Resources: Per Diem Rates

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General Information

If the traveler elects to be reimbursed based on per diem rates, he/she can choose:

  • Full per diem reimbursement which covers lodging, meals and incidentals
  • Actual lodging expenses, plus meals-only per diem
  • Actual meals expenses, plus lodging per diem

The reimbursement option selected must be used for the entire trip.

Stanford uses per diem rates recommended by the U.S. government to take advantage of governmental cost studies and to ensure general equity with grant and contract requirements. When creating an expense report in the Expense Requests system, per diem rates are automatically calculated and applied based on the city visited.

Under the IRS accountable plan rules, non-Stanford travelers should only be reimbursed for actual travel expenditures. Receipts documenting these expenditures should be submitted with the reimbursement request.

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Reviewing Per Diem Rates

If you want to explore the rates applied in the Expense Requests system, find the city (or county if city not listed) and corresponding rates at these government sites:

  • For travel within the contiguous United States (including Alaska, Hawaii), see Domestic Per Diem Rates on the U.S. General Services Administration web site.

  • Note:  If the county in which you stayed is not listed, the Expense Requests system will apply the Basic Rate, noted at the top of the government page above the city and county listings.

  • For travel in foreign countries, see Foreign Per Diem Rates by Location on the U.S. Department of State web site.
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Adjustments to Per Diem Rates

Per Diem Calculations for First and Last Day of Travel:

The Expense Requests system automatically calculates the correct amount for the first and last day of travel, at 75% of the meals rate for the first day based on government-listed rate for the city traveled to, and 75% of meals rate for the last day, based on the government listed rate for the last city visited.

Deductions for Meals Included in Registration Fees and Hotel Charges:

Check boxes are provided in the Expense Requests system to indicate meals included in conference registration fees or hotel rates. The system will automatically deduct the applicable per diem rate.

Stays Longer Than 30 Days

  • When an individual's travel is for more than 30 days in one location, a reduced rate will apply for the entire trip.
  • The reduced rate is .55 times the normal rate.
  • The assumption is that when staying more than 30 days a traveler can find cheaper accommodations than regular hotel rates.

Note:  The expense report Preparer should calculate the reduced rates (.55 x listed rate) and enter the adjusted amount in the Expense Requests system via the Adjusted Per Diem expense type in transaction lines.

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Multiple Stops

When a trip includes more than one University business stop and the cities involved have different per diem rates, the per diem rate for each calendar day (beginning at 12:01 a.m.) is determined by the location where the lodgings are obtained for that night.

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