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Office of the Chief Financial Officer
USDA Travel Express
United States Department of Agriculture

Travel Card Policy

The USDA Travel Charge Card is a convenient method for the USDA and employees to make payments for official government travel and travel related expenses, while allowing the USDA to better manage their travel related expenses.

Other benefits of the program include:

  • Safety – The USDA Travel Charge Card improves financial controls and eliminates the need for cash
  • Electronic Access to Data – Provides accurate, comprehensive transaction detail with a few clicks of a button
  • Worldwide Acceptance – The GSA SmartPay2 Charge Cards provide greater access to merchants because they are accepted worldwide
  • Access to Government providers - Government Charge Card users are given access to GSA City Pair reduced airfares and FedRooms hotel rates

The USDA saves money on travel processing costs and generates revenue through volume of refunds with the use of the GSA SmartPay Travel Charge Card

Employees who travel more than four times a year on official government business are required to use a government charge card. Please contact you’re A/OPC to discuss your eligibility to receive a travel card.

Travel Card Holder and Travel Card A/OPC Training
All Travel Card holders and Agency/Organization Program Coordinators (A/OPCs) are required to take the USDA Travel Card Training on the proper use of a Government Travel Card prior to receiving one. This course gives card holders and A/OPCs a better understanding of the policies and procedures for the Travel Charge Card and helps you and your agency maximize the benefits of the Travel Charge Card program. 

Card holder roles and responsibilities

  • Cardholders SHOULD:
    • Use the charge card appropriately, in accordance with USDA policy, other laws, and governmental regulations
    • Keep up to date with required program & agency-specific training, including refresher training
    • Look out for communications from A/OPCs and take appropriate action
    • Contact their A/OPC for questions regarding use of the card
    • Immediately report a lost or stolen card
    • Register for on-line access
    • Use card for OFFICIAL travel expenses ONLY
    • Track expenses while on travel in order to have accurate information for filing travel claims
    • Keep receipts for All transactions charged on their travel card
    • File travel claim within 5 days of returning from TDY
    • Submit payment in full and on time for each monthly bill

  • Cardholders SHOULD NOT:
    • Use the Travel Card for personal use
    • Obtain ATM travel advances which exceed the expected out of pocket expenditures for a trip
    • Allow their monthly bill to become overdue which could result in the suspension or cancellation of the Travel Card
    • Wait for the receipt of their monthly bill to file travel claims
    • Pay for another individuals travel expense
    • Write their personal identification number (PIN) on the card or carry the pin number in their wallet

Frequently Requested Travel Card Documents

  1. Traveler's Travel Card Agreement
  2. Travel Card Application Form - To obtain this form, please contact your Federal Agency Travel Administrator (FATA.)
  3. Do's and Don'ts for Employees
  4. USDA Government Travel Card Regulation
  5. US Bank Cardholder Guide