Reward/Loyalty Card Update:  Receive Discounts with IU Approved PIN Numbers and Programs

In last month’s newsletter we reminded our readers that using a personal rewards card with an IU procurement card (P-Card) is prohibited.  Reward cards include Best Buy Rewards Zone, Staples Rewards, and grocery loyalty cards (i.e. Kroger cards, etc.) 

We understand that in most instances, staff and faculty are merely using reward cards to help IU save money.  As such, we have been working directly with retailers to identify ways the reward card system can be used in compliance with University policy.  Follow the directions below for more information about using loyalty/reward programs when shopping at grocery stores, Staples, and Best Buy.   

Grocery Stores

The Purchasing Department is working directly with Kroger, Marsh, and Martins Supermarkets to establish IU approved loyalty accounts. 

For faculty and staff on the IUPUI campus, please note that IUPUI does not advocate the use of P-Cards for food purchases and advises anyone contemplating a P-Card food purchase at a grocery store to seek prior approval for such a procurement from Purchasing. If the purchase is pre-approved the receipt should then be sent to Accounts Payable with a hospitality form attached  as is the prescribed procedure for any hospitality purchase at IUPUI. All food purchases must comply with the IU Policy for Hospitality and the IUPUI  Food Service and Safety Policy.

When shopping at these stores, use the following PIN numbers:


  • Before ringing the sale, enter (or have the cashier enter) “8128552223” into the point-of-sale terminal. 

  • Ring up your purchases

  • Swipe your P-Card


  • Ask the cashier to look up IU’s Fresh Idea Card by the phone number 855-2223 (do not use the area code).


  • Purchasing is currently working with Martins to develop an approved loyalty card process.


Rather than shopping at Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, or any other big-box retailer, the Purchasing Department strongly recommends purchasing office supply products through our EPIC Shop Contracts vendors, Guy Brown or Magnetic Office Supply (IU Northwest).  Guy Brown and Magnetic Office Supply both have large and diverse inventories, competitive pricing, and provide next day delivery on most orders.  Moreover, Guy Brown and Magnetic Office Supply are both certified minority-owned busineses.  By shopping with these vendors via the Shop Contracts link in EPIC, the University reduces risk and saves time and money by placing orders without leaving the office and by utilizing electronic invoicing which streamlines the accounting process.    However, if a purchase must be made at Staples, be sure to use IU’s tax exempt number (listed on the P-Card) and ask the cashier to look up and apply the Rewards account for Indiana University. 

Best Buy

Again, Purchasing recommends buying all electronics, computers, and software through EPIC Shop Contracts vendors.  Many of our Shop Contracts vendors offer free or reduced shipping, extended warranties, enhanced customer service, and competitive pricing.  Even though the sticker price might be cheaper at Best Buy, over the lifetime of the product, the University (and your department) will save money by making the Purchase through Shop Contracts.  If a purchase must be made at Best Buy, a Rewards Zone card can only be used if the card is registered under an IU department’s name and rewards points are used for University-related purchases.  The department should be prepared to provide proof that the card is registered under the department's name and not an individual's name. 

Accounting will audit p-card statements regularly to ensure compliance with these guidelines.  You will be required to supply a Xeroxed copy of your departmental reward card and information with your statement in the rare case that you make a purchase at Best Buy.   Otherwise, your transaction will be flagged as an audit finding.

Please remember that in no instance should you use a personal loyalty/reward card.  As new loyalty/reward suppliers come to mind, we welcome the opportunity to follow up with those suppliers where IU can benefit by implementing a University program.    

Source:  Melonee Bristoe


October 2009 Newsletter

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