The Travel Card: Official Business or Personal Use

» Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

The DOD Travel Card Program provides federal government travelers a safe method to pay expenses associated with official travel.  In 2008, GSA awarded Citibank the contract for the Smart Pay 2. The Travel Card Program contains both the Individually Billed IBA and Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA). IBA’s are individual accounts managed by each traveler. CBA’s are managed by one person in an organization for several travelers. The program was mandated under the Travel and Transportation Reform of 1988.  This act basically states, “The travel card must be used in conjunction with official travel only”.  In order to receive standard travel card with a credit limit of $7,500 a traveler must have a credit score of 660.  Every traveler with a score below 660 will be directed to obtain restricted travel card with a credit limit of $4,000. The difference is only in the credit limit amounts. In my work capacity, I am responsible for monitor the use of the travel card within my agency.  Some travelers are pretty good with balancing their account, while others need help every since month.  A prudent traveler is always aware of what charges are on their travel card. The traveler should make the necessary split disbursement to their travel card upon submission of their travel voucher. The sad part is, that it’s the same travelers all of the time.  I really have stopped and wondered how they handle their finances at home. In the long run, this can ultimately hurt you if you have a pending security clearance check. I understand one of the questions on the clearance is have you ever been delinquent with the government charge card.  While working within the federal government, I have seen travelers use their card on cruises, bars, clothing stores, etc. At what point is enough really enough.  The rules as I read them now say that a traveler who misuses the government travel card may be subject to disciplinary action. Why leave the door open for more trouble? We all know if you do it once, you do it twice.

By Stacey Clark




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