[Update: United TravelBank Funding Now Working Multiple Times] Testing Out Using 2020 AMEX Airline Fee Credit Uses, How Will You Use Yours?

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Update: As of today, United is allowing unlimited funding into your TravelBank account! Just refresh the screen after funding your account to fund it again. I chatted with AMEX to change my cards to United and then loaded up my United TravelBank! Read more about TravelBank in the post below and in this post.


Originally posted on 8/4:

There are 4 AMEX cards that give a credit to use for incidental fees on the airline of your choice.

While Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you to use travel credit for anything travel related, including tickets on any airline which can be converted into vouchers, AMEX is far more restrictive.

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However I have had success changing the airline by chatting with AMEX online. 

You can choose to register for the following airlines:

  • Alaska
  • American
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • Hawaiian
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • United

Note that if you have a Business Platinum card, the airline you choose will also be the airline that will give you 35% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 35% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline.

Unfortunately gift cards no longer count for this credit.

But there are plenty of other ways to use your credit.

Tickets under $99 have long been reported to get reimbursement, though those have always been YMMV (Your mileage may vary).

But with airlines like Alaska, JetBlue, and United offering TravelBank credit for when you don’t want to take a flight, it seemed like it was worth trying that out.

Alaska doesn’t fly to Cleveland, so I registered my AMEX Platinum consumer card for JetBlue, and my AMEX Platinum business card for United. If you try this out with other airlines in 2020, let us know how it goes.

I bought a ticket on JetBlue from Newark to San Diego for $98.10 and it was reimbursed with the airline fee credit in just 2 days:

 

After that it was easy to convert the ticket into JetBlue TravelBank funds thanks to the current free change policy. With JetBlue, those funds are valid for 1 year from the date of redeposit:

But you might want to hold off on doing that. If JetBlue cancels your flight, you may be offered a 20% bonus to accept TravelBank funds instead of a refund! Plus if you wait to cancel you’ll have a longer time period to use your TravelBank funds. Just be sure to cancel before your flight departs!

Things didn’t go as well with my United experiment.

On July 16th I bought a $98.10 from Cleveland to Orlando and it was not reimbursed. Go figure.

I could still convert the ticket into a United Electronic Travel Certificate valid for at least 2 years, but I’m already sitting on a pile of those.

Luckily I made an educated guess that the September 8th flight Cleveland to Orlando would be cancelled, and sure enough United notified me on August 2nd that my flight was cancelled.

I called United and got it refunded:

 

But all hope was not yet lost for getting United credit.

On July 31st I funded my United TravelBank with $100, which won’t expire for at least 5 years. That purchase also came with a 10% bonus that officially has a short expiration date, but I wrote about how to extend that as well.

Years ago, before United ended TravelBank funding, that purchase used to get reimbursed with the airline fee credit. I wrote when I posted the deal that I wondered if it would work again.

The awesome news is that it does indeed based on my $100 trial:

 

And on DDF member Aerial Dag’s $250 trial, capped at the $200 Platinum annual reimbursement:

 

Now the only problem is that it won’t let me fund my account again, but hopefully that option will come back after the 10% promo ends. Alternatively, I could also just fund the TravelBank accounts of other family members as the credit can be used for anyone.

As with any credits that aren’t on the official list, there’s always the chance that they won’t work or get clawed back down the line if they determine that it should not have been credited, YMMV!

These are the charges that have been reported to count for airline fee credit:

  • Airline tickets under $99 are sometimes reimbursed.
  • Airline tickets purchased with partial payment on your credit card and partial payment on a voucher or gift card are sometimes reimbursed.
  • Award redeposit and change fees from airline of your choice.
  • Baggage fees from airline of your choice.
  • Flight change fees from airline of your choice.
  • Food and drinks on the plane from airline of your choice.
  • Food and drinks in a club from airline of your choice.
  • Lounge access and club pass fees from airline of your choice.
  • Phone reservation fees from airline of your choice.
  • Pet fees.
  • Seat selection fees and Economy Plus fees from airline of your choice.
  • Standby fees from airline of your choice.
  • AA 500 mile upgrades.
  • Delta Skymiles Select.
  • $9 Spirit Fare Club Membership.
  • United Economy Plus upgrades and Economy Plus Subscriptions.
  • United WiFi Subscription Purchases And Gifts.
  • United WiFi on mainline planes.
  • United TravelBank funding.
  • Buying extra miles or mileage multiplier offered with a ticket purchase online or at a kiosk.

What airline fees have you been credited for on your AMEX card?

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62 Comments On "[Update: United TravelBank Funding Now Working Multiple Times] Testing Out Using 2020 AMEX Airline Fee Credit Uses, How Will You Use Yours?"

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H.C.

What is “travel bank funds”?

Myi

If only the good old days with mpx would work.

But good to hear there’s still some hope.

Just curious what does Amex have to lose by allowing the travel credit to be used more generously like Chase?

Emmanuel Munet Quiñones

I was able to buy a Delta ticket that cost $200.60 (in combination with an eCredit from a coronavirus-canceled flight) and got the full $200 reimbursed.

To clarify, the ticket was $200.60 after the eCredit, so the transaction on the AmEx was just that.

Mickey

Bought an $89 ticket on Delta with Amex Gold card and did NOT get reimbursed.

Dov

Can you refill your united travel bank more than once? I didn’t get the option to refill. If yes will you get the bonus again?

Don

Click at the dansdeals link again.

Memere613

I used it towards mileage multiplier on AA and was reimbursed. (would’ve been nice to see this post a week ago ;p but better late than never)

Abf

I just funded my United TravelBank with my Hilton Aspire card and charge shows as UNITED ELECTRONIC TICKETNG and not UNITED AIRLINE HOUSTON TX like in the post. Does this mean I won’t be refunded?

Chaim

The worst part for me is that with Amex it would not be completely unexpected if they were to claw back the credit in 2 years from now…

united

Bought a United ticket 2 weeks ago ~$85 and did not get reimbursed. Seems from comments on DDF that others also stopped getting.

Wondering if anyone tried the MB method to fund the same United travelbank with multiple Amex cards at one time

United

How do you fund the United TravelBank? When logged into my Mileage Plus account, and I click on learn more under TravelBank, it takes be to credit card offers.

Flying Machine

Hi Dan,

I just tried with a $250 credit to my travel bank account on United, do you think that will go through. I did it for the bonus because I know I’m going to use it. However I saw that you made a transaction less than $100. Which is the best way to go? Thanks in advance

Flying Machine

Update: Thanks Dan! The $200 AMEX/UA credit posted to my account. Couldn’t of done it without you 🙂

Jim

Have you run into this? Listed in the AMEX terms. I suppose one could try calling, but I was not able to make a change online (American to United) because of this.

“Card Members who have already selected a qualifying airline will be able to change their choice one time each year in January”

Alyssa Cohen Kaplan

does travel bank work for luggage fees, seat upgrades etc?

Alyssa Cohen Kaplan

does it work for chase ritz carlton card too?

HoKo

I wish Southwest would hurry up and roll out the functionality to convert canceled tickets into points.

Yitz

If you are booking a flight with a pet you will get reimbursed, on United with my experience

RefundGiftCardsAgain

Any recommendations on how to get Delta credit without travel?

Doug

It worked for me, I used the Hilton Aspire Card to put money on the United Travel Bank, added $250 on the 9th as UNITED AIRLINES HOUSTON TX and was reimbursed on the 11th.

Pj

purchased travel bank 3 days ago…still waiting for credit!

Alyssa

Been waiting for a few weeks. Still not reimbursed

Pj

Reimbursed!

BC

Hi,
What about A”A?

Thanks

John Redman

How, mechanically, did you use the AMEX credit card to fund the Travel Bank? I can’t find a standalone page in my MileagePlus account that provides any access to the Travel Bank.

FYI, I also was just told by a United MileagePlus CSR that you could only pre-fund the Travel Bank with a United Travel Bank credit card.

Appreciate any clarification you can provide

Shmuel

Does baggage fees include paying for additional suitcases, or only overweight fees?

Michael

Got $750 from 2 platinum cards, one gold and one Hilton. Since United is my airline this is pure cash and you get 5x points on platinum

Charlie

What happens to the TravelBank funds after expiration date if you don’t use them?

deals

is it safe to do 250 at once or rather do smaller?

Matt

I did and received the credit.

JH

Dan, I just added $100 to my united travel bank and the charge came up as United electronic ticketing, do you think that it will credit my amex travel credit?
thanks so much

JH

also is there a difference if I use my computer (Which I did) or phone to make the purchase?

Mike

Just a small DP in regards to reimbursements under 100.
I’ve tried United and aa and it didn’t work but seems like JetBlue has there tickets being charged as a fee and I was reimbursed on a 147$ ticket.

spill the beans

Can you use travel bank funds towards buying PassPlus prepaid ticket package?

Avrohom

If I have a Platinum and I have an AU with a Gold card. Do they also get the $100 toward the airline?

BT

Just got “airline fee reimbursement” of $78.10 for a JetBlue flight booked on my AMEX Hilton. Now to cancel and add to bank.

Nicole

I just tested United travel find with 250 on 9/4 , I got credited 250 airline credit !

PAS

No data points in the last week — are we still being refunded?

HELOC

Likely no longer working!

Funded United Travel bank on 9/10 and as of this writing (9/16) have not been reimbursed

PAS

Purchased 9/12, posted 9/13 as “UNITED AIRLINES HOUSTON TX,” refunded 9/15! 2x $50 purchases on same Amex Plat.. Going in again now for remaining $100 on first card and $200 (2x $100) on Morgan Stanley Amex Plat.. Interestingly, for all 4x clicks-to-purchase, I got the ‘Payment failed – Please try again’ error message in a red box on https://www.united.com/offers/travelcash, but they all posted/show as pending — anyone else experience this?

Tal

Deposited 4 * $50 = $200 to united travel bank. Automatically credited after 48-72 hours.

PAS

Just got another 2x$100 back this morning.

James

Purchased on 09/20, credited on 09/23

James

Also, it looks like the webpage is no longer working. The website doesn’t load anything once I sign in to my account to try and make a purchase.

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