Frequently Asked Questions

Campus Card & Meal Plan FAQs

What can we tell you about your Campus Card?

How do I obtain my Campus Card?

All UMBC students, faculty, and staff are entitled to receive a Campus Card. The first card is issued at no charge typically during orientation day for students and at the beginning of employment for faculty and staff. All new students, faculty, and staff should submit a photo online for their Campus Card. Once your photo has been approved, you will receive additional instructions on how to receive your Campus Card.

In order to release a UMBC Campus Card to any person, a form of valid (non-expired), government-issued photo ID must be presented. Please note, you must have the original document in hand – photocopies and electronic photos of an ID are not accepted. The card will only be released to the designated cardholder – family or friends may not pick up the card for you. The following are the various, acceptable forms of government-issued photo ID:

  • Drivers license (domestic or foreign)
  • Identification Card (domestic or foreign)
  • Passport or passport card
  • Employment Authorization Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Military or Dependent ID
  • Birth Certificate and any form of photo ID

All questions or concerns pertaining to your Campus Card should be submitted to the Campus Card Center online, or by phone at 443-612-2273.

Shady Grove students are also eligible to receive a UMBC Campus Card. Please refer to the instructions here for more information.

What documentation do I need to obtain my Campus Card?

In order to release a UMBC Campus Card to any person, a form of valid (non-expired), government-issued photo ID must be presented. Please note, you must have the original document in hand – photocopies and electronic photos of an ID are not accepted. The card will only be released to the designated cardholder – family or friends may not pick up the card for you. The following are the various, acceptable forms of government-issued photo ID:

  • Drivers license (domestic or foreign)
  • Identification Card (domestic or foreign)
  • Passport or passport card
  • Employment Authorization Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Military or Dependent ID
  • Birth Certificate and any form of photo ID
What is my Campus Card used for?

The UMBC Campus Card is an integral part of campus life! In addition to being the official photo ID of UMBC, your Campus Card is also your meal, library, gym, and transit card. Your card can provide access into swipe controlled buildings, labs, and rooms across campus. Money deposited onto your Campus Card can be used most locations on campus including vending machines and pay-for-print stations and select locations in the surrounding Catonsville/Arbutus area.

Where can I use my card?

Your Campus Card can be used at nearly every location across campus. Some services, such as personal mailing and pay-for-print, only accept payment with the Campus Card.

Off-Campus Merchants are vendors who will accept the Campus Card as a method of payment. These merchants can only accept Retriever Dollars and/or Food Fund for payment – meal plans and Flex cannot be used at these locations. All Off-Campus Merchants also accept the DCARD for payment as well.

Papa John’s is the only off-campus merchant that will accept Flex for payment.

UMBC is happy to announce that our dining services provider, Chartwells, is partnering with Papa John’s Pizza in Halethorpe to offer members of the UMBC community special pricing when ordering pizza.

Here’s how it works:

  • When ordering pizza from Papa John’s in Halethorpe, state that you are ordering under UMBC’s account at 1000 Hilltop Circle. This helps the store to establish that the caller is authorized to place orders under this account.
  • Provide your name, direct phone number, and the department/organization.
  • When ordering under UMBC’s account, the special pricing is a Large Cheese Pizza for $7 and/or a Large 1 Topping Pizza for $8.
  • Papa John’s will not offer the special pricing by default.
  • There is a $3.50 delivery charge for each delivery.

The phone number for the Halethorpe store is 410-247-7272. Payment can be made with cash, credit, Flex Dollars, or Retriever Dollars.

What are the different funds on the Campus Card?

There are several different accounts that may be added to your Campus Card including a Meal Plan and associated Flex, Retriever Dollars, Food Fund, and Chartwells Rewards.

Flex – Flex is a predetermined amount of money automatically added to your card with the purchase of a meal plan. Each plan has a designated allotment of Flex that is available on a per semester basis. More information about meal plans and associated Flex values can be found here. You cannot add more Flex once it has been depleted. Flex can only be used for food purchases and will expire at the end of the semester.

Retriever Dollars – This is the money that you manually add to your account. It can be used anywhere on and off campus where the card is accepted. A listing of off-campus merchants that will accept Retriever Dollars as payment can be found here. Retriever Dollars can be used across campus to pay for tuition, purchase textbooks, postage, event tickets, UMBC apparel and much more. Money deposited to your Retriever Dollars may only be refunded at the conclusion of the Academic Year (after the Spring semester). Additional details regarding the refund process may be found here.

Food Fund – Food Fund is money that is added manually to your card and can only be used for food purchases on and at participating off-campus merchants. Money deposited to your Food Fund may only be refunded at the conclusion of the Academic Year (after the Spring semester). Additional details regarding the refund process may be found here.

Chartwells Rewards – Chartwells Rewards is additional money added to your account for purchasing a non-mandatory meal plan and for depositing Retriever Dollars and Food Fund to your card. Rewards are automatically deposited into your account each night and can be used at any dining location on campus. Rewards expire at the end of each semester. Please note that Rewards are not deposited until October 1st during the Fall semesters and March 1st during the Spring semester.

  • Earn 2% for purchasing a non-mandatory meal plan (commuters, apartment students, and Faculty/Staff)
  • Earn 2% for adding Food Fund
  • Earn 2% for adding Retriever Dollars
  • How do I access these different funds?

    Most locations where you use your card are configured to automatically access the appropriate fund for your transaction. For instance, the vending machine will automatically deduct funds from your Retriever Dollars and never your Flex. However, at the on campus dining locations, you have the freedom to ask the cashier to use any of the available funds on your card.

    How do I check the balances on my Campus Card?

    You have 24/7 access to view your Campus Card Account page. You can check your balances, review past transactions, deposit funds, setup recurring deposits, mark your card as lost, and more from the account page.

    How do I add money to my Campus Card?

    Retriever Dollars – Funds may be deposited to your Retriever Dollars with cash or credit card.

    • Cash: Cash deposits can be made at the Commons Information Center located in the Commons Building and at Student Business Services located on the 3rd floor of the Administration Building.
    • Check: Checks may be hand-delivered during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 4:00PM) or mailed to the Campus Card & Mail Services department (UMBC Campus Card & Mail Services, 1000 Hilltop Circle, University Center 112, Baltimore MD 21250. Please note the desired account for the funds (Retriever Dollars or Food Fund) as well as the Campus ID (Ex: AB12345) on the memo line.
    • Credit Card: Deposits can be made with any valid American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa credit card. The minimum deposit amount is $10 and for each deposit, there is a 2.75% convenience fee. Click here to deposit funds now.

    Food Fund – Funds may be deposited to your Food Fund with cash, credit card, or Student E-Bill.

    • Check: Checks may be hand-delivered during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 4:00PM) or mailed to the Campus Card & Mail Services department (UMBC Campus Card & Mail Services, 1000 Hilltop Circle, University Center 112, Baltimore MD 21250. Please note the desired account for the funds (Retriever Dollars or Food Fund) as well as the Campus ID (Ex: AB12345) on the memo line.
    • Credit Card: Deposits can be made with any valid American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa credit card. The minimum deposit amount is $10 and for each deposit, there is a 2.75% convenience fee. Click here to deposit funds now.
    • Student Bill: With Food Fund, you have the option to buy now and pay later through your UMBC bill. Funds will be applied to your account within 1-2 business days of receiving your request and you will be billed for the requested amount. You may add funds by submitting a request directly to the Campus Card Center or through the Chartwells Dine on Campus website.
    Can I remove money from my card after it has been deposited?

    Once you deposit money to your Retriever Dollars or Food Fund accounts it may not be removed. The funds will remain on your account for the current Academic Year. At the conclusion of the Academic Year (end of Spring semester), any remaining balances will be refunded. All accounts are subject to a non-refundable charge of $15.

    Accounts with balances less than the $15 non-refundable charge will be zeroed out and no refund will be given. Accounts with balances exceeding the $15 non-refundable charge will be refunded the difference between the total account balance and the $15 non-refundable charge. Refunds will be provided via the cardholders preferred refund method. For specific information regarding the status of a refund or preferred refund method, contact Student Business Services at 410-455-2288.

    Please click here to review the Campus Card Terms & Conditions

    If I run out of Flex can I add more?

    Flex is a predetermined amount of money supplied with the purchase of a meal plan. Therefore, additional Flex cannot be added. You may instead choose to add money to your Retriever Dollars or Food Fund.

    Will funds on my card transfer from semester to semester?

    Funds in your Retriever Dollars or Food Fund account will remain active and available for use throughout the current Academic Year. However, other funds/accounts, such as Meal Plans and associated Flex, and Chartwells Rewards, are provided on a per semester basis and will expire at the conclusion of each semester.

    How do I change my meal plan?

    Requests to change your meal plan must be submitted electronically to the Campus Card Center. To submit your request, click here and fill out the required information. Correspondence will be via email so be sure to check your inbox regularly.

    When is the deadline to change my meal plan?

    The last day to downgrade or remove meal plans for the semester will be at the conclusion of the schedule adjustment period set forth in the Registrar’s Academic Calendar. After this date, meal plans may no longer be reduced or removed. Meal Plans may be increased at any point in the semester.

    What happens if I lose my Campus Card?

    If your card is lost or stolen, it is suggested that you deactivate the card immediately to protect your balances. You can do this by accessing your Campus Card Account page and selecting the Lost/Stolen Card link on the left-hand navigation bar. If you find your card, you may reactivate it using the same Lost/Stolen Card link on left-hand navigation bar. Alternatively, you may contact the Campus Card Center directly at 443-612-2273 and a staff member can assist in deactivating or reactivating your card.

    If a replacement card is needed, you will need to visit the Campus Card Center for a replacement. Our office is located in the University Center, room 112 and our hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8:30AM – 4:00PM. Please be sure to bring a form of valid, government-issued photo ID when visiting the office for your replacement.

    How much does it cost to replace my Campus Card?

    A card replacement fee of $20 is assessed for lost, stolen and not substantiated by a police report, and/or rendered unusable by negligence, abuse, or misuse. Payment may be made by Retriever Dollars (cash on your Campus Card), E-Bill, or check.

    Does the Campus Card Center offer temporary cards?

    The Campus Card Center does not issue temporary cards.

    How can I replace a card that is damaged and no longer working?

    The Campus Card Center will replace cards at no charge due to defects in material or fabrication, normal and customary wear, and/or documented theft. Only your current, active card can be replaced. To receive a replacement, you must have a form of valid, government-issued photo ID.

    Will my meals, money, and swipe access transfer automatically to my new card?

    All balances will transfer automatically to the new card. Door access will transfer automatically as well with the exception of residential door access. To have your new card programmed for door access, please visit the appropriate location:

    • Traditional Residence Hall residents – Office of Residential Life in Erickson Hall
    • Apartment residents – The Community Center
    • Walker Avenue residents – Walker Avenue front desk
    If I replace my Campus Card and find the old one, can it be reactivated?

    No, for your protection, once a card is replaced an old card can not be reactivated.

    Can I change my picture on my Campus Card?

    You may change your picture for a fee of $20.00.

    My Campus Card isn’t working, what is the problem?

    There can be many reasons why your card isn’t working. To help us resolve the issue in a timely manner, please call 443-612-2273, submit an inquiry online, or come in to our office for assistance.

    Campus Card Exchange FAQs

    If you have not yet traded your old UMBC ‘Red Card’ for a new black and gold Campus Card, please review the FAQs below for details.

    Where can I exchange/pick up my card?

    You may exchange/pick up your new card at the Campus Card Center anytime during normal business hours. Our office is located on the first floor of the University Center, room 112.

    Why do I have to turn in my old card?

    The old “red” card must be surrendered in order to receive your new card. The new card is an exact copy of your “red” card in terms of the information printed and encoded on it. To avoid any potential security or theft issues, two active cards may not be in circulation at one time.

    Is there a deadline to pick up the card?

    Yes, however, the deadline has not yet been determined. You will receive further email correspondence once the deadline is determined.

    Will my current campus card still work if I do not exchange it for the new one?

    Yes, your “red” card will continue to work for the time being. Once the deadline to pick up the new card has passed, the “red” card will no longer work.

    Do I need to have my new card recoded for RAC, RLC, or Lab access?

    No. RAC, RLC, and Lab access information will be automatically encoded on all new cards.
    Note: Residential access will need to be restored. Please visit the Office of Residential Life, the Apartment Community Center, or your Residential Community front desk to have your residential swipe access programmed on the new card.

    Can my new campus card be mailed?

    No. For security reasons, you must be present with your current campus card, and a form of valid, government-issued photo ID for the exchange.

    Mail Services FAQs

    What can we tell you about mail services?

    I’m looking for my package that should have been delivered.

    The Campus Card Center operates in conjunction with USPS. If your package is coming through FedEx, UPS, DHL, or any other courier service, it will go straight to your room. If your package is coming via USPS, please provide us with a tracking number to help us find your package. NOTE: It is highly recommended that delivery confirmation be put on all packages coming in to the university.

    How can I have a document notarized?

    The Campus Card Center does have a Notary Public on staff. Please use this link to schedule an appointment for Notary services. As a reminder, UMBC-related documents may be notarized at no charge. All other documents may be notarized at a fee of $2.00 per signature payable by Retriever Dollars (cash on Campus Card). Please be sure to bring a form of valid, government-issued photo ID with you when visiting our office for Notary services.

    Operational FAQs

    What can we tell you about the Campus Card Center in general?

    Where is the Campus Card Center located?

    The Campus Card Center is located on the first floor of the University Center, room 112 (behind Chick-fil-A and Starbucks).

    What are the hours of operation?

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our hours of operation have been modified.

    Campus Card Operations (Campus Cards, DCARDs, Meal Plans): Monday – Friday, 10AM – 2PM. You may use this link to submit any questions or concerns relating to your Campus Card, DCARD, and/or Meal Plan.

    Personal Mail Services (Over-the-counter purchase of postage/stamps): Monday – Friday, 10AM – 2PM. You may use this link to submit any questions or concerns relating to personal mailing.

    Departmental Mail Services (Mail pickup/drop-off for departmental functions): Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 8:00AM – 12:00PM, by appointment only. Please use this link to schedule an appointment.

    Please note we are not currently accepting cash payments for any Campus Card or Personal Mail Services. Funds must be added to your Retriever Card online with a credit card, or with cash at the Commons Information Center (Commons Building) or at Student Business Services (Administration Building, 3rd floor)

    Questions and/or concerns may be directed to the Campus Card Center at 443-612-2273 or submit an inquiry by clicking here.

    What payment methods are accepted at the Campus Card Center?

    The Campus Card Center only accepts payment through Retriever Dollars (money on Campus Card).

    Is the Campus Card Center open on weekends?

    No, the Campus Card Center is not open on weekends and is closed for all University observed holidays. Please use this link to contact us with any questions or concerns.