Traveler Best Practices

This provides an overview of the tools and services that can save the state traveler and their department valuable state resources.  For example, when charges are billed directly to a department using a Business Travel Account, fewer Travel Expense Claims (TECs) (Interactive PDF) are submitted and processed.

For more information, see Airfare, Renting a Vehicle, Lodging, etc. or contact your travel program coordinator for American Express services or your fleet card administrator for Voyager services.


Airfare Cost Savings: Best Practices Guide

How To Sign Up for American Express or Voyager Payment Tools

  • American Express Payment Tools
    For an American Express government card or a Business Travel Account, contact your department's travel program coordinator.
  • Voyager Fleet Card
    For a Voyager fleet card, contact your department's fleet card administrator.

Lodging Best Practices

(Also see Lodging)

For ease of travel arrangements:
  • Utilize Concur for all of your travel needs.  This online booking tool maintains a database of over 85,000 hotels that lists all of the hotel amenities, accessibility requirements, restaurant establishments, and shuttle information.  Concur allows you to find hotels offering government per diem rates within a requested mile radius by sorting the list of hotels by airport, your destination address, business location, or reference point/zip code.
  • Visit for more information.  There are a number of links that will provide additional travel information.
  • In addition, the DGS administers the Green Lodging Program.  Currently, there are a variety of certified "green" hotels in California.  For the listing, visit the Green Lodging Directory.  Always verify the state rate with the selected hotel.

Payment Best Practices

The contract with American Express and Voyager provides several payment tools:
  • The American Express Business Travel Account (BTA)
  • The American Express Government Card
  • The Voyager Fleet Card

The American Express Business Travel Account (BTA)
The centrally-billed BTA (other variations are the Car Rental BTA and the Meeting Planner Account) allows travelers to have charges billed directly to their department.  This saves the state and the traveler time and money. Additionally, reconciliation aids and other accounting features to save processing time.

The American Express Government Card
The state traveler may qualify for an American Express government card, (commonly known as "the government card"). This individual charge card is issued directly to state frequent travelers based on their own credit, who are responsible for paying their accounts in full each month.

The card identifies the bearer as a government employee and invites discounts from airlines, car rental companies, and hotels while traveling for the state. The government card is for use while traveling on official state business only.

Other government card benefits include: No monthly or annual fees apply, which saves costs for cardholders; 24-hour American Express customer service assistance; 24-hour global assist for medical or legal services referral worldwide; $200,000 door-to-door Business Travel Accident Insurance; and emergency card replacement.

The Voyager Fleet Card
The Voyager fleet card can be used at thousands of retail locations in California to purchase fuels, alternative fuels, fluids, and lubricants. Using this card when driving a state vehicle eliminates the need to file and process a Travel Expense Claim (TEC). Contact your fleet card administrator for further information.

Vehicle Rental Best Practices

(Also see Renting a Vehicle)

To reserve a commercial rental vehicle from a contracted vendor, Enterprise (primary) or National/Alamo (secondary), the state traveler must use either the Car Rental Business Travel Account (CRBTA) or an American Express government card.  Reservations can be made by the traveler through Concur Travel, the online booking tool or the state's authorized travel agency, CalTravelStore.