Use United TravelBank for Airline Incidental Credits
Update (Jan. 13, 2022) – United Airlines TravelBank in down again. It shows a “Payment failed – Please try again” error when trying to make a purchase with Amex cards.
But there’s a way to get around this error. Miles to Memories reports that if you add your Amex card to your frequent flyer account on United before doing the purchase, it should go through. Using the app could also work for some.
United Airlines TravelBank has been one of the options to use the American Express credits for airline incidental fees. These are credits offered by the Amex Platinum ($200), Amex Business Platinum ($200), Hilton Aspire ($250), and until last year, the Amex Gold card ($100).
First, you need to select United Airlines as your preferred airline. Then, a $100 purchase at United TravelBank will normally trigger these credits mentioned above. You can choose the preferred airline once you get a new card, and you can change it once per year in January. But even after that, you can always message Amex and a representative can usually change it again.
At the end of 2021, United TravelBank stopped working. I was able to purchase on December 29, but I believe it stopped working the next day. This was the time when most procrastinators were trying to use up their Amex credits.
It wasn’t clear if this was a permanent change just a temporary glitch. But thankfully it turned out to be the latter. You can now make United TravelBank purchases again. Once you log in, you select the amount you want to purchase ($100 or $50 usually works), and then enter your credit card information. Since this is a new year, you can already start working on your 2022 credits and get it out of the way.
Keep in mind that United’s Travel Bank funds do expire. Once you load a certain amount to the TravelBank, you can use that amount for five years on any United operated flight. But, if you fail to to engage in any account activity for a period of 18 consecutive months, you could forfeit your TravelBank balance.
Let me know if it works for you, and if you have received these Amex credits in 2022.