Straight Talk: Controlled Spend Accounts

  • Published
  • By Col. Stacy L. Yike
  • 66th Air Base Group commander
Well, a few weeks ago I got busted by a loyal reader who told me I was starting to repeat myself. Taking such feedback seriously, I started a "guest responder" program to get some new inputs to you from our customer service leads who face your questions on an hourly basis.

Just a few days later another colleague (and perhaps less loyal reader) stopped to tell me he never had any idea what was happening on base and I needed to improve my communication. Duly noted! For those of you that have questions that I am not covering here, send them in.

You may also visit the Minuteman Commons this Friday afternoon for our Crud Tournament and First Friday St. Patrick's Day party and ask me any questions. Or, come to the Tennis Bubble on Saturday for our Girl Scout Cookie Drop as we thank hundreds of Girl Scouts for their cookie donations to send to our troops. I would love to hear your questions and I would love to improve my communication!

And now a word from our guest contributor: Lt. Brent Olson, Financial Analysis deputy chief. The vast majority of our civilian and military members are now regularly using the Controlled Spend Account. The following frequently asked questions will guide you on travel and voucher submission procedures.

Q. How much money will get loaded on my CSA when I travel?

A. After you create orders, submit them to your approving official for review and approval. The estimated amount listed on the orders will automatically be loaded to your CSA two to three business days after submission. If you're PCSing, funds will be loaded to your CSA two to three business days after your orders are cut.

Q. What do I do if my flight to the area of responsibility is delayed for a day or more and I need more money? Or, what if I'm TDY and my card gets declined for insufficient funds?

A. You need additional funds loaded to your card, but don't panic; there are a couple options to make it happen. Option one: call your base level agency program coordinator and request a Temporary Spending Limit increase. Option two: call Citibank's cardholder assistance toll-free number and request the TSL increase. You can contact them at 877-784-1407 or, from overseas, call collect to 1-818-802-1468. Both numbers are on the back of your CSA and they are open 24/7.

Additionally, card holders are authorized two TSL increases if no orders have been received. CSA holders can request a TSL up to $5,000. The TSL limit will be reset after the order is received. Whichever option you select, ensure you modify your hard copy or DTS orders accordingly.

Q. After all bills have been paid, how do I get the residual balance?

A. The residual balance belongs to the card owner and there are multiple ways to get it. The first option is to withdraw funds at an ATM (the downside is the 2 percent surcharge charged by ATMs). The second option is to request an Electronic Funds Transfer. Card holders can log on to their account at the Citibank website and select an EFT or call the number on the back of the CSA and have a representative at Citibank EFT the money directly into another account. The next option is a check. Members can request a check by logging onto their account via the Citibank website. If no action is taken within 61 days, Citibank will automatically send a check to your address on file.

For additional questions on the CSA, visit the webpage via the Air Force Portal or go to the Citibank website. You can also contact the 66th Comptroller Squadron located in Building 1305 or call the customer service line at 781-225-1210 or DSN 845-1210.