Earn Bonus Miles For Funding United TravelBank

Filed Under: United

United Airlines is offering a bonus when you pay now for future travel, but is it worth it?

United Airlines’ 5x bonus miles TravelBank promo

United Airlines is offering five MileagePlus miles per dollar when you add funds to your TravelBank account. For those of you not familiar with TravelBank, this is a way to keep a cash balance attached to your MileagePlus account, which you can redeem towards travel.

There are some restrictions to be aware of with this promotion, though:

  • This promotion is valid through Wednesday, September 23, 2020
  • The TravelBank balance purchased is valid for five years from the date it’s deposited in your account
  • The 5x bonus MileagePlus miles will be deposited in your account almost immediately, and MileagePlus miles don’t expire
  • Purchases are non-refundable, and are limited to $1,000 per promotion per MileagePlus account
  • TravelBank funds can only be spent for United Airlines flights, and not for flights that include travel on Star Alliance partner airlines

United is offering bonus miles when you add TravelBank funds

Is this promotion worth it?

This is the second promotion we’ve seen in recent months for adding a balance to your United TravelBank account. The last promotion offered bonus credit, but I’d actually say that this deal is better:

  • I value MileagePlus miles at ~1.4 cents each, so to me this is like a ~7% return on the balance you add to your account
  • You still earn miles as usual for your flight, and you still earn credit card rewards for your TravelBank purchase
  • If you’re worried about credit card travel coverage for your airfare purchase, you can always partially pay for your ticket with a TravelBank balance, and partially pay for your ticket with a credit card offering travel coverage
  • While the funds expire eventually, five years is a fairly long time
  • Some report that TravelBank purchases are triggering Amex airline fee credits, though there’s no guarantee that will continue to happen

If you fly United with any frequency, then I’d say this promotion could be well worth it.

This promotion could be well worth it if you ever fly United

Bottom line

United is offering 5x bonus MileagePlus miles when you add funds to your TravelBank account. This could be worth considering if you fly United with any frequency, since I value this at an incremental ~7% return on United spending.

Does anyone plan on taking advantage of this TravelBank promo?

  1. Based on FT comments I dumped my remaining Aspire airline fee credits and if they are credited back I’ll switch my Plat and Gold over via chat and dump them as well. I’m a UA flyer (in normal times) so this is a great way to dump credits, get some bonus miles and get 5 years to use the dollars.

  2. I needed to buy xmas flights anyway and took advantage of this. Pretty decent promo. I figure between the miles from flying + travel bank bonus miles + amex points its a decent return.

  3. @chuck I made a booking yesterday with Tavel Bank credits. It can’t be done in the app (even though the app does support class vouchers/etc). You’ll need to do it on the website.

  4. i wonder how it works if you need to be logged into your UA account to make the purchase (obviously) but want to credit the flight miles to another airline — I usually credit UA miles to SQ

  5. I’d love to do this, but I simply cannot find where I do it on the United website. I can see my (zero value) travel bank on my account page. But ‘learn more’ just takes me to the T&Cs page. I cannot see how to buy into my ‘bank’ and take advantage of this offer…

  6. Bought $250 on new Amex Aspire on 9/18, fee credit posted on 9/21. 1250 miles were added to my account by the 20th.

    Thank you for this article, saved my butt on finding something to use the fee credit on before the end of the year w/o flying.

  7. I was able to purchase the $1000 TravelCash max spread across 5 different credit cards to use up
    unused travel credits. The travel credits successfully posted on Amex Platinum, Amex Gold (UA is my designated carrier), Citi Prestige, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa. Credited on all cards with zero issues. Using Travelcash was another story and quite finicky. It wasn’t appearing as an option on UA metal US to Mexico until I removed the PlusPoints upgrade request. Basically, you need to do a straightforward booking on UA metal with zero options added for TravelCash to appear as an option. You can add any additional requests (such as PlusPoints) later.

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