United just launched another affiliated credit card, this time a credit card with no annual fee that earns up to 2% cashback in United’s TravelBank, good for future ticket purchases! You don’t pay foreign exchange FX fees, get some travel insurance and a 25% discount on food & drink purchased onboard. Is that enough to make this card interesting for United customers? Find out all the details below!
When I first moved to the United States, I refused to get any credit card that required an annual fee, as it didn’t make sense to me at the time. Fast forward 20+ years, and I have learned that annual fees can be worth it – depending on how you value the perks that come with the card and your spending pattern. But I do understand anybody who doesn’t want to pay a fee ever. And for those folks, there is now a new card:
If you are new to this site, please read “how we evaluate credit cards”. I do not hold the United TravelBank Visa card and receive no compensation for this review and have no affiliate links.
Here is a summary of what the United TravelBank Visa Signature Card offers:
- Sign-up bonus of $150 TravelBank Cash, after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months;
- Earn Cashback for Spend
You earn 2% per US$ spent on United tickets and 1.5% on everything else
- 25% Discount on Food & Beverage Purchases onboard United flights
- Trip & Car Rental Insurance Benefits
- Visa Signature Benefits
- No annual fee, 0% foreign exchange fee, EMV chip
The sign up bonus of $150 is not bad for a no-annual-fee card, but requires a relatively high minimum spend of $1,000. The similar Delta AmEx card offers a similar bonus after only $500 spend.
The United TravelBank card earns 2% TravelBank cash on United ticket purchases and 1.5% on everything else. It’s important to note that this is a cashback equivalent in United’s TravelBank, only good for future United tickets. You can not convert this into United MileagePlus miles to earn award tickets, status or prevent miles from expiring! While 1.5% is not a bad rate, other cards like the Citibank Cashback Card offer 2% on everything and without limits on what to use the cashback for!
You also get a 25% discount on food & beverage purchases onboard United, which is most interesting to anybody flying United domestically in Economy. It sounds great, but you’ll have to buy a lot of snack packs and sandwiches for this to add up to significant value! You know who you are!
The card also offers car rental CDW, trip cancellation or interruption insurance and Visa Signature benefits – all very comparable to other cards.
A great feature for any travel credit card is that you don’t have a foreign exchange fee, which makes this a great card to use abroad. If you don’t travel internationally very often and don’t have a card without FX fee, that can make this no-annual fee card interesting!
You can read all the details, terms & conditions and sign up here!
Bottomline: The United TravelBank Visa card is an interesting addition, yet with very narrow appeal: If you are a frequent United traveler, you are probably better off with the United Explorer card ($95/year), which offers a lot of priority benefits and earns MileagePlus miles. If you don’t want to pay the fee, but want to still earn miles to extend your expiration, you can downgrade it to a no-fee card (I did!) with limited benefits. If you want the highest cashback, the Citibank Cashback Card offers 2% on everything without usage limitations.
That leaves people who are loyal to United, but don’t care about miles or status, order lots of food & drink onboard and travel occasionally abroad and just hate annual fees as the target audience. If that’s you, congratulations – you found your card. Everybody else has better alternatives!