Gift Cards/Gift Certificates, How to Pay

Payment method:

Sample credit card

All purchase of gift cards/gift certificates (of non-negotiable amounts) must have a valid, documented business purpose as outlined in the policies referenced below, and must comply with all University purchasing and expense procedures.  The preferred method for purchasing these items is to use a University-issued Purchasing Card (P-Card).  The purchase must be within the P-Card limits and not conflict with any contractual agreement.

Other allowable methods include:

  • Submit a Direct Pay Request (DPR) Form

Note: Refer to University Policy 601.8, "Appropriate Use of University Funds" to confirm if this is a permissible use of funds for your area.

Rationale and other considerations:

Departments are responsible for tracking all gift cards purchased and distributed in the event of an audit or review.  UP 101.18 Appendix C - Gifts, Awards & Prizes Log Sheet is recommended for department use to satisfy this documentation need.  Refer to UP 101.18 Appendix A to determine if a gift (cumulative per person) exceeds limits defined as non-reportable.  If reportable, submit UP 101.18 Appendix B - Reportable Gifts, Awards, & Prizes Form to the Tax Office within 2 weeks after disbursement, unless the payment was intended to be a cash gift paid directly to an individual on a DPR.
Note: When reimbursing individuals for gifts they purchased to distribute to others that meet the reportable limits (including gift cards), UP 101.18 Appendix B - Reportable Gifts, Awards, & Prizes Form must be submitted.
How to do it:
  1. Review Policy 101.18 to confirm reporting requirements based on recipient class and gift type (cash vs. non-cash)
  2. The gift cards should then be purchased using a P-Card and, if necessary, reported on Appendix B. 

Contact for additional questions:

Please refer to the contacts listed on the Tax Office website