GSA Releases FY 2019 Per Diem Rates

Federal employees who travel for work will see a small increase in their per diem rates for the 2019 fiscal year.

Federal employees who will be traveling for business in the coming fiscal year will get a slight bump in per diem rates according to the new rate schedule published by the General Services Administration (GSA) today.

FY 2019 Per Diem Rates

The new rates go into effect on October 1, 2018 and can be found on the GSA website at

The fiscal year 2019 meals and incidentals rates break down as follows:

M&IE Total Continental
Lunch Dinner Incidental
First & Last Day of Travel
$55 $13 $14 $23 $5 $41.25
$56 $13 $15 $23 $5 $42.00
$61 $14 $16 $26 $5 $45.75
$66 $16 $17 $28 $5 $49.50
$71 $17 $18 $31 $5 $53.25
$76 $18 $19 $34 $5 $57.00

Compared to 2018, the new rates have increased by almost 8%, going from $51 in 2018 to $55 in 2019. The top end of the meals and incidentals rates went from $74 in 2018 to $76 for 2019.

The standard cap rate for lodging increased by $1, going from $93 to $94.

The per diem rates apply to travel within the continental United States (CONUS).

GSA sets these rates based on local market costs of mid-priced hotels annually. Lodging per diem rates provide caps, or maximum amounts, that can be reimbursed to federal employees for lodging and meals while on official travel. As an additional cost savings measure, GSA’s methodology includes taking five percent off of the final average daily rate in each location.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.