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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 Dec 11, 20, 5:26 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Got an email saying that grocery purchases on this card now earn 3x RDM per $1 spent until the end of next September. I won't be using it (have the 5x UR bonus from the Freedom Flex), but that is still a nice add-on.
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Old Dec 11, 20, 6:12 pm
  #107  
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
back to TB
Thanks. How about if the ticket was bought with a mix of TB and credit card?
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Old Dec 11, 20, 6:21 pm
  #108  
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
Thanks. How about if the ticket was bought with a mix of TB and credit card?
when refunding, each portion goes back to original purchase method
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Old Dec 12, 20, 9:50 pm
  #109  
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Tried to use TB funds for award tix fees and taxes. No dice. What bs.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 10:33 am
  #110  
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Originally Posted by Hawkeyefan View Post
Tried to use TB funds for award tix fees and taxes. No dice. What bs.
not that this was a surprise, was it?
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Old Dec 14, 20, 11:05 am
  #111  
 
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Novice question but how often does United run the bonus? I just missed the last round.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 11:21 am
  #112  
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Originally Posted by Dream of Flying View Post
Novice question but how often does United run the bonus? I just missed the last round.
This is brand new, the first one was in Aug and the second cash was recently -- I would suspect there will be more but when???
There was a mileage (RDMs) bonus for one, so UA may try variations.
Subscribe to this thread as a way to hear if other one occurs.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 5:38 pm
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Brian Chen View Post
Thanks! Weird I dont see it, it's a UNITED flight between EWR and Cancun UA 1052
It should show as long as flights are only UA/UAX. There was a bug a few months ago (I think ore-pandemic where it didnít show up for some people (though I didnít seem to have this issue), but was fixed. Perhaps the bug came back.

Other thought is - did you have other add ons/ancillary fees you bought at the same time as the ticket (E+ fee, upgrade, bundle, extra miles, etc)? My guess is this would also prevent the TravelBank option from showing, as I think itís only valid for new ticket

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
A lot of things nowadays are on shorter time frame to allow flexibility to react if conditions change. It is safer to keep renewing vs going long.
Also near-term expiration might encourage folks to act now versus waiting, not know if it will still be there later.
the last part, Iím sure. Especially with travel/airlines, they are looking to get $ now, and the better if they can get it without a service being purchased (yet). An close in expiry would promote people buying now, although if it truly is just a renewing promo, people will figure it out eventually (though there is always the risk it stops..likely would at some point).

A lot of Chase Offers are like that as well. I constantly have offers for Starbucks, Casper and others that just seem to auto-renew and are essentially there all the time.

Originally Posted by BusinessCasualSport View Post
Does anyone know if travelbank funds can be used for upgrades or is it strictly for purchasing tickets?
tickets only - see terms.


Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
May be old news, but I was surprised to be able to use some TB funds and part of an ETC on one ticket. Really adds value to the TB program!

Screenshot (FT Disclosure: On the blog that I own) and more details:
https://www.dansdeals.com/points-tra...ns-one-ticket/
id guess a bug, and per a more recent comment, seems that they have stopped allowing this. Terms on both ETCs and TB used to say not combinable (but Iíll be honest, have not read terms of either for a while)

back in the day, I was somehow able to apply an ETC on an itin with a codeshare flight operated by US Air - or so I thought. It didnít ticket initially, and then I called in, and they talked about the codeshare and ETC (and they almost tried to cancel the whole thing rather than letting me pay the entire amount on a card, which was going to be an issue since the price was up over $100 each, IIRC). Back at that time, at least, And maybe itís changed, terms said it could be used on Ďselect codesharesí (or some similar wording), without specifyin which. Iíd suspect that is still the rule today.

Originally Posted by Hawkeyefan View Post
Tried to use TB funds for award tix fees and taxes. No dice. What bs.
well, not really surprising, since the funds are for airfare, and not taxes and fees only. TB funds (and ETCs also, for the record) could never be used for taxes and fees on awards.
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Old Dec 15, 20, 10:01 am
  #114  
 
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No option to use my Travel Bank balance at payment. PLEASE HELP!

Going nuts over this. Not sure if it's a result of me searching for the same flight over and over, but the prices of my flights have increased almost 30-40% in the time I've been trying to figure this out (hopefully the price will go back down after waiting for an hour or two).

Every time I get to check out, I try to use my Travel Bank but there is no option under "Redemption Options." The following is an example from Google Images with the Travel Bank option boxed in red:



When I get to the payment screen, I don't see the Travel Bank option anywhere. What gives? I have $500 in my TravelBank that's been there since November. I checked to see if maybe I couldn't redeem that balance because I was booking a Basic Economy fare, but it's the same even with Full Economy. Please help!
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Old Dec 15, 20, 10:06 am
  #115  
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Does your booking include a non-United carrier?
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Old Dec 15, 20, 10:19 am
  #116  
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Have you called UA for assistance? In particular, ask for Web Support.

General tips for UA web issues.
Log out
Clear UA cookies
Close all browser windows
Make sure you log back in

and try a different browser
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Old Dec 15, 20, 10:38 am
  #117  
 
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Originally Posted by alany611 View Post
Going nuts over this. Not sure if it's a result of me searching for the same flight over and over, but the prices of my flights have increased almost 30-40% in the time I've been trying to figure this out (hopefully the price will go back down after waiting for an hour or two).

Every time I get to check out, I try to use my Travel Bank but there is no option under "Redemption Options." The following is an example from Google Images with the Travel Bank option boxed in red:

img

When I get to the payment screen, I don't see the Travel Bank option anywhere. What gives? I have $500 in my TravelBank that's been there since November. I checked to see if maybe I couldn't redeem that balance because I was booking a Basic Economy fare, but it's the same even with Full Economy. Please help!
The website has been updated and usually serves a different payment form than the one in your image. You need to click the TravelBank tab. Also, you'll need to be signed in to use your TravelBank funds.


If those are not the issue, I second the above suggestions.
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Old Dec 15, 20, 11:01 am
  #118  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Closing the loop on this so others may benefit from the info.

Steps I tried to fix myself:
-Different browsers (Chrome and Edge)
-Disabled adblockers (Ublock Origin)
-Cleared all cookies on UA (I use the EditThisCookie extension on Chrome)
-Was signed in to my UA account at all times
-United was the only carrier
-Booking was for round-trip domestic flight that was non-stop each way

Calling UA was also a nightmare. First person transferred me to Chase because they heard "Travel Bank." Chase transferred me back. The line disconnected at some point and I had to call UA again. Got transferred again. Transferred yet again. Finally the last person was able to help me, however by this time the total price increased $100. Went through some troubleshooting steps on the phone. They tried to have me select "pay at airport" but there was a message under "Other Forms of Payment" that said something along the lines of "Alipay and Pay at Airport are not options due to your current selections."

Finally this UA representative was kind enough to book the flight for me using my Travel Bank balance, waive the phone booking fees ($25 per ticket, $50 total?) and assign seats for our first flight that would have cost $54 as this is a basic economy fare, although I've been refreshing my trip details page and it still does not show that I have been assigned seats so I may need to call back if I want to try and get those seats assigned for free..

all in all I would not bother with the travel bank again if it were not for the Amex airline fee credits. what a nightmare.
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Last edited by alany611; Dec 15, 20 at 11:48 am
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Old Dec 15, 20, 11:24 am
  #119  
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Seems like you got a adequate resolution
Originally Posted by alany611 View Post
...
Calling UA was also a nightmare. ...
Whenever having a website issue, specially ask for "Web Support"
Also clearing the UA cookies will fix many things
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Old Dec 15, 20, 11:48 am
  #120  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Seems like you got a adequate resolution Whenever having a website issue, specially ask for "Web Support"
Also clearing the UA cookies will fix many things
Left out clearing cookies on my list of troubleshooting steps, I had done so using a Chrome extension

also good to know now that I should be asking for Web Support, would save me the first transfer
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