07 - 008 Per Diem Rates, Domestic and Foreign


Meals are reimbursed in an amount not to exceed the standard (i.e., per diem) meal allowance unless an exception has been granted (see Procedure 7-007, Travel Meals). This allowance is based on the federal meals and incidental expense (M & IE) per diem rates in effect for the locality of travel on the date of travel. Locality of travel is the place where the traveler stops for sleep. Use of these rates eliminates the need for substantiating actual meal costs. Per diem rates vary by city. If the city is not listed, use the rate available for the county; if the county is not listed use the lowest CONUS rate. The federal continental U. S. rates are usually updated annually, most often in January. Foreign meal per diems are issued on a monthly basis.

Note: Use of U.S. Government approved per diem rates for lodging is not available to USNH travelers.


The General Services Administration of the U. S. Government establishes the meals and incidental expense (M&IE) per diem rates. A complete list of current rates is available by calling your campus Travel Coordinator at USNH/UNH (862-1474), Plymouth (535-2252), or Keene (358-2494).

In addition, the rates may be obtained at the following addresses:


1. A traveler in the continental U.S. who is entitled to less than the full per diem rate should claim reimbursement for meals and incidental expense according to the following schedule:

PER DIEM - example at $50 per diem rate (not real per diem rate)
M & IE - for the day per the chart $50
Breakfast - 20% $ 10
Lunch - 25% $ 12.50
Dinner - 55% $ 27.50


In those instances where the sum of the individual meals are more than the full per diem rate, the traveler's reimbursement is limited to the full per diem rate. The on-line USNH Personal Reimbursement Form automatically calculates the allowable pro-rated M&IE based on the daily M&IE rate.

2. A traveler outside the continental U.S. who is entitled to less than the full per diem rate should adjust their per diem rates in the same manner as indicated in section C.1, using the same percentages for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

3. Per diem rates must be adjusted in the following circumstances:

a. On the first and last day of travel, a traveler is entitled to per diem reimbursement for those meals eaten during the portion of the travel day, including the incidental allowance. For example: If the traveler leaves home before eating breakfast, the traveler would normally be entitled to the full per diem for the first day of travel. If he or she leaves home after eating breakfast, the per diem reimbursement would be reduced by the amount allocated to breakfast according to the per diem rate schedule above. Thus, if the full day rate is $49, the partial per diem rate allowed for the first day of travel is $39 ($49 less $10).
b. A traveler is not entitled to be reimbursed for the portion of per diem for any meal provided as part of the registration fee. For example, using the data in the table above: if the full day per diem is $54 and breakfast is provided, the allowable reimbursement would be reduced by $11 resulting in a payment of $43.
c. When a colleague, vendor, or other third party pays for a meal.
d. When the USNH traveler claims the actual cost of a business or entertainment meal (see Procedure 8-009, Meals and Entertainment).

The official version of this information will only be maintained in an on-line web format. Any and all printed copies of this material are dated as of the print date. Please make certain to review the material on-line prior to placing reliance on a dated printed version.

This page last updated Tuesday, June 23, 2015. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.