California Department of Transportation
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Clark Paulsen, Division Chief

American Express

Reference: Department of General Services (DGS) Management Memo 05-06: DGS TravelBulletins 10-01-R;

DGS Travel Bulletins 10-01-R; 11-04; 12-03 and 13-03; Travel Information and Policy TIP 12-003

American Express State of California Government Card

The American Express (AMEX) State of California Government card issued to an employee to be maintained on an individual billing and payment basis. This places the responsibility for reviewing statements and making payment on the employee, not the department. Business travel expenses charged appear on the employee's monthly billing statement. The employee submits a travel expense claim for reimbursement and pays American Express the total amount due.

Individual American Express charge cards, to be used only for business travel purposes, for frequent state travelers.

All American Express accounts should be paid in full each month and kept in a current payment status. by all individual government card holder accounts. Accounts should be maintained to remain in good standing to prevent account closures and credit restrictions.

Frequent travelers may apply for this card to pay for travel expenses. American Express defines a frequent traveler as someone who travels on state business at least five (5) times or charges at least $5,000 per year.

This Individual Amex Government Card:
Is issued in the traveler's name based on personal credit history,
Is for travel-business use only, and
The traveler must pay all charges in full monthly.

american express application

For more information, contact the Division of Accounting's Travel Policy Section.

Use of the AMEX State of California Government Card supports the State's efforts for negotiating the best rates possible through reporting of vendor usage. The use of this card is an effective and efficient means of managing business travel expenses resulting in a reduction in administrative costs, increased control over travel expenses, and an extended float on travel funds. Key benefits include:

  • 24 hour Worldwide Customer Assistance Center.

  • $350,000 door to door Business Travel Accident Insurance.

  • 1,700 Travel Service Offices worldwide for travel assistance.

  • Captures the State of California's purchasing power for vendor negotiations of airfare, lodging, and car rental.

  • Exemption of hotel transient occupancy tax in participating cities and counties.

  • Identifies the state traveler on official state business for airline, lodging and car rental discounts.

  • Over 4 million establishments accepting the card worldwide.

American Express Business Travel Accounts(BTA)

American Express provides Caltrans with centrally billed accounts for airline, rail, and car rental charges via the Business Travel Account (BTA) program. When reservations are made through Caltrans' travel agency, CalTravelStore. Charges for airfare, rail, and contract rental cars are billed to Caltrans directly through a BTA.

Failure to make reservations using CalTravelStore, may result in employees securing rates in excess of the State contract amounts and for which reimbursement may not be obtained.

For details on making reservations, see Chapter 10 –Concur Travel Reservation System .

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