Spending While Abroad

Be sure to check MIT travel policies on reimbursement of expenses, using procurement and travel cards, and many other travel-related information before traveling.

International per diem vs. actual expenses

The international agreement may specify whether a per diem is allowable. MIT’s Travel Policy allows travelers to claim a per diem rate in lieu of actual expenses when traveling internationally

Per diem may be claimed to cover hotels only, or meals and incidential expenses, or both. Per diem reimbursement cannot be mixed with actual expenses and cannot be used if hotels and meals are charged to the MIT Travel card. Travelers can opt to claim less then the foreign per diem rates set forth by the U.S. Department of State but cannot claim in excess of the rate.

Procurement cards and travel cards

The MIT Procurement Card (ProCard) functions as a personal credit card for MIT purchases wherever Visa is accepted by an international vendor. This is the preferred method of payment for small dollar amounts, including all non-travel related purchases while you are working abroad.

The MIT Travel Card is for all travel purchases, including airfare and train tickets, hotel, conference registration fees, meals, and other business expenses. Check with your program administrator or cardholder agreement prior to departure for limits on amounts and types of transactions.

Out of pocket expenses will only be reimbursed at the completion of the trip.

Traveling with cash

Travelers should avoid carrying cash beyond what is needed for immediate and ordinary personal expenses. When transporting large amounts of cash or equivalents, travelers may be required to declare funds to the Customs of the country. Noncompliance may result in confiscation.

The U.S. requires declaration to U.S. Customs by travelers carrying more than $10,000 in currency or traveler’s checks when arriving in or leaving the U.S. Many other countries have similar restrictions. To obtain more information about a specific country’s declaration requirements, contact its embassy in the U.S. or IATA website for a general summary of customs and tax information.

If you are traveling in a country or region where infrastructure will make the use of a corporate credit card difficult, please contact the VPF Travel and Card Services at least two weeks prior to departure to make alternate payment arrangements.