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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach


American Express Travel Card

Guideline Contents

  • Responsible University Officer:
    Associate Vice President, Financial Management


To provide guidelines for the CSULB Travel Card program.


The American Express (AMEX) Travel card is an individual liability charge card that is used as a means of expediting payment of travel expenses and reducing the need for cash advances. It is the preferred method of payment when using third party vendors such as Giselle’s or Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The card must be used for CSULB travel and hospitality related business only and cannot be used to circumvent the procurement policies of CSULB or the State. Purchases of goods or services not directly related to the required travel or hospitality event at the time they are incurred are not permitted. To ensure proper use of the card the Controller’s Office reserves the right to review and monitor all cardholder purchases.

A CSULB faculty or staff member is eligible to apply for a travel card if he or she meets all of the following criteria:

  • Your position at the university requires business related travel at least once per year and/or you regularly host business meetings/meals off campus.
  • You have been authorized by your Appropriate Administrator.
  • You have completed and agreed to the terms of the CSULB and American Express Applications.

Travel cards may only be used for official business that directly serves the University. CSULB faculty or staff may not use the Travel Card for personal expenses.




AMEX card eligibility is based on a departmentally determined business need and is contingent upon CSULB faculty or staff members meeting the following criteria:

  • The individual is a part-time or full-time CSULB employee
  • The individual travels on University business travel at least once per year and/or the individual regularly hosts business meetings/meals off-campus.
  • The individual has been authorized by the department’s Appropriate Administrator.
  • The individual has completed and signed the travel card applications and agrees to AmEx’s Cardholder Agreement and CSULB’s Administrative Guidelines and Policy Manual.


Two applications must be completed by an employee in order to apply for a travel card:

  1. CSULB Travel Card Application. This form requires approval from the appropriate administrator and must be forwarded to the Controller’s Office FND 280 MS 9901. The CSULB Travel Card application can be obtained at the Controller's Office forms webpage.
  2. American Express Travel Card Application. This application must be completed online. See instructions for detailed information on how to apply American Express Travel Card Application Instructions.

After both applications have been received and processed, American Express will provide the applicant with a written application decision by mail, sent to the address provided on the application. American Express will issue an AMEX card for an approved applicant and send it to the University Program Administrator. The applicant will be contacted when the AMEX travel card is received and ready for pick-up from the Controller’s Office. The card recipient must come in person and present a valid ID (cards are typically received by the Controller’s Office within ten (10) business days).

Cardholders must complete and sign the CSULB AMEX Travel Card Receipt at the time the AMEX card is picked-up.

AMEX cards which have not been picked up within thirty (30) days of notification by the Controller’s Office will be automatically canceled, and the cardholder will be required to re-apply to receive a card.


For security purposes, AMEX cards are delivered in an ‘inactive’ status. Upon receipt of the AMEX card, cardholders are responsible for activating the card before it can be used. Activation can be completed online at , or by contacting American Express at the telephone number provided on the sticker on the face of the card.

Cardholders will be prompted to verify some personal information provided on the application when activating the card. The back of the AMEX card should be signed upon receipt. The Cardholder should retain the card in a safe location.

If an AMEX card is received with an error, contact American Express Customer Service at
1-800-528-2122 to make corrections and process a new card.



The AMEX card will expire on the date embossed on the card’s face, and will be automatically renewed unless otherwise stated below.

There are several reasons why an AMEX card may not be automatically renewed or may be canceled by American Express:

  • The AMEX card has not had any transaction activity for 12 consecutive months;
  • The AMEX card is currently delinquent;
  • The AMEX card has a recurring history of delinquency;
  • CSULB has found improper use of the AMEX card;
  • The cardholder has transferred departments; or
  • The cardholder has separated from the University.

If an employee’s AMEX card is not automatically reissued and the cardholder would like to continue using the program, please contact the American Express Program Administrator in the Controller’s Office at (562)985-2512.

Note: Cards that are canceled due to improper use or delinquency are ineligible for reactivation.

Cardholders who have misused the card or have delinquent payments will be subjected to the following Escalation Process:

Card Misuse – Use of the AMEX card for purchases not related to official University business; Using the AMEX card to circumvent the procurement policies of CSULB; Continuously late payments.

First Violation The Controller's Office will contact the cardholder and reiterate the importance of using the card responsibly. The cardholder will be notified that repetitive misuse of the card will result in the card's cancellation.
Second Violation The Controller's Office will contact the cardholder's Appropriate Administrator regarding the continued misuse of the card. The Appropriate Administrator will be notified that a 3rd violation of the Travel card Guideline will result in the card’s cancellation.
Third Violation The Controller's Office will cancel the AMEX card. The cardholder will be notified of the cancellation and his/her responsibility to pay any remaining balance.


Cardholders who want to cancel their AMEX Cards should contact American Express customer service at 1-800-528-2122 or a Program Administrator in the Controller’s Office at (562)985-2512.


Cardholders are responsible for discontinuing use of the card at the request of American Express, the Program Administrator, or upon separation from the University.



The Cardholder is responsible for the following:

  • Paying all charges on time
    AMEX cardholders are responsible for paying all charges to American Express by the due date presented on the cardholder’s billing statement, even when on an extended trip.
    • Any credit posted to your account for amounts previously reimbursed must be remitted back to the University within 30 days. In order to pay your own bills on time, turning in the travel or hospitality claims in a timely manner will assist with promptness.

  • Disputing transactions in a timely manner
    It is important to dispute any charge appearing on an AMEX card statement with the merchant and American Express within 60 days of the transaction posting date (not the statement date). Disputes can be made online at
  • Reporting lost or stolen cards
    In the event that an AMEX card is lost, stolen, or fraudulent activity detected, immediately contact American Express at 1-800-528-2122. The cardholder could be held financially liable for transactions if fraud is not promptly reported. American Express will work with cardholders to resolve the problem and issue a replacement card when necessary.
  • Required maintenance of the Cardholder Account online with American Express
    In support of the state’s green initiative, profile information as well as billing statements should be maintained online at Contact American Express’ Customer Service at 1-800-528-2122 should you require accommodation and need to opt out of maintaining your account online.


If an AMEX card is declined for a reason unclear to the cardholder, please contact American Express Customer Service at 1-800-528-2122 for clarification.

Common reasons for declined transactions include the following:

  • Merchant has the incorrect AMEX card number, expiration date, or security code.
  • Cardholder’s statement billing address does not match the billing address provided to the merchant.
  • The transaction cost exceeds the card’s allowable limit.
  • The AMEX Card account is past due and has been suspended.
  • The AMEX Card is being used at a high-risk establishment restricted by the University.



Due to the airline travel insurance coverage provided when using the AMEX travel card, it is the preferred method of payment.

  • Benefits and Safeguards for Airline Travel
    Door to door coverage in case of an accident ($350,000) while on official government related business travel.



The AMEX card is an individual liability charge card and will not affect your credit if used in accordance with the guidelines of the University. You may not list the AMEX Card as a line of personal credit on any personal credit application or credit check.


In case of default, CSULB will pursue all measures necessary to collect balances owed. If the University is held liable for charges incurred by the cardholder for approved travel, the unit that employed the cardholder will be responsible for paying the appropriate business expenses.



Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Guideline Contact Carol Monson (562) 985-8301
Secondary Guideline Contact Brenda Penrod (562) 985-2697


Appendices (if any): N/A

Related Chancellor’s Office Policies: Pending



Q: Can I use my American Express Travel Card to make personal purchases?

A: No, the American Express Travel Card is restricted to business use only.


Issue Date: October 1, 2010

Last Review Date: N/A

Amended Date: 09/16/2014