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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

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 Apr 13, 2024, 2:05 pm
  #301  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Mileageplus
Posts: 253
Is there a way to check the history on a Travel Bank account, specifically when an amount in the bank was used for a ticket?
1kprem is offline  
Old Apr 14, 2024, 1:05 pm
  #302  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,438
Originally Posted by 1kprem
Is there a way to check the history on a Travel Bank account, specifically when an amount in the bank was used for a ticket?
Go to your wallet in your United account and click on details under TravelBank Cash and you can see all TB activity. I see it in the app but I'm sure you can see it on the site as well.
hurnik likes this.
friedablass is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2024, 2:08 pm
  #303  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 139
I just tried to add $100 to my united travel bank account by using BOA Visa card, and I got the following message:

Enter valid credit card
The credit card you’ve entered couldn’t be processed. Make sure your information is correct or enter a new card.


I added this visa card to my Travel Bank account long time ago and have used it several times to purchase United travel fund in the past. Most recently I purchased $100 travel bank fund successfully about 2 weeks ago. But today, I got the above error. Anyone knows what the issue is and how to address it? Thanks.
popomama is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2024, 2:15 pm
  #304  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 124
Originally Posted by popomama
I just tried to add $100 to my united travel bank account by using BOA Visa card, and I got the following message:

Enter valid credit card
The credit card youve entered couldnt be processed. Make sure your information is correct or enter a new card.


I added this visa card to my Travel Bank account long time ago and have used it several times to purchase United travel fund in the past. Most recently I purchased $100 travel bank fund successfully about 2 weeks ago. But today, I got the above error. Anyone knows what the issue is and how to address it? Thanks.
I got the same error but for Amex Biz Plat. I'll check back again in a few days. No biggie
Jetrigger is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2024, 9:48 pm
  #305  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,438
Originally Posted by popomama
I just tried to add $100 to my united travel bank account by using BOA Visa card, and I got the following message:

Enter valid credit card
The credit card youve entered couldnt be processed. Make sure your information is correct or enter a new card.


I added this visa card to my Travel Bank account long time ago and have used it several times to purchase United travel fund in the past. Most recently I purchased $100 travel bank fund successfully about 2 weeks ago. But today, I got the above error. Anyone knows what the issue is and how to address it? Thanks.
Originally Posted by Jetrigger
I got the same error but for Amex Biz Plat. I'll check back again in a few days. No biggie
I just purchased $50 using my Hilton Aspire without any problem.
friedablass is offline  
Old Apr 17, 2024, 12:18 am
  #306  
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Top Tier with all 3 alliances
Posts: 11,782
Originally Posted by hurnik
No, can't be done directly, AFAIK.
You'll need to "convert" your Travel Bank to an FFC and then hope an agent will let you convert the FFC to an ETC and THEN you can use it for a farelock. The phone agents *may* be able to do this for you per this January 2024 DP:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/35873740-post236.html

I thought I'd edited the Wiki for Both farelock and Travel Bank for this caveat, but either went mental or it got changed/removed.
Thanks. It is actually pretty easy for a phone agent to purchase a farelocked ticket with TB, with some quick specialist support on their back end....was done in less than 5 minutes.
Xyzzy likes this.
nk15 is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2024, 10:09 am
  #307  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by Jetrigger
I got the same error but for Amex Biz Plat. I'll check back again in a few days. No biggie
I just tried again and it still failed. Did you try for the 2nd time?
popomama is offline  
Old Apr 25, 2024, 11:20 pm
  #308  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,438
Originally Posted by popomama
I just tried again and it still failed. Did you try for the 2nd time?
Have you tried adding the card to your wallet first?
friedablass is offline  
Old Apr 26, 2024, 10:20 am
  #309  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 139
Originally Posted by friedablass
Have you tried adding the card to your wallet first?
it has been in my wallet for 2 years.
popomama is offline  
Old Apr 26, 2024, 11:57 am
  #310  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 3
I'm trying to use my travel bank balance to book a partner flight. I know I need to convert it to FFC first by booking a non refundable ticket. I found a flight that is the same price as the FFC balance I need ($150). When I went to read the terms on the ticket (economy non refundable), it says the taxes & fees are not refundable? Does that mean the FFC balance I get back will be $150 minus the taxes & fees?

Also, does it matter if my FFC is from a US domestic flight if I want to use it to book a flight originating from Canada?
neverworkagain is offline  
Old Apr 26, 2024, 12:49 pm
  #311  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sunny AZ
Programs: HH Diamond, Sixt Platinum, IHG Spire Ambassador, Marriott/SPG Gold .....
Posts: 3,227
Originally Posted by neverworkagain
I'm trying to use my travel bank balance to book a partner flight. I know I need to convert it to FFC first by booking a non refundable ticket. I found a flight that is the same price as the FFC balance I need ($150). When I went to read the terms on the ticket (economy non refundable), it says the taxes & fees are not refundable? Does that mean the FFC balance I get back will be $150 minus the taxes & fees?

Also, does it matter if my FFC is from a US domestic flight if I want to use it to book a flight originating from Canada?
I tried something different 1) book a United flight same value 2) once issued use change flight to arrive at the flight you wnated and pay difference (if any) with CC (all inside the 24h period as if it doesn't work you can cancel for a full refund)
blitzen is offline  
Old Apr 27, 2024, 5:52 pm
  #312  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP, Hyatt Glob, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Plat, Total Wine & More Reserve
Posts: 4,595
Originally Posted by 1kprem
Is there a way to check the history on a Travel Bank account, specifically when an amount in the bank was used for a ticket?
Originally Posted by friedablass
Go to your wallet in your United account and click on details under TravelBank Cash and you can see all TB activity. I see it in the app but I'm sure you can see it on the site as well.
Still visible if TB has zero funds? I am trying to see it got used up.
econ is offline  
Old Apr 28, 2024, 8:53 am
  #313  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
Posts: 4,438
Originally Posted by econ
Still visible if TB has zero funds? I am trying to see it got used up.
I would think so but not sure. I have $0 in travel certificates but "Total Travel certificates" still shows up as a wallet item for me.
friedablass is offline  
Old Apr 28, 2024, 11:47 am
  #314  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP, Hyatt Glob, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Plat, Total Wine & More Reserve
Posts: 4,595
Originally Posted by econ
Still visible if TB has zero funds? I am trying to see it got used up.
Seems I deleted too many words in original post. To clarify, trying to see how/when funds got used up.

Originally Posted by friedablass
I would think so but not sure. I have $0 in travel certificates but "Total Travel certificates" still shows up as a wallet item for me.
In app wallet, I see "Total travel certificates", but no mention of Travel Bank anywhere. On the website, it shows Travel Bank, but only link is to add funds.
econ is offline  

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