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Authorized Buying Methods

Primary Buying Method: Purchase Order

An official purchase order is the University's primary buying method. When using the BEN Buys purchasing system, authorized faculty and staff are able to order from University approved suppliers (see “Supplier Selection Guide") that provide most commonly order products and services at "least total cost."

Integrated into the purchasing system is the Penn Marketplace, Penn's private supplier exchange, that contains online product catalogs with Penn specific contract pricing from over 175 of the University's most commonly utilized suppliers. Preferred contract suppliers enabled in the Penn Marketplace offer competitively bid or negotiated pricing. Purchases from all marketplace suppliers regardless of total cost are exempt from the University's competitive bidding requirements.

Secondary Buying Method: Purchasing Card

A University issued MasterCard Purchasing Card is the secondary buying method that is to be used for incidental one-time purchases with an aggregate total cost of <$1,000. All purchases of restricted commodities and from restricted suppliers must be processed via the BEN Buys Purchasing System.

The Purchasing Card Supplier Portal enables authorized cardholders to order from Purchasing designated credit card enabled online ordering sites. At no time is an authorized cardholder permitted to use their MasterCard Purchasing Card for personal purchases.

Express Shipping Requirements

Faculty and staff requiring express shipping services are to use the online application provided by UPS, Penn’s sole source logistics contract supplier.

Travel Requirements

Penn faculty and staff that require University authorized and reimbursement business travel are to use the “Penn Travel Portal” for accessing information on preferred travel agencies, airlines, hotels and car rental suppliers. Additional travel related information is also available including information personal travel discounts offered by our various preferred travel services suppliers.

  • Travel & Entertainment Expenses:The American Express Corporate Card allows authorized cardholders to charge business-related travel and entertainment expenses, separating their business and personal activity.
  • Events & Meetings: The American Express Meeting Planning Card allows authorized cardholders to charge meeting and event-related expenses without burdening a staff member's personal credit cards.

Fleet Fuel & Repair Requirements

The University has selected the "Wright Express Fleet Card Program” as the authorized payment method for fuel and repairs to University owned vehicles. It is the responsibility of the Fleet Fuel Card cardholder to use the card appropriately. The card will ensure that the University captures its tax exempt status while maintaining and fueling our vehicle fleet. At no time is an authorized cardholder permitted to use their Wright Express Fleet Fuel Card for personal purchases.

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