(Alive Again?) United Travel Bank Appears Dead For Amex Airline Incidental Credits

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United Travel Bank Appears Dead For Amex Incidental Credits

United Travel Bank Appears Dead For Amex Airline Incidental Credits

Update 2/19/21: It appears there is a report of this working again on Flyertalk.

It appears another Amex incidental credit option bites the dust. There are multiple reports on Flyertalk, Travel on Point(s) and Travel Reward Warrior that the coding for these charges have changed.  It appears the purchase now codes as “gift certificate” instead of “special service ticket”.

This was an option to use up your American Express airline incidental with ease.  It would allow you to use the money to book a flight at a later date.  Amex has been closing a lot of these loopholes over the past few years, since they are not a part of the intended options. As these options close up people will start to reconsider more and more if carrying these expensive cards makes sense long term.

While I don’t fault American Express for enforcing their terms I do think their terms make the credits the most difficult in the space that is their right.  It is all in an effort to create breakage so that they can flaunt large credits while they know many people will not use the full value.

If you had selected United to use this option you can still change your airline choice via Amex Chat.  They have been willing to change it without much of a fight.

All that is left is waiting to see if purchases made early in the year result in a clawback.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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18 COMMENTS

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe this is why Amex Platinum has implemented other types of credits. Thinking of the PayPal, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc. Really annoys me as I was just about ready to purchase $100 UA Travelbank with my Gold card. For that card, they are giving $120 Uber instead. Hello Amex, I get credits from CSR for Lyft. I don’t need more credits that I cannot use.

  2. I was able to capture my CC airline/travel credits with United Travel Bank last month because of the article/tips here, thank you very, very much.

  3. I had gut feeling that this will go away soon. Used mine for Gold, Plat & Aspire on 1/6. All reimbursed.
    Guess now waiting for clawback… or working on 2022 reimbursement.

  4. I don’t recall ever reading about this loophole on your blog?? Did I miss it?
    What other loopholes are still available to use the $200 AMEX credit on & how??

    Looking forward to your reply – otherwise, what is the point of subscribing to a travel rewards type blog that does not really pass along valuable information.

  5. Maybe just me but I really don’t get all the angst over Amex flight credits. Sure they aren’t as useful or flexible as the CSR credits but I find them very easy to use on AA and receive pretty much full value. I’m Platinum for life so bag fees, seat assignments, etc don’t apply to me. However, I have a daughter in college that flies home 2-3 times a year and I can easily use the credit to cover her checked bag fee (if I haven’t booked her first class like I often do). Also, I use them for upgrade certificates. I realize if you are EP those aren’t needed but a lowly lifetime Platinum (retired now after 35 years of heavy travel) can make use of them. Also good for Admirals’ Club day passes but I have a Centurion Lounge at my home airport so why would I ever go into an Admirals’ Club.

    As for the annual fee. Maybe I’m an out of touch old rich white guy but I don’t think $550 a year moves the needle for people. I have the Amex Platinum, Amex Gold, CSR and Delta Amex Platinum so that is $1600 a year (plus a handful of hotel/airline cards w fees under $100) and I find them all well worth it. Even if you don’t get full value from the airline credits, the Saks credit, Uber credit, lounge access (yes I’m still traveling) and special offers easily cover what you pay and then all the other benefits (like the $2000 we saved on business class seats to Italy using their international airline program) are gravy.

    Those that complain about the annual fee probably shouldn’t have the card in the first place IMHO

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