How to Obtain a Travel Advance

Travelers on University business may obtain cash through the UCLA Travel and Entertainment Card (U.S. Bank T&E Card) through ATM machines. UCLA employees are expected to use the T&E Card and related ATM cash advances only for travel and entertainment expenses that are related to University business and reimbursable under University policies.  


An administrative fee of 2.5% (with a minimum charge of $2) is charged for each cash advance obtained through an ATM. This fee appears on the cardholder's monthly statement and is a reimbursable expense. To minimize fees associated with cash advances, we recommend that you withdraw only the anticipated cash needed for incidental expenses. The T&E Card should be used to charge expenses whenever possible.


UCLA has established a standard monthly cash advance limit for University travelers. In general, ATM machines are limited to $200-$300 per transaction per machine, and three transactions per 24-hour period.

Airline Tickets Purchased Using the T&E Card

Advance reimbursement is not possible if you choose to charge your airline ticket to your individual card. You are therefore encouraged to charge all business travel airfare to the Direct Billing System. Airline tickets charged to the Direct Billing account will not appear on your individual U.S. Bank Card statement, and you will not have to submit a claim to obtain reimbursement. The charge will appear directly on the University ledger account specified at time the reservation was made.

Advances Obtained Through the UCLA Travel Accounting

Travel advances other than those obtained by using the T&E Card at an ATM are available on an exception basis only. Exceptional advances will be issued no more than seven days prior to a trip and will be issued to UCLA employees only via BruinBuy. UCLA Travel Accounting may grant an exception under the following conditions:

  • If the traveler(s) will be on travel status in excess of 30 consecutive days
  • If the travel requires special handling (such as group travel for UCLA athletics or UCLA student groups)
  • International travel to remote areas where normal banking/credit card transactions are not available and in excess of 30 consecutive days
  • After a report of projected cash expenses has been submitted

Before requesting an exceptional travel advance, please review the list of Approved Business Expenses for Cash Advances (see Related Information) to verify what can be paid for using a cash advance. 

To obtain an exception advance through UCLA Travel Accounting, first submit the projected cash expenses to: 

After review, Travel Accounting will provide a Travel Advance Application which then should be completed and submitted to the UCLA Travel Accounting Office. Completion of this application does not necessarily mean that the request for the advance will be approved.

The traveler is responsible as indicated below for recovery of exceptional advances:

Completed Trips

The traveler must account for the travel advance by submitting a paper Travel Expense Voucher to UCLA Travel Accounting within 30 days of completion of a trip.

The traveler must immediately refund any excess cash over expenses from advances with a check made payable to the Regents of the University of California. The University will refund any excess of expenses over advances to the traveler.

The department must deposit the excess advance money that is being returned.

Canceled and Postponed Trips Advances must be refunded immediately when an authorized trip is canceled or indefinitely postponed.
Delinquent Recovery An accounting for the outstanding travel advances must be made and received by the UCLA Travel Accounting office within sixty (60) days after the completion of the trip. After 60 days, the full amount of the advance will be charged to the department, and after 120 days the traveler will be taxed on the amount.