New GTC program for PCSing members

  • Published
  • By Maj. Darnell Salley
  • 36th Comptroller Squadron commander
In the short time I have been stationed here, the topic of government travel card delinquencies and late payments has occurred far too many times. 

I understand the frustration, especially when most of us took leave prior to our long journey to this beautiful island. You purchased your airplane tickets up to one week prior to outprocessing; took weeks of leave to visit family and friends; and showed up at your new duty station with an email from the comptroller squadron telling your commander or first sergeant that you are late on paying your bill. 

If this is your story, there is a new program designed to prevent such inconveniences while changing duty stations. It is called the PCS Relocation Program. The focus of the program is to minimize the financial hardship on travelers permanently changing stations by allowing them adequate time to out-process; take scheduled leave or perform temporary duties enroute; and settle into their new duty station without worrying about making a travel card payment.

The GTC is just like any other credit card in your wallet. You are responsible for paying all the charges by the payment due date, regardless if you have settled your travel voucher or not. Late payment status means you have missed your payment due date by 30 days, and delinquent means you are 60 or more days late. You will be charged a non-reimbursable late fee of $29 when your account enters the delinquent status. And lastly, your credit rating can be negatively affected. 

With that motivation, entering this program is fairly easy. Members must request this special status prior to leaving their old duty station and the grace period ends upon reporting to the new duty station based on report date. This can be done through your unit's Agency Program Coordinator. The program allows members to be placed in this category only if they are going to, or coming from, an overseas continental U.S. location in a PCS status; or, if CONUS, be on a TDY enroute to PCS. The primary purpose of this status is to give cardholders a specialized category for GTC repayment options prior to facing delinquency that occur from these types of moves. 

APCs will establish or adjust credit limits as well as start dates on when the non-delinquency period begins based on the report no later than date of the cardholders travel orders. Another great tool of this program is the smart business rules it brings. When using the GTC, advanced travel payments and visits to the finance office become a thing of the past. Streamlining manual processes by reducing the need for travel advances makes good AFSO21 sense and falls in line with the current Financial Management transformation initiatives. This is one way to encourage cardholders to maximize use of the GTC and reduce cost by eliminating those old practices to the furthest extent possible. Both of these are win-win scenarios for the traveler and the Air Force. 

Cardholders must also know the same rules and individual responsibilities are still in effect on what, when and how charges can be made to the GTC. The benefits to be gained from this pilot equate to more convenience for the cardholder and a less stressful PCS. If you are a GTC cardholder, I highly recommended you contact your APC if you are PCSing. 

So, even though this may be too late to help you on this leg of your journey, please keep this program in mind and share it with a friend. They, and you, will be thankful one of their first conversations with their new leadership will be about something other than a late bill. 

If you have a GTC, you may be eligible for an alternative payment status on your GTC bill when you PCS and allow you and your family to enjoy the trip. 

For more information, call Tech. Sgt. Adrienne Westfelt at 366-1770.