USDA Travel Card Program

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), Financial Planning and Policy, Fiscal Policy Division, Travel Section, along with representatives from agencies across USDA, is responsible for establishing and implementing travel policy and procedures as well as managing the USDA travel card program.

Travel Card

SmartPay 3 is coming!

The current SmartPay 2 Government Travel Charge Card contract will expire on November 29th, 2018 and the new SmartPay3 contract will begin on November 30th, 2018. Please visit https://smartpay.gsa.gov/ for more information.

The USDA Travel Card program provides travel charge cards to USDA employees through the GSA SmartPay 2 contract. The USDA travel card provides employees with access to government negotiated fares while allowing agencies greater visibility in to their travel spend

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.

Receive travel card training by searching for “USDA Travel Card Training” on AgLearn+

Benefits of the USDA Travel Card include:

  • The travel card is accepted worldwide
  • Access to discount government negotiated rates
  • Built in travel insurance
  • Eliminates the need for travelers to use their personal charge card
  • Travelers are no longer required to carry large sums of cash
  • Ability to monitor transactions and pay bill online
  • Improved oversight in travel spend
  • Charges are limited to travel related expenses

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

Eligibility

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.

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

Travel Card Documents