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 Feb 6, 2022, 4:12 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SFO
Programs: OZ *G; HH Diamond;
Posts: 1,649
Originally Posted by gpicur
On Sunday, February 6 I attempted to purchase a one-way "L" Fare Ticket (CVG-SRQ) at the United Website. Everything worked fine until it came time to pay for the ticket. I attempted 5 times to complete the transaction using funds in my TravelBank Account. (the TravelBank Option was visible and it seemingly deducted the $122.09 fare amount from my $250 TravelBank Balance). I used a 2022 Mac Desktop Computer and attempted the transaction using the latest versions of both FireFox and Safari. None of these transactions were successful. The last step being the "Buy Now" and after clicking this the purple icon got dim and I waited 10 minutes each transaction and nothing.

I attempted the transaction a 6th time, but instead of using funds from my TravelBank Account, I used my Amex Credit Card and the transaction completed.

Has anyone else experienced this problem ? I did send an email to both 1Kvoice and CustomerRelations asking if they could get me an explanation to the problem.
Use United mobile App next time. You are not alone in running into this.
SPN Lifer likes this.
geclub1 is online now  
Old Feb 6, 2022, 7:24 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 168
ETC and Travel Bank Question

I am booking a flight, in the near future, from EWR to CHS. I have ETC and Travel Bank funds for about $300 total.

The flight is about $200 so I would have $100 of unused funds that I would wish to use on this flight since I will have no other opportunity to travel.

After I confirm my reservation, in the future if I wanted to upgrade to economy plus or first class, would I be able to have the remaining balance from the ETC or Travel Bank to accomplish this (via the app)?

Thanks.
ContinentalSilver11 is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2022, 8:06 pm
  #3  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,157
Originally Posted by ContinentalSilver11
I am booking a flight, in the near future, from EWR to CHS. I have ETC and Travel Bank funds for about $300 total.....
Unless things have changed recent you can not combine ETC and travel bank on the same reservation

Originally Posted by ContinentalSilver11
... After I confirm my reservation, in the future if I wanted to upgrade to economy plus or first class, would I be able to have the remaining balance from the ETC or Travel Bank to accomplish this (via the app)? .....
You should be able to use the unused credit
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2022, 8:12 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 168
Thank you. Look like Ill have to book one ways to accomplish applying ETC and travel bank the
ContinentalSilver11 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 2022, 6:11 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 168
It also looks like you cant use an ETC to upgrade an existing reservation from economy to first class. Im not seeing that payment option through the app
ContinentalSilver11 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 2022, 10:37 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 14,918
Originally Posted by ContinentalSilver11
It also looks like you cant use an ETC to upgrade an existing reservation from economy to first class. Im not seeing that payment option through the app
i beleive you can use ETCs/FFCs for upgrades, E+, etc. but only at the same time as buying a ticket. Maybe an agent can do it, but not on the website for sure.
emcampbe is offline  
Old Feb 8, 2022, 12:07 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 168
Ill have to try with an agent. ETC is showing as an option to pay for economy plus upgrade after my reservation has been made, however, if I click on a first class upgrade it is not showing me the ETC option.
ContinentalSilver11 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 2022, 4:57 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SRQ
Programs: UA Plat-Million Miler (1.6MM), IHG-Plat Amb; Amex Plat-P, Marriott-Gold;Hertz Gold; Hilton-Gold
Posts: 762
Smile Thanks GECLUB1 !!

Originally Posted by geclub1
Use United mobile App next time. You are not alone in running into this.
Thanks for the tip GECLUB1 !! Using the UA Mobile App I was able to complete another air ticket transaction using my TravelBank funds. Even though I emailed United and provided a detailed explanation of the problem, their response was "go to United.Com" to find an answer to the problem. Once again, Flyertalk proved to be more expeditious and helpful than 1Kvoice and UA Consumer Affairs. Let's hope that in the new wave of Airline Mergers United actually starts to give a @#$% or run the risk of being acquired by Allegiant.
gpicur is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2022, 12:30 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: EWR
Posts: 81
Has anyone had a problem with trying to use TB funds "too soon" after adding them?

I'm trying to purchase a ticket on UA and once clicked the Buy Now button just spins, and never confirms the purchase or loads the next page. I literally just added funds to the bank, so since there's no other IT problems, I'm wondering if this is the issue? I DID have existing TB funds, enough to cover the whole ticket before I added more. But maybe they freeze the bank while they process the payment for adding new funds?
jerseykeebs is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2022, 12:42 pm
  #10  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,157
Originally Posted by jerseykeebs
....and once clicked the Buy Now button just spins, and never confirms the purchase or loads the next page. ...
At united.com? Some with this issue have found the UA app works better
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2022, 12:48 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: EWR
Posts: 81
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
At united.com? Some with this issue have found the UA app works better
Yes, on the website and on a computer lol I never even considered the app, will give it a try thanks

Edit: two one-way purchases went through just fine on the app. Thanks WineCountryUA
SPN Lifer likes this.

Last edited by jerseykeebs; Feb 11, 2022 at 1:40 pm
jerseykeebs is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2022, 6:32 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 707
If you cancel within 24 hours, what happens to the funds? Are they back instantly or locked up for a few days?
Soccerjoshj07 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2022, 6:40 pm
  #13  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,157
Originally Posted by Soccerjoshj07
If you cancel within 24 hours, what happens to the funds? Are they back instantly or locked up for a few days?
It can take some time, could be a week. Seems to be a manual process. TB funds are not the best method to fund a ticket you have a good chance of refunding.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2022, 7:52 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 707
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
It can take some time, could be a week. Seems to be a manual process. TB funds are not the best method to fund a ticket you have a good chance of refunding.
thank you
Soccerjoshj07 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2022, 11:04 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
i have multiple travel bank credits in my account, with different expiration dates, including $100 from Clear expiring soon.
When i book a flight it does not allow me to choose which credit to use first. Does the system know to use the one expiring earliest first?
Thanks.
ctcristo1 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.