Purchasing Card FAQs

The Purchasing Card program provides individuals and departments with a MasterCard credit card to make timely and efficient acquisitions of small dollar purchases. 
The card is for business use only and has spending limits and restrictions. All charges are billed directly to the University. 

The card can be used for most any small dollar purchases including but not limited to:
       •  Supplies and equipment
       •   Periodical subscriptions
       •  Snacks for meetings|
       •   Printing
       •   Promotional supplies

You can get as many cards for your department or program area as you need, subject to the approval of your dean or appointing officer.


Download and complete the Purchasing Card Application (PDF)

Have your unit head and dean or appointing officer approve the application. If the card is in an individual’s name (not in a the department's or program name), you can disregard page. 2.

Forward the application to Procurement Services, 2015 Zumberge Hall (JHZ)

The card will arrive in 7 to 10 days and will come to Procurement Services first and will be forwarded to you via intercampus mail. 

Click here to learn more about the Purchasing Card program.

The Purchasing Card is for business use ONLY. 

Restricted items include but are not limited to the following:

  • Computers and computer accessories
  • Software
  • Office furniture
  • Gift cards and gift certificates
  • Guns and ammunition
  • Payments to persons who perform services
  • Travel and entertainment expenses (including restaurants, hotels, airfare, car rental, movies, museums.  They should go through the reimbursement process.

Learn more about Purchasing Card restrictions.

Contact one of the following immediately so a hold can be put on your card. You do not need to know the card number. They can look it up by the card name. 
 • Fifth Third Bank Fraud Dept 855-634-1295
 • Mastercard 800-MC-ASSIST (800-622-7747)
 • Mastercard International In-Country Toll Free Customer Service Phone Numbers
 • Procurement Services 616/331-2257, 616/331-3211, 616/331-3436 purchasing@gvsu.edu

Note: If you have a card that is in a department or program name and not in a person's name, the bank might not be able to assist you because they cannot verify that you are the cardholder. They may be willing to temporarily put a courtesy hold on the card. Call Procurement Services 616-331-2280 and a Program Administrator will contact the bank on your behalf. 

Fifth Third or MasterCard might ask you for you for your company address or an address to send the card to. This is the same as the billing address for your card. If you do not know the billing address, call Procurement Services at 616-331-2280 to speak with a Program Administrator

Fifth Third or MasterCard will usually close and reissue the card. It takes 7 to 10 days for the replacement card to arrive. It can be expressed mailed (2-day) for free if the loss was not our fault; or for $25 if it was our fault. Notify the Purchasing Card administrator at 616-331-2280 that your card was closed and reissued. The replacement card will come to the Program Administrator first and will be forwarded to you via intercampus mail. 

  • Sometimes the GVSU Mail Room delivers the card to the cardholder instead of to Procurement Services. If you receive a new card and have not received a card activation email from Procurement Services, contact Procurement Services 616-331-2280 to report that you received the card. 

If invalid transactions posted to your card account, Fifth Third will be mailing you a Declaration of Fraud Activity form for you to sign that legally states it is not a valid charge. Be sure to complete and send the form to the bank promptly or you will lose dispute rights. The form usually arrives within a month.

If you have any recurring charges with merchants, contact them to provide the new card information. 

Do not use the Dispute Resolution form to report this issue. 

Contact the Fifth Third Bank Fraud Department at 855-634-1295. The bank will close and reissue the card. The bank will ask you to verify if any other recent transactions are valid. 

Note: If you have a card that is in a department or program name and not in a person's name, the bank might not be able to assist you because they cannot verify that you are the cardholder. Call Procurement Services 616-331-2280 and they will contract the bank on your behalf. 

Fifth Third or MasterCard will usually close and reissue the card. It takes 7 to 10 days for the replacement card to arrive. It can be expressed mailed (2-day) for free if the loss was not our fault; or for $25 if it was our fault. Notify the Purchasing Card administrator at 616-331-2280 that your card was closed and reissued. The replacement card will come to the Program Administrator first and will be forwarded to you via intercampus mail. 

  • Sometimes the GVSU Mail Room delivers the card to the cardholder instead of to Procurement Services. If you receive a new card and have not received a card activation email from Procurement Services, contact Procurement Services 616-331-2280 to report that you received the card. 

If invalid transactions posted to your card account, Fifth Third will be mailing you a Declaration of Fraud Activity form for you to sign that legally states it is not a valid charge. Be sure to complete and send the form to the bank promptly or you will lose dispute rights. The form usually arrives within a month.

If you have any recurring charges with merchants, contact them to provide the new card information. 

Before contacting Procurement Services, please try the following tips:

  • Have the merchant try running the card manually
  • Try processing the card at a different cash register
  • Try using a different purchasing card

Common reasons for declines include: 

  •     Card is not activated
  •     Transaction exceeds your spending limits  (per transaction, monthly, transactions/day)
  •     Incorrect PIN entered
  •     Incorrect 3-digit number on back of card entered
  •     Bank placed a hold on your card to verify if recent transactions are valid
  •     Merchant is coded as a blocked merchant
  •     Problem with the merchant's online card portal or processor.


Contact Procurement Services at 616-331-2280 to speak with a Program Administrator.  We can immediately determine the reason for the decline and assist with getting the issue resolved to allow the transaction to go through. 

Alternately you can contact Fifth Third Bank at 800-855-634-1295 or 800-488-6773.
The bank can tell you the reason for the decline but cannot make changes to allow the transaction to proceed without Procurement Services authorization.    

Do not use the Fifth Third Bank Dispute form to report fraudulent transactions that appear on your card or where your card has been compromised. In that case, call the Fifth Third Bank Fraud Department at 855-634-1295  (See above question "What should I do if a charge on my card or card statement is not a valid charge made by me or if my card has been compromised?")

Use the Dispute form for transactions that you have made where you have an issue that the merchant is not resolving.  For example:

  •      You were due a credit but the merchant has never issued the credit.
  •      The merchant is not returning your calls.
  •      Your merchant went out of business before delivering your goods or services

If you are having any issues where the merchant should be refunding you money, and it is approaching 60 days from the original transaction date, it is highly recommended that you submit a dispute to Fifth Third Bank to assure you can receive the credit. You must do this within 60 days of the original transaction date. After 60 days, the bank cannot require the merchant to issue the credit and you will lose dispute rights.

Once you submit the Dispute form, the bank will give the merchant 30 days to respond (45 days if international merchant). If the merchant does not respond satisfactorily, the bank will issue you a credit on your card. The bank might mail you a request for additional information. Be prompt in responding to the request or you might lose dispute rights. 

To contact the Fifth Third Dispute department, call 888-701-3878.
Click here to download a copy of the Dispute Form.  Fax the form to the bank at the fax number at the top of the form. 
 

Contact Procurement Services at 616-331-2280 to speak with a Program Administrator. For security purposes, we are the billing address is not available online.   

Contact Procurement Services at 616-331-2280 to speak with a Program Administrator and they can let you know your spending limits. 

Requests for a temporary increase to your card can be made by e-mail to Tonya Valencia (perezva@gvsu.edu). You must cc your unit head on your request email. 

Call 866-475-0729, press 4, press 1, press 4. 

After you change your PIN, the first time a physical merchant asks for your PIN, your PIN might not be accepted on the first attempt; re-insert the card and re-enter the PIN; you may need to do it up to four times. Be sure you are selecting “credit” if asked whether the card is credit or debit.

Don't confuse your PIN with your card activation number. They have different functions.  The PIN is only used at a merchant when making a transaction.

If you have not logged in for an extended period of time, Smart Data temporarily inactivates your account. Contact Procurement Services at 616-331-2280 to speak with a Program Administrator to re-activate it.

If you forgot your password, contact Procurement Services. They will have MasterCard immediately e-mail you a new temporary password.  Login with the temporary password and you will be prompted to create a new password.  Avoid leaving spaces before or after the password when entering it. 

We do not recommend using the "Forgot Password" function on the Smart Data login screen.

You have three business days after the end of the billing period to complete re-allocations (specifically midnight of the third business day). National holidays do not count as a business day. 

If you are unable to get a receipt copy from the merchant after the fact, complete the Missing Receipt Form. Have your supervisor sign the form and include in your card records.

If you have a card in a department or program name (not in a person's name), you must use the Sign In/Out Log to track who has the card at any given time.
If you have a card in a person's name, you are not required to use the Sign In/Out Log. 

All products must be shipped to a GVSU address. Requests for exceptions can be made to the GVSU card Program Administrator by e-mail to Kip Smalligan (smalligk@gvsu.edu). Copy your unit head on the request email.

Mastercard has toll free in-country customer service phone numbers for many foreign countries.  

It is recommended that you call Fifth Third Bank 855-634-1295 a few days in advance of leaving to put a travel note on file with the bank stating the dates and locations you will be outside of the United States. However, this does not guarantee that your card will not be suspended by the bank if there is suspicious activity on it while outside the United States. 

Contact Procurement Services at 616-331-2280 to speak with a Program Administrator 

No, but you should still view your statement or Smart Data transaction screen to check if there are any fraudulent transactions during periods of inactivity.

For records retention, cardholders are required to keep their statements and receipts for 7 fiscal years - through the end of the fiscal year that the statement was created plus 6 more full fiscal years.  As of January 2020, you may purge statements and receipts that are June 2012 and older. 

As an alternative to physical storage, Procurement Services can take your statement & receipts and scan them into Onbase. Hard copies will then be discarded. You will be able to access them in Onbase at any time. If interested, contact pcardadmin@gvsu.edu or 616-331-2280. 

We have proof of Michigan sales tax exemption for Home Depot, Best Buy, and Dollar General. Amazon also has a sales  tax program that allows you to claim  exemption when you check out on items sold & fulfilled by Amazon. Contact Procurement Services at 616-331-2280  for details/copy of the required documentation. 

Please visit the Financial and Tax Exemption Information page and click Tax Exemption. You can view a list of current tax exemptions and download the required documentation.

Contact Procurement Services at 616-331-2280 with any questions.

No, GVSU must be the direct payer to qualify for Michigan sales tax exemption.This applies to sales tax exemption in other states also. 

Your card is good through the month of expiration. Procurement Services will automatically send you a new replacement card a month before it expires.  

If you have not used your card in the past nine to twelve months, the bank might not automatically re-issue your replacement card. If you have not used your card for an extended period of time, contact Procurement Services at 616-331-2280 and we will make sure your new card gets issued. 

Don't see your question listed here? Contact the Purchasing department at 616-331-2280 or pcardadmin@gvsu.edu