Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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

Old Dec 3, 2020, 5:44 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
United Travel Bank is an online account in which funds can be stored for future purchase of United or United express flights, as well as certain subscription products on United.com and the United mobile app. Other types of purchases (e.g. certain upgrades, inflight purchases) are not currently eligible. If you have an available Travel Bank balance and are making an eligible purchase, the option to use Travel Bank will appear at checkout. Travel Bank funds can be used in combination with another commercial payment method (i.e., not including FFCs or ETCs) in an amount of the userís choosing. User-purchased funds expire 5 years after deposit; funds received through credit cards and other promotions may expire earlier. Purchases as need to be in USD $ and point of sale USA.
See TravelBank Terms and Conditions

History
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
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.

Potential Uses
TravelBank purchases can be used to assist in meeting credit card spend requirements and accumulating points/miles (including on United co-branded cards). Additionally, TravelBank can be used for bank credit card travel reimbursement funds (e.g. AMEX). As of 2022, certain IHG credit cards provide users with a $50 deposit of TravelBank funds every six months for short-term use. New Chase IHG Credit Card Options

Q&A

What can I use Travel Bank funds for?
1. Only for an all UA-operated itinerary
2. Most United subscriptions (E+, baggage, wifi, etc.)
3. Not for in-flight purchases, post-purchase E+ access or upgrades
4. Cannot be used to pay just taxes on flights or other purchases, per the current T&Cs
5. But, T&Cs do mention "TravelBank Awards" as eligible purchases -- miles & cash co-payments???? Unclear what this is referring to
6. Including a Travel Bundle may block TB usage

Technical Limitations
- Sometimes the app is more reliable than the website. It may sometimes still fail to show as a payment option and you may need to use an phone/twitter/FB/... agent.
- There have been reports that the Travel Bank option may not appear if doing Advance Flight Searches with options selected such as upgrade availability. Also, may not show TB as a payment when coming from Google flight.
- 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

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 or https://www.united.com/en/US/account/travelbank
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?
When cancelling within 24 hours, the funds go back to original form of purchase, so the Travel Bank portion of the funds go back to the Travel Bank. (most likely with original expiration date and not a new date). FFCs will be issued for non-refundable tickets cancelled more than 24 hours after purchase.

For a refundable ticket purchased with Travel Bank or any ticket refunded in 24 hours of original purchase, funds should go back to Travel Bank, even when cancelled more than 24 hours after purchase. However, changing to a cheaper fare will result in the fare difference not crediting back to Travel Bank. Instead, cancel the ticket and rebook. Note return of TB refunds can takes multiple days or even up to 2 weeks. TB fund use may not be a good idea if a refundable cancellation is a high probability,

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

Archive: UA "TravelBank" Q&A {Archive}

Print Wikipost

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

Old Jun 8, 2023, 8:48 pm
  #151  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,693
Originally Posted by Remxed
... but never received the refund for my travel bank...
How long has it been?
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jun 8, 2023, 8:50 pm
  #152  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
How long has it been?
3 weeks
Remxed is offline  
Old Jun 8, 2023, 8:55 pm
  #153  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,693
Originally Posted by Remxed
3 weeks
Anything more than 2 weeks is too long, try https://united.com/refunds
SPN Lifer and Remxed like this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jun 11, 2023, 9:59 pm
  #154  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 270
Can I use my TravelBank to purchase a united flight, cancel and get a FFC, then use that for a partner flight?
iamflyer is offline  
Old Jun 11, 2023, 11:20 pm
  #155  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,693
Originally Posted by iamflyer
Can I use my TravelBank to purchase a united flight, cancel and get a FFC, then use that for a partner flight?
Yes
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jun 12, 2023, 7:43 pm
  #156  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Anything more than 2 weeks is too long, try https://united.com/refunds
So I submitted a refund request. I received an email from United that the Travel Bank funds have been refunded under "Gift Accounting" with program year 2023. Does "gift accounting" mean Travel Bank? Because my Travel Bank balance still shows $0... unless I need to wait another 2 weeks?
Remxed is offline  
Old Jun 15, 2023, 8:07 am
  #157  
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Posts: 1
I see a couple travel blogs sites like this one travelupdate.com/ united-travelbank-funds-expiration-policy/ that mention this expiry clause

"As a general rule (and unless stated otherwise by United under the terms of a particular offer or the terms of certain qualifying activity as determined by United from time to time) all accrued TravelBank Cash in an Account is subject to expiration and/or forfeiture for any Member who fails at any time to engage in Account Activity (as defined above) for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months. United may, but shall have no obligation to, send a Member a notification of TravelBank Cash nearing or subject to expiration."

But I don't see any mention of this clause in the T&C. am I looking in the wrong place or does this clause no longer apply?

I'm worried because I'm getting close to 18 month mark.
Lawrenz is offline  
Old Jun 15, 2023, 8:49 am
  #158  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,570
Originally Posted by Lawrenz
I see a couple travel blogs sites like this one travelupdate.com/ united-travelbank-funds-expiration-policy/ that mention this expiry clause

"As a general rule (and unless stated otherwise by United under the terms of a particular offer or the terms of certain qualifying activity as determined by United from time to time) all accrued TravelBank Cash in an Account is subject to expiration and/or forfeiture for any Member who fails at any time to engage in Account Activity (as defined above) for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months. United may, but shall have no obligation to, send a Member a notification of TravelBank Cash nearing or subject to expiration."

But I don't see any mention of this clause in the T&C. am I looking in the wrong place or does this clause no longer apply?

I'm worried because I'm getting close to 18 month mark.
I raised the same issue a while back. Here's the answer I got on FT

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/33560330-post266.html

(basically IMO, FT wiki says one thing, T&C on UA say differently but we're to trust what FT says over UA T&C).
hurnik is offline  
Old Jun 15, 2023, 9:16 am
  #159  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sunny AZ
Programs: HH Diamond, Sixt Platinum, IHG Spire Ambassador, Marriott/SPG Gold .....
Posts: 3,261
Originally Posted by Lawrenz
I see a couple travel blogs sites like this one travelupdate.com/ united-travelbank-funds-expiration-policy/ that mention this expiry clause

"As a general rule (and unless stated otherwise by United under the terms of a particular offer or the terms of certain qualifying activity as determined by United from time to time) all accrued TravelBank Cash in an Account is subject to expiration and/or forfeiture for any Member who fails at any time to engage in Account Activity (as defined above) for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months. United may, but shall have no obligation to, send a Member a notification of TravelBank Cash nearing or subject to expiration."

But I don't see any mention of this clause in the T&C. am I looking in the wrong place or does this clause no longer apply?

I'm worried because I'm getting close to 18 month mark.
Wasn't that the "old" expiration rule? Now all balances expire after a set period of time (5yr?) and the 18 month activity was overwritten
blitzen is offline  
Old Jun 15, 2023, 1:08 pm
  #160  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 14,993
Originally Posted by blitzen
Wasn't that the "old" expiration rule? Now all balances expire after a set period of time (5yr?) and the 18 month activity was overwritten
something like that.

donít remember the old rule exactly - but at one point, terms had any leftover funds after two years (I think?) of inactivity going into an ETC - automatically I think - then you had the standard year after date of issue to use. I never had a problem using funds so never tested that. Then they stopped the transfer to an ETC and just had it expire after however long of inactivity, then they went to each individual deposit being valid for 5 years. There were also some promos where you got balances that expired at specific times - I had a CLEAR sign up where I got $ in TravelBank and I think those were available until a certain date - maybe about 6 months? Had a promo also at some point on one of my UA cards (select) where meeting certain spend over a quarter netted me funds that had a certain amount of time to use it. Months not years. Think IHG card has something like that as well where you get a deposit with a specific expiry. A bit more complicated now as different balances have different expiration, so need to keep decent track of which funds expire when.
emcampbe is offline  
Old Jun 15, 2023, 2:14 pm
  #161  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,693
Originally Posted by Lawrenz
I see a couple travel blogs sites like this one travelupdate.com/ united-travelbank-funds-expiration-policy/ that mention this expiry clause

"As a general rule (and unless stated otherwise by United under the terms of a particular offer or the terms of certain qualifying activity as determined by United from time to time) all accrued TravelBank Cash in an Account is subject to expiration and/or forfeiture for any Member who fails at any time to engage in Account Activity (as defined above) for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months. United may, but shall have no obligation to, send a Member a notification of TravelBank Cash nearing or subject to expiration."....
Ancient, out-od-date rule and the actual expiration depends on how the fund got into the Travel Bank -- see wiki for examples.
If you used a credit card to purchase TB funds, you have 5 years

Believe this is considered by same US states as a gift card and many states forbid expiration in less than 5 years While other states are less but easier for UA to use the longer requirement for all.
SPN Lifer and ZenFlyer like this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jun 15, 2023, 3:32 pm
  #162  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Washington, D.C.
Programs: AA, but I play the field
Posts: 1,529
The info on Travel Bank is not well organized on the United website, which also appears to have been changed recently. That said, if you follow the link that says "Purchase Travel Bank Funds" the following Tems and conditions appear at the bottom of the page:

SPN Lifer and hurnik like this.
ZenFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 26, 2023, 11:35 pm
  #163  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Programs: Nectar Card
Posts: 1,108
If you cancel a flight (booked with TravelBank) within 24 hours of booking, does it go back to your TravelBank? I would think it goes to original form of payment, but could see UA IT maybe messing it up.

If you cancel after 24 hours, does it easily and seamlessly become a FFC or ETC? Again, I wish I could be more confident in UA IT.

Last edited by futuramadramallama; Jun 27, 2023 at 12:50 am Reason: Typo
futuramadramallama is offline  
Old Jun 27, 2023, 12:09 am
  #164  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,693
Originally Posted by futuramadramallama
If you cancel a flight booked with TravelBank within 24 hours, does it go back to your TravelBank? I would think it goes to original form of payment, but could see UA IT maybe messing it up....
It will but can take up to 2 weeks

Originally Posted by futuramadramallama
If you can after 24 hours, does it easily and seamlessly become a FFC or ETC? Again, I wish I could be more confident in UA IT.
It will go to FFC, fairly quickly.

While nothing is never 100% guarantee, your pessimism may turned up too high.
futuramadramallama likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jul 5, 2023, 6:27 pm
  #165  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by futuramadramallama
If you cancel a flight (booked with TravelBank) within 24 hours of booking, does it go back to your TravelBank? I would think it goes to original form of payment, but could see UA IT maybe messing it up.

If you cancel after 24 hours, does it easily and seamlessly become a FFC or ETC? Again, I wish I could be more confident in UA IT.
Any luck? I am wanting to book short route and cancel to convert it to travel cert.
I had another question that i have some travel certificate expiring end of this year from COVID time, would they get extended if i get additional travel certificate credits?
Rik_Des is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.