What is M&IE Per Diem?
Per Diem expenses are divided into the categories: Lodging expenses, Mileage expenses, and Meal & Incidental Expenses (abbreviated as M&IE).
M&IE Per Diem is designed to cover daily cost of food and other incidental expenses. "Incidentals" are described in Federal Travel Regulations, Chapter 3, Part 003 (Per Diem Allowance) as "Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships."
Meal expenses include the cost of breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a particular area. Meal expenses fluctuate across the country. You can uses our Per Diem Calculator to determine the M&IE Per Diem rate in any location. Incidental expenses fluctuate less drastically. The GSA allows $5/day for incidental expenses, regardless of location.
The daily Meal and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) Per Diem rate equals the meal rate for your area plus the $5 daily incidental allowance. The M&IE rate is added to your Lodging Per Diem rate to find the maximum allowable Per Diem rate. Mileage expenses are calculated separately and do not impact the maximum allowable Per Diem.
Proportional Meals Rate (PMR)
The Proportional Meals Rate is paid instead of the regular meals rate if one or two meals is provided at the government's or employer's expense (through conference registration costs, hotel costs, or other expense covered by the employer). For military personnel, Proportional Meals Rate must be used if one or two meals are available at a military dining facility (mess hall). If all meals are available at a military dining facility then the military personnel (non-civilian), must use the Government Meal Rate (GMR). Unless PMR or GMR rates are explicitly noted, standard meal rates apply.
Proportional Meals Rate is calculated by averaging the standard meals rate and the Government Meals Rate (GMR) and rounding to the nearest dollar. You then add the $5 allowance for incidental expenses to arrive at the final M&IE rate using PMR.
For example, say the standard meals rate is $46 and the Government Meals rate is $13.85 (current rates for 2015). First, average the two meal rates to get $29.93 ($46 + $13.85 = $59.85 / 2 = $29.93). Then round to the nearest whole dollar to get $30. Finally, add the Incidental expense amount to arrive at the Proportional M&IE rate of $35. (Note: this is only an example. The standard meals rate using in this calculation depends on your location and changes year-to-year.)
Government Meals Rate (GMR)
Government Meals Rate is the Per Diem rate paid to military personnel for meals when traveling to a military installation with a Government Dining Facility or mess hall available. The GMR rate is significantly lower than the standard meals rate because government dining facilities are very inexpensive. The approved GMR rates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are $3.45, $5.55, and $4.85, respectively, for a total daily GMR of $13.85.