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UA "TravelBank" Q&A , with new option to deposit funds

UA "TravelBank" Q&A , with new option to deposit funds

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Old Jun 14, 22, 9:04 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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The United Travel Bank has been around for many years. UA had a program where purchasing a ticket on united.com would receive a $5 Travel Bank bonus. This was called united.com Club and had an annual $25 subscription fee. This ended in early 2020. But funds are still accessible for 18 months after earning.
Also at one time the Travel Bank had a Gift Registry pre-2018.
For more on those prior Travel Bank Programs, see "TravelBank"- United.com Club & Gift Registry Q&A - No new/renewals as of 23 Apr 2019

Then for a period of time, Chase / UA offered a 1.5% cash-back Travel Bank credit card where the cash-back went into the Travel Bank, that ended Sept 2020
Chase United TravelBank Card becoming non-cashback Chase MP Gateway Card 21 Sept 2020

*NEW* In July 2020, the Travel Bank was recasted as a cash pre-funding option that might have a short term bonus offering -- cash or miles or both.
Additionally it might be used for bank credit card travel reimbursement funds (no longer for some --such as AMEX )

TravelBank Terms and Conditions

What can I use Travel Bank funds for?
1. Only for an all UA operated itineraries
2. *NEW* Award fees & taxes and subscriptions appears eligible for use of TravelBank funds
3. Not for in-flight purchases, post-purchase E+ access or upgrades, ....

There have been reports that the Travel Bank option may not appear if doing Advance Flight Searches with options selected such as upgrade availability, ...
Purchases as need to be in USD $ and point of sale USA
For those with "Business Travel" option, when your account is linked to a UA corporate account, TravelBank may not be available. It does seems to be available for "Break from Business" usage

It may sometimes still fail to show and you may need to use an phone/twitter/FB/... agent
Sometime the app is more reliable


Do Travel Bank funds expire?
They could per T&Cs
- Older methods for funding -- united.com, travel bank card cash back .... have 18 month expiration from last deposit
- New cash funds have a 5 years expiration from deposit
- Bonus from cash deposit -- depends on promo T&Cs but recent terms have been 4 months
- Each $1 TravelBank Cash issued as Chase purchase bonus is valid through June 30, 2022
- CLEAR signup
$100 TravelBank credits will be valid for 9 months (late Aug/early Sept 2021) after the credit is deposited into memberís accounts.

Where can I see my Travel Bank balance / expiration?
Look in your My Account section and click on Details. https://www.united.com/en/US/account/travelbank

Funds have to be used / trip booked by expiration. Travel can be after expiration

Where can I add funds?
https://www.united.com/offers/travelcash
Members can choose from six purchase amount options and once purchased the value remains valid for five years from the date it is deposited in your TravelBank account. Purchases are not refundable and are limited to $5,000 per day per MileagePlus account. This purchase is also subject to all of the TravelBank terms and conditions.
Do I get PQP credit for flight purchases with Travel Bank funds?
Yes, UA treats the Travel Bank funds just like a cash purchase

What if I refund a ticket purchased with Travel Bank funds?
With a refund, the funds go back to original form of purchase, so the Travel Bank portion of the funds go back to the Travel Bank. (insufficient data to know if that is with the original expiration date or a new date). More recent reports suggest ETCs may be used unless this is an cancellation within 24 hours of purchase.

Can you use Travel Bank funds in conjunction with a Credit Card and/or ETCs?
Yes, you can select to pay in whole or in part with Travel Bank funds and then the remainder, if any, with the other forms of payment. There have been mixed reports about ETCs -- YMMV

Can you "deposit" your ETCs (or FFCs) into your Travel Bank?
No

Can I use the Travel Bank funds to purchase a ticket to someone else?
Yes but you have to be the purchaser

Can I transfer Travel Bank funds to someone else?
No

Can I cash out my Travel Bank funds?
No

What merchant category is Travel Bank?
It's treated as an airline purchase. American Express posts it as a ticketing fee while pending and then changes to just United Airlines.

Why does Travel Bank state "This offer has ended?"
This message appears during website maintenance.

Does Travel Bank count as a reimbursable incidental with American Express?
This topic is discussed in a separate thread. Do not contact Amex.

Does Travel Bank count as a reimbursable incidental for other credit cards? Post your experiences
Yes, for BoA cards
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Old Jun 17, 22, 7:35 am
  #496  
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1K, HH Diamond, Supersonic (BA1Y, BA1223)
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Originally Posted by Ario View Post
Do we have DPs showing a cancelled booking (after 24 hours) using TravelBank could be refunded as ETC? Thanks.
I dont know that anyone explicitly answered, but I can confirm that (as WineCountryUA said) I was able to "convert" TB to FFC using this method two weeks ago..
I had $120 from the Chase promo at the end of last year. I booked IAD-EWR one way and paid the remaining $33 with CC.
One interesting thing was that I was going to be busy for the next few days after booking, so I tried to cancel right at about 26 hours. I got a message that it would need to be processed manually and take about 10 days, so I cancelled the process. Went back in the next morning (now about 36 hours after booking) and it all went through fine and I got the FFC. Just makes me wonder if the limit is REALLY "24 hours" or if its more like a calendar day...

Last edited by huey_driver; Jun 17, 22 at 4:41 pm
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Old Jun 17, 22, 9:22 am
  #497  
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Originally Posted by huey_driver View Post
I dont know that anyone explicitly answered, but I can confirm that (as WineCountryUA said) I was able to "convert" TB to FFC using this method.
I had $120 from the Chase promo at the end of last year. I booked IAD-EWR one way and paid the remaining $33 with CC.
One interesting thing was that I was going to be busy for the next few days after booking, so I tried to cancel right at about 26 hours. I got a message that it would need to be processed manually and take about 10 days, so I cancelled the process. Went back in the next morning (now about 36 hours after booking) and it all went through fine and I got the FFC. Just makes me wonder if the limit is REALLY "24 hours" or if its more like a calendar day...
It is 24 hours from ticketing, not booking and there may be a small grace period but it is definitely not next day (DL? is closer to next day, midnight?)
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Old Jun 22, 22, 10:31 pm
  #498  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 197
So I got the airline credit from AMEX...but didn't post to my travelbank/United account. Thoughts? I mean you have to log in to make the travel bank purchase in the first place.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 11:15 pm
  #499  
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Originally Posted by geoff325 View Post
So I got the airline credit from AMEX...but didn't post to my travelbank/United account. Thoughts? I mean you have to log in to make the travel bank purchase in the first place.
Have you reached out to AMEX? Seems that would be the place to start? There have been known issues with TB purchases qualifying for AMEX travel credit
Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: UA only (2022)
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Old Jun 23, 22, 5:41 am
  #500  
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Originally Posted by geoff325 View Post
So I got the airline credit from AMEX...but didn't post to my travelbank/United account. Thoughts? I mean you have to log in to make the travel bank purchase in the first place.
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Have you reached out to AMEX? Seems that would be the place to start? There have been known issues with TB purchases qualifying for AMEX travel credit
Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: UA only (2022)
Sounds like a UA problem to me. Would reach out to UA ... they have folks dealing w/ TB issues. If you have a purchase receipt and it was billed to you Amex then there should be a credit on the UA side ... but TB has been having some issues lately.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 6:31 am
  #501  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by geoff325 View Post
So I got the airline credit from AMEX...but didn't post to my travelbank/United account. Thoughts? I mean you have to log in to make the travel bank purchase in the first place.
In the UA app, check for the purchase under More->My Wallet->View Receipts. It shows each purchase and a reference number.

Also, did you already have any TB before making this purchase, and did you check this link from the wiki? There's a different UA page that is misleading to me. It shows the amount that expires next, instead of showing the total TB funds. I misread this page, and it made me think I was missing a credit. So if you already had some TB, you might see that.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 9:13 am
  #502  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 197
Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
Sounds like a UA problem to me. Would reach out to UA ... they have folks dealing w/ TB issues. If you have a purchase receipt and it was billed to you Amex then there should be a credit on the UA side ... but TB has been having some issues lately.
Ok thanks. Yes Amex charge is through and reimbursement/credit is done. Just doesn't show in my travel bank. And yes TB was not new. But had drained recently so was at a zero balance.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:21 pm
  #503  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,855
Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
Datapoint for others.

Submitted refund under 24 hour cancel policy on Tuesday morning for itinerary partially paid with travel bank and credit card. Refund approved by Friday morning and TB portion back in Travel Bank ready for use.
did the portion returned to the Travel Bank get a new expiration date or was the original expiration date preserved? trying to decide if dummy booking cancelled within 24 hours will get me a new expiration date in Travel Bank (preferred) or post-24-cancellation to get FFC good for 12 months.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:35 pm
  #504  
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
did the portion returned to the Travel Bank get a new expiration date or was the original expiration date preserved? trying to decide if dummy booking cancelled within 24 hours will get me a new expiration date in Travel Bank (preferred) or post-24-cancellation to get FFC good for 12 months.
original expiration
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Old Jul 1, 22, 3:42 pm
  #505  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
original expiration
then guess iím off to Victoria, TX 😉 on a $55 non-basic fare to use up my $50 Travel Bank from IHG
SPN Lifer likes this.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 3:47 pm
  #506  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DFW
Programs: American - Platinum Pro, Marriott - Platinum
Posts: 470
Extending Travel Bank credit

I have Travel Bank credit expiring in Aug-2022. Thinking of booking a fully refundable flight starting in Dec-2022 through Travel Bank credit and then canceling it in Sep-2022. Will it extend the Travel Bank credit through Sep-2023?
Also will the new funds be tied to the original traveler or can be used for anyone?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 4:03 pm
  #507  
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Originally Posted by raj_cl View Post
I have Travel Bank credit expiring in Aug-2022. Thinking of booking a fully refundable flight starting in Dec-2022 through Travel Bank credit and then canceling it in Sep-2022. Will it extend the Travel Bank credit through Sep-2023?
Also will the new funds be tied to the original traveler or can be used for anyone?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
Believe the experience is a refunded TB retains its original expiration. Not sure what happens post expiration. TB funds have a wide range of expiration terms

One poster reported it going to an ETC post expiration. But that was last year and UA has tighten up on issuing ETCs
If you book a non-refundable ticket and cancel anytime before 31 Dec 2022 (waiting more than 24 hours to cancel), it will go to FCC and have a travel by expiration of 31 Dec 2023
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Old Jul 2, 22, 4:27 pm
  #508  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DFW
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Believe the experience is a refunded TB retains its original expiration. Not sure what happens post expiration. TB funds have a wide range of expiration terms

One poster reported it going to an ETC post expiration. But that was last year and UA has tighten up on issuing ETCs
If you book a non-refundable ticket and cancel anytime before 31 Dec 2022 (waiting more than 24 hours to cancel), it will go to FCC and have a travel by expiration of 31 Dec 2023
Thank you for the prompt reply.
Is the FCC tied to the original traveler or can be used for anyone?
What if I book a fully refundable ticket and cancel before Dec-31-2022?
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Old Jul 2, 22, 5:59 pm
  #509  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by raj_cl View Post
... Is the FCC tied to the original traveler or can be used for anyone? ...
tied to the traveler
Originally Posted by raj_cl View Post
...What if I book a fully refundable ticket and cancel before Dec-31-2022?
It goes back to the original form of purchase but if the TB funds are past expiration don't know what happens. My guess is ETC but that is a guess -- ETC is good till end of 2023 also and can be used by others. BUT don't make a decision based on my guess.

Is it crucial that it could be used by others? You have no plans before 2024??
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