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Instant Card Program for Students

The UC Merced Instant Card (UCM-IC) is a short-term payment option for UC Merced students while on official university business travel. The UCM-IC features a firm dollar limit with specific active dates for usage. Users can easily view the credit limit, active dates for use including the expiration date, and the full 16-digit card number and security code needed to complete online transactions using the U.S. Bank Instant Card mobile app.


  • A simple and secure payment option for students conducting business and traveling on behalf of the University.


  • Reduce out-of-pocket expenses for student travelers conducting business on behalf of the University.
  • The UC Merced Instant Card (UCM-IC) is easy to receive, view, and add to your mobile wallet, Apple Pay, or Google Pay on iPhone and Android devices.
  • Concur Integration: UCM-IC transactions automatically import to the traveler’s Concur profile for streamlined account reconciliation and expense reporting.
  • Multiple layers of encryption


  • The cardholder MUST have a mobile device with the ability to download the U.S. Bank Instant Card mobile app to receive and use the UC Merced Instant Card (UCM-IC)
    • Mobile devices must support NFC for contactless payments.
  • Cardholders must be able to access e-mail on their mobile device to receive notifications and complete registration.
  • A fully completed and signed UCM-IC Cardholder Agreement.
  • For non-employee students, a Sponsored Guest Form must be submitted with the Cardholder Agreement.
  • A valid business purpose is required to request the card.

    Graduate Student Eligibility

    • Graduate students on active payroll status:
      • If you travel multiple times per academic year, please apply for the T&E Card
      • If you will only travel once during the academic year you, are eligibile for the Instant Card
    • Contingent Worker Status, Fellowship, or Self-Funded graduate students:
      • Eligible for Instant Card, regardless of frequency of travel
    • For additional questions or guidance submit a Travel & Expense General Inquiry

    How to Request an Instant Card

    The sponsoring department or employee will work with the student to complete the required documents. Requests should be submitted for review at least one week prior to travel in case additional information is required. The CoA is provided on the Cardholder Agreement and Sponsored Guest Form. A department representative or the student can submit an Instant Card Request through Service Now using the parameters below:

    Important Considerations

    • The UCM-IC should only be used to make purchases that are aligned with the G-28
    • Receipt requirements for UCM-IC purchases follow G-28 Review the Document Requirements reference document.
    • This card can be used for online travel-related purchases (DoorDash, Uber, etc.) but for in-person transactions it is exclusively accepted by merchants that accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, and/or Virtual Wallet payments.
      • It is the responsibility of the sponsoring department and traveler to confirm potential merchants accept this type of payment.
    • The prospective cardholder must have a smartphone and the bank requires a phone number in a 10-digit format (XXX) XXX-XXXX (international numbers are acceptable but must still follow the 10-digit format after the country code).
    • If using the card to pay for a hotel stay it is strongly recommended to contact the hotel in advance to ensure they will accept Apply Pay, Google Pay, and/or Virtual Wallet payments.
      • Preferred payment method is the CBS2 Event Card. Submit a Travel Reservations ticket through Service Now to book lodging.
    • It is very important to note the UCM-IC Cardholder will not have an issue providing the card number, expiration date, and CVV to reserve the room but at check-in, a cardholder may be asked for an alternate form of payment if the hotel is not able to accept virtual payments.
      • If the hotel does accept virtual payment methods, a separate card may need to be presented for incidentals.


    Reconciliation Process