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

Old Dec 3, 2020, 5:44 pm
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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 users 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 members 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}

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

Old Jul 10, 2023, 7:51 am
  #181  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 746
Originally Posted by ZenFlyer
Can you share where you read that? My understanding is that it won't work for an in-flight purchase, but it might work for a "day pass" which is considered a subscription product.
I can't seem to recall the site. It was on a travel blogger site.
iowa guy is offline  
Old Jul 13, 2023, 9:34 pm
  #182  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 1,071
Does the non-refundable non-basic economy fare have to exceed the Travelbank funds in order to eventually qualify for FFC upon cancellation after 24 hours?

I plan to use $75 Travelbank funds.

If I choose to purchase a $74.90 flight (using 100% of Travelbank funds and put nothing on credit card), will I qualify for FFC upon cancellation after 24 hours?
or does flight have to be a few dollars more than my Travelbank funds used (such as $75 Travelbank funds + a few dollars charged on credit card) to qualify for FFC?
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Old Jul 13, 2023, 9:37 pm
  #183  
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Originally Posted by hightide
Does the non-refundable non-basic economy fare have to exceed the Travelbank funds in order to eventually qualify for FFC upon cancellation after 24 hours?

I plan to use $75 Travelbank funds.

If I choose to purchase a $74.90 flight (using 100% of Travelbank funds and put nothing on credit card), will I qualify for FFC upon cancellation after 24 hours?
or does flight have to be a few dollars more than my Travelbank funds used (such as $75 Travelbank funds + a few dollars charged on credit card) to qualify for FFC?
any non-refundable (and non basic) ticket canceled after 24 hours will get you FFC, no matter where the funds came from. If you use less than the full amount of what is in your TB though, youll leave whatever the funds leftover on the table when they expire. So most opt to use those TB funds in whole. But its really up to you.
hightide and ZenFlyer like this.
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Old Jul 13, 2023, 9:40 pm
  #184  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 1,071
Originally Posted by emcampbe
any non-refundable (and non basic) ticket canceled after 24 hours will get you FFC, no matter where the funds came from. If you use less than the full amount of what is in your TB though, youll leave whatever the funds leftover on the table when they expire. So most opt to use those TB funds in whole. But its really up to you.
Thanks - I don't mind leaving just $0.10 on the table.
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Old Jul 20, 2023, 8:13 am
  #185  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 33
Anyone signed up for the AMEX green card with the 20% back on travel use it successfully on united travel bank?
atluu is offline  
Old Jul 20, 2023, 1:22 pm
  #186  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,528
Originally Posted by atluu
Anyone signed up for the AMEX green card with the 20% back on travel use it successfully on united travel bank?
AMEX / TravelBank discussions in Airline fee $250/$200 reimbursement reports: UA only (2023)
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jul 22, 2023, 5:02 am
  #187  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Charlotte NC USA
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, AA Exec Plat, Alaska 75k, IHG Diamond, Wyndham Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 868
Hoping for guidance on using travel bank credit for UA metal flight originating in San Salvador (SAL) and landing in Seattle (SEA).

Can't figure out why United's payment page is showing travel credits (which actually wouldn't work, as they are in a different name), but not the travel bank as a valid payment form.

This is in desktop google chrome. Suggestions most appreciated, and apologies if I missed a reference to a scenario like this upthread.
DaveH is offline  
Old Jul 22, 2023, 5:47 am
  #188  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Programs: UA1K
Posts: 524
Originally Posted by DaveH
Hoping for guidance on using travel bank credit for UA metal flight originating in San Salvador (SAL) and landing in Seattle (SEA).

Can't figure out why United's payment page is showing travel credits (which actually wouldn't work, as they are in a different name), but not the travel bank as a valid payment form.

This is in desktop google chrome. Suggestions most appreciated, and apologies if I missed a reference to a scenario like this upthread.
Just tried to do a dummy booking for this. Are you on the US version of the United website? Otherwise, it doesn't work
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unitedwildcat is offline  
Old Jul 22, 2023, 6:39 am
  #189  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Charlotte NC USA
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, AA Exec Plat, Alaska 75k, IHG Diamond, Wyndham Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 868
Originally Posted by unitedwildcat
Just tried to do a dummy booking for this. Are you on the US version of the United website? Otherwise, it doesn't work
Great catch. United keeps defaulting to the El Salvador currency option (shown at the top of the page). I have to manually change it back to US / USD. The ticket stays the same price, and then I DO get the travel bank option. Never would have guessed that it would auto change. Thank you!
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Old Jul 23, 2023, 2:05 am
  #190  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sky
Posts: 245
Originally Posted by xinux
don't forget to hook it up with United Airlines' frequent flyer program
Is this required? I have been attaching my Aeroplan number without issues, except the time when the wrong eTicket number got attached to an Air Canada itinerary.
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Old Jul 23, 2023, 3:01 am
  #191  
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Originally Posted by mrkenneth
Is this required? I have been attaching my Aeroplan number without issues, except the time when the wrong eTicket number got attached to an Air Canada itinerary.
For TravelBank?

Travelbank funds are via a MileagePlus account/profile, and you cant have them if you dont have one (I think it has to be a US-based account, also, though not sure if thats still the case or if its enforced if it is).

You need to be logged into said MP profile to use the TB funds. But if you are booking a ticket, you can attach whatever frequent flyer number you want - MP or partner - at time of booking or afterwards.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 4:41 pm
  #192  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sky
Posts: 245
Originally Posted by emcampbe
For TravelBank?

Travelbank funds are via a MileagePlus account/profile, and you cant have them if you dont have one (I think it has to be a US-based account, also, though not sure if thats still the case or if its enforced if it is).

You need to be logged into said MP profile to use the TB funds. But if you are booking a ticket, you can attach whatever frequent flyer number you want - MP or partner - at time of booking or afterwards.
Okay, I make the purchase in my MileagePlus account but attach an Aeroplan number at the time of booking. Just wanted to see if I had been missing something based on xinux's post. I have never had the option to change the frequent flyer program after booking though.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 7:30 pm
  #193  
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Originally Posted by mrkenneth
I have never had the option to change the frequent flyer program after booking though.
You can always do that. Some limitations with award tickets, but otherwise ... change away.
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Old Jul 25, 2023, 12:53 am
  #194  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sky
Posts: 245
Originally Posted by cfischer
You can always do that. Some limitations with award tickets, but otherwise ... change away.
Is there a way to do it online or do I have to call in? I remember being able to change it during online check-in but I no longer see that option either.
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Old Jul 25, 2023, 7:08 am
  #195  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dreamland
Posts: 935
There's an interesting question in the Frequent Miler blog comments today on Free checked bags for United Chase card holders paying with Travel Bank entirely (vs putting a small amount on the card and the balance with Travel Bank) and still getting free checked bags. Wondering if any insight here/DPs?
levilevi is offline  

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