The following is a refresher for NRCS employees that have an official travel
card. Please distribute to all employees with a card.
The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-264)
mandates use of the Government Travel Charge card for employees on official
business. Employees are required to use the travel card for all official
The General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded a contract to
issue charge cards to designated NRCS employees. Such cards are issued for
official government travel expenses and are to reduce travel advances.
Standard travel requirements, such as the use of contract city-pair
airlines, use of restricted airline tickets, GSA car rental contracts, and
meeting attendance approval, must be fully observed.
NRCS employees with a travel card can obtain travel advances from
authorized ATMs. Advances may be necessary to cover incidental travel
expenses such as ground transportation, parking, laundry fees, official
telephone calls, tips, and light meals. Advances should not exceed $50 per
day and should be obtained at the time of official travel.
Use of the charge card does not relieve the employee of prudent travel
practices and observance of rules and regulations governing official travel
as set forth in the FTR, the “USDA Zero Tolerance Policy,” and agency
Charges made to the charge card account will be billed each month
directly to the individual employee (or paid directly to U.S. Bank once
split disbursement is re-implemented). All charges billed directly to the
individual employee are due in-full upon receipt. Partial payments are not
An employee must utilize GovTrip for all official travel. Employees are
to submit a travel voucher in GovTrip, together with any required receipts,
to their approving official, within 5 working days after completion of a
trip. Those in a continuous travel status must submit a voucher, at a
minimum, every two weeks.
Approving officials are to review vouchers to ensure accuracy and
compliance with regulations and submit within 3 working days after receipt.
Employees will be reimbursed for travel and transportation expenses
authorized and allowable under the Federal Travel Regulation and the
agency’s specific policies.
Cardholders are to immediately report a lost or stolen travel card to:
1) the vendor; 2) their Program Coordinator; and 3) their supervisor.
Employees will be held accountable for their management of the
government travel charge card account. Any misuse or abuse may subject the
employee to disciplinary action.
Employee “Do’s and Don’ts” for Travel Cards
use your government travel charge card to pay for official travel
obtain travel advances for official travel through an ATM if authorized
by your agency.
track your expenses while on travel so you have accurate information for
filing your travel claim.
keep your receipts for all transactions made on your travel charge card.
file your travel claim within five days after you complete your trip (or
every two weeks if you are on continuous travel).
submit payment in full for each monthly bill.
follow your bank’s dispute process for charges which are incorrect.
contact your bank’s customer service number if you have questions about
your monthly bill.
be aware that misuse of the travel charge card could result in
return your travel charge card to your Program Coordinator if you leave
immediately report a lost or stolen card to your Program Coordinator and
the card-issuing bank.
destroy any lost or stolen cards that are recovered.
become familiar with the FTR and “USDA’s Zero Tolerance Policy.”
use your travel charge card for personal use.
use your travel charge card to pay for alcoholic beverages.
use your travel charge card to pay for other individual’s meals and then
accept cash. This would be similar to obtaining a cash advance.
procure meals before or after travel at restaurants within your official
duty station (airports on day of travel is not acceptable).
obtain travel advances through the ATM which exceed your expected out of
pocket expenditures for a trip.
obtain travel advances through the ATM unless you are on travel or will
be on travel shortly.
obtain travel advances and then use your card for meals.
obtain travel advances through the ATM after you have returned from
allow your monthly bill to become overdue as this could result in
suspension or cancellation of your card.
wait for receipt of your monthly billing statement to file your travel
forget that the card is issued in your name and liability for payment is
your personal responsibility.
write your personal identification number (PIN) on your card or carry
your PIN in your wallet.