CSA travel card transitions to GTC
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The terms and conditions for the Air Force's travel charge card are changing, but Airmen can still hang on to those blue cards.
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.
"The Air Force decided to transition the existing Controlled Spend Account program because the program did not work for all travelers," said Staff Sgt. Anna Zyska Ereth, 51st Comptroller Squadron deputy disbursing officer.
For Airmen who either received a CSA card, previously had a GTC or traveled using the CSA without going delinquent, the transition will be automatic. But, Airmen must complete a training course found at www.defensetravel.dod.mil/passport and sign a statement of understanding.
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, were issued a CSA card and either went delinquent or never used it.
The current blue CSA card will now operate just like the GTC of yesteryears. 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.
"One of the new features of the GTC is allowing travelers to request electronic funds transfers of credit balances directly to their banks accounts," Ereth said. "The old GTC program only offered the refund via check. The other improvement is to split-disburse funds to the GTC account versus sending the entire voucher amount to the CSA account."
These enhancements should help Airmen improve managing not only a GTC account, but also personal finances, she said.
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.
Pacific Air Forces Airmen are scheduled to migrate back to the GTC Aug. 28 - 30.
(Tech. Sgt. Shawn J. Jones, Air Force Public Affairs Agency, contributed to this article)