No Major Changes in 2021 Per Diem Rates

GSA has released the per diem rates for fiscal year 2021.

The General Services Administration has announced the per diem rates for fiscal year 2021 for federal employees who travel for work.

The lodging rate will remain unchanged at $96, Meal and Incidental Expense (M&IE) per diem tiers for FY 2021 are unchanged at $55-$76.

The new rates go into effect on October 1, 2020 and can be found on the GSA website at

By law, GSA sets these rates annually for the Continental United States (CONUS). 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). For FY 2021, there are 319 Non-Standard Areas (NSAs) that have per diem rates higher than the standard CONUS rate.

Based on local market costs of mid-priced hotels, 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 savings measure, GSA’s lodging per diem rate methodology includes taking five percent off of the final average daily rate in each location.

The table below lists the meals and incidental expense rates for FY 2021.

M&IE Total (1)Continental
Breakfast (2)
Lunch (2)Dinner (2)Incidental
First & Last Day of Travel (3)

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.