Reporting Travel Expenses

After returning from a trip, travelers on Rutgers business who used personal funds for travel-related expenses can request reimbursement by submitting an expense report in Expense Management, accessible through myRutgers Portal.

Expense reports must include receipts for travel expenses and a complete explanation of the business purpose of the trip to support the use of university funds. The business purpose must clearly state the benefit to the university. Find more information on how to report travel expenses.

Attach Receipts With Your Expense Report

Travelers must attach original receipts for any travel-related expense in excess of $50. All business meeting meal expenses require an original itemized receipt regardless of the amount. Our travel policy defines a receipt as an original document itemizing the good(s) or service(s) purchased. A receipt must provide

  • a named payee and
  • date that confirms payment has been made for a stated purchase.
  • Proof of payment, i.e. last 4 digits of credit card

If travelers lose a receipt, prepare a Lost Receipt Certification Form found in RU Marketplace and attach it electronically to your expense report. This form is required for all duplicate or lost receipts and must be accompanied by proof of payment and the signatures of the requester and the person approving the expense.

If a receipt has someone else's name on it, travelers must obtain a memo from the person named on the receipt authorizing reimbursement to you. The memo must also indicate that the person named on the receipt (and writing the memo) will not seek reimbursement from the university.

Travel-Related Expenses

Airline and Rail Tickets

Travelers can purchase airline and rail tickets:

  • through a university preferred travel agency using the direct billing option,
  • through the internet using personal funds, or
  • with the airline or rail company directly using personal funds.

Travelers must include supporting documentation to receive reimbursement for airfare and rail.

  • A receipt or detailed itinerary that includes all times of departure, flight numbers, class of service, fare basis, ticket or confirmation number, and cost of ticket
  • Proof of payment (credit card statement alone is not sufficient).
  • Boarding passes should be included when possible.

Rutgers will reimburse you for reasonable and appropriate baggage fees. Baggage fees that are personal in nature 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 and must arrange this with the travel agency, or airline and rail company directly.

If a traveler chooses to drive rather than fly to the destination, mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the lowest cost of a commercial coach airfare. Please include an airfare quote with your supporting documentation. Meals or lodging will not be reimbursed while driving to your destination.

If a traveler is extending a trip for personal stay, comparative airfare or rail much be acquired at time of air or rail purchase showing extended dates did not incur any additional cost to the University.

If an airfare ticket is not used, you can use the Unused Air Ticket Affidavit found in RU Marketplace to apply for reimbursement of the ticket. You must attach this form to your expense report.

Automobile Mileage Rate

Effective January 1, 2019, the IRS has increased the mileage reimbursement rate by $0.035 to $0.58 per mile. In accordance with the university travel policy 40.4.1 (PDF), all mileage reimbursement for university travel after January 1, 2019, is reimbursable at the new IRS rate of $0.58.  For 2018 travel, the mileage reimbursement rate is $0.545 per mile. 

PLEASE NOTE:  The Expense Management module has been updated to reflect the 2019 standard mileage rates. Expense report mileage for 2018 will be reimbursed at the 2018 IRS mileage rate.

Personal Vehicles

We will reimburse a traveler who uses a personal car for Rutgers business purposes at the current authorized mileage rate. Your expense report must include:

  • specific origination and destination locations (use Google Maps or MapQuest to track your 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.


There are no hotel per diem rates. Lodging is reimbursed at 100 percent of the actual expense for a standard hotel room. Your expense report must include an original hotel receipt that details the

  • rate,
  • dates of stay, and
  • proof of payment.

Travelers can choose to stay at a hotel other than a conference hotel; however you will receive reimbursement for the negotiated conference hotel rate or the actual expense, whichever is lower.

If travelers don't have an itemized receipt for lodging, please contact the hotel and have them fax or email you a copy of the required itemized hotel folio. A lost receipt form found in RU Marketplace must accompany the duplicate receipt. If a duplicate receipt is unavailable, the lost receipt form may be submitted, but it must include proof of payment.


We reimburse for your meals when you are actively in travel status. We define travel status as traveling

  • for a period of at least 12 consecutive hours, or
  • at least 100 miles from your 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. You must select one option for your entire trip in order to receive reimbursement.

  1. Rutgers per diem rate of $50 for all cities (domestic or foreign).
  2. IRS per diem rates as described below.

Meal Per Diem Options

Meal per diem is the allowance for meal expenses as established by the federal General Services Administration for destinations within the Continental United States (CONUS).

U.S. Cities

Foreign Cities

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

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.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

Although not a complete list, examples of expenses that will not be reimbursed by the University:

  • No reimbursement will be given for the purchase of travel, accident or life insurance for a business-related trip. When traveling on university business, New Jersey Workers’ Compensation covers university employees. Contact the Office of University Risk Management and Insurance for further information.
  • Fees incurred for changing reservations unless there is a business justification.
  • Expenses and/or fees associated with social or non-mandatory activities at conferences such as tours, sports activities, golf outings, fun runs, movies, theater tickets, in-room movies, in-flight movies, etc.
  • Unreasonably expensive meals and lodging.
  • Expenses that are not Rutgers business-related.
  • Meals included in the cost of conference/meeting fees.
  • All expenses related to the personal negligence of the traveler (parking tickets and fines, towing, traffic violations, damage to personal vehicles, clothing, or other items).
  • Repairs of personal vehicles used on university business.
  • Laundry and valet service for business stays less than a week (five consecutive business days).
  • Spouse's/family member's travel costs (including babysitting).
  • Lost/stolen cash or personal property including luggage and/or briefcases.
  • Personal items and services (e.g., shoe shines, haircuts, manicures, saunas, massages, pet care costs, souvenirs or personal gifts, childcare costs, and personal reading materials).
  • Late payment penalties and interest on personal credit card.
  • Alcoholic beverages (the cost of alcoholic beverages cannot be reimbursed from state or federal funding sources).
  • Frequent flyer or club membership (air or rail) fees.
  • Gifts
  • Gift Cards

Rental Vehicles

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

Travelers must purchase vehicle rental insurance if not booking the reservation with Enterprise/ National, in which the University has a negotiated agreement.

  • U.S. and Canada: You must purchase collision insurance (often called Collision Damage Waiver Insurance on the rental contract). You must purchase the minimum liability insurance if it is not automatically included in the contract.
  • International: All insurance coverage must be purchased.

Tolls and parking fees are also reimbursable with original receipts. Gasoline expenses are only reimbursable for rental or university-owned vehicles.

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