Government travel card puts money in Airmen’s pockets

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Torri Ingalsbe
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
TDY's and deployments are common place in today's Air Force. These trips can be costly but the Air Force has a program to help soften the financial blow. 

The government travel card can be used for expenses accrued on these trips to keep Airmen from having to spend money out of their own pockets. 

The GTC can only be used for official purposes, related to travel expenses for deployments, TDY's and permanent changes of station. Airmen can use the GTC to book hotel rooms and rental cars. They can also pull cash off the GTC in locations where cash isn't always accessible. The ATM fees are reimbursable if a GTC is used. 

"The GTC is just like any other credit card," said Maj. Chris DeJesus, 48th Fighter Wing comptroller. He said the difference is that the GTC is essentially the government's money and the bills are a reflection of the government's ability to pay its debt. 

Something Airmen should be aware of when using their GTC are payment delinquencies. 

"GTC delinquencies not only affect people's credit, they can also cause a suspension of card use and the inability to have a GTC," Major DeJesus said. 

The latest role call from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force talked about individuals keeping their finances in order, he said. 

"It's important for people to file their travel vouchers within five days of returning from a TDY," said Michaela Summerscales, 48th Fighter Wing agency program coordinator for the GTC. She added people get 30 days to pay and after 60 days with no payment, an account is considered delinquent and the card is suspended. Squadrons have to report delinquencies up to United States Air Forces in Europe and after 75 days, late fees begin to accrue. 

If payments come due while an Airman is still deployed, they can file an accrual voucher via the virtual military personnel flight to avoid delinquency, Major DeJesus said. In areas where computer access is not easily available, there are special exemptions to ensure delinquencies don't occur. 

"I think the GTC program is a good program and the government has done a great job in getting major credit card companies to help us out and make things easier for us to pay," Major DeJesus added. "This is the best solution to pay our bills without having to carry cash around."