by Tech. Sgt. Shawn J. Jones
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
8/3/2012 – WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The terms and conditions for the Air Force’s travel charge card are changing, but Airmen can hang on to their blue cards.
From Aug. 7 through the end of September, the Air Force Banking Office will e-mail some 300,000 Airmen, informing them that their controlled spend account card will convert back to a government travel card, which will operate like a standard charge card.
For Airmen who received a CSA card and previously had a GTC or traveled using the CSA without going delinquent, the transition will be automatic. They must complete a training course found at www.defensetravel.dod.mil/passport and sign a statement of understanding.
Otherwise, they may continue using their card for official travel purposes.
However, some Airmen are being notified by their agency program coordinator that they must apply for the GTC because they never had a GTC in the past, but were issued a CSA card and either went delinquent or never used it. The application process involves a credit check that will only be performed with applicant’s consent.
The current blue CSA card will now operate just like the GTC that was used for many years prior to the CSA. GTCs have fixed credit limits like a regular charge card, and cardholders no longer need to request temporary spend limit increases. If a cardholder’s official travel estimate exceeds their credit limit, they need to discuss their options with their APC.
This CSA to GTC transition will bring about a few new features. New to the GTC program is the option for cardholders to request electronic balance refunds, receive automated e-mail reminders when an account is close to becoming delinquent, and a future enhancement to automatically split-disburse most non-mileage expenses such as hotel taxes, excess baggage and rental fuel to the travel card when completing a Defense Travel System voucher.
These new features aren’t the only differences between the new GTC and the CSA card.
Requests for credit limit increases on the new card must be coordinated with the cardholder’s supervisor and APC who is responsible for managing the travel card program. Also, the terms of the GTC include a cash advance fee of 2.2 percent, which is considered a reimbursable travel expense when used for official purposes.
“It is critical for all Air Force travelers to know their travel card status – open or closed, restricted or standard – and their APC before departing for a temporary duty or a permanent change of station,” said Jim Sisson, Director, Air Force Banking Office.