Purchase Card Program - Cardholder Information Guide

Purchase Card


The Card

  • Sign the card. It is not valid until you do. If it's lost or stolen before you sign it, someone else could sign and use it.
  • Keep the card in a secure place where no one else has access to it. The card should not be carried with you on vacation or on extended sick leave.
  • You will not be held personally liable for any charges on the card unless you have misused it.
  • The card is not to be shared or loaned. Providing the card or the card number to someone else to use is willful misuse of the card. If you have concerns about someone obtaining the card number and using it in your absence, inform your ministry card coordinator.
  • Willful abuse or misuse of the card can lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
  • The card is issued to your position. If you leave the ministry you must turn your purchasing card in to your ministry card coordinator. If you change jobs within the ministry, your card coordinator must be notified.

Making Purchases

When making purchases, you must:

  • follow all government and ministry purchasing policies;
  • use local vendors, where possible;
  • not send the card number via email – send the last 4-7 digits for confirmation;
  • obtain three competitive quotes for purchases of over $1,000, if available and practical;
  • obtain pre-approval from an expense authority before purchasing items, documenting as appropriate (i.e. verbally, written or by email);
  • ensure that the total order value, including applicable taxes, delivery charges and foreign exchange, does not exceed your transaction limit.

When making purchases by phone, government policy does not require that you fax a follow-up letter confirming your order unless the vendor asks for one. Local vendors may also request that you bring in your card and provide a signature for the vendor's files. These requests are for the vendor's protection and should be complied with.

You may not use the card:

  • where the purchase price exceeds your per transaction or monthly dollar limit. It is not acceptable to split a purchase into multiple purchases where the total price would exceed the transaction limit on the card;
  • to make purchases normally made with the Motor Vehicle Charge Card;
  • for repairs to general fleet plan vehicles;
  • for travel expenses unless they would normally be paid by the ministry directly (airline tickets, assured loading tickets, convention expenses);
  • to obtain a cash advance;
  • to rent a vehicle while on travel status;
  • for printing, copying, duplicating, typesetting and supplies, unless you have prior authorization from Queen's Printer;
  • for training that is a taxable benefit to the employee;
  • to make personal purchases; and
  • where payment is made internally by manual or electronic chargeback (Distribution Centre Victoria purchases, for example).

Dealing with Problems

Bank of Montreal Service Representatives can be reached at:

Lost or Stolen Cards:1-800-361-3361

Insurance Inquiries:1-866-556-4432

Phishing Attempts: online.fraud@bmo.com

To reset you PIN number: Go to a BMO bank location or BMO ATM

You must contact the above when:

  • your card is lost or stolen ; or
  • the vendor has difficulties with the card (error messages, too many digits). If this does not resolve the problem, call your card coordinator.

 You must contact your ministry card coordinator when:

  • your card is lost or stolen;
  • vendors have ongoing difficulties accepting your card;
  • you know or suspect that a co-worker has obtained your card number and is using it to make purchases in your absence; or
  • there are charges on your statement that are not yours.

You can choose to either retrieve your statement using BMO details Online on or after the 4th of the month or the following business day or via paper statement, which can take up to two weeks for delivery.  To utilize the online system to retrieve your statement, contact your ministry card coordinator to set up your access. If you need assistance, contact your ministry card coordinator.

Cardholder Responsibilities

You are responsible for:

  • resolving any problems with vendors, such as having incorrect charges corrected;
  • encouraging vendors to accept the card (a letter to suppliers is available, contact your coordinator for a copy);
  • obtaining expense authority authorization for all purchases;
  • keeping a transaction register and related documentation on all purchases;
  • reconciling your monthly cardholder statement to your records;
  • submitting your reconciled statement for processing per your ministry standards in a timely manner; and
  • ensuring that ministry procedures for recording and labeling assets are followed whenever assets are purchased. 

For further information contact your ministry card coordinator.