Chase United TravelBank Credit Card Review

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From Seek Capital - Best for United Flyers

Welcome Offer

Earn $150 in United TravelBank cash

Earn $150 in United TravelBank cash after you use your new Card to make $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 Months

Earn

2%Cash Back
Earn 2% in TravelBank cash per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United
1.50%Cash Back
Earn 1.5% in TravelBank cash for $1 spent on all other purchases
25%Cash Back
Earn 25% back as statement credit on purchases of food and beverages on United Airlines flights
$0Annual Fee
No annual fee for the Chase United TravelBank Card

Chase United Travel Bank

Frequent fliers have a lot of credit card options to choose from, but few give you actual cash you can use toward tickets. With the Chase United TravelBank card, you get 2 percent of any ticket purchase and 1.5 percent of any other purchases back as cash in a special TravelBank account, which work just like real cash when you're purchasing a flight. This means you get $20 for every $1,000 you spend on airfare through united.com and $15 for every $1,000 you spend on anything else, including hotel stays, sightseeing tours and everyday necessities.

The Chase United TravelBank card also comes with plenty of perks avid travelers can appreciate, such as 25 percent back for on-board food and beverage purchases, no foreign transaction fees and built-in travel and purchase protection benefits. Plus, unlike many airline and travel points, TravelBank cash never expires as long as you maintain your account in good standing and keep it active — so you can keep socking away cash until you're ready to fly.

Rewards Highlights

  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2% TravelBank Cash Back on United Ticket purchases
  • 1.5% TravelBank Cash Back on Everything Else

Expert Review

The Pros

  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2% TravelBank Cash Back on United Ticket purchases
  • 1.5% TravelBank Cash Back on Everything Else

The Cons

  • No Lounge Benefits
  • Lower Mileage Earning Rate

Recommended Credit Profile

Rates & Fees

  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR17.99% to 24.99%
  • Great ForUnited AirlinesDiningHotels
  • Regular Purchase APR17.99% to 24.99%
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR17.99% to 24.99%
  • Cash Advance APR26.99%
  • Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 5%
  • Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee0%

Prime Your TravelBank Account With a Generous Sign-Up Bonus

If you sign up now, you get $150 in United TravelBank cash when you spend $1,000 within the first three months after opening the account. Maximize your bonus by meeting that $1,000 benchmark with a ticket purchase so you get the full 2 percent back in TravelBank cash, too.

As an example, if you buy $3,000 in United Airlines tickets directly from united.com within those first three months, you get $60 in TravelBank cash plus the $150 bonus, giving you $210 to put toward your next flight. Spending $3,000 on everyday purchases instead would net you $195, or $45 plus the $150 bonus. Applying for the card right before you book an international first-class flight or buy cross-country tickets for the whole family is a great strategy, and you might even manage to scoop up enough TravelBank cash to start planning your next vacation.

Earning and Redeeming Points With the Chase United TravelBank Card

Unlike many travel reward cards, this one gives you actual cash instead of points — but there's one caveat. The cash you earn goes into your United TravelBank account instead of directly in your pocket. You can only use TravelBank cash to pay for tickets on United flights when you book directly through the airline, so it functions somewhere between actual cash and airline miles. When you're ready to book a flight, TravelBank cash works just like cash during the transaction, so $1 in TravelBank cash is the same as $1 in real U.S. currency. The TravelBank system is completely integrated with the United airline booking system, too, so you can pay using your accrued cash with just a few clicks and cover any remaining balance with a credit card.

You can earn TravelBank cash buying just about anything, but you earn faster when you're using the card to book flights on United. Here's how much you earn in each case:

  • 2 percent in TravelBank cash per $1 spent on airline tickets from United
  • 1.5 percent in TravelBank cash per $1 whenever you use your card anywhere else

Other Perks of the Chase United TravelBank Card

Earning TravelBank cash isn't the only benefit you get from the Chase United TravelBank credit card. Because this card is designed for frequent travelers, you also get 25 percentback as a statement credit whenever you order food or drinks aboard any United-operated flight. That's a hefty discount when you're sipping champagne at 30,000 feet or ordering a quick meal before you land.

The Chase United TravelBank card also has plenty of built-in benefits that make traveling, and everyday adventures, easier. These include:

  • An auto rental collision damage waiver covering theft and collision damage when you charge the entire rental cost to your card
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance up to $1,500 per trip for pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fees
  • Purchase protection of up to $500 per claim against damage or theft for 120 days after you buy an item
  • Price protection reimbursement of up to $500 per item for up to 90 days after a purchase if the item is advertised online or in print for less than you paid for it

Associated Fees for the TravelBank Card

There's no annual fee for the United TravelBank card, so it costs you nothing to start racking up cash to use on future flights. This also means that even if you go a year or more without using the card, it still doesn't cost you anything to keep it in your wallet.

If you're a frequent international traveler, you can appreciate one other perk of this card — zero foreign transaction fees. Whether you're swiping your card at a Parisian bistro, paying for your hotel room in Beijing or booking a day cruise in the Caribbean, there are no extra costs. With banks typically charging up to 3 percent in foreign transaction fees, this could add up to significant savings on sightseeing, overnight stays and souvenirs.

Essentially, the Chase United TravelBank card works best for travelers who prefer flying United Airlines. You don't get airline miles, but the actual dollar-for-dollar value of your TravelBank cash helps reduce upfront costs whenever you book a ticket and lets you keep more real cash in your pocket. Because there's no annual fee and plenty of travel-specific perks, it makes sense to keep this card in your wallet if you're a frequent flier.

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