Samantha L. Quigley, American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For Defense Department travelers,
the more things change, the more they stay the same when it comes to
the travel charge cards switch coming in November.
For 10 years, Defense travelers have used a Bank of America
card while on official travel.
As of Nov. 30, the card in everyone's pocket will be issued by
Citibank, though that should be the only change travelers notice, the
Defense Travel Management Office's chief of special programs and
outreach said during an interview.
"The way the new Citi card will be used is exactly the
same as the current Bank of America card," said Nina Richman-Loo.
"The cardholder agreement is the same cardholder agreement that
our travelers read and signed when they got their Bank of America
Citibank will offer some of the same features Bank of America
cardholders are accustomed to, including an online payment option.
In fact, aside from a different look, one of the only ways
cardholders will realize a change is occurring is when the new card
arrives in August or September.
important thing ... is, when travelers get the new card they need to
call and verify receipt of it, because we're going to be tracking
delivery of the cards," Richman-Loo said. "Then they should
put the card away."
Don't get rid of the old card just yet, though. The Citibank
cards aren't officially active until midnight Nov. 30.
They should be put in a safe place, and travelers should
continue using their Bank of America cards until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 29,
she said. Personal identification numbers for the new Citbank cards
will arrive on or around Nov. 1.
Current Bank of America cardholders who have a balance on their
account have a bit more work to do than other cardholders. They'll
have to pay the full amount by Nov. 29. Any refunds also should be
requested ahead of that date.
The only other possible snag would involve those on official
travel when the switch from Bank of America to Citibank takes place.
In that case, Richman-Loo suggests carrying both cards. "We are
going to be providing much information and specific instructions over
the next several months to cover all the contingencies involved with
that (situation)," she said.
Questions are sure to arise, so tens of thousands of agency
program managers throughout the Defense Department who oversee the
travel card program on the local level will have the answers,
Travelers who can't identify their local program manager should
look to their agency's Web site or visit the Defense Travel Management
Office's Web site at http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil
for answers to frequently asked questions, she said.
Personnel assigned to the Fort McCoy Garrison with questions
also can call Joanne Scholze, Agency/Organization Program Coordinator
Personnel assigned to tenants on Fort McCoy should contact
their Agency/Organization Program Coordinator for the tenant