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Can the vendor require a minimum charge to use my P-Card?

Yes, merchants can impose a $10 minimum on P-Card transactions.  Prior to the Durbin Amendment (add-on to the Dodd-Frank Act signed July 21, 2010), Visa and Master Card’s operating rules banned this limitation.

Can the vendor require a minimum charge to use my P-Card on a Statewide Contract issued by Central Purchasing?
No, the merchant cannot impose a $10 minimum on P-Card transactions for purchases from Statewide Contract; however, the Statewide Contract may contain a minimum order amount.

Am I in violation of Split Purchasing for purchases of different items, made to the same vendor, totaling greater than $5,000.00, but on different dates?
The cardholder cannot divide a transaction with a vendor for different items to get below the $5,000.00 statutory single transaction limit (purchases from Statewide Contract, Regulated Utilities, Interagency Payments, and Professional Services pursuant to Title 18 § 803 have unlimited dollar amounts, see Title 74 § 85.5.L.).  Law puts a $5,000.00 cap on single standard purchase card transactions.  This generally relates to when a cardholder tells the vendor to process two transactions at the time of purchase to allow the transactions to go through the card machine.  However, if the cardholder did not know they were going to make the additional purchases at the time of the original purchase, then each purchase is compliant.  Even if the cardholder knew they were going to make the additional purchases at the time of the original purchase, there may be additional reasons the purchase would be in compliance such as lack of funding at the time of the original purchase.  

Split Purchasing means dividing a known quantity or failing to consolidate a known quantity of an acquisition for the purpose of evading a competitive bidding requirement.  “Known quantity” and “intent” are key factors in determining split purchasing.  To determine if split purchasing occurred in the scenario above, more research would have to be done.  Questions to be answered:  Were these items all part of a single approval or approved at the same time to be  purchased?  When cardholder made the original purchase, did they know of the subsequent purchases to be made?  Do vendors typically carry all the items?  Was the lack of funding during the time of the original purchase an issue?

For more information regarding Split Purchasing, please see DCS PIM-09-03