How to Get a Purchasing Card

Apply expanding section

Employees applying for a PCard must complete and submit a Purchasing Card Application.

Complete Mandatory Training expanding section

Before a purchasing card application can be processed, the card applicant must attend a virtual PCard Orientation session.  Purchasing Services will reach out to the applicant to schedule the orientation session after receiving the application.

Receive and Activate the PCard expanding section

U.S. Bank will mail the card directly to the card applicant at their campus address. Cards are typically received 7-10 days after applications are processed.

  • Activate the Card: To activate a purchasing card, visit U.S. Bank’s Access Online, click Activate Your Card, and follow the prompts on the subsequent screens.
  • Sign the back of your new purchasing card.
  • Register for Access Online: To gain online access to your purchasing card account, visit U.S. Bank’s Access Online, click Register Online, and follow the prompts on the subsequent screens.  More information on Access Online can be found in the Access Online Guide sections of this webpage.

Purchasing Card (PCard)

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Purchasing Card (PCard) is a university-liability VISA card issued and supported by U.S. Bank and authorized for UW-La Crosse business-use only.  It provides a convenient way to pay for travel expenses and low dollar purchase of items that are not available through ShopUW+.


U.S. Bank Access Online

Access Online is a web-based management tool that provides cardholders with quick access to their complete account information, enabling cardholders to view their account activity and billing statements online.

Click here to go to Access Online.

Using your Purchasing Card

Card Sharing expanding section

Only the individual whose name is embossed on a purchasing card is allowed to use that card to make purchases. Cardholders may not share their cards or account numbers with others; however, a cardholder may use the purchasing card to make purchases on behalf of other employees (e.g. airfare for another traveler).

Purchasing Card Dollar Thresholds expanding section

The credit limit on purchasing cards is set at $5,000 per transaction and $5,000 overall credit limit.  If you need to make a purchase exceeding $5,000 contact Purchasing Services.

Vendor Eligibility expanding section

A vendor’s eligibility to do business with the University is contingent upon their compliance with various state statutes.  Prior to making purchases, cardholders must ensure the intended vendor is not on the State of Wisconsin’s Ineligible Vendor List.

Tax Exemption expanding section

The University is exempt from the payment of sales and use tax on purchases made in the state of Wisconsin and also has tax treaties with several other US states.  

The sales tax exemption number is listed on the PCard in the upper right corner.  The cardholder is responsible for reimbursing the university for any sales tax charged, if not credited by vendor.  Check your receipts!

Contact Business Services for a copy of our current tax exemption certificate.

Shipping Address expanding section

The campus address should be used for shipping: 1725 State Street or 855 East Avenue. Include an Attention/Deliver To line for your specific campus office or department.

Service Fees/Credit Card Processing Fees expanding section

While not prohibited, service fees and credit card processing fees should be avoided when possible.  Request invoice from vendor.

Declines/Blocked Charges expanding section

If your PCard is declined, first call US Bank at the number on the back of the card to determine why the charge is declining.  If US Bank cannot resolve the issue, contact PCard administrator Shelle Gholson: or 608.785.8501

Prohibited PCard Purchases expanding section

The following items should NOT be purchased with a PCard:

  • Amazon Prime Memberships: Amazon Prime Memberships cannot be purchased with your PCard or any state funds. You may use your own Amazon Prime Membership if the order is tax-free and shipped to campus.
  • Gifts: Gift for distinguished visitors may be purchased with a PCard if they follow UW System Administrative Policy 330 and have an approved Prizes, Awards and Gifts form.
  • Greeting Cards: Greeting cards not allowable on PCard.
  • Individual Meals: Meals while traveling should be paid for out of pocket and reimbursed through e-Reimbursement.
  • Personal Items/services: Non-business items and services are strictly prohibited.
  • Recurring Charges: charges billed automatically to your PCard without your review/approval are prohibited.
Special Process Purchases expanding section
  • Books: UWL has a contract with Follett for books. The campus bookstore should be used for all book purchases and only if Follet is unable to source the book can a PCard be used to purchase it elsewhere. Email Bookstore Manager Carlena Goddeau:
  • Computers, Computer Equipment: Contact Information Technology Services
  • Food: A Food Expense Approval Form is required.
  • Furniture: Contact Campus Planning:
  • New Memberships: New memberships must go through an approval process; renewal of membership may go on PCard. Membership policy.
  • Office Supplies: Requests for office supplies should be made via ShopUW+. Do not purchase office supplies directly from Staples, Office Depot or other such suppliers.
  • Print: Contact Purchasing Services:
  • Software: Requests for software should be made via ShopUW+

PCard Statement Processing

Cardholders will access their bi-weekly purchasing card statements through their US Bank Access Online account. 

Statement Notifications expanding section

Set up email notifications in Access Online to receive a notice when you have a statement available.

Downloading Your Statement expanding section

Log into your Access Online Account to print your bi-weekly statement.

Reallocating Funding expanding section

On the Statement
If you need to reallocate funding for a purchase, please indicate the correct funding string in the box titled "Reallocate Funding to:" as shown below.

Funding Reallocation Example

Transaction Management
If you have the Transaction Management Tool, you may reallocate funding in Access Online.

Important Reminders:
You have seven (7) days from the statement date to use the Transaction Management Tool.

Include the Transaction Report when submitting your statement if you have used the Tool.

Business Purpose expanding section

Business purpose must be provided for every charge on the statement.  The business purpose should not restate what item was purchased, but rather answer the question “Why did UWL need this item/service?”


  • Classroom supplies for… (specify class or how item will be used)
  • Research supplies for… (specify researcher and/or brief description of research)
  • Faculty research for… specify researcher and/or brief description of research
  • Transportation for Conference for Chemistry Educators
  • Membership to Association of Chemistry Educators
  • Grant Supplies must include name of grant in addition to Business Purpose.
Supporting Documentation expanding section
  • All charges on your PCard statement must have an accompanying itemized receipt.
  • Airfare charges must be accompanied by the TravelWise confirmation/invoice AND a conference/meeting agenda or registration confirmation.
  • Food/Meals must be accompanied by a pre-approved Food Expense Approval Form:
  • Gasoline receipts must be accompanied by a copy of the rental car confirmation/invoice.
  • Hotel/Lodging receipts must be accompanied by a copy of the conference/meeting agenda or registration.
  • Rental Car receipts must be accompanied by a copy of the conference/meeting agenda or registration.
Submitting Your Statement expanding section

Approved statements, along with the receipts/supporting documentation, are to be submitted within two weeks of the statement date via email to

You will need Adobe Acrobat to process your statement.  If you do not have Adobe Acrobat on your computer, contact your ITS support specialist or the Eagle Help Desk at or 608.785.8774.


  1. Review the transactions on the statement for accuracy.
  2. Prepare the statement:
    1. Use Adobe Acrobat to edit the statement.
      1. Type in a business purpose in the box provided for each transaction (required).
      2. Type in the funding string and/or account code change in the box provided or leave blank if there are no changes.
      3. Save the file.
  3. Combine your statement and receipts into one Adobe (.pdf) file, in the following order:
    1. US Bank Statement
    2. Receipts in the order they appear on your statement
    3. If applicable, the Transaction Management report
  4. Forward the email with your combined statement file to your supervisor.
    1. Forward the email to your supervisor with the attachment and type “Approved” in the body of the email. Do not copy

Your statement will be returned if any of this information is missing.



  1. Review your employee’s purchasing card transactions, receipts, and supporting documentation.
  2. Forward the email with the attachment and type “Approved” in the body of the email to indicate your approval to:


Delinquent PCard Statements

For statements over two weeks past due, cardholders will be emailed a delinquent statement notice. The delinquent notice will request the past due statement(s) and supporting receipts/documents by a due date. When statements are greater than 60 days past due, cardholders will be emailed a deactivation notice. The deactivation notice will request the past due statement(s) and supporting receipts/documents by a due date. Statements not turned in by the due date will result in PCard(s) deactivation.


PCard Refresher

The annual PCard Refresher consists of a brief PowerPoint presentation followed by a short Qualtrics quiz. 

All cardholders are required to complete the Refresher on a calendar year basis.

Click here to complete the PCard refresher activity.