Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this program beneficial to our agency?
In these challenging economic times, government entities are taking a hard look at managing their business travel and reducing travel spend.The State of California, DGS, Statewide Travel Program offers efficient and cost-effective travel management services to government entities and provides the most economical rates and fares available through the use of State negotiated contracts for airlines, car rentals, travel management services, and travel payment system. By leveraging the State’s total travel spend, the Statewide TravelProgram gains the advantage of the best pricing model available.
For agencies that operate a fleet of vehicles, the Voyager program will aid in reduced costs associated with fuel and maintenance and provide additional savings for the county.
Why use CALtravelstore and the American Express Payment System for travel arrangements?
CALtravelstore is the only authorized Travel Management Service (TMS) provider with access to the negotiated contract rates for the State of California’s Statewide Travel Program. The American Express payment system is the required form of payment.
Effective 7/1/10, airlines have agreed to extend the discounted fares to counties with the following provisions:
1- Local government business travelers must use the authorized TMS provider, CALtravelstore.
2- Local government business travelers must use the authorized form of payment, the American Express BTA.
These two requirements prevent fraud and misuse of the program.
Are there fees associated with this program?
The American Express Payment system is fee free. There is no annual fee, interest charges or late fees assessed to the participant. There is no fee charged by the CSDA, LEAGUE or CSAC. There is a negotiated discount transaction fee for travel agency services. The transaction fees range from $5-$14 depending on the type of reservation. These fees are one-time, all inclusive fees. Once a reservation is made, there are no additional transaction fees or charges for changes or cancelations to the reservation.
Are the airfares one-way or round trip?
The fares are listed as one-way fares. They are available with last-seat availability and are fully refundable.
How does the billing work? Will AMEX be billing monthly for the BTA?
American Express will accrue the charges and create a billing statement on or near the 25th of each month. The statement should be received close to the first of the following month or can be accessed online at any time. The entire bill is due and payable by the 25th of the new month (within 30 days of the statement date). The bill contains at a minimum the traveler’s name, ticket number and dollar amount. There may be more information, depending upon the vendor. Should you need additional traveler information, the iBank system provides over 120 reporting capabilities. Your bill is to be paid in full each month.
CSAC is pleased to offer this program as an added service to our members as a way of saving limited local dollars through a cost-effective travel alternative. If you have questions, please contact the Statewide Travel Program Liaisons, Evan Speer at (916) 376-3977, firstname.lastname@example.org or Kelly May at (916) 376-3991, email@example.com.