DoD switches to new travel cards[MIGRATE]

By Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer | September 08, 2008

 Over the past few weeks, Department of Defense members received new Citibank Citi Government Travel Cards in preparation for the transition from Bank of America Government Travel Cards.

Citibank will replace Bank of America as the new provider for government travel cards beginning Nov. 30.

 Jeanette Powell-Campbell, administration chief for Headquarters and Service, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific said Bank of America, the recent Government Travel Card contract holder has been outbid by Citibank for the new contract, but the Bank of America travel cards will still be used until the transition date.

She also said there are requirements that must be followed when receiving the new card.

When the card is received in the mail, the cardholder must call the number on the front of the card.

“There’s a little white sticky that (reads) call and verify receipt,” Powell-Campbell said.

She stressed how important it is to call and verify receipt. The card cannot be used until verified.

Service members going to a temporary assignment duty during the transition should be aware of the rules of using both cards. Card holders going TAD before the transition date and returning after will have to take both, but will only be able to use one at a time.

 “There aren’t any new stipulations on the card, but we are going to come out with a new battalion order that will reiterate how you can use the card,” said Lance Cpl. Rebecca Knoll, administration clerk with Headquarters and Service Battalion.

Powell-Campbell stated the main purpose of the card is for official travel and that the administration office will have full control over its activation and deactivation.

“The card won’t be activated until you go TAD and will

be deactivated as soon as you return,” Powell-Campbell said.

     She said if a card holder goes TAD often it will be taken into consideration to keep the card activated.

If card holders are going TAD during the transition time, they can enter both cards into the Defense Travel System, a global Department of Defense travel network.  

“DTS will have space for two credit cards in your profile, but you can only allot your travel claim to one of them,” Knoll said. “If you’re using both on a TAD trip, you’ll have to select which one you’re going to use and pay the other one off with your personal account.”

Powell-Campbell said just like a regular credit card, it should be disposed of once it expires.  

She also said it’s important to pay off the card after coming back from TAD.

“Just because you have a new card and you got rid of the old one doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay the bill,” Powell-Campbell said. “Even though the contract is up, you are still liable for the amount of money you’ve used up until that point.”

Knoll said a major past issue has been delinquencies, where members haven’t allotted the full amount to go to their cards in their travel claims and neglecting to pay the remaining balance.

 “Whenever you use the card, you’re using it for a purpose. It’s official,” Powell-Campbell said. “The money you get is not yours, it’s to pay back that card. Not paying the card results in delinquencies, which results in our delinquency rates going up, which result in stringent measures to be taken against everyone and not just that one person.”

Powell-Campbell said the new card will be the same as the old card and it’s up to the person to manage their account, but Citibank will have a feature Bank of America didn’t have. 

When card holders receive their first statement from Citi Bank, they can establish an online account. They can see how much they owe before the bill ever comes and can pay it off.

For more information or issues with the new cards, contact Powell-Campbell or Knoll at 477-8366.