In the coming months, Department of Defense travelers will have to keep their eyes and ears open, because the government travel charge card contract with Bank of America will expire and transition to Citibank on Nov. 30 at midnight.
The 1.2 million current cardholders, including 82,000 Marines, won’t need to fill out any new paperwork or applications to receive their new travel card; however, they will need to take some steps to get their new card up and running.
“Marines will need to call Citibank to acknowledge receiving the new card and accept the Citibank card agreement. This (is) critical because that’s how we will keep track of who has received the card,” said David Fuqua, Marine Corps GTCC component program manager.
The Citibank travel card will also be a VISA credit card and Marines will have the same credit limit. Agency program coordinators will have the authority to raise limits to meet necessary needs, Fuqua said.
“The Citibank card will be used exactly the same as the current Bank of America card,” said Nina Richman-Loo, chief of special programs and outreach, Defense Travel Management Office. “The cardholder agreement that our travelers read and signed when they received their Bank of America card is the same with the new Citibank card.”
Marines should continue to use their Bank of America government charge card until the transition takes place, Fuqua said.
“It’s very important Marines keep their personal mailing information up to date with Bank of America because that’s how Citibank is retrieving the information to mail the new cards,” Fuqua said.
To offer several upgraded features, Citibank has enhanced their electronic access system, according to Master Sgt. Gregory S. Duplechain, GTCC component program manager. Citibank has also dropped the $10 fee for phone payments and reduced their ATM fees to a flat rate of 2 percent.
The remaining balance on the Bank of America card will not transfer over to the new Citibank travel card, Fuqua said. Therefore, Marines will continue to receive statements from Bank of America until all balances are paid.
Fuqua also said the Citibank travel card should start hitting mailboxes by Aug. 15, but cardholders need to remember that they won’t be activated until midnight on Nov. 30. Marines who haven’t received anything by Oct. 1 should contact their agency program coordinator for assistance.
Travelers who can’t identify their local program coordinator should look to their agency’s Web site or the Defense Travel Management Office’s Web site for answers to frequently asked questions, Richman-Loo said.
If cardholders are on TAD during the changeover they will need to have both cards with them, said Duplechain. Furthermore, the Bank of America card will no longer work after midnight on Nov. 30.
For more information on the travel charge card transition, visit www.defensetravel.dod.mil.
The Citibank government travel charge card will be mailed out in five waves:
First wave: Expect delivery by Sept. 9
Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico
Second wave: Expect delivery by Sept. 11
Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Michigan
Third wave: Expect delivery by Sept. 16
Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana
Fourth wave: Expect delivery by Sept. 23
Washington, D.C., Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois
Fifth wave: Expect delivery by Sept. 30
Virginia and Florida