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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 member’s 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 Aug 24, 20, 12:14 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: UA Plat MM, CM Plat, Amex Plat, Hertz CP, Hyatt Globalist, SPG Gold, Vons Club
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At least we’re seeing some progress…
Flying Machine is offline  
Old Aug 24, 20, 8:32 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
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I managed to get a second $100 order in finally. Any idea if the $40.92 in credit I have remaining of my Platinum credit would apply towards another purchase of $50? If not I can probably use it organically before the end of the year. Just curious if anyone had thoughts on the matter.
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Old Aug 24, 20, 9:35 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Originally Posted by CaptJOB View Post
I managed to get a second $100 order in finally. Any idea if the $40.92 in credit I have remaining of my Platinum credit would apply towards another purchase of $50? If not I can probably use it organically before the end of the year. Just curious if anyone had thoughts on the matter.
It will.
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Old Aug 28, 20, 7:34 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Originally Posted by CaptJOB View Post
I managed to get a second $100 order in finally. Any idea if the $40.92 in credit I have remaining of my Platinum credit would apply towards another purchase of $50? If not I can probably use it organically before the end of the year. Just curious if anyone had thoughts on the matter.
Were you able to make the additional purchase? It's still not letting me make a third purchase.
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Old Aug 28, 20, 10:02 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
Was able to get 2nd purchase but not the 3rd.

Originally Posted by Traveler56789 View Post
Were you able to make the additional purchase? It's still not letting me make a third purchase.
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Old Aug 28, 20, 10:37 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
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Originally Posted by gigadigit View Post
Was able to get 2nd purchase but not the 3rd.
Also couldn't end up doing a third but might just use P2s account.
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Old Sep 2, 20, 7:31 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 229
United appears to have fixed the issue. I was able to make three $100 purchases this morning to clear out my Amex credits.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 9:06 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: UA 1K 2MM, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Silver, Hertz Presidents Circle
Posts: 200
Read the whole thread but missed have missed something.
Have $170 in TravelBank from the united.com Club that expires October 1, 2020.
Hoped that purchasing $50 TravelBank cash now would reset the clock on all of it. The new $50 expires 2025 but the old $170 still expires October 1.
Any other way to avoid losing the $170 without purchasing/refunding an unrestricted ticket?
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Old Sep 16, 20, 11:21 am
  #54  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: UA Plat MM, CM Plat, Amex Plat, Hertz CP, Hyatt Globalist, SPG Gold, Vons Club
Posts: 6,210
I see that I have a Travelbank credit, however when I make a reservation I don’t see where to redeem. Would you use the use a gift certificate box? Additionally, can you combine an ECERT and Travelbank credit?

Thanks in advance
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Old Sep 16, 20, 2:14 pm
  #55  
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Question

Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
I see that I have a Travelbank credit, however when I make a reservation I don’t see where to redeem. Would you use the use a gift certificate box? Additionally, can you combine an ECERT and Travelbank credit?

Thanks in advance
TravelBank appears as a United payment type on eligible itineraries. You cannot use the TravelBank if there is a partner flight on the itinerary.

You cannot combine an ETC and TravelBank credit, at least on the web. A phone agent might be able to do so, but only if the total amount of credit covered the purchase price. If you'd need to add a credit card as as third payment option, you wouldn't be able to do that; two forms of payment is the limit.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 3:07 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by LGA1K View Post
Read the whole thread but missed have missed something.
Have $170 in TravelBank from the united.com Club that expires October 1, 2020.
Hoped that purchasing $50 TravelBank cash now would reset the clock on all of it. The new $50 expires 2025 but the old $170 still expires October 1.
Any other way to avoid losing the $170 without purchasing/refunding an unrestricted ticket?
I don't know anymore.

Before the variable expiry dates, the value of the entire Travelbank used to be good for 2 years from the last debit or credit, and if you hadn't touched it in 2 years, they would put the value to an ETC, then send it to you, and it would be valid for a year from that point (that's what the rules were - I never tested it). At some point, it was changed so the value expires at some interval after earning, I think 18 months? And it was on an individual basis - credit 1 earned on Jan would expire at the end of the July of the following year, and credit 2 earned in Feb would expire at the end of August the following year. I'm not 100% sure, but believe the individual values now just completely expires at the expiry date, no ETC sent - it's gone.

Typically, yes, you'd just need to book something, and then cancel. With free changes right now, it might be a decent time to do it. Not sure the deal with getting canceled flight credit turned into ETCs these days, but if you still can, one option might be to book a ticket with the travel bank credit, then cancel and get the value in an ETC, which would be valid for 2 years. Beyond that, not sure if there are great options. Though with COVID, I wonder if they are automatically, or at least on request, extending expiry. Always worth trying to call web support and seeing if they can do that?
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Old Sep 17, 20, 5:48 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: UA 1K 2MM, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Silver, Hertz Presidents Circle
Posts: 200
Thanks emcampbe--I'll start with web support and post the outcome.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 5:19 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Programs: UA 1K 1MM
Posts: 488
Didn't see this anywhere else but Travel bank is offering an additional 5 miles per dollar up to 5000 miles which is very tempting.

https://www.united.com/offers/travelcash
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Old Sep 17, 20, 6:30 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by VWang1111 View Post
Didn't see this anywhere else but Travel bank is offering an additional 5 miles per dollar up to 5000 miles which is very tempting.

https://www.united.com/offers/travelcash
September 17-23 only not a bad deal for the people who haven’t use their AMEX credit so far
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Old Sep 18, 20, 6:28 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by VWang1111 View Post
Didn't see this anywhere else but Travel bank is offering an additional 5 miles per dollar up to 5000 miles which is very tempting.

https://www.united.com/offers/travelcash
dang, should have waited to spend all my Amex credit. Well ...
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