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Purchase Card FAQs

Who can have a Purchase Card?

Purchase Cards can be issued to permanent or contracted employees who are required to effect ad hoc, un-contracted and urgent purchases that can’t be made via the University’s Unimarket purchasing system.

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How do I acquire a Purchase Card?

  1. Read the Purchase Card Guidelines.
  2. If you agree to abide by the Guidelines, complete the application form.
  3. Sign the form indicating that you have read the Guidelines.
  4. Have the application form signed off by your supervisor and executive.
  5. Send the completed form to

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What is my transaction limit?

Each card has a transaction limit of up to $3,000. Some specific cardholders have larger transaction limits and these cardholders would know their transaction limit is different.

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How much can I spend per month with my Purchase Card?

Most Purchase Cards have a monthly limit of $15,000 though there are some specific exceptions to this and the cardholder would know this.

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What can I use my card for?

Purchase Cards may be used for purchases that are ad-hoc, uncontracted and urgent purchases for which it is not possible to use a purchase order. View a list of what you can use your Purchase Card for.

Here are some examples:

Last minute, unplanned catering that is unable to be supplied by Catering Travel Expenditure
eBay, where CSU cannot purchase directly from the supplier Conference Registrations
Custom fees and charges Recurring Direct Debits

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How do I reconcile my transactions?

All expenses charged against the card must be coded and approved through the ProMaster Expense Management System. Cardholders can download the ExpenseMe mobile app to their device, to capture receipts and code expenditure.

The Purchase Card Cardholder User Guide is available here.

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What do I do if I don't recognise a transaction on my card?

Contact the Merchant and discuss the transaction with them.

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What do I do if my card is lost or stolen?

If you have had your card stolen or it has been lost, you must immediately contact the Commonwealth Bank on 1800 020 306. Notification must also be forwarded to identifying the date and time that you notified the bank of the issue and include details of the loss or theft.

Your card will be cancelled by the bank and a new one issued.

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How do I raise my current card limit?

  1. Fill out the Cardholder Limit Change form.
  2. Obtain the necessary approval signatures from your executive.
  3. Email form to
  4. Limit changes are subject to approval by the Division of Finance.
  5. Changes take approximately 5 to 7 working days.

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How do I change my default account codes (FOAP)?

  1. Complete the Purchase Card Maintenance form.
  2. Email completed form to
  3. Changes take approximately 5 to 7 working days.

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Are travel related purchases allowed on my Purchase Card?

No. All travel related purchases must be done on a Travel Card or through the Travel Office. This includes conference registrations.

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Why do I have to reconcile my transactions by the 10th of the next month?

You need to reconcile your transactions as quickly as possible. Delays will mean that your expenditure will not be reflected in the budget, resulting in under reporting of your expenditure. Others may also not be aware of your outstanding transactions.

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What do I do if a receipt is unobtainable or lost?

  1. Contact the merchant for a duplicate receipt.
  2. If a duplicate receipt cannot be obtained from the merchant, complete a Lost Document Declaration form and attach it to the transaction in ProMaster.

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What should I do if my card is declined by a supplier?

Make sure that the transaction amount is within your limits. Overseas transactions can catch you out with the conversion rates.

Possible reasons for decline are:

  • Invalid expiration date has been entered
  • Purchase exceeds your transaction limit
  • Purchase amount exceeds your monthly spend limit
  • Transaction is with a merchant that is blocked by our card controls
  • Commonwealth Bank and MasterCard has some vendors that are listed as high risk and they may decline the purchase
  • The merchant may be overseas and the transaction may have been blocked by the Commonwealth Bank Fraud Team - always notify CBA before using your card overseas
  • Merchant's terminal is not working properly
  • You have selected 'Savings' or 'Cheque' instead of 'Credit'

Contact or Accounts Payable by telephone on internal extension 32628.

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Can I let anyone else use my Purchase Card?

No - your Purchase Card is only for use by the designated cardholder whose name appears on the front of the Purchase Card.

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When must I have my transactions reconciled by?

All Purchase Card transactions must be reconciled by the 10th of the month following the date of the transaction e.g. if you used your card on 15 March, transactions will need to be reconciled and submitted for approval by 10 April.

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I no longer need my Purchase Card, or I am leaving CSU. What do I do with my card?

  1. Complete the Purchase Card Return form.
  2. Post or email completed form to
  3. Your card can be returned with the form, or destroyed.

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Can I keep my Purchase Card if I transfer to a new business unit?

If you move to a new business unit, you will need to complete a new application and have it authorised by the appropriate people.

On the application form, please indicate in the 'Have you held a CSU Purchase Card in the past?' field that you have a current card and provide the last 4 digits of the card number.

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Can I use my card to make Internet purchases?

Yes, providing you are using a secure website. A secure site URL starts with 'https' and includes a padlock symbol. If present, it indicates the website is secure and the user information captured by the site is protected by SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security.

Please be sure to screen capture your details and any payment receipt details and attach them with your transaction reconciliation.

If the merchant is overseas, please advise the Commonwealth Bank that you will be using your card offshore, to avoid blocking of your transaction.

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Can I use my Purchase Card to purchase products from BOC?

No. The University has an agreement with BOC that request a purchase order to be raised through Unimarket, before BOC will supply the product.

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What is the minimum transaction charge for which I need a tax invoice / receipt?

You need a receipt for ALL transactions processed on your Purchase Card.

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The supplier has offered to break a charge into two amounts, as the charge is over my limit. Is this OK?

No. Splitting transactions is against our policy. If you do this and the split is identified, your card will immediately be cancelled and you will not be issued with another Purchase Card.

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I'm going on leave. Can I give my Purchase Card to someone else in the business unit, so the business unit still has access to a Purchase Card in my absence?

No. This is considered card delegation and is against bank regulations and CSU policy. If it is discovered that you have allowed someone else to use your card, your card will be cancelled and you will not be issued a new card. Please secure your card in a safe place whilst on leave.

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My supervisor wants me to make a purchase that is listed in the User Guide as not allowed. If my supervisor still requests it after I tell them this, it is OK to make the purchase anyway?

No. You may not make the purchase. Inappropriate expenditure can be billed to you personally and you will need to reimburse CSU for the purchase. If this happens, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss this with your supervisor.

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Can I use my Purchase Card to buy refreshments for our monthly staff meeting?

No. You are not permitted to purchase refreshments for regular and recurring CSU employee meetings.

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Last month I paid for something that is on the inappropriate purchase card transaction list. Since I paid for it last month and nothing was said about it, why can't I do it again?

We are all human and unfortunately we occasionally overlook something that should have been flagged as an issue. Just because this happens, does not mean that you may continue to breach the guidelines.

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Oops! I accidentally paid for a personal expense with my CSU Purchase Card. What do I do?

You must reconcile the transaction in ProMaster using Expense Type PRIVATE. You will be issued with an invoice for the charge and you will be required to reimburse CSU. Repayment details are included on the invoice.

NOTE: Whilst we acknowledge that accidents can happen, more than three instances of this type in any 12 month period will result in your card being cancelled.

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What happens if I don't reconcile my Purchase Card transactions?

If you have unreconciled transactions as at the 10th of the month following the transaction date, your card may be suspended.

If those transactions remain outstanding for 45 days, you will receive a reminder email to reconcile them. If they remain unreconciled at 60 days, your card will be cancelled and you will be invoiced for the outstanding charges.

To avoid this situation occurring, please be sure to notify with the reasons for the delay in reconciliation.

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How do I assign someone else to reconcile my Purchase Card transactions?

If you are going on leave and unable to reconcile your Purchase Card transactions within the reconciliation period, please give someone authority to reconcile them on your behalf. Instructions on how to set this up can be found here. Please be sure to let that person know you have assigned your responsibility to them during your absence.

Please also be aware that you are personally responsible for ensuring your transactions are reconciled on time.

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Can I use my Purchase Card in countries other than Australia?

Yes, but to avoid blocking of your transaction, you should advise Commonwealth Bank beforehand. They have security monitoring processes in place to identify potentially suspicious transactions.

Contact Commonwealth Bank on 1800 020 306

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