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Use Your Travel Card for All Official Travel Expenses (For Distribution to Travelers)

In this mailbag* segment of the DTA Toolkit, we’ll be responding to a letter from a DTA Toolkit reader regarding their travel card…

*Full disclosure: we don’t actually have a mailbag – but we do have very witty imaginations.


Hey DTA Toolkit Writers,

Question: My organization issued a travel card to me.  What am I supposed to use it for?  And – because I don’t want to land in hot water – what shouldn’t I use it for?


A Dedicated Fan


Our response:

Dear Dedicated Fan,

Here’s the official guidance from the Government Travel Charge Card Regulations“The Department of Defense (DoD) policy is that the Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) will be used by all DoD personnel (military or civilian) to pay for all costs related to official government travel.”

Based on the guidance we quoted above, you should use your GTCC for all official travel-related expenses.  That includes things like your airfare, rental car, lodging, meals (yes – even meals!), parking, taxi fares, and all other travel-related costs you incur during a TDY (and a PCS, if your Component permits).

Note 1: For valid, official travel expenses, see the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR)

Regarding your second question – you shouldn’t use your GTCC for unofficial expenses or for mission-related (but not travel-related) expenses.  Unofficial expenses include things of a personal nature, like running down to the Big Box Super-Mega Depot (a store we just invented) to buy cat food.  Mission-related expenses include things like tools, tuition, official phone calls, and the like.

Note 2: For more information about mission-related expenses, see the JTR for more details.

If you ever have any questions about GTCC usage, you can always check with your Agency Program Coordinator (your organization’s POC for the GTCC).  They’re there to give you helpful pointers on GTCC matters, including any organization-specific GTCC policies.

There you have it, Dedicated Fan – when you should – and shouldn’t – use your GTCC.  Thanks for writing!


The Writers of the DTA Toolkit


So, virtuous traveler, we trust that the information above will come in handy the next time you’re TDY (that’s why we shared it with you). 

Bottom line – don’t be reluctant to reach for your GTCC to pay for your official travel expenses (e.g., transportation, meals, parking), but don’t use your GTCC for unofficial purposes or mission-related expenses.

Want more information on GTCC usage?  Head over to TraX and take our Programs & Policies – Travel Card Program (Travel Card 101) training module.

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