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129th Rescue Wing budget officer highlights changes with new CSA cards

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- By the end of this August, all members of the 129th Rescue Wing in good standing with their Government Travel Card account will be enrolled in the new Controlled Spend Account card program.

The new CSA card replaces the GTC for all types of official travel, including TDY's and deployments. The CSA program has been designed to eliminate some of the inefficiencies associated with the GTC and reduce delinquencies.

The primary difference between the CSA and GTC programs is that the CSA does not carry a permanent line of credit. The new CSA card assigns a spend limit to an account based on the cost estimate of approved travel expenses and cash requirements for approved travel orders.

If an individual has multiple travel orders, the spend limit is the sum of all approved expenses for each approved order. There is no maximum spend limit assigned for the new card.

No credit check will be required to receive a CSA card.

Capt. Nathan King, budget officer for the 129th Rescue Wing, said the new CSA card relieves several problems that were inherent in the GTC.

"The 100% split disbursement will result in much fewer delinquencies. Members cannot abuse their card by generating large balances on their cards while not on official travel. Also, units will be no longer be tasked with tracking down members with overdue balances because Citibank will work with collection agencies to recover funds from members who overspend their entitlements."

With the CSA, it is important for orders to be processed in a timely manner.  Three days are required from the date the order is obligated for the spend limit to be applied to the CSA.

For short-notice TDY orders, the member can call the number on the back of the card to receive a five-day temporary spend limit increase. Once the order has been obligated, the spending limit will revert to match the order total.

All official travel related expenses are to be charged to the card. Upon settlement, 100% of the travel voucher is paid back to Citibank, with the residual balance available for personal use.  Members should contact Citibank for options on how to receive the residual balance.

"Of course, the CSA will have its own unique challenges that we will need to overcome," said Capt. King. "I will continue to pass along any additional information and lessons learned as the transition continues."