When it comes to Defense and Government travel, the frequency of your travels or the nature of the travel purchases required by your agency might lead to the need for a Government travel charge card.
With the help of these cards, employees can travel when on official Government business, while obtaining benefits such as tax exemptions, discounts for airfare, negotiated Government discounts for various other travel services and much more.
Understanding Government Travel Charge Cards
In total, there are four different types of Government charge cards, one of them being the official Government travel charge cards needed when it comes to agency employees that are required to travel for the government. Although some exceptions may apply in specific cases, in most instances, all employees that have to perform travel charges on behalf of their duty to the Government need to have their travel cards at the ready.
Travel cards are obtained by the agency of the future card holder, which contracts with a commercial provider of Government charge cards in compliance with the GSA SmartPay 2 contract. After the process of issuing the cards, card holders will be able to present them, and the identifiers present on the card can be used to obtain Government discounts for travel expenses, as well as tax exemptions.
There is a small training period required for obtaining a travel card, and all program participants have to be trained prior to being granted access to their own cards. Also, refresher training will be required once every 3 years, or even more often, depending on your agency’s card training policy.
The Benefits of Using Government Travel Cards
While the process of obtaining a Government travel card may be somewhat challenging, there are plenty of advantages that each and every card holder can benefit from. Here are just a few of the most notable ones:
- First of all, government travel cards offer worldwide acceptance. Regardless of where you are, the ATM machine you use, as well as the merchant solutions and advantages you’d like to benefit from, your Government card will work.
- The card will allow you to pay for a wide variety of travel and travel related expenses. These include paying for various transportation services, air and rail tickets, car rental services, accommodation, food service establishment, fuel, authorized ATM access and more.
- Insurance policies such as lost luggage insurance are also on the agenda. Card holders can receive compensation for permanently lost baggage or belongings, the coverage being secondary to Common Carrier’s Liability.
- The card will also come with travel accident insurance. This includes coverage for loss of limb, sight, speech or hearing, as well as a number of other insurance related benefits for other less common problems.
You will also find that using your Government travel card will be extremely easy, and in the event that the card fails to function properly, or you have any kinds of difficulties or questions, there are reliable support lines available 24/7 that can help you with your issue.
Getting Your Own Government Card
Any types of Government charge cards need to be obtained through your agency’s charge card program. This includes travel cards, and with each organization having its own criteria for issuing cards, your best option for obtaining a Government travel card would be to talk to your superior, and ask for specific information on the course of action you will have to take.
Training courses are mandatory for every aspiring card holder and charge card manager within a specific agency. Although the online training process is quite simple, lasting only about 45 minutes for each candidate and comprising a small quiz with a number of only 20-25 questions, it is required for candidates to have a chance of obtaining a travel card, although additional requirements may also be in place, depending on the policy of the agency in question.
As a travel card applicant, you may have to submit to a credit check, and a mandatory requirement is to complete a travel card holder program, before being able to use your new card. To find out more about Defense travel training programs, it may be best to check out the official GSA SmartPay Government website.
Although Government travel cards are mandatory for officials needed on official Government travel journeys, it is also important to remember the numerous advantages associated with obtaining a Government travel charge card. With discounts, tax exemptions and many other benefits on the horizon, the task of applying for online card holder training will be well worth the effort.