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How do I make purchases at MIT?

DMSE Finance’s guide to purchasing at MIT

Several tools can be used to pay for your expenses, each with their own requirements. There are four ways you can make purchases at MIT:

  • P-cards
  • Travel Cards
  • Buy2Pay
  • RFPs

💳 Procurement Card (P-card)

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P-cards are recommended for time-sensitive payments; purchases that are less than $1000 for equipment, or otherwise $3,000 or less; or purchases that require a card.


To get a p-card:

  • Complete the additional form, linked in this training

Reconciling P-Card Transactions

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The finance team may reach out to cardholders directly if we have questions regarding a purchase, in order to ensure the purchase is in compliance with MIT and federal spending policies, as necessary.

Cardholders must submit documentation and justification for all p-card purchases. DMSE uses a website called QuickBase to make this easier for you to do. Please save any receipts for purchases so that you or your administrative assistant may upload them to QuickBase for the finance team’s review.


After you’ve applied for your p-card, you’ll be invited to join QuickBase to get started submitting documentation. QuickBase can be accessed here, or you can copy and paste the following into your browser:


Instructions on how to use QuickBase to manage p-card transactions can be found at How to complete a p-card form


Questions related to QuickBase p-card issues should be directed to

Questions related to the p-card (receipt, activation, credit limits) should be sent to


🚋 Travel

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The travel card allows authorized business travel expenses to be charged per MIT policy. VPF’s Travel Planning and Expensing guide can be helpful in learning how to submit travel reports (VPF links may need to be accessed twice to load the correct page. Please make sure you are signed in). It offers sections outlining travel policies, booking domestic and international flights, common issues while traveling, and many other helpful guides.


To get a travel card:


If you haven’t received your travel card after applying for one, please reach out to the travel support office at


Your travel card charges will appear in your Concur Profile where you will create travel expense reports which are reviewed and reimbursed by both the travel support team and DMSE finance. Travel reporting is done via Concur and must be submitted within 30 days of the trip itself.


🛒 Buy2Pay

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Buy2Pay, or B2P, is the method of purchasing to use for expenses that are not time-sensitive, larger scale purchases, when you do not yet have a procurement card, and for items not allowed on the procurement card, including but not limited to:

  • chemicals
  • equipment $1,000 or more
  • furniture
Repeated purchases of any of the items above on a p-card may get your card privileges revoked!

Instructions for getting started with Buy2Pay can be found here on the VPF site (VPF links may need to be accessed twice to load the correct page. Please make sure you are signed in).


You can also get started by referencing our internal instructions on Creating a requisition in Buy2Pay.


💸 Requests for Payments

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So long as you have access to Atlas, you will be able to submit a Request for Payments (RFP). This method of purchasing is recommended for scenarios where you do not have the time or access to B2P or the p-card, and so make a purchase with personal funds.


To access the RFP system, login to Atlas > My Reimbursements > Request a Reimbursement for Me. See How do I submit an RFP? for instructions on how to request a reimbursement. You can also find information at the the VPF site here:

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