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How to Set Per Purchase Spending Limits, by Merchant Category (Administrator Site)

Administrators can set, against any Merchant Category, a maximum amount that a cardholder can spend on a single purchase (i.e., a single transaction).

This can help control employee spending, by limiting how much cardholders can spend at Restaurants, on Transportation, etc.

How to Set the Spending Limit per Purchase, by Merchant Category, Through the Administrator Site:

  1. Log in to the Administrator Site
  2. Click the “Cards” tab
  3. Click “Card list”
  4. Click on the name of the cardholder
  5. Click “Spend Rules” in the menu under the blue bar with the cardholder’s name
  6. Click “Per Purchase” in the line that says “Add a Per Purchase limit for (Category Name)” just below the name of the Category where you want to control the cardholder’s spending per purchase
  7. In the box, enter the maximum amount that the cardholder can spend on a single purchase
  8. Click the green “Update” button to save your changes


Enter spend limit per purchase in the box. Click the green “Update” button.



  1. The Per Purchase spending limit applies to single transactions, not to aggregate/cumulative spending against a Merchant Category.
    • If a cardholder’s spend limit for Restaurants is $100 Per Purchase, then PEX will decline a transaction that’s submitted in the amount of $101
    • As long as there’s a sufficient balance on the card, however, the system will approve multiple individual transactions in Restaurants for $99 each -- so that in the aggregate, the cardholder might spend much more than $100 in Restaurants
  2. When you set maximum spending limits for two separate Categories, they may share one or more of the same MCCs. If they do, then the system will send you a warning message to tell you that this can create conflicts.
  3. When multiple categories with Maximum spend limits contain the same MCC, then PEX will apply the lowest spending limit to that MCC, for example:
    • MCC #5661, Shoe Stores, is contained in the PEX Merchant Category “Retail Stores.” You have set a Max Purchase limit of $500 per transaction for “Retail Stores."
    • MCC #5661, Shoe Stores, is also contained in a Custom Merchant Category “Shoes,” where you have set a Max Purchase spending limit of $200 per transaction.
    • The Max Purchase limit for that cardholder for MCC #5661 will therefore be $200 per transaction, because PEX enforces the lower limit.
  4. If you enter a Daily spend limit in addition to a Per Purchase spend limit, the Per Purchase limit cannot be greater than the Daily limit (e.g., a cardholder cannot have a Daily spend limit of $200 and a Per Purchase spend limit of $500).
    • In a case like that, the system will send you an error message
    • You will not be able to continue until the conflict is resolved
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