United Airlines has recently updated their website which makes it difficult to apply cash stored in the United Travel Bank that many like to use to withdraw the annual airline credit of various credit cards.
Today I’d like to highlight where and how to apply these credits after the revamp of United Airlines payment process section in order to withdraw the funds properly.
The Travel Bank Gift Registry is a feature where United allows customers (or their friends & family) to purchase travel funds that can be applied to United flights booked through the website although it’s important to be careful as codeshare flights are not permitted to be purchased with these credits.
Last time I wrote about the Travel Bank in August of 2020 when they ran a 10% bonus promotion:
This year I have used the Travel Bank to redeem 2x $100 of my American Express Platinum Airline Credit that were now sitting in the bank.
I was looking to purchase a one way on United from Seattle to San Francisco in early August following my cruise but on the final page it wouldn’t let me redeem the travel bank credits as an option on the main payment page:
When clicking on the link provided in the field above the payment process reverts back to the old version and you then see the previous, familiar field that allows you to apply Travel Bank cash:
If you have a credit card that comes with travel insurance and it requires you to pay at least a portion of your ticket with the card always remember to adjust the amount of TravelBank cash to have a tiny amount to be charged to your credit card in order to make the trip eligible for the insurance coverage.
Purchasing funds for the United Travel Bank has been possible on and off over the last years. There was an extended period where United had disabled their Travel Bank for new purchases/funding altogether. When I started withdrawing my $200 from Amex I was only able to do so via my cellphone, regular desktop access showed the Travel Bank was closed. Go figure.
Redeeming the funds from the United Travel Bank might be more difficult now than before as the option to apply the funds doesn’t show up on the final payment section anymore. United does provide a link to the previous version of the websites flight purchasing mechanism that also also displays available travel bank funds.
I’m not sure why United continues to shuffle around with the functionality of the Travel Bank and it’s redemption options. Nevertheless it has been a good way to withdraw the rather inflexible Amex airline credit over the years.