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Dining Dollars & Meal Exchanges

Student leaves dining center with to-go container

Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communication

Dining Dollars



You can think of Dining Dollars like dollars on a debit card. One Dining Dollar equals $1.

Dining Dollars are an addition to meal plans that give you the flexibility to purchase items in the dining centers, Husker Heroes, Herbie's Markets, and Brewed Awakening coffee shop. You present your NCard at the register and, if you opt to use Dining Dollars for your purchase, the total of the items purchased count toward your Dining Dollars.

To use Dining Dollars with Nebraska Union food vendors, you need to download the Transact mobile ordering app, make a purchase, select Dining Dollars on checkout, and show the in-app receipt QR code when you go to pick up your purchase.

Dining Dollar FAQs
What’s the difference between Dining Dollars and meal plan swipes?

Dining Dollars can be used in any dining center, Husker Heroes, Herbie’s Market, Brewed Awakening coffee shop, or most Nebraska Union food vendors.

Meal swipes are used in the dining centers and count toward your meals per week balance.

Where can you use Dining Dollars?

Dining Dollars are accepted in any of the Herbie’s Markets on campus (Cather, Abel, Knoll, Village and East Campus) as well as any dining center or Husker Heroes location.

You can also use your Dining Dollars at any Nebraska Union food vendor (excluding Imperial Palace) through the mobile ordering app.

Can I reload my Dining Dollars?

$100 Dining Dollar reload blocks can be added to any meal plan. Multiple Dining Dollars reload blocks can be purchased. Reload Dining Dollars in the Housing Portal on MyRed.

Where can I see how many Dining Dollars I have on my account?

Dining Dollar amount information can be viewed in the Housing portal on MyRed.

Do I need to set up anything on my NCard to use Dining Dollars?

If you have a meal plan that includes Dining Dollars (all except the All-Access), you should have access to your Dining Dollars when your meal plan becomes active.

If you want to add Dining Dollars to your All-Access meal plan, you can add them in the Housing Portal on MyRed.

Meal Exchanges



Dining Services is pleased to offer meal exchanges (sometimes referred to as a meal plan cash equivalency) in all Husker Heroes and Herbie's Markets. This offering is just one of many great ways to use your meal plan and customize it to fit your needs.

Meal Exchange FAQs
How many meal exchanges do I get?

All-Access, Platinum 15/1600, and Diamond 10/1200


You get three (3) meal exchanges per meal period, up to an $8 value per swipe, for food items. Only one meal exchange can be used in Herbie's Market per meal period.


Gold 350/500, Silver 200/500, and Bronze 130/500


You get five (5) meal exchanges per meal period, up to an $8 value per swipe, for food items.

Are there lockout periods?

All-Access, Platinum 15/1600, and Diamond 10/1200


Yes. Only one (1) meal exchange can be used in a Herbie's Market per meal period.


Gold 350/500, Silver 200/500, and Bronze 130/500


No. All five (5) meal plan swipes per meal period can be used as a meal exchange.

How does a meal exchange differ from an NCard charge?

A student's meal plan information is connected to their NCard, meaning if a student wishes to use a meal exchange in Herbie's Market, they must present their NCard to receive the $8 value.

This differs from an NCard charge as a student can also use their NCard to charge for items in Herbie's Market which then appears on the student's centralized bill.

How much is a meal exchange worth?

Each meal exchange has an $8 value towards food items in the Herbie's Markets and Husker Heroes.

Can I use a meal exchange for something more than $8?

Yes. Any amount over $8 can be paid for by using either Dining Dollars, another meal exchange (if applicable), NCard charge, credit card, and/or cash.

For example, if the total amound due for food items is $10, you have the following options.

All-Access, Platinum 15/1600, and Diamond 10/1200


  1. Pay the entire amount using Dining Dollars (if applicable), NCard charge, credit card, and/or cash.
  2. Use one meal exchange and pay the remaining $2 balance with either Dining Dollars (if applicable), NCard charge, credit card, and/or cash.

Gold 350/500, Silver 200/500, and Bronze 130/500


  1. Pay the entire amount using Dining Dollars (if applicable), NCard charge, credit card, and/or cash.
  2. Use one meal exchange and pay the remaining $2 balance with either another meal exchange, Dining Dollars, NCard charge, credit card, and/or cash.
What are the meal periods?

Meal periods are location based and are listed below. A meal exchange cannot be used after 8:30 p.m.

Dining Centers & Husker Heroes


Meal periods align with serving/meal times.

Serving times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in all dining centers and Husker Heroes locations can be found on the Dining Services website or the Dining Services Menu app.


Herbie's Markets


Breakfast meal period: 6:45–10:30 a.m.

Lunch meal period: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Dinner meal period: 4:30–8:30 p.m.

Can I combine my meal exchange with a friend's to purchase more items?

Only one NCard can be used per sale, meaning multiple students cannot combine their meal plan swipes to complete one sale/purchase.

For example, if two students go to Herbie's Market to purchase $16 in food items, each student COULD NOT provide one meal exchange (each meal exchange being $8 in value) to cover the cost of the one sale/purchase. Only one student would be able to use their meal exchange(s) for the sale/purchase, by either using one (1) meal exchange and paying the difference out-of-pocket, or by using two (2) meal exchanges (if applicable).

Where to use Dining Dollars & Meal Exchanges



* Meal exchanges can be used during late-night hours via the mobile ordering app.

** Meal exchanges can be used on the weekends.

*** Meal exchanges can be used during late-night hours and on the weekends via the mobile ordering app.

Meal Plan Swipes & Meal Exchanges
Dining Dollars
Dining Centers
Abel Dining Center green check mark green check mark
Cather Dining Center * green check mark green check mark
East Campus Dining Center ** green check mark green check mark
Harper Dining Center *** green check mark green check mark
Selleck Dining Center green check mark
via the mobile ordering app
green check mark
via the mobile ordering app
Husker Heroes
green check mark
via the mobile ordering app
green check mark
via the mobile ordering app
Herbie's Markets
green check mark green check mark
Nebraska Unions
Chick-fil-A red x green check mark
via the mobile ordering app
Imperial Palace red x red x
Starbucks red x green check mark
via the mobile ordering app
Steak 'n Shake red x green check mark
via the mobile ordering app
Subway red x green check mark
via the mobile ordering app
Valentino's red x green check mark
via the mobile ordering app