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Start Using New Travel Cards Nov. 30

By Staff Sgt. Alicia K. Borlik
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, Nov. 18, 1998 – Government travelers must start using their new NationsBank Visa cards for official travel expenses Nov. 30 and destroy their old American Express government cards.

All the American Express cards will be turned off at midnight Nov. 29, and activated NationsBank Visa accounts become valid at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 30. Cardholders traveling Nov. 29 and 30 should carry both cards.

NationsBank mailed the new Visa cards Oct. 15 through Nov. 15. Cards were either mailed directly to the cardholder or bulk delivered and distributed locally.

Cardholders who do not receive their cards by Nov. 20 should inform their organization's program coordinator or call NationsBank customer service toll-free at 1-800-472-1424, said Cathy Ferguson, Defense Finance and Accounting Service spokesperson. Overseas customers can call collect 1-757-441- 4124.

The first thing cardholders need to do when they receive their new Visa is activate the account. Those in the United States can do this by calling the toll-free number printed on the front of the card and signing the back. Overseas cardholders activate their accounts by simply signing the back of the card.

By signing the back, cardholders concur with the NationsBank agreement enclosed with the new card. NationsBank also asks cardholders to initial one of two options on the signature portion of a card mailer and return it.

Initialing the first option gives NationsBank the authority to obtain a credit report if the account becomes 60 or more days overdue. Not responding or choosing the second option denies NationsBank that authority and has no immediate effect on the cardholder. If an account becomes delinquent, however, NationsBank will not be able to help the cardholder resolve the problem, possibly causing DoD to restrict the traveler.

NationsBank is issuing two types of cards with different monthly limits -- a standard card with a $5,000 limit, $500 cash-machine limit and a $250 retail limit, and a restricted card with a $1,250 limit, $250 ATM limit and $50 retail limit.

The type of cards customers receive depends on the of the cardholder's American Express account status as of Aug. 1. Those with current accounts get standard cards. Those with delinquent accounts, but not yet suspended or canceled, get restricted cards. Those with accounts suspended or canceled as of Aug. 1 need to apply for the new NationsBank card.

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