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Meal Per Diem

UNM Administrative policy provides travelers with several choices on how to be reimbursed for meals and lodging while in “Travel Status”.

When more than one UNM employee and/or student is traveling, it is NOT an allowable option for one person to pay for a meal for the entire group and claim reimbursement for the actual cost of the meal.  Each traveler is entitled to their own meal per diem, and reimbursement for each should be claimed separately.  Business meals while traveling must meet certain conditions in order to be considered a hospitality expense for which the actual cost may be reimbursed. Reasonable expenses may be allowed for hospitality events that include both University employees and invited guests of the University.  In order to be allowable, hospitality events must promote or advance the University’s mission.  An attempt should be made to keep the cost as close to the per diem amount for the meal as possible.  On their travel reimbursement request for the trip, all attendees at the hospitality event should clearly indicate their attendance and should NOT request meal per diem for the hospitality meal.

Per the UNM Travel Policy 4030, section 12, the choices available for lodging and meal expense reimbursement while traveling are as follows:

    1. Per diem allowance. This allowance is a payment in lieu of reimbursement for actual lodging and meal costs. Receipts are not required to be submitted.

      • Instate per diem allowance: $85.00
      • Out of state and International per diem allowance: $115.00

      These rates are established per the New Mexico Mileage and Per Diem Act.

      In Chrome River, a request under this option is submitted by selecting the “Per Diem – Flat Rate” sub-tile under the “Meals” tile.  By selecting “$85 New Mexico” or “$115 Out of State”, as applicable, from the “Type” drop-down list, the appropriate rate noted above will populate.  Select “Travel Day” when applicable, to reduce the amount to 75%.  Also check the box(es) for any other specific reductions.

    2. Actual Lodging Expenses, Plus a Per Diem Meal & Incidental Expense (M&IE) Reimbursement. Per diem meal reimbursement includes the actual cost of food, beverages, gratuities, and incidental expenses. Receipts are required to claim actual lodging expenses, but do not have to be submitted for the meals. This method is allowed for both domestic and international travel.

      The meal per diem allowance is determined by various U.S.. government sources. The traveler will use the meal per diem rate for the location where the business event occurred.  Chrome River (using the “Per Diem Wizard” sub-tile under the “Meals” tile”) automatically applies the correct rate based on the location information entered.  Please note that effective with travel dates of October 1, 2015 and forward, ALL New Mexico destinations are assigned a meal and incidental per diem rate of no more than $51:

      Based on the location of the business event, the source for the M&IE rates is:

      1. Travel within the 48 continental United States:
        1. U.S.. General Services Administration (GSA): GSA. The amount in the "M&IE Rate" column is the rate used.  Please note that if the destination is not a listed location, the lowest GSA M&IE rate for the period of travel is used.
      1. Travel to Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S.. territories and possessions:
        1. Defense Travel Management Office, Department of Defense (DOD): DOD. The amounts in the "Local Meals" and "Local Incidentals" columns are combined to obtain the rate used.  Please note that if the destination is not a
          listed location, the “Other” rate is used.
      1. International travel:
        1. U.S. Department of State: State. The amount in the "M&IE Rate" column is the rate used.  Each country has an “Other” rate for any destination not listed.    

For all destinations, for the first and last day of business travel, “Travel Day” must be selected in Chrome River.  This will reduce the per diem amount to 75% of the rate.  In addition, for any meals that are provided, the applicable box must be checked to calculate a reduction.  Finally, departments may indicate additional reduction amounts as necessary.

  1. Field Travel: When travelers are on field travel status, defined as travel for an extended period where normal accommodations either are not available or desirable, a per diem allowance for lodging and meals of $75 may be claimed in lieu of actual lodging and meals.

In Chrome River, a request under this option is submitted by selecting the “Per Diem – Flat Rate” sub-tile under the “Meals” tile.  By selecting “$75 Field Travel” from the “Type” drop-down list, the $75 rate noted above will populate.  Select “Travel Day” when applicable, to reduce the amount to 75%.