The United Gift Registry should be coming back “early” 2018 according to United. The registry works like most other registries in that you can set up an account, send out notifications to all of your family and friends, and then receive funds into your TravelBank which you can then use on United operated flights. People use these registries for all sorts of special events including weddings, birthdays, etc.
Why should I care about the Gift Registry?
What makes the registry worthwhile for a lot of folks is that you can use your Platinum Card from American Express or Premier Rewards Gold Card to make a “donation” to your own registry. In the past this activated the Platinum’s $200 travel credit so it effectively allowed you to make a $200 United gift card purchase and get reimbursed for it (the $100 credit for the Premier Rewards Gold Card worked fine as well).
A while back, however, the registry was taken down. You could still use your funds from the registry but you couldn’t add funds to an account so this lucrative redemption opportunity has not been available. The question now will become will these Amex travel credits on the United Gift Registry still work once it becomes live again?
Will it still work for Amex travel credits?
We’ll have to wait and see what the first few data points show. Typically, it only takes a few days for the travel credits to show up on your account (barring any delays), so we should know something pretty quickly. In the past one could make a single $200 contribution and get reimbursed so it’s possible that the contributions might have to be in smaller increments as well. We’ll just have to wait to find out.
Early 2018 could mean as late as the spring so if you’ve been waiting for the turn of the calendar to utilize your new travel credit, it might make sense to go with another airline. You can read about some of the options that still work for the Amex travel credit here. Make sure you pay attention to the specific differences in the types of purchases, as there can be a different outcome depending on certain factors (e.g., buying an eGift card versus a physical card, purchase amounts, etc.). Although a lot of methods have died out over the past couple of years, you’ll see that there are still some very solid options for using those credits on other airlines like American ans Southwest.
If the United Registry comes back and still allows for Amex travel credits to work this will be great news for Platinum Cardmembers like myself who frequently fly United, so let’s hope it comes back without any issues.