PCard (Procurement Card)

The Procurement Card (PCard) Program is intended to provide a simple, efficient and cost-effective means of purchasing non-repetitive, low-dollar items. The PCard is a Bank of America issued MasterCard commercial card. It can be used for buying goods and services on behalf of the College and travel expenses when traveling on official College business.  

PCards are assigned to individual employees and are prohibited from being transferred to, assigned to or used by anyone other than the designated employee. Use for personal purchases is strictly prohibited. Fraudulent and/or misuse of the card is grounds for revoking PCard privileges and may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Always keep your PCard in a secure place. Just as you would your personal credit card.

PCard applications are managed by the Purchasing Department. To obtain a PCard there are a few simple steps that need to be followed:
• Fill out a Procurement Card Application
• Have your Supervisor sign the PCard Request and Agreement Form & submit the completed form to purchasing@holycross.edu
• Your card will be mailed to the address provided.
• Reconcile your PCard charges at least every two weeks in the Chrome River expense reporting system. Instructions can be found on LinkedIn LearningIf you would like individual training via Zoom or at your work station, please request training by sending an email to accountspayable@holycross.edu.

The PCard simplifies the procurement process by facilitating point-of-demand purchases. Procurement authority is delegated to the authorized cardholder to place orders directly with suppliers.

When making a purchase, the MasterCard system validates the transaction against spending limits and security profiles set for each cardholder. All transactions are approved or declined based on those restrictions.

As a default, PCard limits are $5,000 for a single purchase limit. The spend limit for each cardholder resets every two weeks.

Call the phone number on the card label to activate BEFORE use.  When prompted, enter the account number (full 16 digit credit card #), the activation/verification code is 99 plus your Holy Cross ID# only 7-digits starting with 0... AND the phone # provided when the card was requested—usually a cell #. 

In addition, while activating the card a 4-digit PIN# should be created.  Please listen to the instructions.  Using a PIN# is required when the card is used at point of sale locations (card should be inserted into the store device AND the PIN must be used). The PIN can be any 4 digit number that you will remember. A PIN is almost ALWAYS required when using the card at a location outside of the United States. Please be sure to set this up before you travel.

The PCard is designed to be used for purchases related to College business only.

  • Recurring payments less than $75
  • One-time purchases
  • Travel (see exclusions list)

Use of the card for purchasing personal items is strictly prohibited.

The PCard is a purchasing tool, but it does not warrant a change in purchasing policy. Cardholders must agree to follow the College’s policies for purchasingtravel and business expenses. Cardholders will strive to obtain the best value for the College and therefore will use Holy Cross preferred suppliers and contracts. If goods and/or services cardholders wish to obtain are available by a contracted supplier, the cardholder agrees to purchase items from those suppliers. For information on College contracts or preferred suppliers, contact the Purchasing Department.

The process for placing an order using the PCard is very similar to those used when making a purchase with any commercial credit card. Follow these steps:

  • Confirm that the purchase is appropriate for the PCard by referring to the list of restricted items.
  • Confirm that the total cost (including shipping and handling) does not exceed current transaction limits.
  • Make sure you are obtaining the best possible price. Any cardholder can contact Purchasing to ask if there is preferred/contracted supplier to use. (See Contract Compliance section.)
  • The College of the Holy Cross is a non-profit organization and therefore tax exempt. (See Tax Exemption section.)
  • Record the name of the person taking the order and the order/confirmation number, should subsequent problems/issues arise.
  • Upon receipt of the item, retain copies of the charge slip, sales receipt, statement and/or packing slip. Receipts must be readily available for audit. Improper documentation may result in loss of the P-card. (See Cardholder Record Management.)

The following commodities may not be purchased with a PCard, unless otherwise authorized by the Purchasing Department.

  • Animals
  • Cash advances
  • Computer hardware
  • Construction and renovation services
  • Financial or consulting services
  • Furniture
  • Hazardous and radioactive materials
  • Lease or lease-to-purchase
  • Office supplies
  • Personal items
  • Recurring purchases over $75

The College of the Holy Cross is a tax-exempt organization; the tax-exempt number appears on the PCard. This number must be given to all vendors by the cardholder at the time of the purchase to exempt payment of state sales tax. Cardholders have permission to use the College’s tax exemption for Holy Cross purchases only. If a vendor requires a Certificate of Tax Exemption, contact purchasing@holycross.edu

If asked for the billing address when using a P-Card, cardholders should use:


College of the Holy Cross

1 College Street

Worcester, MA 01610


Do not use a mailstop or provide additional information as it may result in the  P-Card being declined by certain vendors.

Vendors should know that the address label/packing slip must contain the following information:


College of the Holy Cross

1 College Street

Cardholder’s Name, Building name and room number

Worcester, MA 01610

Unlike personal credit cards, the Bank of America commercial card is handled as a corporate liability. Your personal credit history is not taken into account when a card is issued in your name. Accounts Payable is responsible for paying the PCard invoice each billing cycle.

The cardholder is responsible for ensuring receipt of goods and follow-up with the vendor to resolve any delivery problems, back orders, discrepancies or damaged goods.

It is a requirement of the program that you provide all receipts for all expenses over $75.  For orders placed via phone or online, you must request that a receipt detailing merchandise price, quantity, freight/shipping cost, etc. be emailed to you. (A merchant should not reject this request, as it is a Master Card policy.) It is extremely important to request and retain purchase receipts.


All receipts/records must be uploaded into ChromeRiver and matched to the associated credit card transaction when creating the expense report. Receipts can be uploaded directly to your account by taking a photo of the receipt with your smartphone or tablet and email to receipt@ca1.chromeriver.com from your Holy Cross email address.


A few things to note about supporting documentation:

  • Receipts or invoices must be submitted for all purchases over $75.
  • Expenses for food/meals should include a detailed receipt as well as the charge receipt detailing tip amount.
  • Expenses for food/meals must include purpose and a list of attendees if there are more than 10 attendees you can upload a roster
  • If documentation is missing, a Missing Receipt Form must be completed and attached to the expense report in ChromeRiver.

PCard transactions will be audited from time to time. It is essential to adhere to the above guidelines.

ChromeRiver is an expense reporting tool for processing PCard transactions and reimbursements. ChromeRiver training can be accessed through Holy Cross LinkedIn Learning. You may also request training via Zoom or through individual training at your desk. Contact accountspayable@holycross.edu to request a training session.

Cardholders are responsible for the following:

  • Uploading all receipts for items purchased with the PCard. (See Cardholder Record Management section.)
  • Ensuring all transactions posted in ChromeRiver are legitimate purchases made by you on behalf of the College.
  • Ensuring the Expense Report title has detailed information that will also be shown in the Adaptive budget system as the description for the expense.
  • Ensuring that you adhere to all budgetary restrictions.
  • Reclassifying all transactions to the proper account, chart string and, if applicable, project or grant.
  • Listing a reasonable detailed description of the purchase.
  • Scanning all receipts/documentation and attaching to the transaction as it posts in ChromeRiver.

It is the cardholder's responsibility to safeguard the PCard and account number to the same degree that a cardholder safeguards his/her personal credit card.

The cardholder must not allow any unauthorized individuals to use the PCard or its number. A violation of this trust may result in the cardholder having his/her card withdrawn and/or disciplinary action for the cardholder and/or the unauthorized individual.

If a PCard is lost or stolen, the cardholder must immediately notify Bank of America at 888-449-2273. Representatives are available 24 hours a day. The cardholder must advise the representative that it is a College P-Card. The program administrator must also be notified by e-mail at purchasing@holycross.edu.

A new PCard will be promptly issued by the program administrator to the cardholder after the reported loss or theft.  

Should a cardholder terminate employment with the College, the card holder's department has the specific obligation to reclaim the PCard, notify Purchasing of the termination and deposit the PCard in a secure shred bin on campus. If an employee transfers within departments at the College, they can use the same PCard if it is needed in their new role. The Purchasing Department should be notified of the transfer for updating our records.

It is the responsibility of the College to monitor PCard usage, to ensure that cardholders are in compliance with the policies and procedures and that PCard records are maintained accordingly. Cardholder records will be reviewed on a monthly basis to check for adherence to internal controls and to policies and procedures. Cardholder records are also subject to review by various other internal and external auditors.

Noncompliance with PCard policy may result in a reduction in the cardholder's transaction limits or in the cancellation of the PCard. Examples of issues of noncompliance include:

  • Use of the PCard for the purchases of restricted commodities.
  • Use of the PCard for the purchase of items that are available under College contract and are purchased from a vendor other than an appropriate contract.
  • Use of the PCard by an unauthorized individual (someone other than the "official" cardholder);
  • Use of the PCard in excess of assigned cardholder limits or available budget, after the expiration of a grant, or for purchase(s) that are inappropriate for the account/object code charged.
  • "Splitting" or dividing a purchase that totals more than the transactional limit.

In extreme cases (instances where it is proven that fraud has occurred or that the cardholder has used the card for personal purchases that do not benefit the College), disciplinary action and possible legal action, up to and including termination of employment and repayment to the College of any improper charges, may be required based upon an extensive investigation by College administration and any other parties that are deemed appropriate. Suspected instances of fraud will be turned over to the area's vice president immediately for their review and possible action.

Should a cardholder disagree with an audit finding, the cardholder may dispute the findings. The cardholder should include a complete and clear written explanation of the cardholder's reason for the dispute.