Faculty and staff may apply for a GEMS card, which is a university issued credit card that eliminates the need to make business-related purchases out-of-pocket.
Each GEMS card has a $10,000 monthly credit limit and $500 per item limit. The single item limit only applies to the purchase of goods and services, not travel expenses, such as airfare, lodging, and business meals.
The GEMS program may also be used to reimburse benefits eligible University employees for their business expenses.
The recipient of the reimbursement (or their delegate) must prepare the expense report in GEMS, attach the appropriate documentation, and forward it to the financial administrator. If a delegate handles the preparation, the recipient will still need to approve the expense report prior its submission to the financial administrator.
Reimbursements processed through this system are distributed via the payroll system. Therefore, any money owed to users will appear in their next paycheck according to the bi-weekly schedule. Employees on bi-weekly pay schedule will not see a separate check. Monthly employees will receive a separate pay advice for one or both bi-weekly pay periods.
Note: GEMS reimbursements will not normally be treated as taxable income. However, because of IRA regulations, the University can report GEMS card purchases as personal income if they are not attached to a GEMS report and submitted within 90 days. The card will also be suspended after 60 days. There are some exceptions, but GEMS card transactions are best reconciled within 30 days.
To learn more about submitting GEMS reports, please contact your assigned Business Manager or the SSD LBC at SSD-LBC@uchicago.edu, and the Business Manager assigned to your accounts will get in touch with you within two business days.