report submitted after the trip return date
  • Cash Advances of more than $100 per day for meals and incidentals require a justification letter to be submitted along with the Cash Advance request

To request a cash advance, travelers should:

  1. Navigate to the Oracle Expense Management System
  2. Click the “Request Cash Advance” link from the Action menu on the right
  3. Enter the required fields, add attachments and click “Submit” for cash advance approval

An original document itemizing the good(s) or service(s) purchased.  The receipt must provide a named payee and date that confirms payment has been made for a stated purchase.  The method of payment must be shown on the receipt.  If the receipt is lost, the individual seeking reimbursement must complete the Lost Receipt Certificate Form.

Moving and relocation expenses of new faculty and staff members who are transferred from one geographic location to another may be paid by the University up to the amount agreed to in their offer letters. As stated on Rutgers’ Employee Relocation Reimbursement website, moving expenses are the costs of packing, shipping, and storing household goods. Relocation expenses are the costs of travel for the faculty or staff member and family to the position assigned, including transportation, food, and lodging, travel for trips necessary to secure living quarters, and temporary lodging. The preference is to use one of the University contracted moving companies below.

Allied Van Lines Inc | Brantley Bros Moving & Storage | Budd Van Lines | Mayflower Transit LLC  | North American Van Lines Inc | Serva Worldwide: Siracisa /A-1 Freeman International elocation)  | United Van Lines LLC

This list may change without notice. Please check with the business staff at business_admin@ejb.rutgers.edu for the current list of contracted companies.

Currently, moving expenses incurred by employees will be treated as wages or taxable income subject to federal, state, and FICA tax withholding. Further, please note that employees may not deduct these expenses on their individual income tax returns. Please visit Employee Relocation Reimbursement to check for any updates to this rule.

Three Processes for Moving Expense Payment

  1. Rutgers Pays the Moving Company Directly
    It is preferred to use one of the University’s contracted suppliers, for ease of buying, use of discounts, and fewer out-of-pocket expenses for the new employee.  The business staff will complete the Taxable Moving Expense Reimbursement formand attach the signed form to the RU Marketplace requisition.
  1. Employees Reimbursement Before the Appointment Has Commenced
     It is an option to request reimbursement for other relocation expenses related to travel to the new employment location, or trips to secure a living arrangement before the employee’s appointment has commenced. The business staff will have to complete the Form. The signed form is then attached to the check request form in RU Marketplace, along with any other required forms, using the account code 69305 or 56990 (office/laboratory moves). See the check request matrixfor documentation needs.
  1. Employees Reimbursement After the Appointment Has Commenced
    All relocation expenses related to travel and moving expenses that must be reimbursed directly to the employee after the appointment has commenced must go through Payroll Services. The business staff will complete the Taxable Moving Expense Reimbursement form and submit it, along with original receipts, to Payroll Services.

Please read the Employee Relocation Policy 40.2.22 (PDF) before proceeding with the relocation and moving expense process.

Travel and Expense FAQs