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

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 Mar 23, 2023, 1:56 pm
  #121  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 398
Originally Posted by safari ari
Any data points on Travel Bank refunds, I am looking at 19 days now and had also submitted a refund request for the original ticket over a week ago? Pretty ridiculous the time it takes to refund something in-house.
Send a DM on Twitter. Sometimes they have to push it through. I find that Twitter is someone able to escalate these things.
charlesonmission is offline  
Old Apr 3, 2023, 8:21 pm
  #122  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,555
Anyone know in general, if you cancel a ticket (past the 24 hour purchase mark) that was 100% TB funds, how long it takes United to "refund" the Travel bank funds? (I guess it goes into an FCC?)
hurnik is offline  
Old Apr 3, 2023, 8:42 pm
  #123  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,281
Originally Posted by hurnik
Anyone know in general, if you cancel a ticket (past the 24 hour purchase mark) that was 100% TB funds, how long it takes United to "refund" the Travel bank funds? (I guess it goes into an FCC?)
All cancellations for non-refundable tickets after 24 hours go to FFCs. FFCs tend to generate fairly quickly (occasionally it takes longer if the ticket has a complicated purchase history).
hurnik likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Apr 9, 2023, 5:33 am
  #124  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 14,943
Originally Posted by hurnik
Anyone know in general, if you cancel a ticket (past the 24 hour purchase mark) that was 100% TB funds, how long it takes United to "refund" the Travel bank funds? (I guess it goes into an FCC?)
As already mentioned, past the 24 hour mark this is not a refund. Though once in a while, the system does let you refund slightly after the 24 hour mark, but really, its not supposed to. TravelBank funds, if you are refunding their, does need some manual processing so doesnt happen right away.

If you are canceling your non-refundable ticket after 24 hours, no matter the payment method, correct, just goes to an FFC. Unless more complicated, like canceling after flying the outbound of a round trip, it is immediate (IME) - this is because an FFC is the same PNR with the itinerary removed, and the funds remained attached, so you just need to go in and rebook the itinerary (or now, use the funds as a method of payment towards a new PNR.
SPN Lifer likes this.
emcampbe is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2023, 12:42 pm
  #125  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: LHR, RDU
Posts: 88
Hi, I just got the Chase IHG Rewards Premier. Is there a guide / SOP / how-to document regarding linking your United account to your IHG account? I'm getting the run-around after reaching out to IHG and Chase in terms of how to link my account in order to receive the $25 Travel Bank credit and don't know what to do. Thanks.
rbrad is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2023, 5:29 pm
  #126  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Dia, Amex Plat
Posts: 32,499
Originally Posted by rbrad
Hi, I just got the Chase IHG Rewards Premier. Is there a guide / SOP / how-to document regarding linking your United account to your IHG account? I'm getting the run-around after reaching out to IHG and Chase in terms of how to link my account in order to receive the $25 Travel Bank credit and don't know what to do. Thanks.
http://www.ihg.com/united is not working?
SPN Lifer likes this.
cfischer is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 3:42 am
  #127  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: LHR, RDU
Posts: 88
I get this error message:

"Sorry, this offer is only available for IHG Rewards Premier and Business Premier Credit Cardmembers. If you've received this message in error, contact IHG Customer Care: 1 (877) 424-2449."

I've called that phone # and they gave me another number or told me to reach out to Chase. Will follow up there when I have some more time.
rbrad is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 10:33 am
  #128  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SBA
Programs: UA Gold 1MM, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, Hertz PC
Posts: 953
Originally Posted by cfischer

No issues on my side checking it just now:

tstauck is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 10:44 am
  #129  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Dia, Amex Plat
Posts: 32,499
Originally Posted by rbrad
I get this error message:

"Sorry, this offer is only available for IHG Rewards Premier and Business Premier Credit Cardmembers. If you've received this message in error, contact IHG Customer Care: 1 (877) 424-2449."

I've called that phone # and they gave me another number or told me to reach out to Chase. Will follow up there when I have some more time.
somehow your card is then not linked properly to your account. It started working for maybe a week after I got the card
cfischer is offline  
Old Apr 17, 2023, 11:26 am
  #130  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: SFO
Programs: Free agent; tend to fly DL and UA most
Posts: 42
Datapoint strongly suggesting (although not definitively confirming) that TravelBank funds CANNOT be put towards the purchase Economy Plus subscriptions:

- Yesterday I tried to purchase a $999 Economy Plus subscription (global for myself and one companion) using $200 of TravelBank credits, with the remaining $799 going on my Amex card. I got a $799 pending charge on my Amex but my TravelBank balance stayed at $200, and I neither received a confirmation email nor did the subscription show up in my MileagePlus account. 24hr later I called United to see what the problem was, and the agent told me that the purchase "didn't go through" but wasn't able to provide any more details.
- So I tried to purchase the subscription again just now, but this time not using any TravelBank funds, and it immediately went through successfully (membership is active, confirmation email immediately received).
muaddib89 is offline  
Old Apr 17, 2023, 12:53 pm
  #131  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 14,943
Originally Posted by muaddib89
Datapoint strongly suggesting (although not definitively confirming) that TravelBank funds CANNOT be put towards the purchase Economy Plus subscriptions:

- Yesterday I tried to purchase a $999 Economy Plus subscription (global for myself and one companion) using $200 of TravelBank credits, with the remaining $799 going on my Amex card. I got a $799 pending charge on my Amex but my TravelBank balance stayed at $200, and I neither received a confirmation email nor did the subscription show up in my MileagePlus account. 24hr later I called United to see what the problem was, and the agent told me that the purchase "didn't go through" but wasn't able to provide any more details.
- So I tried to purchase the subscription again just now, but this time not using any TravelBank funds, and it immediately went through successfully (membership is active, confirmation email immediately received).
Did UA ever suggest that Travelbank was eligible as a payment method for subscriptions?

According to the T&Cs:

Use of TravelBank Cash

  1. TravelBank Cash is valid for air travel purchases on United and United Express flights and as otherwise permitted by United. After a TravelBank Award is issued, a service charge may be imposed for each change or cancellation requested by the Member.
I'd never expect it to be useable for other items besides travel. But that's just me.

Other explanation is an error somewhere. Maybe it is technically useable, but there was an error during purchase (happens all the time). Or that it showed up as an option, but shouldn't have. Back in the day, I think not long after the UA/CO merger, the site allowed me to use an ETC (I think?) for an itinerary involving a flight operated by US Air (like I said...back in the day). It didn't ticket, and when I called to inquire a day or so after purchase, the agent almost outright canceled rather than allowing me to pay the amount of the ETC by cash (which they eventually allowed me to do). Will never forget that call...it was from the UA Club in NRT, while I was waiting for the UA-operated flight to BKK.
emcampbe is offline  
Old Apr 17, 2023, 2:45 pm
  #132  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: PEK and BOS
Programs: BA - Blue
Posts: 4,550
(IHG) TB for seat purchase for TA-booked itin?

Apologies for the rather naive question. I'm not a frequent UA flyer, but have a work-related trip booked for me by a US gov TA. The itin is UA out and AS back. Since I don't have status on UA, I wanted to use the paltry $25 I have in my UA travelbank from an IHG card to select a better seat, but the option doesn't appear for me (on app, or website): only allows for use of CC/paypal or travel certificate.

Is this because it's a TA-booked itin, a mixed airline itin, or both? Will calling United help?

It's a fairly short hop, but I am in literally the back row, and wouldn't mind a sl. better seat for essentially 'free money" that would otherwise go to waste...

Help/advice appreciated.

tb
trueblu is offline  
Old Apr 17, 2023, 2:58 pm
  #133  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 11,673
Originally Posted by trueblu
Apologies for the rather naive question. I'm not a frequent UA flyer, but have a work-related trip booked for me by a US gov TA. The itin is UA out and AS back. Since I don't have status on UA, I wanted to use the paltry $25 I have in my UA travelbank from an IHG card to select a better seat, but the option doesn't appear for me (on app, or website): only allows for use of CC/paypal or travel certificate.

Is this because it's a TA-booked itin, a mixed airline itin, or both? Will calling United help?

It's a fairly short hop, but I am in literally the back row, and wouldn't mind a sl. better seat for essentially 'free money" that would otherwise go to waste...

Help/advice appreciated.

tb
You can't use TB for seat fees. Sorry. Consult wiki for more details.
SPN Lifer likes this.
fumje is offline  
Old Apr 17, 2023, 4:26 pm
  #134  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: PEK and BOS
Programs: BA - Blue
Posts: 4,550
Originally Posted by fumje
You can't use TB for seat fees. Sorry. Consult wiki for more details.
Thanks for the swift response...I did read the wiki but it wasn't clear (to me) since E+ was mentioned as a potential use, but on second reading only at time of purchase, not post-purchase...thanks.

tb
SPN Lifer likes this.
trueblu is offline  
Old Apr 17, 2023, 9:00 pm
  #135  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 11,673
Originally Posted by trueblu
Thanks for the swift response...I did read the wiki but it wasn't clear (to me) since E+ was mentioned as a potential use, but on second reading only at time of purchase, not post-purchase...thanks.

tb
For what it's worth, I wouldn't feel the seat fee is worthwhile use of the funds unless you truly have no other purpose for them. I take E+ being free and appreciate it, but I've flown back of the plane many times and wouldn't pay $5 to move into a "preferred" seat.

If there's any chance you'll be booking a personal ticket before expiry of the TB, I'd find $25 off that much better.
fumje 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.