United TravelBank is United's version of an e-gift card that you can use as a payment method to purchase a United flight ticket. However, each United TravelBank cash has an expiration date based on how each one is obtained. 

How to Extend United TravelBank Cash
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    Does United TravelBank Expire?

    Each United TravelBank can expire based on how you earn them. 

    According to the terms and conditions:

    As a general rule (and unless stated otherwise by United under the terms of a particular offer or the terms of certain qualifying activity as determined by United from time to time) all accrued TravelBank Cash in an Account is subject to expiration and/or forfeiture for any Member who fails at any time to engage in Account Activity (as defined above) for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months. United may, but shall have no obligation to, send a Member a notification of TravelBank Cash nearing or subject to expiration.

    Based on the United TravelBank's terms, there are two (2) expiration policies if you obtain the United TravelBank Cash by purchasing it through the United website:
    • United TravelBank cash expires 5 years after it's purchased. 
    • United TravelBank cash can expire if the TravelBank's account has no "activity" for 18 consecutive months
      • Canceling a United ticket to have the cash returned to the United TravelBank's account is not a qualifying activity. 
      • Adding cash or booking a United flight ticket using TravelBank cash is a qualifying activity. 

    For those that purchase United TravelBank Cash to use up Amex Airline Fee Statement Credit, your TravelBank cash is also subject to the same two (2) expiration policies mentioned above. 

    For those that earn $25 United TravelBank Cash (up to $50 per calendar year) with Chase IHG Premier Credit Card and Chase IHG Premier Business Credit Card:
    • Each year around January 1st, you receive $25 United TravelBank Cash, which expires on July 15th. 
    • Each year around July 1st, you receive another $25 United TravelBank Cash, which expires on January 15th the following year. 

    How to Check When United TravelBank Cash Expires?

    The best way to check the United TravelBank balance is to use the United website on the computer's desktop. This is because I noticed that some TravelBank cash does not show expiration dates through the United mobile app, specifically those obtained through Chase IHG Premier Credit Card and Chase IHG Premier Business Credit Card.

    • Sign in to your United MileagePlus account online.
    • Click to expand Wallet in the left-hand side menu. 
    • Click on TravelBank.
    • You can see your available United TravelBank cash, amount, and expiration date on the page. 

    How to Extend United TravelBank?

    As mentioned above, United TravelBank cash can expire. The expiry date of your United TravelBank cash is based on how your United TravelBank cash was deposited into your account. 

    Suppose you purchase United TravelBank or you want to maximize Amex Airline Fee Statement Credit by purchasing United TravelBank cash through the United website. In that case, your United TravelBank cash is subject to two (2) different expiration policies: 18 consecutive months with no activities in TravelBank's account and 5 years since the TravelBank cash was obtained. To extend it: 
    • Keep your United TravelBank account "active" by booking a United flight ticket using TravelBank cash or adding more cash to your TravelBank account within 18 consecutive months. 
      • Canceling a United ticket to have the cash returned to the United TravelBank's account is not a qualifying activity. 
    • If it's been almost 5 years since you obtained the United TravelBank cash, you can extend it as flight credits for another year. More below. 

    The United TravelBank Cash through Chase IHG Premier credit cards has a much shorter expiration window. You can, however, extend it with the trick of United fight credits through United's flexible booking policy

    Here's how it works:
    • Book a speculative United airlines ticket in at least Economy fare class. 
      • Avoid Basic Economy fare for this trick to work. 
    • Make sure to use your TravelBank cash on the payment page to pay for the reservation.
      • United System automatically uses the TravelBank cash in your account that expires first. So you don't need to worry about selecting which TravelBank cash to use. See below on How to Redeem United TravelBank.
    • After 24 hours, cancel your flight ticket. The value of your ticket now becomes a flight credit that will expire in a year from the ticket issuance date. You can also keep changing your ticket by having the ticket's value follow you until you can travel. 
      • Currently, United has a waiver for any flight credits resulting from cancellation made on or before December 31, 2022. Those flight credits are extended through December 31, 2023, instead of the original ticket issuance date. 

    Therefore, you can extend your United TravelBank cash by another year with the United flight credits trick. Your TravelBank is gone from your United's TravelBank account and has a ticket's value to be used toward the price of a new ticket instead. 

    How to Redeem United TravelBank?

    Redeeming United TravelBank is quite simple. But first, you must know that TravelBank cash can and cannot be used for the following:
    • It can be used to pay for United or United Express flights only. 
    • It cannot be used to pay United flights award taxes and fees, including partner flights. 
    • It can be used to pay and book a United flight ticket for another person. 
    • It cannot be used to pay for fare differences when changing a qualifying United or United Express flight. 
      • For example, if you book a United flight paying with a credit card. After that, you want to change the ticket to a new one that costs more and use TravelBank cash to pay the price difference. Unfortunately, you cannot do that. 
    • It cannot be used in conjunction with United flight credits. In other words, you can only use one or the other, but not both, at the same time to pay for the ticket. 

    Redeeming United TravelBank:

    • Search and book a United flight as you normally do.
    • Select the TravelBank option under the payment method when you are on the payment page. 
    • Specify the amount of the TravelBank Cash that you want to apply for the reservation. See the screenshot below. 
      • Please note that there's no need to worry about selecting which expiring United TravelBank cash to use. The United system automatically uses the TravelBank cash that expires first to apply to your reservation based on the specified amount.  
    • Finish your booking as you normally do. If you owe any balances after the TravelBank cash is applied, you can use any other credit cards to cover any remaining balance. 

    How to Redeem United TravelBank
    How to Redeem United TravelBank