I’m not sure how widely known this is, but per Flyertalk (see thread wiki), United recently took down the ability to contribute to Gift Registry / Travelbank. You can still use funds already contributed, but you can’t contribute any more. Here’s the verbiage on the Gift Registry page:
We’ve decided to discontinue the United gift certificate program, so gift certificates are no longer available for purchase. You can redeem any existing gift certificates and check your balance on the Check Gift Certificate Balance page.
As far as I know, this was the only way to buy United gift card equivalent. This means United no longer has any gift card equivalent option for airline credits from Amex Platinum, US Bank Altitude Reserve, etc. You can of course still get credit for other eligible United expenses (such as checked bag fee), and you can still get gift cards from AA, Delta, Southwest, etc. As always, here are the two things I do before buying a gift card for airline credit:
- Read the latest development from a source such as Reddit or Flyertalk. On the latter, there’s a thread for each eligible airline in the Amex forum.
- For Amex cards, select the airline choice BEFORE making the purchase. REMEMBER to do this.
This loss comes at the heel of losing MPX about a year ago. RIP.