P-Card or T&H Card:

Which should I use?

As the implementation of the travel and hospitality (T&H) card program is nearly complete, cardholders can expect changes to purchases that are allowed to be made with the procurement card (p-card).

Hospitality transactions – defined as purchases made at hotels and restaurants, caterers and other food stores for the purpose of hosting guests of the university – will soon be restricted on the p-card and will need to be made using the T&H card.  

More information about this change, expected in late January, will be sent by email to cardholders whose p-cards have included hospitality rights.

This chart may help you understand when it is more appropriate to use your p-card versus when the T&H card is more appropriate.

Which card should I use?

Expense Type

Procurement Card

Travel and Hospitality Card

Car rentals 
Conference registrations and fees ✔* ✔*
Educational materials 
Food for research purposes 
Food/refreshments for events 
Gas for car rentals 
Gas for lab or farm use 
Gifts and door prizes 
Goods, materials, supplies  ✔** 
Hotel accommodations 
Meals during employee travel 
Meals for hospitality events 
Meeting room expenses 
Restaurant or coffee shop gift cards    ✔***
Other gift cards 
Parking fees 
Professional dues/memberships 
Promotional Items 
Repair, technical, rental services 

Conference registrations are preferred on the travel and hospitality card, but may decline due to merchant code controls, so if you experience decline you can try on your procurement card.


** Use of the p-card is intended only for items not available from University Stores or through cyBUY contract requisitioning (or other university contracts); or for low-cost items needed immediately.


*** If purchased at a restaurant or coffee shop the purchase will decline on the p-card due to blocked merchant codes.


This chart is not an exhaustive list, so if you need more information on acceptable card usages please contact cardservices@iastate.edu.


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