Update: United finally gave some clarification on when this would be coming back:
Dear Mr. Derp:
Thank you for contacting United.com Web Support.
Please accept our apologies for the delay in this response.
We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.
Our Gift Registry is down for maintenance and will not be available for contributions and/or updates to the profile until early 2018. You still have the ability to use the funds in your account. The Gift Registry is valid for five years, it does not contain an 18 months expiration. The MileagePlus account where the balance is stored for accrued miles does have an 18 months expiration, however the Gift Registry does not count towards the required activity for the MileagePlus account to remain active.
Please let us know if you have any further questions.
Thank you for using united.com.
United.com Web Support
Between the MR points and the annual travel credits that I need spend on each card, I have not had to spend any money on United for a long time now. This means my United TravelBank is getting unused, and I had a worry today that the funds may expire! My fears were dismissed when I read the terms of the account here and found this:
TravelBank Cash expiration
TravelBank Cash accrued in a Member’s TravelBank account shall be maintained in the account until they are redeemed or until they expire, whichever occurs first.
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 <below>) 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.
“Account Activity” shall be deemed to occur when a Member either (a) accrues TravelBank Cash in such Member’s account in any manner recognized by TravelBank, including without limitation the use of a United credit card, or (b) obtains a TravelBank Award by the use of TravelBank Cash in the Member’s account. In cases where TravelBank Cash is for any reason removed from an account, as for example the use of TravelBank Cash for a TravelBank Award, and there is a subsequent cancellation of a transaction and a redeposit of the TravelBank Cash to the Member’s account, the cancellation of the transaction and redeposit of the TravelBank Cash to the account shall not qualify as “Account Activity.” Neither United’s correction of TravelBank Cash in an account nor Prohibited Conduct shall qualify as Account Activity.
Luckily I hit the account every 12 months in January to load more funds in from my AmEx cards Plat and PRG. The minimum contribution to the account is $25 which is alright when you get an annual statement credit for it. Right now I get about $2,400 a year, and over 20 years (assuming the loophole doesn’t get shut down) it’s gonna be like $48,000 in United credit. This should cover a few trips before I become a useless old man. I’m planning on retiring on this pile of united cash, but what happens if I no longer have the fee waiver, loophole, or AmEx Platnum and PRG cards? Well today my answer appeared with the new United TravelBank Card from Chase. It has no annual fee, and I can trickle in a few bucks into my Travel Bank to keep it alive! Not sure if its exempt from 5/24, the application is here.
Overall the card is not a stellar card, but I would use it to trickle some dollars in after the $150 TravelBank credit on $1,000 spend. More info can be found on Ask Sebby. Now I was reminded that the little known united.com club is a viable alternative to trickle money in to keep it alive, but it is $25 a year!
Update: I went online to put my new Ameriprise card in my registry for another $200 only to find this:
We’re sorry, our gift registry page is currently unavailable for maintenance. You can still use the funds from your gift registry to book travel during this time, but you will not be able to receive contributions or update your registry details. Please check back at a later date.
Hopefully its United prepping the site for the launch of their United TravelBank card and not a shutdown of this little loophole. Lots of buzz about it on flyertalk.
I will be sure to be the next datapoint on this one!