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Card/Account Holders and Approving Officials Travel Training

Lesson 8: During Your Trip

What happens if my GSA SmartPay® Travel card/account doesn’t work?

If your GSA SmartPay Travel card/account does not work, there may be several possible reasons this may occur including:

  • The transaction may be denied due to an authorization control such as a Merchant Category Code (MCC) block. An MCC is a four-digit code used to identify the type of business a merchant conducts (gas stations, restaurants, airlines, etc). The merchant chooses their MCC with their bank. Agency/organization program coordinators (A/OPCs) use MCCs to control what purchases are allowable. If your card/account does not work due to an MCC block, contact your program coordinator for advice or to get the block lifted. The bank cannot unblock a merchant category code or raise your credit limit without approval from your A/OPC.
  • Your travel card/account may be suspended or canceled due to delinquent payment. If you recently paid the bill, it may not have been posted yet, or there may be other payment problems. Contact the bank’s customer service for advice. See the Resources page of this training for contact information for Citibank and U.S. Bank.

When should I use the ATM while on travel?

Use the ATM feature of your GSA SmartPay Travel card to obtain cash for official travel expenses authorized on your travel authorization. If you need assistance finding the nearest ATM, contact the bank’s customer service at the number on the back of your GSA SmartPay Travel card. If you lose or forget the PIN, you must apply for a new one and it will be mailed to the address provided at the time of application. Bank personnel are not able to look up the PIN for you. Your agency limits ATM use to a maximum dollar transaction over a specified period of time. Contact your A/OPC to find out your ATM limits.

Do not use the ATM with your GSA SmartPay Travel card to obtain cash for personal expenses.

What are ATM fees?

  • The contractor bank may charge a minimal fee for ATM use.
  • The fee amount is listed in your Account Holder Agreement and is reimbursable.
  • The ATM machine you use may charge an additional fee. It will be posted on the receipt and is also reimbursable, if allowed by your agency.

Can I use the GSA SmartPay Travel card/account internationally?

  • Your travel card/account may be used for official government international travel at any merchant who accepts Visa or Mastercard.
  • You may obtain foreign currency from a bank or an ATM using the GSA SmartPay Travel card.
  • Foreign currency transactions will be converted to U.S. dollars using a favorable conversion rate in existence at the time the transaction is processed. Processing may or may not take place on the date of the transaction and the rate may differ from day to day. The contractor bank shall not assess foreign currency conversion fees on purchases made in foreign currencies under the GSA SmartPay program and will identify the conversion rate and any other third-party fees related to foreign purchases charged on the statement.
  • Some agencies offer Foreign Currency Accounts to card/account holders, where payment solutions are offered in foreign currencies. All administrative functions, including billing and settlement, shall occur in the foreign currency desired by the agency/organization.

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