Travel Charge Card

What is the Travel Charge Card?
The GSA SmartPay® 2 program provides charge cards to U.S. government agencies, as well as tribal governments, through master contracts that are negotiated with major banks. 

There are currently more than 350 agencies and organizations participating in the program, spending $30 Billion annually, through 100 million transactions on more than three million cards.

Two types of travel charge cards are available:

  • Individually billed accounts are issued to employees to pay for official travel and travel-related expenses. The government reimburses employees for authorized expenses. The employee is responsible for making payment to the bank.
  • Centrally billed accounts are established by some agencies to pay for official travel expenses. Centrally billed accounts are paid directly by the government to the bank.

What is the benefit for federal agencies?
Each agency or organization using the travel charge card receives a rebate based on sales volume. The sale refund is remitted to the organization. In addition, a separate refund is provided to agencies and organizations based on improving speed of payment.

How can travel managers make it happen?
In 1988, Congress mandated that federal employees use the government travel charge card for all payments of expenses related to official government travel, with some exceptions. 

Travel managers should ensure that all of their travelers use their government-issued travel charge card for all purchases of travel-related services or products such as rental cars, hotel rooms, and telephone or Internet service.

Looking for more information on SmartPay?

The GSA SmartPay program provides charge cards to U.S. government agencies/departments, as well as tribal governments, through master contracts that are negotiated with major national banks. 

Last Reviewed 2016-03-18