FY 2021 Per Diem Highlights

GSA establishes the per diem rates for the Continental United States (CONUS), which includes the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. The per diem rates are the maximum allowances that federal employees are reimbursed for expenses incurred while on official travel.

The per day rates for the lower 48 continental United States, which federal employees are reimbursed for expenses incurred while on official travel. Per diem includes three allowances: a rate for lodging, a rate for meals, and a rate for incidental expenses.

The CONUS per diem rate for an area is comprised of three parts: the lodging maximum allowance, the meals per diem and the incidental expense per diem. Most of the CONUS (approximately 2600 counties) are covered by the standard CONUS per diem rate of $151 ($96 lodging, $55 meals and incidental expenses). In fiscal year (FY) 2021, there are 319 Non-Standard Areas (NSAs) that have per diem rates higher than the standard CONUS rate.

Since FY 2005, NSA rates have been based on Average Daily Rate (ADR) data from the lodging industry, which GSA obtains through a contract with a leading provider of lodging industry data. For more about how per diem rates are determined, visit Factors Influencing Lodging Rates. The ADR is a widely accepted lodging-industry measure based upon a property's room rental revenue divided by the number of rooms rented as reported by the hotel property to the contractor. This calculation provides GSA with the average rate in a given area.

As in previous years, GSA still uses:

  • Only "fire safe" properties; GSA is required by law to use only properties that are certified as being in compliance with the Hotel & Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990.
  • Properties that fall within the mid-price range.
  • Data from the prior 12-month period. For FY 2021, this is from March 2019 through February 2020;
  • Business travel week data (Monday through Thursday).

Agencies are reminded that the Federal Travel Regulation allows for actual expense reimbursement when per diem rates are insufficient to meet necessary expenses. Please see FTR §301-11.300 through 306 for more information.

FY 2021 Results:

Albuquerque, NM (Bernalillo County) is a new NSA location this year.

The following locations that were NSAs (or part of an established NSA) in FY 2020 will move into the standard CONUS rate category:

Gainesville, FL (Alachua County)
Atlantic City, NJ (Atlantic County and Cape May County)
College Station, TX (Brazos County)
Abingdon, VA (Washington County)
Last Reviewed: 2021-06-23