Actuals vs Per Diem

We have seen an increase in the number of travelers attempting to claim Per Diem reimbursement in combination with Individual Actual Meals on the same expense report. Travelers must choose to use either the Per Diem or Actuals method for meal expenses on a single trip.

What are the Actuals and Per Diem methods?

  • Actuals  – The maximum reimbursement for actual meal costs, including tax and tips.
    • Each meal expense is added to a Concur expense report under the expense type of Individual actual Meals.
    • Receipts are required for expenses over $25.00 out of pocket or over $50.00 if purchased using the UConn travel card.
    • The allowable amount is calculated on a daily basis and is not aggregated over the entire period of the trip.
  • Per Diem  –  Daily allowances paid to employees to cover meal costs incurred while on a UConn business trip. The Daily allowance or Meal Per diem is added to the Concur expense report via creation of a Travel Allowance Itinerary. Travelers using this method would NOT be eligible to use their travel card for individual meal purchases on the same trip.

NOTE: When using either method the amount may not exceed the daily limits, based on the meal per diem rates published by the GSA the allowance applicable to the first and last day of travel will be 75% of the full day Per Diem.

How can travelers seek Per Diem reimbursement?

  • Per Diem reimbursements for Employees should be submitting in Concur along with all other UConn business expenses for the related trip.
  • Per Diem reimbursements for UConn Guests should be submitted via HuskyBuy.
  • Per Diem reimbursements for Students should be submitted under their own profile in Concur.

Note: If an employee has incurred travel expenses on their Travel card on behalf of a UConn Guest or Student (except Grad Assistants, Grad Interns and Post-Docs) such as Airfare or hotel the employee should not include any Per Diem reimbursement for the Guest or Student on the expense report created to reconcile the travel card expenses in that employee’s profile.

Here is an example below explaining how the Per Diem allowance is calculated for each day:

In this scenario the traveler is taking a trip from Hartford, CT to a Conference in Dallas, TX from January 4th to January 8th.

  1. On the first and last days of travel, January 4th and 8th, the eligible Per Diem allowance would be $51.75 which is 75% of the full day Per Diem allowance of $69.00. Therefore the traveler can purchase meals on the travel card each of those days up to a total of $51.75.
  2. On January 5th, 6th and 7th the traveler can use their travel card to purchase meals up to but not exceeding the limit for each of those days which is $69.00.
  3. If on January 5th the traveler used their travel card to purchase meals totaling $50.00, the traveler would not receive any credit back for that day even though the actual meal expenses totaled less than the daily allowance of $69.00.
  4. If on the following day January 6th the traveler used their travel card to purchase meals totaling $79.00, the traveler would have exceeded the daily limit on that day and would be responsible for reimbursing the University for the $10.00 overage.
  5. The traveler can also choose to use the Per Diem method and purchase meals out of pocket then claim the reimbursement on their expense report for the total eligible amount according to the GSA and the UConn Travel policy.

Per Diem Example

We hope you find this information helpful!