University Travel

eTravel Reimbursement Guidelines

Please login to review the California State University Travel Policy and Procedures prior to traveling on official University business.




  • CSUN employees traveling on official University business must complete an eTravel Authorization prior to travel.
  • Payment for travel expenses must be made by the Traveler, not on behalf of other Staff or Faculty.
  • Estimated expenses must be listed for the cost of the trip.
  • All single expenses $75 and over will require a receipt on the Expense Report.  
  • International Travel & High Risk Travel must be approved prior to creating a Travel Authorization. Review Foreign and High Risk Travel Quick Guide
    • Mandatory international travel insurance must be purchased prior to international travel through Risk Management.
  • Interagency Financial Transactions (IFT) paid expenses – Payment Type must be “Interagency Financial Transactions (IFT)” on the Travel Authorization.
    • After the documents are approved, scan the document as a .pdf and attach to the Expense Report. MS Word Documents are not acceptable.
    • Travel Authorizations created for Insurance purposes only (Zero cost), must be cancelled after the traveler returns from the trip.


  • A Travel Authorization is not required if the only expenses are mileage and parking.
  • Review the Expense Report section.


Please note: seat upgrade fees, seat selection fees, and airfare insurance (regardless of class of travel) are not reimbursable.

Booked through Plaza Travel

  • Payment Type must be “CSUN Paid” on the Travel Authorization.

Paid by the Traveler

  • Estimated Air Travel fees.


Prepaid directly by CSUN to the Vendor prior to travel

  • Registration, Conference, Workshop or Invitation fees.
    • Payment Type must be “CSUN Paid” on the Travel Authorization.
    • Prepaid request must be submitted to Accounts Payable at least 15 business days prior to the trip.

Detailed information from the conference, workshop or invitation must be provided, including the following:

  • Dates of the conference, workshop or invitation
  • Location
  • Agenda and meals provided from the conference, workshop or invitation
  • Registration fee information, including payment remittance information and address
  • Non Federal or State conferences will require the traveler to obtain a completed Vendor Data Record Form from the vendor before an advance will be paid

Paid by the Traveler

  • Estimated Conference and Workshop fees, including the agenda must be attached.


  • If the hotel daily rate is over $275 per night (excluding tax), a justification is required in the box linked to the hotel expense line.
  • Travelers may secure lodging when traveling on business more than 25 miles (one way) from their normal work location or home whichever is closer.
  • When a traveler lodges with a friend or relative while on official business for the University, a non-cash gift may be provided to the host. The type of gift provided should be in compliance with the use rules surrounding the funds used for reimbursement. The actual cost of such a gift may be reimbursed up to $75. Only one reimbursable gift per stay may be provided to a host.


  • The reimbursement of daily M&IE for travel is a per diem allowance based on location of travel per U.S. General Services Administration site. Travelers are eligible for 75% of the total per diem rate on the first and last day of travel. Expenses above the per diem rate will not be paid and are the responsibility of the traveler.  


  • The Travel Expense Itemization Worksheet can be used to keep track of daily expenses.  Actual amounts will be required on the expense report.  Receipts are required for all expenses $75.00 and over.   All expenses could be subjected to the receipt requirement.
  • Sign up for eRefund for FASTER reimbursement!


  • Contact the Provost or VP Office for further instruction.


Booking travel reservations must be done after the travel authorization has been fully approved.


  • CSUN’s approved Travel Agency is Plaza Travel.
  • Reservations can be made by calling Plaza Travel
    • Email Plaza Travel with the approved Travel Authorization confirmation.
      • Payment Type must be “CSUN Paid”


  • The CSU has special rates and agreements with Enterprise and National. Contact the CSUN Travel Coordinator at x2945 for the State rate code or call Plaza Travel.
  • Enterprise Car Rental now requires a second form of identification at the rental counter when picking up a vehicle for official University business.
  • Travelers should be prepared to present a valid Driver’s License along with a 2nd form of ID as listed below:
  • An Employee Issued ID.
  • A CSUN Business Card.
  • A copy of your Travel Itinerary if your reservations were made using Plaza Travel.

An Authorization Letter on CSUN letterhead, including the renter’s name, date of rental and a contact name and number from your Department/College for verification purposes.

NOTE: Booking car rental reservations outside of the Car Rental Companies listed above or Plaza Travel requires justification and documentation to prove that it was less expensive to purchase with an outside source, otherwise the traveler risks not being reimbursed or receiving partial reimbursement. Insurance is included with the CSU preferred Car Rental Companies; therefore the traveler will not be reimbursed for insurance.



  • Sign up for eRefund for FASTER reimbursement!
  • A Travel Authorization must be fully approved before a Cash Advance can be created.
  • Expense to be reimbursed must have a Payment Type of “Traveler Paid”.
  • Each line item must be over $100.
  • Itemized receipts and proof of payment must be attached.
    • Estimates are not acceptable.
    • Advance requests for up to 75% of the allowable meal allowance will need to be on a separate Cash Advance.
      • Requests will not be processed until 10 days prior to the trip.
      • This must be requested at least 10 days prior to the trip; otherwise the traveler will not be reimbursed until the conclusion of the trip by completing an eTravel Expense Report.


  • Advances less than $100 per expense.
  • CSU Travel Policy prohibits hotel advances.
  • US Bank Personal Liability Travel Card holder.

EXPENSE REPORT – Reimbursement – Actual Cost


  • Sign up for eRefund for FASTER reimbursement!
  • Approved Travel Authorizations must be associated with the Expense Report.
    • If the traveler does not complete an eTravel Authorization prior to travel see the Travel Authorization section for details.
    • Cash Advances must be associated to the Expense Report, if applicable.
      • Air Travel – Enter the round trip amount using the date of departure.
      • Automobile Rental – Enter the full amount on the first date of car rental.
      • Itemized receipts and proof of payment must be attached for all expenses $75 or greater.
        • All single expenses $75 and over without receipts require the “No Receipt” Box to be checked and a justification in the comment box.
        • Expenses listed as $74.99 are not acceptable to bypass receipt requirements.
        • All expenses should be based on the actual amount paid. Meals are reimbursed on per diem allowance based on location of travel per U.S. General Services Administration.
        • When itemized receipts are required but cannot be obtained or have been lost and all measures to obtain a duplicate receipt have been exhausted, the traveler is required to select the No Receipt check box and provide a satisfactory explanation in the comments section explaining why such receipts are not being submitted with the Expense Report.
        • The following payment methods will not be reimbursed: gift cards, airline vouchers, airline points, and crypto currency.
        • Source of payment must be provided as additional supporting documentation for the following payment methods: airline credit, paypal, venmo, zelle, apple pay.
  • Expenses must be listed by date of when the expense occurred.  Exceptions include the following:
    • Conference / Workshop Fees – Enter the full amount on the first date of the conference.
    • Airport Parking – Enter the full amount on the last day.
  • Attachments must be in .pdf format.
  • Interagency Financial Transactions (IFT) paid expenses – Payment Type must be “Interagency Financial Transactions (IFT)”.
  • Convert International currency expenses to US currency, for items $75 and over, using the International Currency Converter. A copy of the conversion must be attached for each expense.
    • The converted amount must match what is entered on the expense report.
  • Attach copies of the Approved International Travel documentation, if applicable.


  • Mileage and Parking only claim does not require a Travel Authorization.
  • Departure and destination location must be entered in the description field of the mileage expense lines.
  • MapQuest must be attached showing the total number of miles for claims $75 and over.  Compute the mileage using the shortest distance to the destination from your residence or CSUN.  If traveling on a non-working day, use the distance from your residence.
    • Mileage is computed based on the shortest distance from CSUN or home address and physical destination address, not City to City.


  • Zero balance receipts must be attached.
  • Daily agenda must be attached.
  • Meetings with an overnight stay requires a copy of the agenda or proof of the meeting.


  • Hotel Folio with a zero balance must be attached.
  • Meal Expenses – Reimbursement will be 75% of the per diem allowance based on location of travel per U.S. General Services Administration.
    • In the event the meals are offered by the conference on first day/last day of travel, the M&IE allocation from the GSA website must be used to reduce the 75% of the per diem amount.

Example: A traveler will be attending an overnight conference in New York City, NY. Dinner is provided on the arrival night at the conference. Calculation of the traveler’s per diem rate is as follows:

Per Diem Location and Amount

    • Airfare (Traveler Paid) – Proof of payment must be attached, including the itinerary.
    • Automobile Rental (Enterprise or National) – Proof of payment must be attached.


  • Each line item must be over $100
  • Airfare with Plaza Travel – Payment Type must be “CSUN Paid”.
    • Attach the email confirmation, including the itinerary and the total cost.
  • Registration –  Payment Type must be “CSUN Paid”.
    • Attach zero balance receipt and agenda
  • Interagency Financial Transactions (IFT) – Payment Type must be “Interagency Financial Transactions (IFT)”.
 REV: 02/21/2024