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 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}

Print Wikipost

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

Old Jan 21, 2023, 8:14 am
  #76  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,621
The united.com club was suspended shortly after the points guy ran an article on it and renewals haven't been possible for a few years. It was fun while it lasted!

Travel Bank funds still exist and are a great way to unload airline incidental fee credits on some cards (especially Amex), but I believe that's the only way to grow the balance anymore.
akonradi is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2023, 9:43 pm
  #77  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Saipan, MP 96950 USA (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands = the CNMI)
Programs: UA Silver, Hilton Silver. Life: UA .58 MM, United & Admirals Clubs (spousal), Marriott Platinum
Posts: 15,568
Or simply purchase them, to ensure you have travel funds set aside.

Out of the reach of grasping business collaborators or family members.
SPN Lifer is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2023, 10:28 pm
  #78  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,546
The $5 booking TravelBank credit was closed to new renewals in April 2019 --"TravelBank"- United.com Club & Gift Registry Q&A - No new/renewals as of 23 Apr 2019

The travel bank was going thru a couple re0ncarnations, promo credits for Chase MP cards and CLEAR signups, .... Now IHG cards travel benefits and use of other annual travel credits a present use.
SPN Lifer likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2023, 11:51 pm
  #79  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 14,970
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
The $5 booking TravelBank credit was closed to new renewals in April 2019 --"TravelBank"- United.com Club & Gift Registry Q&A - No new/renewals as of 23 Apr 2019

The travel bank was going thru a couple re0ncarnations, promo credits for Chase MP cards and CLEAR signups, .... Now IHG cards travel benefits and use of other annual travel credits a present use.
And remember the gift registry days? You could send out invites for friends or family to contribute to your TB. 10+ years ago, we covered flights to BKK (on UA metal, in those days) for our honeymoon using that registry.
SPN Lifer likes this.
emcampbe is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2023, 4:06 pm
  #80  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New England
Programs: UA 1P, Hyatt Diamond, HH Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,510
I have a trip booked using TravelBank credit. I try to cancel at T-25 so that it can be converted to ETC rather than going back to TB. When I click the "Cancel option" button, the page came back with the following:

A billing agent needs to manually process your refund

Once our agent processes your refund, we will confirm the transaction via email. We typically process manual refunds within 10 business days, but please allow up to 30. We appreciate your patience.

Is this normal? Will I get ETC after processing?
mediator is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2023, 5:20 pm
  #81  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,546
Originally Posted by mediator
I have a trip booked using TravelBank credit. I try to cancel at T-25 so that it can be converted to ETC rather than going back to TB. ...
Will be FFC, not ETC, if outside the refund period.

Originally Posted by mediator
When I click the "Cancel option" button, the page came back with the following:

A billing agent needs to manually process your refund

Once our agent processes your refund, we will confirm the transaction via email. We typically process manual refunds within 10 business days, but please allow up to 30. We appreciate your patience.

Is this normal? Will I get ETC after processing?
I am guessing you did not wait long enough. Perhaps the original ticketing was delayed. The clock does not start until ticketing, not booking.
It appears you will be getting a refund, not a FFC credit. Refunds with TB can take days and are manually processed.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2023, 5:40 pm
  #82  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New England
Programs: UA 1P, Hyatt Diamond, HH Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,510
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Will be FFC, not ETC, if outside the refund period.

I am guessing you did not wait long enough. Perhaps the original ticketing was delayed. The clock does not start until ticketing, not booking.
It appears you will be getting a refund, not a FFC credit. Refunds with TB can take days and are manually processed.
Thanks! I was able to get refund as a FFC around T-26.
SPN Lifer likes this.
mediator is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2023, 9:04 pm
  #83  
Four Seasons Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: NGS
Programs: UA Silver, ANA MC, HH Diamond, Hyatt Discoverist, Bonvoy Plat, IHG Plat, Shangri-La GC, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,264
Today I tried to purchase a multi-city ticket all on UA metal using the UA website from my desktop PC. When I tried to apply all of my $1,600 in TravelBank credit that showed at the time of payment, it only accepted $1.00 as payment and left the remainder in my account. I tried multiple times but with the same outcome. I also tried with the UA app, but now TB does not show as a payment option on the app, though it did in the past. Has anyone encountered the same problem? Is my only option to call UA reservations?
EDIT: Now when I go back and input the exact same itinerary on the UA website, the TB payment option does not appear, although it did the previous time. It's extremely frustrating to try and use it.

Last edited by Nagasaki Joe; Jan 22, 2023 at 9:50 pm
Nagasaki Joe is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2023, 10:43 pm
  #84  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: EWR/JFK
Programs: AA GLD 1.xMM, MAR SLV, HH DMND, IHG PLT
Posts: 846
Can I use UA travel bank for to purchase FC upgrade?

I booked a ticket using award miles in coach.

Can I use part of my Travel Bank funds plus credit card to upgrade to 1st class? When I try online, I get credit card only as an option, no toggle to pull in TB funds.
miles_navigator is offline  
Old Jan 23, 2023, 12:02 am
  #85  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,546
Originally Posted by miles_navigator
I booked a ticket using award miles in coach....
No
Originally Posted by wiki
Not for in-flight purchases, post-purchase E+ access or upgrades
SPN Lifer likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 28, 2023, 2:37 am
  #86  
GK8
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Programs: Most of 'em
Posts: 128
Originally Posted by GK8
Asking for a friend :P : Has anyone had any luck fixing a travelbank screw up? Say if someone selected $1000 in the drop down instead of $100 and processed the charge? Has since got the run around between customer service, refunds, Mileage Plus and websupport?

So just a data point for anyone who saw this question originally. I emailed UA customer service on January 3 through the form on the website per their instructions. I received a response on January 19 that they would forward to the Web Product Team for review and resolution. On January 23, the credit showed up on my UA account with no further communication. I'll take it!!
ZenFlyer likes this.
GK8 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 5:43 am
  #87  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 403
This is a new error for me. Didn't see this come up in the search:

We are unable to process your request

We are unable to process your request
Please try again later, or contact customer support at 1-800-396-1751

Just before this my wife booked a round trip successfully. I then tried to book a one way for me only and am getting this error. This is all in my wife's account.

Edit: Called the number and seemed to be a website error number. The agent was able to manually book the ticket with the help desk. They got confused trying to put $5.60 on the credit card for travel insurance, so I just had them use all travel bank. I also realize that for my wife round trip, I couldn't get the $11.20 to bill the credit card, so it was also all on travel bank.

Seems that travel bank still has random unexplained IT issues.

Last edited by charlesonmission; Feb 1, 2023 at 7:57 am
charlesonmission is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 10:46 am
  #88  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: OR
Posts: 1,547
Travel Bank to flight credit?

Hi, I bought a ticket using travel bank hoping to convert those to flight credit so I can combine it with another flight credit I had. When I attempted to cancel the travel bank booking within 24 hours, the refund has to be sent to manually processing which takes 7 to 10 days. There is no option for refund to a travel credit instead of the original form of payment. My questions is will the refund process instant after 24 hours since the refund will be issues as flight credit? Or this process still has to be processed manually? Thank you!
neuro0 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 10:55 am
  #89  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Rochester, MN
Programs: UA Silver, Hilton HHonors Diamond, IHG Plat
Posts: 1,830
Originally Posted by neuro0
Hi, I bought a ticket using travel bank hoping to convert those to flight credit so I can combine it with another flight credit I had. When I attempted to cancel the travel bank booking within 24 hours, the refund has to be sent to manually processing which takes 7 to 10 days. There is no option for refund to a travel credit instead of the original form of payment. My questions is will the refund process instant after 24 hours since the refund will be issues as flight credit? Or this process still has to be processed manually? Thank you!
Why did you cancel within 24 hours. It is my understanding the travel credit will be generated if you cancel BEYOND the 24 hours.
seawolf likes this.
Hawkeyefan is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 11:31 am
  #90  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: OR
Posts: 1,547
I was trying to see if there are any options for the flight credit. I vaguely remember seeing it within 24 hours awhile ago.
neuro0 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.