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Gift Cards

Scope: Faculty Staff and Student Organizations are covered by this policy.


Gift Cards


This Policy applies to all University funds (e.g. E&G as well as restricted and unrestricted gift funds.)  The purchase and use gift cards or gift certificates is strictly limited to approved business activities.

 Gift Card and Certificates include:

  • Anywhere/anytime cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express or money-orders
  • Store gift cards/certificates that are redeemable for a large variety of commodities, such as Walmart or grocery store gift cards
  • Restaurant gift cards/certificates
  • Gift cards to on-campus stores or dining facilities at Miami University
  • Virtual gift cards like Amazon
  • Paper gift certificates are considered the same as gift cards

 Approved business activities are strictly limited to:

  • Gift cards used to compensate Human Research Subjects (as defined by the Office of Research and Innovation).
  • Gift Cards used as gifts/prizes/drawings for university wide or student events if they are not purchased for a specific person. Gift cards are limited $25 per person and $100 for the event. Amounts exceeding these limits must be approved in writing by the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services.

Advance authorization from Accounts Payable using the Gift Card Authorization Request Form is required prior to the purchase of gift cards. The form must be submitted to Accounts Payable at

With approval:

  • Gift Cards may be purchased using a cash advance fund request via Chrome River.
  • Gift cards may be purchased using a Departmental or Employee P-Card
  • Miami on-campus gift cards may be purchased using a Hosting document.
  • Student Organizations may purchase gift cards using Student Org One Time Use Credit Card tile or Student Org Multi-Use Card Declining Balance Cards. To purchase electronic Amazon gift cards Student organization have to use Student Org Account set with Amazon.
  • Electronic gift cards maybe purchased via Buyway using Amazon time.

Gift cards may not be purchased using personal funds and submitted for reimbursement.

Gift cards, regardless of the value, are considered cash payments by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are taxable regardless of the dollar amount. There is no such thing as a de minimis gift card.  The Gift Card Distribution Log must be completed and submitted to Accounts Payable for tax reporting.

Expenditures for gift cards that violate this policy will be denied for reimbursement or require the individual to reimburse the University for the unauthorized expenditure and may be grounds for disciplinary action.


Any request for an exception to these rules must be made, in writing, to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services

Related Forms

Gift Card Purchase Authorization Request Form

Gift Card Distribution Log 

Additional Resources and Procedures

Not applicable


Not applicable.

Policy Administration

Next Review Date


Responsible Officers

  • Sr. Vice President of Finance and Business Services

Legal Reference

No applicable.

Compliance Policy


Recent Revision History

 New 7/1/2021

Reference ID(s)



  • General Counsel
  • Sr. Vice President of Finance and Business Services