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The Dos and Don’ts of Government Travel Charge Cards
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What is a Government Travel Charge Card?
Obtaining a government travel charge card, types of government travel charge cards, uses of a government travel card, the rules of a government travel card, how to responsibly use your government travel card, incorrect uses of a government travel card, resources and contacts.
You just received your first GTCC — the federal government’s version of a corporate travel credit card. But before your “ Wolf of Wall Street ” fantasies about perks and points come alive, it’s best to learn a bit more about how the GTCC program works, what’s expected of you as a cardholder, and how to use the card appropriately and legally.
Within this article, we explore the basics of the GTCC program at the Department of Defense, the different types of charge cards offered, and ways to obtain a card. Read on for some savvy tips on how to use (and how not to use) your government charge card so that you remain in control and out of trouble.
A GTCC is a commercial credit card offered to DoD personnel (both military and civilian) to pay for costs related to government-specific travel. For military members, this may include Permanent Change of Station moves and temporary duty assignments so that the service member doesn’t have to pay for work-related expenses out of pocket.
Currently, credit cards issued under the GTCC program are from the commercial partner, Citibank. However, the program itself is managed by DoD program coordinators within the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO), who provide troubleshooting assistance to service members and federal employees. While Citibank issues GTCC credit card statements, DTMO set policy regarding GTCC use. It is the main agency that does so.
In general, military members will not have access to the GTCC program until it becomes a job requirement. Those who become eligible for holding a GTCC must first complete an online training course and then be invited to apply for the card through Citibank.
There are two main classifications for government charge cards:
- Individually Billed Accounts (IBAs)
- Centrally Billed Accounts (CBAs)
Individually Billed Accounts (IBAs)
Individually Billed Accounts are issued to service members for travel and travel-related expenses. With these types of cards, the service member is responsible for settling the account.
According to the DoD , the Standard card options within this category are typically issued to those with a 660 or higher credit score. They have a credit limit of $7,500.
In contrast, the Restricted card option is issued to those with lower credit scores (500-659) and has a lower credit limit of $4,000. Restricted government charge cards are closely monitored. They are sometimes deactivated during periods when travel has not been approved.
Centrally Billed Accounts (CBAs)
Centrally Billed Accounts can also be used to pay for travel expenses.
These cards are settled directly by the U.S. government (so the cardholder has fewer personal responsibilities). They have limited use. Unlike Individually Billed Accounts, where the service member is personally liable for card charges, Centrally Billed Accounts assume government liability.
Approved uses of a government travel charge card include, but are not exclusively:
- Meals (not including alcohol)
- Transportation (airfare, train, etc.)
For additional guidance on what constitutes “official travel,” see page 14 in the GTCC Regulations (2020) and the newly amended Joint Travel Regulations (2021) .
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Responsible use of your government charge card entails three main activities:
- Ethical use of the card for official government travel expenses only;
- Timely and accurate reporting of charges (often with printed receipts);
- Timely payment of the card’s balance
The cardinal rule to follow: the government charge card is not to be treated as a personal card in any way. It should be used only for official travel . (Commuting to work or going on a family vacation do not constitute “official travel”).
Following the travel event such as PCS or TDY , cardholders are expected to submit a “travel claims” report within five days of its conclusion in the Defense Travel System. This should include scanned receipts of individual charges as well as amounts, dates and descriptions. Foreign currency charges must be converted into U.S. dollars.
Additionally, cardholders with Individually Billed Accounts are responsible for ensuring that the government travel card is ultimately paid off. When entering trip report details in the Defense Travel System, cardholders are encouraged to use the split disbursement option to ensure that the service member is reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses and per-diem rates while the charges on the government credit card are settled in full.
Although it isn’t difficult to imagine the multitude of ways that service members can get into hot water for misuse of government travel cards, the most common missteps involve:
- Using the card for unofficial/non-approved travel or personal use
- Using the split disbursement feature incorrectly
- Failing to submit timely and/or accurate travel reports in DTS
- Failing to pay the card balance on time
- Including alcohol on receipts for DTS submission
In addition to accruing late fees, which begin at 75 days past the due date, cardmembers can have their accounts suspended or terminated for improper use of a GTCC. For more serious offenses, service members may receive formal counseling, an Article 15, or even a court-martial . Therefore, it’s best to be on the safe side and remember the basics for proper GTCC etiquette:
- Use it only for official/approved government travel;
- Provide a timely and accurate report in DTS, using the split reimbursement option;
- Ensure that the GTCC is paid off in full by the due date
» MORE: Your Path to Homeownership Begins with a VA Loan
For more information on the DoD GTCC:
Citibank Customer Service: 1-800-200-7056 (or 757-852-9076 when calling collect)
GTCC Travel Assistance Center: 1-888-HELP1GO (1-888-435-7146)
Citi’s DoD Travel Card Webpage
Email of the DoD Travel Card Helpdesk
DoD GTCC Regulations (2020)
DoD Joint Travel Regulations (2021)
About Post Author
Meaghan Doherty Myers
Meaghan Doherty Myers is a freelance writer, specializing in military benefits, personal finance, and defense and security issues. She holds an M.A. in Strategic Studies and International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and recently graduated from the Russian language program at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. She is an Army spouse, a former ballet dancer, and a former management consultant who lives with her husband and daughter in Alexandria, VA.
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What is the travel charge card? The GSA SmartPay® 3 program provides charge cards to U.S. government agencies, as well as tribal governments, through master contracts that are negotiated with major banks.
There are currently more than 560 Federal agencies, organizations and Native American tribal governments participating in the program, spending $30 Billion annually, through 100 million transactions on more than three million cards.
There are three types of travel accounts:
- Individually billed accounts are issued to employees to pay for official travel and travel-related expenses. The government reimburses employees for authorized expenses. The employee is responsible for making payment to the bank.
- Centrally billed accounts are established by some agencies to pay for official travel expenses. Centrally billed accounts are paid directly by the government to the bank.
- GSA SmartPay Tax Advantage Travel accounts are new product offerings that combine an Individually Billed Account (IBA) and Centrally Billed Account (CBA), providing a means to obtain tax exemption automatically at the point of sale for rental cars and lodging charges. The combined features of CBAs and IBAs are a key characteristic of this product. When using the Tax Advantage Travel Account, charges for rental cars and lodging will be automatically billed to a CBA for payment. Charges for other travel-related purchases, such as meals and incidentals, are billed to the IBA portion of the account.
What is the benefit for federal agencies? Each agency or organization using the travel charge card receives a rebate based on sales volume. The sale refund is remitted to the organization. In addition, a separate refund is provided to agencies and organizations based on improving speed of payment.
How can travel managers make it happen? In 1988, Congress mandated that federal employees use the government travel charge card for all payments of expenses related to official government travel, with some exceptions.
Travel managers should ensure that all of their travelers use their government-issued travel charge card for all purchases of travel-related services or products such as rental cars, hotel rooms, and telephone or Internet service.
Looking for more information on SmartPay?
The GSA SmartPay program provides charge cards to U.S. government agencies/departments, as well as tribal governments, through master contracts that are negotiated with major national banks. Additionally, to contact Travel Program call 888-472-5585 or email [email protected]
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Rates are available between 10/1/2021 and 09/30/2024.
The End Date of your trip can not occur before the Start Date.
Traveler reimbursement is based on the location of the work activities and not the accommodations, unless lodging is not available at the work activity, then the agency may authorize the rate where lodging is obtained.
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The Benefits Of Using A Restricted Government Travel Card For Official Trips
- Last updated Oct 08, 2023
- Difficulty Intemediate
- Category United States
The concept of a restricted government travel card may seem contradictory at first - after all, government employees are trusted with many important responsibilities, so why would their travel be restricted? However, this is actually a necessary precaution to ensure that taxpayer funds are used responsibly and that government employees adhere to established travel policies. In this article, we will explore what a restricted government travel card is, how it works, and why it is important for maintaining transparency and accountability in government spending.
What You'll Learn
What is a restricted government travel card and how does it differ from a regular government travel card, what are the restrictions and limitations placed on a restricted government travel card, how does the process for obtaining a restricted government travel card differ from obtaining a regular government travel card, can individuals with a restricted government travel card use it for personal expenses, or is it strictly for official government travel, are there any consequences or penalties for misuse or improper use of a restricted government travel card.
A restricted government travel card, also known as an R-GTC, is a type of credit card issued to government employees for official business travel expenses. It is specifically designed to help streamline the travel process and simplify expense reporting for government employees.
The main difference between a restricted government travel card and a regular government travel card is the level of control and restrictions placed on the cardholder. With a regular government travel card, the cardholder has more freedom and flexibility in how they use the card and make purchases. They can use the card for both official and personal expenses, such as meals, hotels, and transportation.
On the other hand, a restricted government travel card has restrictions in place to ensure that the card is only used for official business travel expenses. These restrictions generally include limits on the types of purchases that can be made and the amounts that can be spent. Cardholders are typically not allowed to use the card for personal expenses or non-travel-related expenses.
One key feature of the restricted government travel card is the ability to link it directly to an online travel booking system. This allows cardholders to make travel arrangements and book flights, hotels, and rental cars using the card. It also helps to automate the expense reporting process by automatically populating travel expense reports with the cardholder's travel itinerary and expenses.
Additionally, the restricted government travel card typically offers enhanced security features compared to a regular government travel card. These may include additional fraud protection measures, such as real-time transaction monitoring, alerts for suspicious activity, and the ability to deactivate the card if it is lost or stolen.
To apply for a restricted government travel card, government employees usually need to go through an approval process. This process may involve submitting documentation to verify employment and eligibility for the card, as well as completing any required training or certification related to travel and expense management.
In conclusion, a restricted government travel card is a specialized credit card issued to government employees for official business travel expenses. It differs from a regular government travel card in that it has stricter controls and restrictions in place to ensure that it is only used for authorized travel expenses. This helps to simplify expense reporting, improve security, and streamline the travel process for government employees.
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A government travel card, also known as a GTC, is a credit card that is issued to employees of the government for official travel expenses. It is a useful tool that allows government employees to pay for various expenses while on official business without using their personal funds. However, like any credit card, there are restrictions and limitations placed on the use of a government travel card.
One of the main restrictions on a government travel card is that it can only be used for official travel expenses. This means that it cannot be used for personal expenses such as shopping or dining out. The card can only be used for expenses that are directly related to official government business, such as transportation, lodging, and meals.
Another restriction placed on a government travel card is the maximum spending limit. Each card has a limit set by the government agency that issues it, and employees are not allowed to exceed this limit. This is done to control expenses and prevent abuse of the card. If an employee needs to make a purchase that exceeds the spending limit, they must seek approval from their supervisor or a designated authority.
Additionally, there are limitations on the types of transactions that can be made with a government travel card. For example, cash advances are generally not allowed. Employees are expected to use the card for direct payment of expenses, rather than withdrawing cash. However, in certain circumstances, a cash advance may be permitted, but these are typically for emergency situations only and require special authorization.
Another limitation is that a government travel card can only be used at authorized vendors. The government agency that issues the card will provide a list of approved vendors or websites where the card can be used. Employees are expected to abide by this list and not make purchases from unauthorized vendors. This helps ensure that government funds are used wisely and only for necessary expenses.
Furthermore, there are strict reporting requirements for government travel card transactions. Employees are required to submit detailed expense reports that document each transaction made with the card. These reports must be submitted promptly after the completion of the official travel. This reporting process ensures transparency and allows for proper auditing of the use of government funds.
In conclusion, a government travel card comes with restrictions and limitations to ensure responsible and accountable use of public funds. These include limitations on the types of expenses that can be charged, maximum spending limits, restrictions on cash advances, limitations on authorized vendors, and reporting requirements. By adhering to these restrictions, government employees can effectively manage their official travel expenses while maintaining the integrity of the government travel card program.
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Obtaining a government travel card is a standard process for individuals who work for the government and require travel for official purposes. However, there are certain situations where a restricted government travel card may be necessary. In this article, we will explore how the process for obtaining a restricted government travel card differs from obtaining a regular government travel card.
Restricted government travel cards are typically issued to individuals who have demonstrated a need for additional controls on their travel expenses. This may be due to a history of non-compliance with travel policies or excessive or unauthorized spending. The goal of a restricted travel card is to limit the amount of funds available to the cardholder and provide increased oversight and control over their travel expenses.
The process for obtaining a restricted government travel card starts with an assessment of the individual's travel needs and past behavior. This assessment is typically conducted by the individual's supervisor or a designated travel card program administrator. They will review the employee's past travel history, expenses, and any relevant policies or regulations.
If it is determined that a restricted travel card is necessary, the individual will be required to complete additional training on travel policies and procedures. This training is designed to reinforce the expectations and requirements for using the travel card responsibly. It may include topics such as allowable expenses, documentation requirements, and consequences for non-compliance.
Once the training is completed, the individual will need to submit an application for the restricted government travel card. This application will typically require the individual's personal information, employment details, and a justification for why the restricted travel card is necessary. The application may also include a request for any supporting documentation, such as past travel expense reports or disciplinary actions.
After the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the designated travel card program administrator or another designated authority. They will evaluate the application and determine whether the individual meets the criteria for a restricted travel card. This evaluation process may include contacting the individual's supervisor or other relevant parties to gather additional information.
If the application is approved, the individual will be notified of their restricted travel card status and provided with the necessary credit limit and other usage restrictions. They will also be required to sign an agreement acknowledging their understanding of the restrictions and the consequences for non-compliance.
Once the individual receives their restricted government travel card, they can use it for approved travel expenses within the defined limits. Their expenses will be closely monitored and reviewed by the designated travel card program administrator. Any discrepancies or potential policy violations will be addressed and may result in disciplinary action or further restrictions on card usage.
In conclusion, the process for obtaining a restricted government travel card differs from obtaining a regular government travel card due to the need for increased oversight and control. It involves an assessment of the individual's travel history and behavior, additional training on travel policies and procedures, the submission of an application with supporting documentation, and a review by the designated travel card program administrator. Once approved, the individual will be provided with a restricted travel card and must adhere to the defined limits and usage restrictions.
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A restricted government travel card is a payment tool issued to government employees for official travel expenses. It is meant to be used solely for government-related purposes, such as lodging, transportation, and meals. Using the card for personal expenses is strictly prohibited and can lead to serious consequences.
The main purpose of a restricted government travel card is to streamline the travel reimbursement process for government employees. It allows them to charge their travel expenses directly to the government, eliminating the need for employees to pay out of pocket and request reimbursement later. This efficient system ensures that employees have the necessary funds to cover their authorized travel expenses.
Using the card for personal expenses goes against the principles of responsible financial management and can potentially result in abuse of government funds. It is important for government employees to understand and comply with the restrictions placed on the use of the travel card.
There are several reasons why individuals with a restricted government travel card must use it only for official government travel. Firstly, taxpayer money is used to fund government travel, and it is crucial that these funds are utilized appropriately and responsibly. Using the card for personal expenses diverts these funds away from their intended purpose.
Secondly, the government travel card is linked to specific travel authorizations, which outline the purpose and scope of the trip. Using the card for personal expenses can lead to discrepancies between the authorized expenses and the actual charges made on the card, creating audit and accounting problems.
Furthermore, misuse of a government travel card can result in disciplinary action, including reprimands, suspension, or even termination of employment. The unauthorized use of government funds is taken seriously and can have severe consequences for both the individual and the organization.
To ensure compliance with the restrictions placed on a restricted government travel card, agencies have implemented various control measures. These measures include mandatory training, periodic audits, and systems that flag unusual or unauthorized charges.
In addition to these control measures, accountability is crucial in preventing misuse of the travel card. Government employees are responsible for keeping accurate records of their travel expenses and providing supporting documentation when required. This accountability ensures transparency and helps to minimize the risk of fraudulent or unauthorized charges.
By adhering to the guidelines and restrictions associated with a restricted government travel card, individuals can effectively manage their official travel expenses while maintaining the integrity of government funds. It is essential for employees to understand and respect the purpose of the card, and to use it only for authorized government travel expenses.
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Government travel cards are an important tool for federal employees to cover their travel expenses while on official duty. However, with the benefits of these cards come certain responsibilities, and those who misuse or improperly use them may face serious consequences.
First and foremost, it is essential to understand the proper use of a government travel card. These cards are meant to cover authorized travel expenses, such as transportation, lodging, meals, and incidentals. They should not be used for personal expenses or non-work-related activities. Misusing the card for personal purchases is not only unethical but can also lead to severe legal and financial repercussions.
One of the key penalties for misuse of a government travel card is financial liability. If an employee is found to have made unauthorized purchases or used the card for personal expenses, they will be required to reimburse the government for those charges. This can include any interest or fees associated with the unauthorized charges.
In addition to the financial liability, employees who misuse their government travel cards may also face disciplinary action. This could range from reprimand or suspension to termination, depending on the severity of the violation. The government takes the misuse of funds very seriously, as it undermines the trust and integrity of the system.
Moreover, the consequences of misusing a government travel card can extend beyond the immediate disciplinary action. It can also have a lasting impact on an employee's career and reputation. Having a record of financial misconduct can make it difficult to obtain future employment or promotions, both within the government and in the private sector.
To combat misuse, government agencies often have strict policies and procedures in place to monitor and control the use of travel cards. This can include regular audits, training programs, and thorough documentation of expenses. So, it is essential for employees to familiarize themselves with these policies and follow them diligently.
Government employees who are issued a travel card should also keep in mind that ignorance is not an excuse. Even if they were not aware of the proper use of the card or the consequences of misuse, they will still be held accountable for their actions. It is the responsibility of every cardholder to educate themselves and comply with the guidelines provided by their agency.
Misusing or improperly using a government travel card can have severe consequences, both financially and professionally. It is crucial for federal employees to understand and adhere to the proper use of these cards to avoid any unnecessary and damaging repercussions. By doing so, they can maintain their integrity and uphold the standards of the government travel card program.
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Frequently asked questions.
A restricted government travel card is a credit card that is issued to government employees for the sole purpose of official travel expenses. It can only be used to pay for authorized expenses such as airfare, lodging, transportation, and meals during official travel.
A restricted government travel card differs from a regular credit card in that it is specifically designated for official travel expenses only. It has strict limitations on its usage, including restrictions on personal purchases or cash advances. Regular credit cards, on the other hand, can be used for any type of purchase.
To apply for a restricted government travel card, you typically need to follow the guidelines set by your government agency. This may involve filling out an application form, providing necessary documentation such as supervisor approval, and completing any required training or certification. The application process may vary depending on the specific policies and procedures of your agency.
Using a restricted government travel card can have several benefits. Firstly, it allows for easier tracking and management of official travel expenses, as all transactions are recorded and reported for review. It also provides a convenient and secure method of payment while traveling, eliminating the need to carry large amounts of cash. Additionally, some restricted government travel cards offer rewards programs that can result in cost savings or other perks for government employees.
Misusing a restricted government travel card is a serious offense that can have consequences. Depending on the severity of the misuse, you may be subject to disciplinary action, including termination of employment. Repercussions can also include loss of travel privileges, repayment of unauthorized charges, and even potential criminal charges. It is essential to use a restricted government travel card responsibly and in accordance with the rules and regulations set by your government agency.
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- 22.214.171.124.3.6 Travel Management Office
- 126.96.36.199.4 Program Management and Review
- 188.8.131.52.5 Program Controls
- 184.108.40.206.6 Terms/Definitions
- 220.127.116.11.7 Acronyms
- 18.104.22.168.8 Related Resources
- 22.214.171.124.1.1.1 Exemption for Mandatory Use for International Travel
- 126.96.36.199.1.1.2 Payment Sources for Travelers with Exemptions
- 188.8.131.52.2.1 Authorized/Unauthorized Uses
- 184.108.40.206.2.2 National Treasury Employees Union Use of the Travel Card
- 220.127.116.11.2.3 Inappropriate Use of the Travel Card
- 18.104.22.168.3.1 Card Limits
- 22.214.171.124.3.2 Relocation Employees (Special Privileges)
- 126.96.36.199.3.3 Merchant Category Codes and Templates
- 188.8.131.52.4 Cash from Automatic Teller Machines Access
- 184.108.40.206.5 Record Retention Period for Travel Card Documentation
- 220.127.116.11.6.1 Electronic Credit Review
- 18.104.22.168.6.2 Activating the Travel Card
- 22.214.171.124.6.3 Ordering a Replacement Card
- 126.96.36.199.6.4.1 Travel Card Refresher Training
- 188.8.131.52.7.1 Statement Explanation
- 184.108.40.206.7.2 Dispute Process
- 220.127.116.11.7.3 Trip Cancellation
- 18.104.22.168.7.4.1 Payment Methods
- 22.214.171.124.7.4.2 Making/Expediting Payment
- 126.96.36.199.7.5 Travel Vouchers: Relationship to Travel Cards
- 188.8.131.52.8.1 Past Due Accounts
- 184.108.40.206.8.2 Suspension and Reactivation
- 220.127.116.11.8.3 Multiple Suspensions
- 18.104.22.168.8.4 Payments Returned for Non-Sufficient Funds
- 22.214.171.124.8.5 Cancellation
- 126.96.36.199.8.6 Cancelled Card and Need to Travel
- 188.8.131.52.8.7 Salary Offset for Undisputed Travel Card Debt
- 184.108.40.206.8.8 Reinstatement Process
- 220.127.116.11.9 Travel Card Account Changes
- 18.104.22.168.10 Travel Card Problems
- 22.214.171.124.1.1 Authorized Uses of the Centrally Billed Account
- 126.96.36.199.1.2 Unauthorized Uses of the Centrally Billed Account
- 188.8.131.52.1.3 Centrally Billed Account Ticket Authorization Process
- 184.108.40.206.1.4 Travel Voucher Considerations
- 220.127.116.11.1.5 Unused Tickets
- 18.104.22.168.1.6 Ticket Cancellation
- 22.214.171.124.1.7 Special Travel Considerations
Part 1. Organization, Finance, and Management
Chapter 32. servicewide travel policies and procedures, section 4. government travel card program, 1.32.4 government travel card program, manual transmittal.
October 19, 2023
(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.32.4, Servicewide Travel Policies and Procedures, Government Travel Card Program.
(1) IRM 126.96.36.199.6, Terms/Definitions, deleted the definition for Chip and PIN. A computer chip embedded in the card and personal identification number (PIN) used to enhance security.
(2) IRM 188.8.131.52.6 w), Terms/Definitions, revised the definition for Travel Management center (TMC).
(3) IRM 184.108.40.206.1.1(4)(g), Exemptions to Mandatory Use of Travel Card Policy, added text “Employees who have relocated and staying in temporary quarters.” Use of the government travel card for temporary quarters is encouraged but not required, per IRM 220.127.116.11 (16).
(4) IRM 18.104.22.168.2.1(1), Authorized/Unauthorized Uses, added Lyft and Photos for Passports/Visas to expense type category and text “Alcohol purchase without food is not authorized” to Meals expense category.
(5) IRM 22.214.171.124.2.1(4), Authorized/Unauthorized Uses, updated text “Lodging expenses are not authorized for local travel within a 50-mile radius of the employee’s official station and residence without approval from Director,Travel Management” to clarify policy.
(6) IRM 126.96.36.199.4(3), Cash from Automatic Teller Machine Access, the cash advance fee charged by the government credit card contractor was updated from 2% to 2.5% for the service.
(7) IRM 188.8.131.52.7.3(2), Trip Cancellation, added text “The cardholder must contact the hotel to cancel reservations booked directly with the hotel when booked via a block of rooms. Car and/or hotel only reservations invoice on the day the authorization is approved or on the day of arrival if not cancelled timely incurring a CGE reservation fee.”
(8) IRM 184.108.40.206.1.7, Special Travel Considerations, added bullet (8), Official Travel Paid by Other Federal Agencies or Entity.
(9) IRM 220.127.116.11.1.7 (7)(c), Special Travel Considerations, deleted first sentence and added text “Duluth will then book the personal travel portion”.
(10) Minor editorial changes made throughout the IRM for clarity and link updates.
Effect on Other Documents
Teresa R. Hunter Chief Financial Officer
Program Scope and Objective
Purpose : This IRM provides information regarding the Government Travel Card Program, including the Individually Billed Account (IBA) and Centrally Billed Account (CBA) programs.
Audience : All business units
Policy Owner : The CFO is responsible for travel card program policy, and related audits.
Program Owner : Credit Card Services is responsible for travel card-related administration, procedures and audits.
Primary Stakeholders : The CFO, Credit Card Services, travel cardholders, CBA users and managers.
Program Goals : Provide an effective travel card program that enables IRS employees to conduct official government travel to carry out their tax administration duties and ensure effective internal controls as outlined in OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B: Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs. The mandatory use of the travel card enables the IRS to obtain rebates offered by the credit card contractor.
This IRM provides information for the Government Travel Card Program including the IBA and the CBA programs. It applies to IRS employees who perform official government travel and supervisory and administrative personnel who direct or review and approve, official travel or reimbursement of expenses.
The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 (Pub. L. No. 105–264)
The CFO, Deputy CFO, and Credit Card Services share joint responsibility for the Government Travel Card Program.
This section provides responsibilities for the following:
CFO and Deputy CFO
Credit Card Services office
Managers and approving officials
Authorized CBA users
Travel Management office
The CFO and Deputy CFO are responsible for Government Travel Card Program policy.
Credit Card Services Office
The Credit Card Services office is responsible for administration, procedures and oversight of the government travel card program.
Responsibilities for IBA and CBA accounts include:
Providing guidance and direction to travel cardholders and managers.
Assisting travel cardholders with travel card account maintenance changes.
Reviewing travel authorizations for appropriate information and approvals.
Performing reviews and monitoring travel card program activity.
Initiating appropriate action to notify Labor/Employee Relations and Negotiations of delinquent accounts and inappropriate use.
Safeguarding the CBA cardholder account numbers.
Authorizing the TMC to issue tickets that are charged to the CBA.
Reviewing, reconciling and certifying monthly CBA statements of account for payment and sending them to the CFO, Travel Management, Travel Operations office.
Ensuring payments to the government credit card contractor are properly and timely posted to the account.
Initiating and completing the dispute resolution process when unauthorized or erroneous/duplicate charges appear on the statements of account.
Reviewing the activity on the CBA to ensure: 1) travelers are not seeking reimbursement for CBA charges; 2) erroneous/duplicate charges are identified and resolved; 3) all charges are for travelers authorized to use the CBA for official government travel.
Maintaining statistical and narrative information related to the travel card program.
Providing CBA expenditure information to the business units.
Managers are responsible for:
Ensuring all employees obtain and use the government travel card for all official travel, except where specifically exempted.
Reviewing travel documents to ensure travel card expense claims are appropriate and business related.
Approving requests for travel card account maintenance changes such as card limits and cancellations.
Ensuring their employees are aware of the government travel card requirements.
Consulting with Labor/Employee Relations and Negotiations before meeting with a travel cardholder who is delinquent in paying their government travel card bill or who may have inappropriately used the travel card.
Concurring with or rejecting employee requests to use the CBA.
Ensuring that travel authorizations have the correct funding codes when the CBA is used to pay for the transportation.
Approving or disapproving employee travel authorization requests.
Ensuring that airfare/train and reservation fees charged to the CBA have the form of payment shown as CBA (not personal or Government Travel Card) on the employee’s travel voucher.
Travel cardholders are responsible for:
Becoming familiar with the current IRS IRM 1.32.1, IRS Local Travel Guide and IRM 1.32.11, IRS City- to-City Travel Guide.
Using the government travel card only for travel-related expenses while performing official government travel.
Promptly filing travel vouchers.
Paying all charges and fees associated with the account timely.
Disputing any incorrect or unauthorized charges that may appear on the monthly statement of account timely.
Safeguarding the government travel card and account number from unauthorized use.
Complying with the terms and conditions of the Cardholder Account Agreement.
Authorized Centrally Billed Account Users
Authorized CBA users are responsible for:
Contacting the TMC to make a reservation.
Informing the TMC that the CBA will be used to purchase the common-carrier transportation tickets.
Obtaining the cost of the transportation ticket, the cost of the Concur Government Edition (CGE) fee and the reservation locator code from the TMC.
Notifying the TMC and Credit Card Services if an authorized trip is cancelled.
Identifying "CBA" as the method of payment for transportation costs charged to the CBA when filing travel vouchers.
Travel Management Office
The Travel Management office is responsible for IRS policies governing the travel card program.
Program Management and Review
Program Reports : Credit Card Services uses reports obtained from the credit card contractor’s electronic reporting system and from the Integrated Financial System (IFS) to monitor accounts and review transactions.
Program Effectiveness : Credit Card Services measures the effectiveness of travel card program oversight by performing continuous reviews of account data and monthly and quarterly reviews of travel card transactions to measure compliance and mitigate the risk of fraud and abuse.
The following chart describes the internal controls in place for using the government travel card:
The following terms and definitions apply to this program.
Automatic teller machine (ATM) - The contractor provides this service allowing cash withdrawals from participating ATMs. The cash withdrawal and associated fees are charged to the standard travel card account. Cash from ATMs is only authorized for expenses that cannot be charged to the travel card while in official IRS travel status.
Billing cycle - The period of time commencing on the fourth day of the month and ending on the third day of the following month. All transactions that post to an account during a cycle are summarized on a statement of account issued by the government credit card contractor.
Card limit - The maximum cumulative amount that can be charged to an individually billed government travel card in any one billing cycle.
Concur Government Edition (CGE) reservation fee - A vendor fee that will auto-populate in a document when reservations are booked through Concur or by contacting the TMC directly. If a reservation is cancelled prior to ticketing, no transaction fee is incurred.
Centrally billed account (CBA) - A corporate travel card account set up for travelers who do not have an individually billed account to use for official IRS travel expenses (airline and train tickets only).
Delinquent account - Individually billed account with a balance due that remains unpaid for a period of 61 days or more from the closing date of the statement of account on which the charges first appeared.
Disputed item - An erroneous, duplicate, or over charge that appears as a transaction on an individually billed travel cardholder's statement of account. Travel cardholders are responsible for disputing timely any incorrect or unauthorized charges that may appear on their statement of account.
Electronic credit review - An electronic credit check performed by the government credit card contractor to research the applicants credit score, assessing creditworthiness based on credit history and current credit accounts.
Electronic travel system (ETS) - A web-based, integrated travel booking and reimbursement system that includes authorizations, vouchers and travel reservations for both domestic and foreign travel. The system's split disbursement function allows travelers to allocate the payment of individual expenses directly to the government credit card contractor.
Government credit card contractor - The bank that issues the travel card used by authorized IRS employees to pay for official travel expenses.
Inappropriate use - Use of the IRS government credit card to make purchases not approved, funded and authorized by or in conformance with applicable IRS travel card and CBA guidelines.
Individually billed account (IBA) - A government contractor-issued travel card used by authorized individuals to pay for official travel and transportation related expenses for which the contractor (bank) bills the employee and for which the employee is liable for paying.
Merchant category code (MCC) - A standard code assigned to every merchant that accepts a credit card identifying the category of goods, services, or activity they are involved with. The accuracy of the assigned MCC is the function of the merchant and MasterCard.
Merchant category code templates - A grouping of MCCs assigned to each individually billed travel cardholder's account based on the travel cardholder's anticipated purchasing activity. MCC templates are an element of the system of internal controls for the credit card program, designed to reduce the potential for inappropriate credit card use.
Restricted travel cardholder - A travel cardholder who did not consent to an electronic credit check or had a credit score of less than 660. A restricted travel card does not include a MCC template for miscellaneous expenses. In addition, restricted travel cardholders also do not have ATM privileges.
Split disbursement - An electronic travel system (ETS) functionally dividing a travel voucher reimbursement between the credit card contractor and the traveler. The balance owed to each is sent directly to the applicable party.
Standard travel cardholder - A travel card applicant who agreed to an electronic credit review and had a credit score of 660 or more. A standard travel card includes the MCC template for miscellaneous expenses and ATM access.
Statement of account - A summary of transactions (debits and credits) posted to the individually billed travel cardholder’s account during the billing cycle. The government credit card contractor will send a statement of account to the individually billed travel cardholder within five business days after the end of the billing cycle. Statements of account can be accessed through the government credit card contractor’s website.
Travel advance - A prepayment of estimated travel expenses paid to an IRS employee in advance of authorized official IRS travel. Travel advances are not available to standard travel cardholders.
Travel card - A credit card used to pay for authorized official IRS travel and allowable travel-related expenses. Each travel card reflects an individual billed account established in the travel cardholder's name. The term "individually billed" account is synonymous with travel card, credit card, government issued travel card and IBA.
Travel authorization - An electronic or written document submitted for approval to authorize official travel. The travel authorization obligates funds and must be submitted and approved before traveling, except in emergency situations.
Travel cardholder - The IRS employee who has been trained and authorized to use the individually billed account. The travel cardholder is the only authorized user of the travel card and is responsible for safeguarding the travel card and account number to minimize the opportunity for theft or unauthorized use.
Travel management center (TMC) - A travel agency contracted by the IRS or the electronic travel system (ETS) to provide services to book and ticket transportation, lodging and rental car services to IRS employees on official travel.
Travel voucher - A written request or electronic submission supported by documentation and receipts, where applicable, for reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of official IRS and relocation travel.
The following acronyms apply to this program.
IRM 1.32.1, IRS Local Travel Guide
IRM 1.32.11, IRS City-to-City Travel Guide
Federal Travel Regulation
5 U.S.C. 5514, Installment deduction for indebtedness to the United States
The Inappropriate Use Guide offers specific instances of misuse and their resolutions.
IRS Manager’s Guide to Penalty Determinations provides Labor/Employee Relations and Negotiations guidance for penalty determinations for the misuse of the travel card.
Individually Billed Account Travel Card Program
The Individually billed account (IBA) travel card is a government contractor-issued travel card used by authorized individuals to pay for official travel and transportation related expenses for which the contractor (bank) bills the employee and for which the employee is liable for paying.
All employees are required to obtain and use the IBA travel card for all official travel unless:
A vendor does not accept the travel card;
The director, Credit Card Services, has granted an exemption (see IRM 18.104.22.168.1.1 (1), Exemptions to Mandatory Use of Travel Card Policy;
The manager, International Travel and Visitor’s Program/Official Passports, in LB&I has granted an exemption; or
The employee qualifies for an exemption under IRM 22.214.171.124.1.1 (4), Exemptions to Mandatory Use of the Travel Card Policy.
Mandatory Use of Individually Billed Account
The Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), 41 CFR Part 301-51.1 and 301-51.2, Paying Travel Expenses, requires use of the travel card for official travel unless the employee has an exemption.
All employees who are required to travel must obtain and use the travel card for all official travel and transportation-related expenses. The credit card contractor will bill the employee directly and the employee is required to pay the statement timely.
Exemptions to Mandatory Use of Travel Card Policy
Delegation Order 1-49, Exemption to Travel Card Mandatory Use Policy, grants authority to the director, Credit Card Services, to grant exemptions to the mandatory use policy to employees who believe they would incur a hardship if required to obtain and use the government issued travel card.
The Letter of Understanding between the director, Labor/Employee Relations and Negotiations, and NTEU defines hardship as employees who have a history of personal or work-related credit card problems and employees whose religious tenets object to the use of credit cards in general.
Employees may request an exemption by sending an email with justification to their immediate manager. If the manager determines the requirements are met, the manager will forward the approved request to the Credit Card Services mailbox. The subject line of the message should be adjusted to read "Exemption Request" before forwarding.
The IRS exempts the following groups of travelers from the mandatory use of the government travel card:
Employees who have a government travel card application pending.
Employees for whom the issuance of a government travel card would adversely affect the mission of IRS or put the employee at risk.
Employees who are not eligible to receive a government travel card.
New employees who are exempt until they obtain a government travel card. New employees who will travel are expected to obtain and use the government travel card within 45 days after they report to duty.
Employees with suspended or cancelled government travel cards.
Employees who have relocated and are staying in temporary quarters.
Exemption for Mandatory Use for International Travel
The LB&I International Travel Office has been delegated the authority to grant exemptions to the mandatory use of the government issued travel card for IRS business outside the United States, except for Chief Counsel employees. Chief Counsel employees arrange travel through their respective travel office.
Information for submitting requests for exemption from the mandatory use of the travel card requirement for international travel can be found in the CFO Travel Resources section on the IRS Source website.
Payment Sources for Travelers with Exemptions
The following payment sources for allowable travel expenses are authorized for travelers who receive an exemption from the mandatory use of the travel card:
CBA (for common carrier transportation expenses only).
Personal funds/personal charge card (except for purchases of common carrier tickets over $100).
Travel advances through ETS for IRS employees only.
Use of the Individually Billed Account
The travel card can only be used for official government travel and travel-related expenses while in official travel status.
The ATM feature must only be used to obtain cash for official IRS travel expenses that cannot be charged using the travel card. The ATM may be used three calendar days prior to the start of travel through the last travel day.
Some states provide a lodging tax exemption for federal employees on official business. GSA provides a list of participating states with their applicable forms. See State Tax Information. Travelers must present the form to the hotel at check-in.
The travel card is non-transferable and may only be used by the employee whose name appears on the travel card.
Employees should use the travel card to the maximum extent possible. At a minimum, employees must use the government travel card to pay for transportation, lodging, rental cars and rental car gas.
The travel card can be used to purchase fuel for a privately-owned vehicle (POV) for travel between places of official business or other authorized points no more than one calendar day prior to the start of official travel through one calendar day after the official travel ends.
The travel card can only be used for official IRS travel and allowable travel-related expenses while in travel status away from an employee’s official station.
Expense Type Authorized For City to City Travel Authorized for Local Travel When Expense is Authorized, Card Use is: Auto rental Yes Yes Mandatory Baggage fees Yes No Mandatory Common carrier transportation tickets Yes No Mandatory Companion/personal airline tickets and additional charges for premium seats No No Unauthorized Emergency purchases (maps when traveling in a POV or a rental car, and a GPS attached to a rental car) Yes Yes Optional Gasoline for a government vehicle No No Unauthorized Gasoline for a POV Yes Yes Optional Gasoline for a rental car Yes Yes Mandatory Incidental expenses (such as laundry or dry cleaning - for domestic travel only) Yes No Optional Lodging (hotel, motel, corporate housing) Yes No Mandatory Long distance calling (except when billed to hotel room) No No Unauthorized Meals (including grocery stores) - Alcohol purchase without food is not authorized. Yes No (Unless in travel status for 12 hours or more) Mandatory if $15 or greater; Optional if less than $15 Meeting space and conference fees or reserving rooms for other travelers No No Unauthorized Non-travel related expenses (lien fees, investigator expenses, administrative summons expenses, copies third party records or Right to Financial Privacy Act expenses) Yes Yes Optional Office supplies No No Unauthorized Parking (long term, daily, hotel) Yes Yes Optional Photos for Passports/Visas (keep the receipt to claim the expense on the voucher) Yes Yes Optional Postage (stamps, certified mail, etc.) No No Unauthorized Taxi, Uber, Lyft and shuttle service Yes Yes Optional Vehicle repairs No No Unauthorized
Travel cards may not be used to purchase personal items like clothing, toiletries, or gifts unless agency guidance is issued for specific items.
Employees may not use their government travel card for any alcohol and alcoholic beverage for which a separate charge is made.
Lodging expenses are not authorized for local travel within a 50-mile radius of the employee’s official station and residence without approval from Director, Travel Management. See IRM 126.96.36.199, Per Diem Expenses for Local Travel, for more information.
Refer to the "Mandatory Use of Travel Cards" – Frequently Asked Questions on the IRS Source website for additional guidance.
National Treasury Employees Union Use of the Travel Card
The travel card cannot be used to pay for travel expenses of employees performing NTEU business unless the IRS has approved it. For example, if NTEU officials travel using NTEU funds rather than government funds, a government travel card cannot be used.
Inappropriate Use of the Travel Card
Credit Card Services is responsible for reviewing travel card transaction reports to ensure charges are appropriate and business-related. Questionable charges on a travel cardholder's statement of account will be referred to management through the appropriate Labor/Employee Relations and Negotiations office for further investigation and resolution. Travel cardholders who use their government travel card for personal charges could be in violation of the Rules of Conduct. The task order with the government credit card contractor requires that travel cards be used only for official government travel and related expenses and that resulting statements be paid in full within the statement period. Examples of inappropriate use include:
Purchasing items for personal use;
Using the card without prior travel authorization;
Using the incorrect credit card;
Use of the travel card by a non-authorized user;
Purchasing meals within the official work location/commuting area (unless employee is in official travel status entitled to meals and incidental expenses (M&IE));
Renting automobile without prior authorization; and
Charging travel expenses of several travelers on one travel card.
The controls and restrictions on travel card accounts are discussed below. If a travel card is declined because of a restriction, refer to the IRS Source website.,
The card limit is the maximum cumulative amount that can be charged to a travel card account in a billing cycle. For most travel cardholders, the card limit is $5,000 per billing cycle. The travel card limit considers unpaid charges from prior monthly billing cycles as part of the card limit. As a result, the actual available card limit fluctuates as charges and payments are posted.
Higher limits are provided for special circumstances such as extended travel. Requests for a higher limit must be made with the approval of the travel cardholder's manager. Requests must be specific as to the need for the increased limit and the duration. The duration may be permanent or for a specific time period and should reflect the traveler’s business needs. It is not appropriate to request an increase in the card limit if there is an outstanding balance. More information about requests to change card and ATM limits is available on the IRS Source website.
Relocation Employees (Special Privileges)
Employees with relocation expense authorizations are required to use the government travel card for house hunting and en-route travel expenses to the new official station. Use of the travel card for temporary quarters is mandatory.
Special privileges for travel cardholders with relocation expense authorization include an increased card limit and enhanced merchant category code templates. Special privileges are removed from the travel cardholder's account at the end of the relocation travel period.
Merchant Category Codes and Templates
Merchant category codes (MCC) are four-digit numerical standard codes that identify the type of goods and/or services the merchant provides. The codes limit purchases to travel-related expenses. Travel card activity is restricted by the MCC assigned to the travel cardholder's account.
A template is a grouping of MCCs assigned to a travel cardholder's account based on anticipated use. The travel card will then be accepted at merchants, such as airlines and hotels, whose MCC is included in the template for that travel card. Travel cards will be declined at merchants whose MCC is not included in the template.
Requests for MCC changes for miscellaneous expenses (non-travel related expenses for lien fees, investigator expenses, administrative summons expenses or Right to Financial Privacy Act expenses) on a restricted travel card account will not be considered.
Cash from Automatic Teller Machines Access
The ATM feature (available only to standard travel cardholders) may be used to obtain cash for official IRS travel expenses. The travel card should be used to the maximum extent possible to charge travel expenses. At a minimum, the travel card must be used to pay for transportation, lodging, rental cars and rental car gas.
The ATM withdrawals are limited to $100 per day with an overall withdrawal limit of $1,000 per billing cycle. The travel cardholders can withdraw cash from an ATM three days prior to the official travel date of departure through the last day of official travel.
The government credit card contractor charges a fee of 2.5% of the amount of the cash advance for the service. In addition, an ATM fee of varying amounts can be charged as an access fee. These fees are charged to the standard travel cardholders account. Both fees are reimbursable to the standard travel cardholder.
Restricted travel cardholders are not granted ATM privileges.
Standard travel cardholders cannot request a travel advance.
Standard travel cardholders can establish or change their card’s PIN at any time by calling the government credit card contractor. PINs are used to obtain cash for official IRS travel expenses that cannot be charged using the travel card. Changes are effective immediately after confirmation.
Information regarding ATM access is available on the IRS Source website.
Record Retention Period for Travel Card Documentation
Travel cardholders are responsible for ensuring that their travel documents have been correctly uploaded into ETS and are legible. The ETS retains copies of the receipts for six years after fiscal year in which travel occurred. See IRM 188.8.131.52.7, Claiming Reimbursements. Managers are not required to retain original receipts and vouchers if the voucher is filed using ETS. Managers must retain copies of approved manual travel authorizations and vouchers, and all supporting documents for six years. Manual travel voucher records may then be destroyed according to the guidelines for records retention and disposition.
Record retention guidance is available on the IRS Source website.
Training and Application Process
Training is a prerequisite for obtaining a travel card. All potential travel cardholders must first complete the travel card self-study training course. The instructions for completing the government credit card contractor's on-line travel card application form can be accessed at the end of the course. All travel card applications must be in the applicant's name as shown in IRS official personnel records or in approved pseudonym names and must be signed by the applicant.
A travel card will be mailed in a plain envelope to the applicant at the statement billing mailing address indicated on the application form. It should be received within five to seven business days from the date the properly completed application is entered in the government credit card contractor's on-line application system.
Travel cardholders will need to call the government credit card contractor at the number on the back of the travel card to establish a PIN. The PIN will be used at chip enabled merchant terminals and for standard travel cardholders to obtain cash from the ATM for official IRS travel expenses that cannot be charged using the travel card. Information regarding the training and application process for obtaining a travel card is available on the IRS Source website.
Electronic Credit Review
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123, Appendix B, Chapter 6, Creditworthiness, requires all agencies to perform a credit check on new travel card applicants using a Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) credit score. A new travel card applicant is an employee who has not had a government-issued travel card within the last 12 months. Creditworthiness reviews are an important internal control to ensure that travel cardholders are financially responsible.
The option of consenting to an electronic review by the government credit card contractor is offered at the end of the travel card self-study training course. A new travel card applicant with a credit score of 660 or higher will receive a standard travel card. Applicants with a FICO credit score of less than 660, or who do not consent to an electronic credit review will receive a restricted travel card. Information regarding electronic credit checks is available on the IRS Source website.
Activating the Travel Card
Upon receipt of the travel card, travel cardholders must verify the accuracy of the information on the transmittal document and on the travel card.
If there is an error on the transmittal document or travel card, the cardholder should contact Credit Card Services via IRS Service Central to correct the problem.
If the information is correct, the travel cardholder should activate the travel card by calling the government credit card contractor at the telephone number on the activation sticker. When the call is completed, the card will be activated and ready for use.
Travel cardholders will need to call the government credit card contractor at the number on the back of the travel card to establish a PIN. The PIN will be used at chip enabled merchant terminals and for standard travel cardholders to obtain cash from the ATM for official IRS travel expenses that cannot be charged using the travel card.
Ordering a Replacement Card
If the travel card becomes worn, damaged, or defective in any way, the travel cardholder can order a replacement card by contacting the government credit card contractor at the telephone number listed on the back of the card.
Card Renewal Process
When the expiration date shown on the face of the travel card draws near, the government credit card contractor will send the travel cardholder a renewal card automatically. This generally, will occur two to four weeks prior to the expiration date. The renewal card will require activation. Activation instructions will be provided on a sticker affixed to the renewal card. Activating the renewal card automatically cancels the expiring card. The expired card should be properly disposed of by cutting it up.
Travel Card Refresher Training
Travel cardholders are required to complete refresher training every two years. The objectives of refresher training are to:
Ensure all travel cardholders are made aware of current program rules, regulations, guidelines and changes.
Strengthen the IRS travel card program internal controls.
Travel cardholders will be notified via email with detailed instructions when they are required to complete the refresher course. Travel cardholders will have approximately 45 calendar days to complete the training after being notified.
Travel cardholders receive a statement from the government credit card contractor if there is activity on the account or an outstanding balance, unless the travel cardholder has selected "Go Paperless" on the government credit card contractor’s website.
The billing cycle for travel card accounts closes on the third day of each month.
Travel cardholders are responsible for timely payment of all undisputed charges.
Travel cardholders will receive a statement of account from the government credit card contractor if there is activity on the account or an outstanding balance. The statement of account is available electronically if the travel cardholder selects "Go Paperless" on the government credit card contractor’s website or is mailed to the statement billing mailing address provided by the travel cardholder. This will usually be the travel cardholder’s home address, unless the travel cardholder has specified a different mailing address.
The monthly statement of account reflects activity on the account for the billing cycle. The billing cycle for travel cards closes on the third of each month. Each charge and credit transaction that posts to the travel cardholder's account during the billing cycle will be itemized on the statement of account. The statement of account will show the total amount due and the payment due date.
The travel cardholder must review the statement of account for erroneous or unauthorized charges. If any of these charges are identified, the travel cardholder must take prompt action to resolve the dispute. More Information is available on the IRS Source website.
The travel cardholders are responsible for disputing any incorrect or unauthorized charges that appear on their monthly statements of account timely. Travel cardholders must contact the government credit card contractor representative within 90 days from the "transaction date" of the erroneous charge(s).
If the merchant's name and the charge(s) are not recognized by the travel cardholder, the cardholder should immediately contact the government credit card contractor to initiate a transaction dispute so the unrecognized charge(s) can be removed and a new travel card issued. More information is available on the IRS Source website.
If the merchant's name is recognized by the travel cardholder, but the charge was not authorized, the cardholder should contact the merchant to request a credit. If the credit does not post in the next billing cycle, the cardholder should contact the government credit card contractor to initiate a transaction dispute. If the dispute is not initiated within the 90-day time-frame, the cardholder will be responsible for paying the charge(s).
After the travel cardholder notifies the government credit card contractor, disputed amounts may be deducted from "total payments due" . Travel cardholders must be proactive in securing credits resulting from a dispute from merchants timely. Travel cardholders must timely pay all charges on their statement of account that have not been disputed timely.
Information regarding the dispute process is available on the IRS Source website.
When the travel card is used to purchase common carrier transportation tickets through ETS and the trip is cancelled, if the reservation has not been ticketed, the travel authorization and reservation in ETS must be cancelled by the travel cardholder. No transaction fee will be incurred and the fare will not be charged to the travel card.
If the trip is cancelled after ticketing, the travel cardholder should contact the TMC to cancel and request a refund for the common carrier ticket. The travel authorization should not be cancelled in ETS and; the Concur Government Edition (CGE) fee is non-refundable. The travel cardholder should prepare a travel voucher to claim reimbursement for the CGE fee. If a common carrier charge appears on the travel cardholder's statement of account, the travel cardholder must contact the government credit card contractor at the number shown on the back of the travel card to initiate the dispute process. The cardholder must contact the hotel to cancel reservations booked directly with the hotel when booked via a block of rooms. Car and/or hotel only reservations charge on the day the authorization is approved or on the day of arrival if not cancelled timely, incurring a CGE reservation fee. Information about the dispute process is available on the IRS Source website.
The travel cardholder is responsible for payment of all undisputed charges upon receipt of the monthly statement of account.
The travel cardholder must pay all undisputed charges in full upon receipt of the statement of account. The government credit card contractor must receive the travel cardholder's payment by the due date. The due date is 25 calendar days from the closing date on the statement of account in which the charges first appear. The travel cardholder is responsible for paying undisputed charges timely regardless of whether reimbursement has been received.
Government postage must not be used when remitting payments to the government credit card contractor.
The travel cardholders may pay their accounts through ETS, through the government credit card contractor's website, by mail, or by telephone. Information regarding each payment method is available on the IRS Source website.
The IRS has implemented split disbursement and salary offset procedures for the government travel cards.
Employees are required to use split disbursement. Split disbursement is the ETS default payment method. All employees have the option to change the method and amount of payment (e.g., meals and incidental expenses not charged on the travel card). However, if the method and amount of payment is changed, employees will be required to explain why the default split disbursement payment method was not used, which will be evaluated as part of the ETS pre-audit process.
Payments allocated to the government credit card contractor in ETS can be verified in the on-line payment feature or when the monthly paper statement of account is received in the mail. Travelers must pay any remaining travel card balance that was not covered by split disbursement to the employees individual billed government travel card. The remaining charges should be paid by the statement of account due date. It is the travel cardholder's responsibility to ensure payments are posted as designated in ETS. Information regarding the split disbursement feature in ETS is available on the IRS Source website.
Payments may be expedited using the on-line payment feature on the government credit card contractor's website. Travel cardholders must provide their American Bankers Association (ABA) routing number, account number and dollar amount. The government credit card contractor does not charge a fee for using the on-line payment feature; however, there may be a fee charged by the travel cardholder's financial institution. Information regarding on-line payments is available on the IRS Source website.
Payments to the government credit card contractor may be made by mail prior to receipt of the monthly paper statement of account. Travel cardholders should include their 16-digit account number with the remittance. A copy of the electronic statement of account may be enclosed with the remittance. Information regarding payments by mail is available on the IRS Source website.
The travel cardholders may use the government credit card contractor’s phone pay service to expedite payment by telephone using an electronic check service. Payments made by this method will post to the travel cardholder’s account immediately. Information regarding the use of the government credit card contractor’s optional method to expedite payment is available on the IRS Source website.
Travel Vouchers: Relationship to Travel Cards
The travel cardholders must file their travel vouchers promptly since all travel card charges must be paid within 25 calendar days from the closing date of the statement of account on which they appear. Travelers are responsible for payment of their IBA charge card bill in accordance with the cardholder agreement, even if the cardholder has not been reimbursed by IRS. Actual bank fees charged for non-payment will not be reimbursed by IRS. When properly submitted travel claims are not paid by IRS within 30 days, IRS will reimburse a late payment fee. This late payment fee is equivalent to interest calculated using the prevailing Prompt Payment Act Interest Rate plus a fee equivalent to any late payment charge the bank would have charged the traveler had they not paid the bill. All interest paid on late vouchers is considered income for payments of $600 or more during the calendar year and must be reported on an individual’s tax return.
Travel cards with a balance due that remains unpaid for a period of 61 days or more from the closing date of the statement of account on which the charges first appeared are considered delinquent. Failure to pay undisputed charges is a conduct issue that could result in disciplinary action.
Past Due Accounts
A travel card account with an unpaid, undisputed balance 31 days after the statement closing date on which the charge(s) first appeared is considered past due. If an account is unpaid 45 days from the statement closing date, the government credit card contractor will send the travel cardholder a "past due" letter. If the account remains unpaid at 55 days, the government credit card contractor will send the travel cardholder a pre-suspension notification. A travel card account with an unpaid, undisputed balance 61 days after the closing date is considered delinquent.
Suspension and Reactivation
If an account is unpaid 61 days from the statement closing date on which the charge(s) first appeared, the government credit card contractor will suspend the cardholder’s travel card account and the travel cardholder will not be able to use the travel card. The government credit card contractor will reactivate a suspended travel card after payment has been received.
Charges that have been disputed (and confirmed by the government credit card contractor by email) will not be considered delinquent until the government credit card contractor makes a determination.
At the time of suspension, any special privileges assigned to the account, such as an increased card limit, will be revoked. Special privileges will not be reinstated when the payment is made.
If an account has been suspended two times during a rolling 12-month period for undisputed amounts and becomes past due again, the government credit card contractor can cancel the travel card account. A rolling 12-month period begins in one month and concludes 12 months later. For example, if a travel cardholder account is suspended in May 2020, the suspension will continue to be considered as the first suspension until May 2021 when it will drop-off of the 12-month calendar.
The government credit card contractor will issue a letter to notify the travel cardholder and offer the travel cardholder an opportunity to avoid cancellation if the past due balance is paid within ten days from the date of the letter. A second letter will be sent to the travel cardholder if the account has been cancelled due to failure to pay the outstanding amount within the ten-day period.
Payments Returned for Non-Sufficient Funds
Payments by check, telephone or on-line that are returned by the government credit card contractor because of non-sufficient funds (NSF) will affect the travel cardholder’s account.
Upon the first instance of an NSF payment, any special privileges assigned to the travel cardholder’s account, such as an increased card limit, will be revoked.
When a second instance of an NSF occurs in a rolling 12-month period, the government credit card contractor will automatically cancel the travel cardholder’s account. The government credit card contractor will not reinstate an account that has a history of payments returned for non-sufficient funds.
If an account is unpaid 126 days from the closing date on the statement of account in which the delinquent charge(s) first appeared, the government credit card contractor will cancel the cardholder’s travel card account and revoke all charging privileges.
If an account remains unpaid for 151 days from the closing date of the statement period on the statement of account, the government credit card contractor may report the delinquency to the credit bureaus and it will appear on the travel cardholder’s personal credit history. More information is available on the IRS Source website.
Cancelled Card and Need to Travel
If an employee's travel card account has been suspended or cancelled for non-payment and, then, the employee is required to travel, the following sources of payment for allowable travel expenses are authorized:
CBA for common carrier transportation expenses only
Personal funds/personal charge cards, except for purchases of common carrier tickets over $100
Salary Offset for Undisputed Travel Card Debt
The authority for federal agencies to collect undisputed delinquent amounts incurred on an employee's travel card from the employee's disposable pay is contained in the Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 (Pub. L. No.105-264).
IRM 1.36.4, Administrative (Non-Tax) Debt Management, implements the IRS policy for salary offset.
The government credit card contractor may consider salary offset for outstanding undisputed travel card charges suspended accounts. Selection for salary offset is made at the government credit card contractor’s discretion using established collection criteria. Salary offset will be considered upon written request from the government credit card contractor and approval of IRS. See 184.108.40.206.8.2, Suspension and Reactivation, for additional information on suspended accounts.
No more than 15% of the employee's disposable pay per pay period will be collected under this procedure. The debt covered by this collection procedure is lower in priority to all other involuntary collection, garnishment and offset actions and will not be collected if higher priority debt would result in collecting more than 15% of the employee's disposable pay for any given pay period.
When the IRS receives a written request from the government credit card contractor for collection of travel card indebtedness, the employee will be afforded due process before any salary amounts are withheld. The IRS will notify the employee in writing of its intention to collect the debt. The employee will be provided 30 days to repay the delinquent balance or enter into a written payment agreement with the government credit card contractor.
Salary offset will continue until the full amount of the debt is collected or the employee makes full payment.
If the employee does not make full payment or enter into a payment agreement within the 30-day period, collection will begin the next pay period. The employee will receive a notification of the amount of the bi-weekly deduction.
The salary offset provision arises under the debt collection procedures in 41 CFR § 301-76.100, which provide due process rights to employees, including written notice and the right to request a review of the debt. If an employee is not disputing a travel card debt, the employee is waiving rights that arise under the Debt Collection Act.
The government credit card contractor will rarely reinstate a travel card account that was cancelled due to non-payment. A travel card account that was cancelled due to non-sufficient funds or multiple suspensions will not be considered for reinstatement. If an employee's travel card account was cancelled as a result of non-payment and the employee wants to pursue reinstatement, the outstanding balance on the account, including late fees, must be paid in full. The employee should then contact their manager.
If the manager determines the employee's reinstatement request should be pursued, the employee will be required to complete the on-line travel card self-study training course available on the IRS Source website. The manager will complete the Request for Consideration of Reinstatement Form and forward it to Credit Card Services.
Upon receipt of the required documentation, Credit Card Services will review the employee's travel card account history. If the account has been full paid and has no history of any payment being made with a check with non-sufficient funds or collection agency involvement, Credit Card Services will forward the request to the government credit card contractor.
The government credit card contractor makes the final determination on whether the account will be reinstated. The government credit card contractor may review and consider the employee’s complete credit history in deciding whether to reinstate the individual’s account. Credit Card Services will notify the manager of the government credit card contractor’s decision. Due to the government credit card contractor’s required review of the account, the request could take several weeks to process.
If the account is reinstated and becomes past due again, Credit Card Services will cancel the account. No future reinstatement requests will be considered.
Information on requesting reinstatement of a travel card account and the Request for Consideration of Reinstatement Form is available on the IRS Source website.
Travel Card Account Changes
Information and procedures regarding account maintenance changes are available on the IRS Source website. Account maintenance changes include:
Address and phone number changes
Canceling your travel card
Reactivating a closed travel card account
ATM Access, Usage and Limit Changes
Travel Card Problems
Information and procedures regarding travel card problems are available on the IRS Source website. Travel Card problems include:
Lost, stolen or compromised travel card
Centrally Billed Account Program
A corporate travel card account set up for travelers who do not have an individually billed account to use for official IRS travel expenses (airline and train tickets). One CBA account is established for each IRS business unit.
Centrally Billed Account Guidelines
The CBA is a credit card account that travelers can use to charge common carrier transportation expenses and is available to:
Employees when issuance of the government contractor-issued travel card would adversely affect the IRS mission or put the employee at risk.
Employees who are not eligible to receive a government contractor-issued travel card.
New employees who have not yet obtained their own travel card.
Employees who have received a written exemption from the mandatory use of the travel card from the director, Credit Card Services; and
Relocating employees and family members may use the CBA for house-hunting trips and en- route travel if the employee does not hold a government credit card.
A traveler who has a travel card cannot use the CBA unless they meet one of the following exceptions:
Incur foreign travel transportation costs.
Have a suspended or cancelled travel card account.
Authorized Uses of the Centrally Billed Account
The CBA can only be used for purchasing common carrier transportation tickets and related fees for official IRS travel while employees are in travel status away from their official station. Authorized uses are as follows:
CGE fees for transportation ticketing
Unauthorized Uses of the Centrally Billed Account
Unauthorized uses of the CBA include:
Personal travel (airline and train)
Rental cars and gasoline
Lodging and meals
Centrally Billed Account Ticket Authorization Process
The traveler’s manager must authorize the traveler to use the CBA. The traveler will use ETS to complete and sign a travel authorization. The signed travel authorization reflecting CBA as the method of reimbursement will route systemically to a credit card services conditional router for review and approval.
The Credit Card Services conditional router will review the reservation and will either approve (authorize) or disapprove (return) the request. The document is stamped in ETS and the traveler receives a general email message indicating the status.
Approved (authorized) requests will route to the traveler's manager for review and approval of the trip. The TMC will issue the transportation ticket three or four days prior to the scheduled departure date and will email or fax an invoice to the traveler, confirming the ticket has been purchased.
Disapproved (returned) requests will not include a justification in the email message from ETS. Travelers may review the justification and/or status of a pending request by selecting Digital Signature from the pull-down list located at the bottom of the ETS screen.
Additional information regarding the process for using the CBA is available on the IRS Source website.
Travel Voucher Considerations
The CBA charges are billed and paid monthly. Travelers who use the CBA cannot claim reimbursement for transportation and CGE fees on their travel voucher. Travelers should ensure that:
If using ETS, the method of reimbursement should reflect CBA on the transportation ticket and the CGE fee.
If using the manual travel authorization form, the travel voucher (Standard Form 1012) should indicate use of the CBA as the method of payment for the transportation ticket and the CGE fee.
Managers or approving officials should review the TMC itinerary or invoice attached to the voucher to determine how the transportation ticket was purchased. Expenses charged to the CBA should not be approved for reimbursement to the traveler. Information is available on the IRS Source website.
If the CBA issued ticket is not used, the TMC will issue a refund automatically within 24 hours (no exchanges are permitted).
When the CBA is used to purchase common carrier transportation tickets and the trip is cancelled, the employee must promptly notify the TMC and Credit Card Services.
If an electronic ticket was issued using the CBA, the traveler must notify the TMC of the cancelled trip immediately and request issuance of a credit.
If the ticket has been invoiced, the ETS travel authorization must be left open.
If a paper ticket was issued, the traveler must notify the TMC of the cancelled trip immediately and return the paper ticket to the TMC. A credit will not be issued for the paper ticket until the ticket is returned to the TMC.
Travelers must notify Credit Card Services via an IRS Service Central ticket or by calling the ERC at 866–743–5748 (TTY: 866-924-3578) for assistance if a trip is cancelled. The traveler must provide the following information immediately after the trip is cancelled:
Original travel authorization number;
Date the TMC confirmed cancellation and/or date paper ticket was returned for refund; and
Special Travel Considerations
Last-minute travel - For last-minute travel, defined as Friday afternoon or weekend travel notification, the traveler may contact the TMC for transportation tickets. Travelers who do not have a travel card or have a travel card that is declining, may use the CBA. The TMC will issue the CBA ticket and notify Credit Card Services of the emergency issuance. The traveler must complete and the traveler’s manager or approving official must approve a travel authorization through ETS or on a manual travel authorization form.
Travel expenses charged to another business unit - The traveler's manager or approving official is responsible for ensuring the traveler has provided the correct funding codes in ETS or on the manual travel authorization form. When travel is not being charged to the traveler's home organization, the correct funding codes must be obtained from the organization funding the travel.
Disapproved (returned) CBA transportation requests - Current travel cardholders who selected CBA as the method of payment for transportation in ETS and were disapproved, must cancel the current transportation reservation and create a new reservation using their travel card.
Airport travelers (reservation without ticket or no reservation) - Travelers who arrive at the airport during business hours without an airline ticket and who must use the CBA (due to having no travel card or their travel card was declined) may contact the TMC to secure a reservation. The traveler must then contact the Employee Resource Center (ERC) and request expedited assistance to obtain approval to use the CBA and acquire the transportation ticket.
Invitational travel - The business unit will designate an IRS employee to serve as a representative for the invitational traveler. The designated IRS employee is responsible for making travel arrangements and completing the manual travel authorization form.
Relocation travel - Tickets for common carrier transportation authorized for an IRS employee's spouse for travel associated with house hunting can be charged to the CBA. En-route common carrier transportation tickets authorized for the IRS employee's spouse or dependents can also be charged to the CBA. IRS employees should:
Ensure the relocation authorization provides for house hunting and en-route travel.
Contact the TMC to make reservations.
Complete the manual travel authorization form.
Indirect Travel - Personal and Official Travel Combined
Employees are not able to combine personal and official travel reservations in ETS. The ETS is for official government travel only.
Employees who combine personal travel with official travel must call Duluth at 866-442-9925. Duluth will book a one-way official travel fare for the portion of travel between the official station and temporary duty (TDY) station. This fare must be purchased with the employee’s individually billed government travel card account (IBA) or the centrally-billed account (CBA) if traveler hasn’t received their IBA. Duluth will also note the total cost of a round-trip official travel fare on the itinerary/invoice, to be used on Form 15278, Cost Comparison worksheet.
Duluth will then book the personal travel portion. The personal ticket must be a fully refundable fare open to the public; otherwise, if official travel is canceled the employee will be responsible for the non-refundable fare. Government contract fares may not be used for personal travel. The employee will be charged a non-reimbursable leisure fee. An additional fee applies for each ticket issued. Both the tickets and associated fees must be charged to a personal credit/debit card, the IBA or CBA may not be used for the personal portion of the trip.
Official Travel Paid by Other Federal Agencies or Entity - Per IRM 220.127.116.11, Travel Payments from Other Federal Agencies, when an employee travels for another federal agency, the traveler has two options: Direct Reimbursement or Pay-In-Kind where the other agency/entity pays all expenses to the traveler.
Direct Reimbursement - The traveler completes an IRS ConcurGov authorization and voucher, no additional approval from Credit Card Services is needed.
Pay-In-Kind - The traveler must request and obtain approval prior to travel to use their IRS Government Travel Card from the director, Credit Card Services. An email request to *IRS CCS mailbox with subject line: Request to Use IRS Government Travel Card - Travel for Another Agency/Entity must include the travelers: Name TDY location Travel period/dates of travel Agency or Entity traveling for Documentation of event
More Internal Revenue Manual
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Travel Cards: Control Weaknesses Leave Army Vulnerable to Potential Fraud and Abuse
The Army's individually billed travel card program is different from the purchase card program in that the cardholder is directly responsible for all charges incurred on his or her travel card account, and the monthly bill is sent to the cardholder for payment. The cardholder is responsible for submitting a properly documented voucher and is reimbursed by the Army for all valid expenses related to official government travel. The intent of the travel card program was to improve convenience for the traveler and to reduced the government's costs of administering travel. GAO found substantial delinquencies and charge-offs of Army travel-card accounts during fiscal year 2001, and delinquencies continued into the first half of fiscal year 2002. GAO's analysis shows a correlation between delinquency problems and the travel cardholder's age and pay grade. GAO found that the Army's delinquency and charge-off problems are primarily associated with young, low- to mid-level enlisted military personnel. In addition, a weak internal control environment compounded by instances of delays in processing travel reimbursements to Army military and civilian personnel contributed to the high delinquency rates. The Army and the Department of Defense have taken action to address and focus command- and installation-level attention on management of delinquent travel card accounts. However, these actions are primarily focused on treating the symptoms or "back-end" problems rather than the "front-end" or preventive controls. GAO's work identified numerous instances of potentially fraudulent and abusive activity related to the travel card. During fiscal year 2001, 1,200 of the over 4,200 Army account holders who had written at least one nonsufficient funds (NSF) check to pay their travel card bill had their accounts charged off. In the same period, more than 200 cardholders whose accounts were eventually charged off may have also committed bank fraud by writing three or more NSF checks to the Bank of America. GAO's audit found that weaknesses in the Army's overall control environment, including a number of specific controls that were either flawed in their design or in their implementation, are the root source of the Army's inability to prevent or effectively detect the numerous instances of potentially fraudulent and abusive travel card related activity previously detected.
Matter for congressional consideration, recommendations for executive action, full report, office of public affairs.
Chuck Young Managing Director [email protected] (202) 512-4800
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Government Travel Charge Card Program
Written by Veteran.com Team
The Government Travel Charge Card Program (GTCC) is something new recruits won’t learn about until it is required of them to carry it, but this DoD-wide program is an important part of an individual military member’s financial readiness, as the military calls it.
What do you initially need to know about GTCC before and after signing up? Before signing up, it’s critical to remember that the travel card is only for official travel and cannot be used for personal reasons at any time.
The most important thing AFTER signing up is to stay current on the latest policies and procedures associated with use of the travel card. If you assume that last year’s cash advance limit is the same this year, for example, you may end up in an awkward position if you try to pull that cash advance and hit a newly imposed limit you weren’t expecting.
And that’s not all; you will need to stay current about policies related to things like upgrades, frequent flyer mile offers that may be associated with the use of a charge card (any charge card) while flying, etc.
What Is The GTCC?
The Government Travel Charge Card is considered the “primary” way for all DoD personnel (including civilian contractors and those in uniform alike) to pay for official travel.
That official travel may include PCS moves, temporary duty assignments or TDY, deployments , travel to conferences or trade shows, etc.
Why The GTCC?
The GTCC may be given to military members, especially junior enlisted military members who don’t earn nearly as much as higher-ranking NCOs and definitely not as much as even the newest, greenest 2nd Lieutenant fresh out of Officer Candidate School.
The travel card program eliminates the financial hardship that would happen to these troops if they were required to pay up front for their own official travel even if they are reimbursed later via travel voucher. The travel card is safer as the need to carry cash is minimized, and there are other perks associated with the card:
- Providing extended payment terms when compared to personal credit cards
- No interest charge
- No annual fee
- Direct payment (split disbursement)
- Payment due at 61 days past billing before considered delinquent (120 days for PCS travel)
- Card-provided travel insurance
Those are perks for the Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, and all others who use the card. But what about the perks for the government?
Why The DoD Likes The Government Travel Charge Card Program
There are significant benefits to the GTCC. Financial discipline is a learned skill and many who start their careers in uniform aren’t fully educated or disciplined enough to manage their finances properly–at first.
The GTCC program helps eliminate needless financial difficulties for troops who perform official travel; that’s a benefit to the government in the form of keeping disciplinary problems in this area to a minimum, while establishing financial checks and balances for those who use the card. DoD benefits from the program in the following ways:
- Reducing the amount of travel advances
- Improving the financial readiness and security of DoD travelers
- Earning rebates based on card usage at the DoD level
- Access to the GSA City Pair Program
- Providing some travelers tax exemption benefits in certain states
Who Must Use The GTCC?
At the time of this writing, it’s DoD policy that all official travel be purchased with the GTCC program’s credit cards. DoD regulations go so far as to formally prohibit the use of a traveler’s private funds or personal credit to pay for official travel. Those who disobey these rules are subject to punishment.
The Department of Defense official site reminds, “Use of the travel card is mandated by the Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 ”.
The Different Types Of Government Travel Cards
There are two basic types of government cards issued to individuals. One is called a Standard card, the other is classified as Restricted. If that sounds slightly punitive, it’s because the GTCC program requires a creditworthiness check and those who do not qualify for the Standard government card due to credit issues will be recommended for a Restricted card.
What are the basic differences between the Standard and Restricted DoD Travel Charge Cards?
Standard GTCC Cards
- Minimum credit score of 660
- Total monthly cycle credit limits up to $7500
- Cash advance limit of $250
- Split disbursement payment arrangement is mandatory
Restricted GTCC Cards
- For those with FICO scores between 500-659 OR
- For circumstances where the credit check is declined
- Total monthly cycle credit limits up to $4000
- Split disbursement mandatory
- Activation/Deactivation required
GTCC Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA)
This is a different kind of GTCC account; these CBAs are used for specific departmental needs including local official travel and other official business.
Individuals are not responsible for paying on these accounts since CBAs are maintained by the Defense Department. Transportation Accounts and Unit Cards fall under this program and are for limited use only. They also require:
- Limited use
- Component Program Manager approval for use
- Credit limit consistent with mission
- Government liability
- Account Manager responsible for management
How To Use The GTCC
- Regardless of when your first official travel is, set up your card with PIN, current contact information and other details as you never know when a last-minute TDY may require you to perform official travel.
- You cannot travel on your new card until you have verified your account and are told it is ready for use. The point of contact for this is your Agency Program Coordinator or APC, who may be required to unblock all travel cards prior to initial use.
- You must have the most current contact information on file with your card account. Add any updates to your name, address, email, and phone number with the APC and travel card vendor.
- Ensure all profiles are current including the correct account number and expiration date. Outdated information may result in failure to obtain the required tickets and other reservations for official travel.
- Prior to any official travel, but especially before your first trip, contact the APC to ensure your travel card is “in an activated status and has enough credit to cover your estimated expenses” according to the DoD official site.
What To Do After Your Official Travel Is Over
When you return from your official travel, your first step should be to complete a travel voucher within five duty days of your return. You should at this time review your official travel expenses to ensure accuracy, due dates, and other issues. Make sure you know how much of your travel voucher is paid directly via split disbursement.
For official travel greater than 45 days, you may be required to pay the card issuer every 30 days regardless of travel status, and you may also be required to file interim vouchers for extended official travel.
Government Travel Card Security Measures
DoD instructions to all card holders includes a requirement that you contact the card issuer immediately if your card is lost or stolen. You will also need to notify the APC assigned to your organization to begin following up with the card issuer.
The DoD official site has some advice for those who are concerned about identity theft, phishing, telephone scams and related problems:
- Beware of any outside requests for personal account information. If you receive such requests, do not answer them. Inform your APC immediately so that appropriate steps can be taken to halt the activity as soon as possible.
- Do not give your GTCC account number, Social Security number, or other sensitive data to people who call you.
- Verify ANY request for account data. According to the DoD, “the travel card vendor already has that information but may ask you to provide other information to confirm your identity.” If you are concerned about such a request, do not give out the information–call the toll-free number on the back of your card to confirm the request before providing the information.
How You Stay Current On Travel Card Program Changes
It is never safe to assume that terms and conditions remain the same on any credit card from one year to the next. You should view your credit card terms and policies as one year winds down and another begins just in case changes may be coming.
The DoD also has a built-in protection against some being caught unaware of new policy changes. That’s why you are required to sign the legally binding DoD Statement of Understanding when you get your card for the first time.
You will also have to re-verify this document when you PCS and inprocess into your new unit, AND you will re-sign the paperwork every three years, regardless.
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- Visas and immigration
- Travelling to the UK
Entering the UK
Your identity document (for example your passport or identity card) will be checked when you arrive at a UK port or airport to make sure you’re allowed to come into the country. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.
You may also need a visa to come into or travel through the UK , depending on your nationality.
Check which documents you’ll need to come to the UK .
You do not need to take any Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests or fill in a passenger locator form. This applies whether you are fully vaccinated or not.
What you can bring with you
What you can bring with you depends on where you’re travelling from. You must declare to customs:
- anything over your duty-free allowance
- banned or restricted goods in the UK
- goods that you plan to sell
- more than €10,000 (or its equivalent) in cash, if you’re coming from outside the EU
You and your baggage may be checked for anything you must declare.
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- General Information
Plan your trip
Visa & entry requirements for moscow.
Do you know which documents you'll need to travel to Russia ? Plan ahead and find out if you need your passport, visa, national ID or all of the above!
Citizens of most countries require a visa to enter Russia, for which the application should be made at least a month before your trip . For most travellers a tourist visa will be sufficient: these allow a stay of up to 30 days with one or two entries within that period. If you are planning to stay for longer than a month, there are business and other types of visas available. If you're just passing through, it's possible to get a transit visa, but as these allow limited time in the country and are the same price as a regular tourist visa, it's usually best to go for that option.
What will I need for the visa?
- Passport valid for at least six months after your return date.
- Visa invitation letter (known as a "visa support") provided by your hotel or hostel (sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee), or if you're not staying in one of these, they can be bought from travel or visa agencies (prices vary).
- Completed application form including everywhere you've visited over the past 10 years: make sure to fill it in carefully! Find the electronic visa application form at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and make sure to keep a note of the identity number given to you.
- Handling fee (amount varies depending on visa type, how you quickly you need it and the agency used to acquire your visa).
- One or two passport-sized p hotos .
How do I get the visa?
With all of your necessary documentation, you'll then need to go to your Russian embassy or dedicated visa agency: when you first visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website linked above, the Contacts link under your selected country will show the official offices for visa applications. You may also be asked to bring bank statements, birth certificates of children travelling with you and proof of travel insurance , so make sure to double check what you need in advance.
What happens when I arrive?
On arrival in Russia, you'll be given an immigration form produced electronically at passport control. Make sure to hold on to this as you'll need it both to register your stay and to leave the country .
Register your visa : every visitor to Russia must register their visa within seven business days of arrival. If you're in Moscow for less than seven business days, you are exempt, and if you leave Moscow, you must register again in any city where you stay seven days or longer. It is your accommodation that is obligated to register your visa for you: whether this is your hotel, hostel, landlord, friend or family. Commonly, you'll give up your passport and visa on check in for your hotel to register you with the local visa office.
You may also be interested in
Learn what currency to buy, whether you need a visa, what time you can visit the shops and museums, what to pack for the weather, and answers to many other questions you may have about your trip to Moscow.
The official language of Russia is Russian. This article is full of helpful advice and basic phrases you can use to make your trip to Moscow easier.
- #Luxury travel
- #Unusual Moscow
- #Jewish Heritage
- #Russian traditions
Coronavirus (COVID19) travel Information
- #Travel tips
When planning your trip, it is essential to inform the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Below is the latest information regarding the current situation.
- Border closing
Russia closed its borders for foreign visitors from 18.03.2020 till further notice. Here are the few exceptions: foreigners studying in Russia; diplomatic workers and members of their families; relatives of a deceased person, provided that they have documents confirming their relations; transit passengers; foreigners seeking medical treatment; international ship, cargo, train, sea crew members performing their work duties; specialists who carry out adjustment and maintenance of imported equipment; holders of special visas, issued to visit the funeral of a person, permanently residing in Russia; Russian citizens and permanent residents.
- Border opening
Russia's borders are open for the citizens of certain countries with which Russia has resumed regular air travel.
The international flight connection reopened between Russia and several counties from the particular list approved by the government. Today the list of such countries includes 50 countries:
- South Korea
- Tanzania (temporarily no air connection)
- Saudi Arabia
- North Macedonia
Citizens of the foreign states, according to the list, can visit Russia if they enter the Russian Federation from the country of their citizenship through air checkpoints across the state border of the Russian Federation.
- Special requirements
On the departure to Russia, travelers must show a negative result for a COVID test conducted within 72 hours before arrival English or Russian). Russian citizens arriving without a test result must submit to this test within 72 hours of arrival. Foreign citizens will not be accepted onboard without this test.
There is no quarantine upon arrival.
- Boutique Hotels in St. Petersburg read
- Travel tips read
- Quick facts about Russia read
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