Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 95: Travel

Fuel Credit Cards

BPPM 95.37

For more information contact:
   Accounts Payable




Washington State University has implemented a fuel card system provided by a contract with the Comdata Corporation. Authorized University departments and personnel may use a University-issued fuel credit card fuel supplier locations that accept MasterCard and are listed as allowable locations/suppliers. A Washington State Merchant Locator Tool is available from Accounts Payable Comdata Fuel Card.

Contact Card Services in Accounts Payable for assistance with allowable locations/suppliers outside of the state of Washington.

Use of the fuel credit card at a location not included in the allowable supplier list causes the card to be declined.

Fuel credit cards are to be used to fuel University-owned vehicles and equipment only.

This section provides requirements and procedures regarding obtaining and using WSU fuel credit cards.


This procedure applies to all University units which require credit cards for commercial fuel purchases for University-owned vehicles.

Note: Gasoline and diesel are prohibited purchases for the WSU Procurement Card (see BPPM 70.08). The WSU Comdata fuel credit card is the only WSU-issued card that may be used to purchase fuel for University-owned vehicles and equipment.

Allowable Purchases

Fuel Purchases

The card may be used to purchase diesel or gasoline fuel. Fuel card users may purchase regular unleaded fuel only for passenger cars, vans, and small trucks. Mid-grade unleaded fuel is an allowable purchase for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and trucks from model years 2000 and earlier.

Within reason, card users are to strive to obtain the best value available. To locate fuel stations which accept the Comdata card fuel card, custodians may use the Comdata Merchant Locator tool. (See Overview.)

Expanded Services

The standard (default) usage limits on WSU Comdata fuel cards allow for fuel purchases only. The department must request the assignment of special limits to a fuel card to allow purchases for expanded services. See Special Limits.

Expanded services include routine maintenance (e.g., oil change, belt replacement) and emergency vehicle services (e.g., towing, tire change, battery jump).

Note: The types of emergency vehicle services allowable for purchase using a WSU Comdata fuel card varies from supplier to supplier, based upon the supplier’s contract with Comdata.

The driver’s department is responsible for paying the cost of any expanded vehicle services.

Prior to Trip

Prior to leaving on any trip with a fuel card, the driver should ask the department’s card custodian the following questions:

  • Does the fuel card allow for purchases other than fuel?
  • What other method of payment is used if:
    • Emergency vehicle services are needed; and
    • The card is limited to fuel only, or
    • Comdata does not allow emergency service purchases from the available supplier?

The department may provide the driver with an alternate payment method in case of emergency or the driver must plan to pay for the services with their own funds. (If the driver pays for emergency vehicle services while in travel status, they submit an Expense Report in Workday upon return to request reimbursement. (See BPPM 95.20 and the Workday Create Expense Report reference guide.)

Card Services advises the driver to secure a payment method for possible repairs or towing before leaving on a trip with a WSU fuel card to avoid nonpayment situations.

Arranging for Emergency Vehicle Services

In the event of a breakdown, the driver/cardholder is responsible for locating, communicating with, and securing services from local area towing and repair services.

Note: Drivers of WSU Pullman Motor Pool vehicles must contact Motor Pool to arrange for emergency vehicle services; telephone 509-335-9000. (See BPPM 95.35.)

Routine Maintenance

In order to purchase routine maintenance services, e.g., car washes and oil changes, the card must have approved special limits allowing such purchases. See Special Limits.


Contact the Card Services team regarding questions about the WSU Comdata Fuel Card Program and applicable invoices; telephone 509-335-2032 or 509-335-2034 or e-mail Card Services.


Acquiring a Fuel Credit Card


To obtain a fuel credit card, the department’ card custodian completes and submits a Fuel Card Application form to Card Services.

Note: If the department maintains a separate fuel charge card for each vehicle, the fuel card custodian orders a new fuel card when the department acquires a new vehicle.

The Card Services team maintains the application copy to verify the card custodian signature for the department’s fuel card purchases.

Card Owner (Department)

Fuel credit cards are issued in the department’s name, rather than an individual employee’s name.

Comdata Dept. Code

Individual department codes are created in the Comdata system as unique identifiers. Departments are to include Comdata department codes on all fuel card requests sent to the Card Services team.

Contact the department card custodian or the Card Services team for assistance.

Card Custodian

The department delegates an employee to serve as fuel card custodian. See Fuel Card Custodian Agreement.

Card Options

Fuel credit cards are available in two usage types: vehicle cards and generic cards. The department indicates the type of card under Fuel Card Use Options on the form.

Vehicle Card
A vehicle card is authorized for fuel purchases for a single University-owned vehicle assigned to a specific department. The card is engraved with the vehicle license number.

If the vehicle is then sold or transferred to another department, the card is to be terminated. Contact the Card Services team in Accounts Payable to terminate a card. (See also Reporting Lost or Stolen Fuel Credit Cards.)

Generic Card
A generic card may be used to purchase fuel for any University-owned vehicle or gas-powered equipment operated by department personnel.

Purchase Limits

Standard (Default) Limits
The standard (default) purchase limits for WSU fuel credit cards are as follows:

  • $1000 per month
  • Three transactions per day
  • Retail fuel purchases

Special Limits
The department may request any of the following special purchase limits for a fuel card:

  • More than $1000 per month
  • More than three transactions per day
  • Expanded services (including emergency vehicle services, e.g., towing, tire change, battery jump; and routine maintenance, e.g., oil change, belt replacement). See BPPM 95.35 regarding maintenance and emergency services for Motor Pool vehicles.
Identification Numbers
Driver Number (PIN)

At a Comdata-approved gas pump, the fuel credit card user is asked for a driver number, also referred to as a personal identification number (PIN), which functions as the security code.

The Card Services team provides a pool of Comdata-assigned PINs to the department. The departmental card custodian chooses a usable PIN from this pool of numbers to assign to the fuel credit card.) See also Completing Purchases.)

Odometer Reading (ID#)

At the Comdata-approved gas pump, the fuel credit card user is also asked for an odometer reading or ID number. The department card custodian determines what data is to be entered in this field. The card custodian may assign a user ID number (up to six digits) to each card user, or require each user to enter the actual odometer reading (in order to track mileage and maintenance). See also Completing Purchases.

Default Budget Coding

The department default Foundation Data Model (FDM) worktags (project, program, gift, grant, cost center, fund, function, region, alternate reporting, extension reporting, and assignee, if needed) are assigned to each card. All fuel expenses charged on the card are allocated to the assigned worktags, unless the department provides alternate worktags to the Card Services team on an exception basis.

Fuel Card Custodian Agreement

The delegated fuel card custodian signs the terms of the Fuel Card Custodian Agreement. The fuel card custodian must notify the Card Services team if the card custodian responsibilities are transferred to another employee. The new card custodian must then submit a completed Fuel Card Custodian Agreement to Card Services in Accounts Payable.

To obtain a list of cards assigned to the department, the card custodian submits a request to the Card Services team.

Using the Card

The fuel card user may purchase fuel from any commercial station accepting the Comdata MasterCard. The card works at the pump or any other point of sale terminal operated by an approved commercial fuel station. To verify approved supplier locations, use
the Comdata Merchant Locator tool. (See Overview.)

WSU Comdata card transactions are financial commitments for which the University is liable. Personal purchases are strictly prohibited. Fuel card users are to purchase fuel with the Comdata card for University-owned vehicles and equipment only.

Completing Purchases

At the point of sale, the fuel credit card user must complete the following steps:

  • When prompted for the Driver #, the user must enter the Driver # or PIN, as provided by the department card custodian. Failure to enter the correct information results in a transaction decline.
  • When prompted for the Odometer Reading, the user must enter either the user ID or vehicle’s odometer reading, as determined by the card custodian. Failure to enter the correct information does not affect usage of the card at the point of sale.
  • Collect the fuel transaction documentation, and sign the documentation upon request.
  • Submit the transaction documentation, in good condition, to the card custodian at the earliest convenience.

Billing and Payment

Department Card Custodian

By the fifth day of each month, the card custodian runs a Comdata Reconciliation Report. To obtain the report, the card custodian logs into Mansfield Energy.

Note: The Mansfield Energy Corporation manages the billing process for Comdata transactions.

The card custodian may refer to BPPM 95.37 Appendix 1 for log-in and report access procedures.

The card custodian reconciles the receipts submitted by departmental fuel card users to the charges listed on the transaction report. The card custodian may contest unrecognized charges.

Documenting Transaction

The fuel receipt is required. If no receipt is available, the card custodian runs a Transaction Detail Report. To obtain the report, go to iConnectData.

For log-in access to iConnectData, the card custodian contacts the Card Services team see BPPM 95.37 Appendix 2 for directions for obtaining the Transaction Detail Report.

Card Services Team

The Card Services team creates a manual accounting journal business process in Workday to enter and document the payment information from iConnectData.

Contesting a Charge

To contest a fraudulent charge on a card account or report an issue with a valid charge, contact the Card Services team.


Applicable personnel reconcile the transactions to the applicable Workday Finance, Grants, or Procurement reports and retain the signed Comdata Reconciliation Report and associated receipts in accordance with the stated records retention period. (see BPPM 90.01).

Charge Payments

By the 15th day of each month, Card Services is obligated to pay for all University fuel card transactions for the previous month. Card Services uses the default FDM worktags to allocate fuel card expenses if the card custodian does not provide the required notification.

Monitoring and Audit

The use of WSU Comdata fuel credit cards issued to a department is to be monitored by the fuel card custodian and the department chair or director and is subject to audit.

Reporting Lost or Stolen Fuel Credit Cards

To report a lost or stolen card, the fuel card user must call Comdata toll-free; telephone 866-662-3535. Comdata cancels the card immediately. The card user must also notify the fuel card custodian. The card custodian notifies the Card Services team of the lost or stolen card and the card’s cancellation.

Comdata issues a replacement card which is available for pickup at Card Services in Accounts Payable approximately five business days after cancellation of the lost or stolen card. The Card Services team sends notice to the card custodian when the replacement card is available.

Non-Pullman Department

For a non-Pullman department, the Card Services team receives the replacement card from Comdata and sends the card to the applicable card custodian.

Requesting Changes to Fuel Credit Card Accounts

The card custodian may request changes to fuel credit card accounts by submitting a Fuel Card Change Request or e-mail Card Services.

Process the following changes with the Fuel Card Change Request:

  • Changing the card custodian
  • Closing a fuel credit card
  • Adding or deleting a PIN from the department’s PIN pool
  • Changing the default FDM worktags (project, program, gift, grant, cost center, fund, function, region, alternate reporting, extension reporting, and assignee, if needed)
  • Changing the card limits by adding or removing special limits. (Standard limits apply to all cards.)

Termination of a Fuel Credit Card

When and if the card is no longer required, the card custodian must send an e-mail to Card Services requesting cancellation of the card.

After the Card Services team confirms the cancellation, the card custodian destroys the card.

Misuse or Mismanagement of Fuel Credit Cards

The University may take any or all of the actions below for misuse or mismanagement of WSU fuel cards:

  • The Card Services team may issue a written warning to the fuel purchaser, card custodian, or department chair or director.
    The Card Services team may issue copies of written warnings to the responsible department chair or director and/or to the Office of Internal Audit.
  • The Card Services team may suspend or cancel the card.
  • The Card Services team may require that the card custodian receive additional training before a card is reinstated or reissued.
  • The Card Services team or the responsible department may report the violation to the appropriate vice president and/or the Office of Internal Audit.
  • The University may pursue employee termination or criminal prosecution. Additionally, the University may take appropriate recovery actions permitted by law.


Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable is responsible for:

  • Receiving and reviewing monthly invoices.
  • Reviewing monthly departmental charges.
  • Receiving authorization from card custodians to pay departmental charges.
  • Generating monthly payments.
Card Services Team

The Card Services team is responsible for:

  • Providing central administration for the commercial fuel credit card program.
  • Receiving applications from departments for new fuel credit cards.
  • Creating and maintaining account information for each card issued.
  • Closing cards which are lost, stolen, or no longer needed by departments.
  • Maintaining lists of fuel card custodians.
  • Setting up and managing card custodian requests for iConnectData website access.

Comdata Corporation

Comdata Corporation is responsible for:

  • Issuing fuel credit cards.
  • Receiving reports of lost or stolen fuel credit cards.
  • Receiving reports regarding contested invoices.
  • Creating and resetting iConnectData log-in access.

Fuel Credit Card User

The fuel credit card user is responsible for:

  • Understanding and complying with rules for use of the Comdata fuel credit card.
  • Submitting transaction documentation to the departmental fuel card custodian in a timely manner.
  • Reporting lost or stolen fuel credit cards to Comdata and the departmental fuel card custodian.

Department Fuel Card Custodian

The department fuel card custodian is responsible for:

  • Maintaining control and inventory of all fuel cards issued to the department.
  • Maintaining a list of the department’s assigned fuel credit card users.
  • Collecting and reconciling fuel charge receipts with fuel charges on Comdata account statements (see BPPM 95.37 Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 for reconciliation procedures).
  • Retaining all fuel credit card purchase records for six years after the end of the fiscal year in which the purchases occurred (see BPPM 90.01 for records retention requirements).
  • Reviewing fuel purchases for compliance to University policies and for patterns of fuel use.
  • Investigating and documenting anomalies in usage, such as unexpected increases or decreases or non-fuel purchases.
  • Documenting and reporting policy violations to the department chair or director and the Card Services team.
  • Reporting lost or stolen fuel cards to the Card Services team.
  • Reviewing and approving departmental Comdata charges monthly.
  • Notifying the Card Services team if leaving the departmental position or if the department transfers the responsibilities of fuel card custodian to another employee.
    Note: The department is responsible for ensuring that the Card Services team is notified of any change to the departmental fuel card custodian.

Department Chair or Director

The department chair or director is responsible for approving applications for departmental fuel credit cards and card custodian changes.

Applicable Agreements, Policies, and Procedures

For further information, refer to the following:

Revisions:  Jan. 2021 (Rev. 560); Sept. 2017 (Rev. 499); Feb. 2010 – new policy (Rev. 356).