Air Force Ends Pilot Travel Card Program


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Air Force Ends Pilot Travel Card Program

By Jim Douglas

March 28, 2012 - The Air Force recently decided to transition existing Controlled Spend Account travel cards to an enhanced Government Travel Card by the end of fiscal 2012. 

"The CSA, a pilot travel card program, provided some enhancements for travelers, but also brought about significant challenges for our most frequent travelers and those with unique mission sets," said Mrs. Joan Causey, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Operations.

"We recognized that for any travel card program to work, it has to work for all travelers. In the end, we were not satisfied that any proposed changes to the CSA program would get us to the desired state for our most frequent travelers." 

The actual transition will occur in August and September and current CSA cardholders should continue to use their cards as normal. The transition strategy allows travelers to continue using their "blue cards" without interruption.

The card functionality will be converted to a GTC by CitiBank without the need to get a new card. Also, travelers will once again be provided with a permanent credit limit, and there will be no need to call for "temporary spend limit" increases. 

One of the enhancements being pursued for the GTC program will be via the Defense Travel System. Default settings will be changed to automatically align most non-mileage expenses to the card.  

Additionally, the traveler can split-disburse any residual funds to his/her personal account. Finally, as a carryover from the CSA program, Citi will upgrade their GTC online system to allow travelers to request electronic fund transfers of credit balances directly to their bank accounts. 

"The CSA to GTC transition plan is already in motion," Causey said. "We're planning a brief test in July to ensure all systems are a go. If all systems perform as expected, roughly 300K cardholders will be converted during the August/September timeframe."

Citi will not process any early transitions and should not be contacted to do so. Further questions by Airmen regarding the transition should be directed to local Agency Program Coordinators or comptroller squadrons.

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