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United℠ TravelBank Card Review

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by Chris Thompson Updated
United℠ TravelBank Card

Quickly Boost Your Rewards With an $150 Sign-up Bonus

United is one of the largest and most diverse flight networks in the world. The United℠ TravelBank Card offers the airline’s loyal customers a significant benefits package that can help make their airfare purchases more sustainable.

For every United ticket purchase you make using the United℠ TravelBank Card from Chase, you’ll earn 2% back in TravelBank cash. All other purchases, no matter the spending category, will earn you 1.5% back in TravelBank cash. If you spend $1,000 during your first three months as a cardholder and you’ll earn $150 TravelBank cash bonus to help you start your earnings off on the right foot. 

While many competing credit cards’ rewards points and miles are worth less than a dollar, TravelBank cash is worth its weight in real money when you redeem it toward United airfare. That fact, combined with a 25% savings on all in-flight food and beverage purchases with United, may have United loyalists clamoring to sign up. 

The United℠ TravelBank Card’s fee structure is also quite low. For starters, there’s no annual fee and, since this is a travel credit card, it’s appropriate that it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, either. Cardholders can feel free to slip this card into their wallets on their overseas trips, without worrying about racking up extra charges.

Smart Features

Earning TravelBank cash back rewards - Whenever you make an airfare purchase with United®, you’ll earn 2% back in TravelBank cash. All other purchases will receive 1.5% back in TravelBank cash.

  • Smart Tip - There’s no cap on how much TravelBank cash you can earn, and you don’t need to have enough to cover the entire cost of a flight ticket, as it can be combined with other forms of payment.

$150 TravelBank bonus - New cardholders who spend at least $1,000 in purchases during the first three months following their account opening will receive a sign-up bonus of $150 in TravelBank cash.

Redeeming your earnings - Every dollar of TravelBank cash you earn is worth $1 when it’s redeemed toward airfare for a United or United Express flight. Your rewards are physically spent through your online account at United.com, where you can apply directly to your ticket purchase.

No annual fee - You will not be required to pay any sort of yearly fee in order to remain a United℠ TravelBank cardholder.

No foreign transaction fees - Cardholders will not be charged an extra fee for using their card to make purchases while abroad. That makes the United℠ TravelBank Card a great option to travel with.

25% savings on in-flight buys - If you’re paying for food and beverages with your United℠ TravelBank Card while onboard any United®-operated flight, enjoy 25% back as a statement credit. 

The “Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection” - Cardholder can get some great perks at over 900 hotels worldwide, including daily breakfast, a special amenity for each hotel, early check-in, late check-out and more.

Keeping up with your TravelBank cash - Keeping a close eye on your TravelBank cash earnings is easy. Simply go to United.com and log into your account to view your total balance.

Auto rental collision damage waiver - If you’re renting a car while traveling, you can decline the rental company’s insurance and you’ll be covered by Chase for any damages to the vehicle. Note that you must pay for the entire purchase with your United℠ TravelBank Card for this benefit to qualify.

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance - If an injury or disease is the reason your trip is canceled or called off early, you can get reimbursed for up to $1,500.

Who It Benefits

Those who are frequent flyers on United® Airlines clearly stand to earn the most from having the United℠ TravelBank Card in their arsenal. Because the 2% TravelBank cash back rate applies only to United® ticket purchases, that’s where the majority of your rewards will come from. 

Rates and Fees

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases  

17.49% to 24.49%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Balance Transfers

17.49% to 24.49%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Cash Advances 

26.49% Variable. This APR will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate.

Penalty APR and When It Applies

None

How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases 

Your due date will be a minimum of 21 days after the close of each billing cycle. You won’t be charged interest in you pay the full balance on time every month. 

Annual Fee  

$0 

Transaction Fees  

  •   Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  •   Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

  •   Foreign Transaction Fee None

Penalty Fees  

  • Late Payment Up to $15 if the balance is less than $100; up to $27 if the balance is $100 to less than $250; up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more.

  • Returned Payment Up to $37

  • Overlimit None

  • Return Check None

How It Stacks Up

The JetBlue Plus Card is considered by many to be the best airline-specific, travel credit card. So how does the United℠ TravelBank Card hold up as a newcomer?

The JetBlue Plus Card offers an astounding 6 points per dollar you spend with the airline. That’s three times more than the Chase United℠ TravelBank Card offers. The JetBlue Plus Card also offers 2 points for purchases at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point for spending everywhere else. JetBlue Plus Cardholders also get 50% savings on in-flight purchases made with the card. Two additional perks are 5,000 points for your account’s anniversary and 30,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 during your first 90 days. The United℠ TravelBank Card can’t compete on these benefits.

However the United℠ TravelBank Card from Chase has no annual fee while the JetBlue Plus Card charges $99 a year. For those strongly opposed to credit card annual fees, this could be the sole deciding factor. The United℠ TravelBank Card and the JetBlue Plus Card both require excellent credit to qualify – something for prospective cardholders with less-than-excellent credit scores to keep in mind.

Overall the JetBlue Plus Card is probably the more attractive option for travelers with great credit scores and who don’t mind paying an annual fee. 

Bottom Line

If you’re a loyal United® Airlines flyer, the United℠ TravelBank Card could be a great addition to your wallet. You’ll earn a solid 2% TravelBank cash back on your United® airfare purchases, supplemented by 1.5% TravelBank cash back on everything else you spend. 

However, if you’re not necessarily a United® Airlines loyalist but you’re in the market for an airline credit card, there are likely better rewards options out there, including The JetBlue Plus Card.