If you have a stack of credit card points or travel miles, you may decide to put your rewards to good use by helping others. This giving method can also be helpful if you want to help a worthy cause but don’t have a lot of free cash to donate. Here are some of the best ways to contribute points and miles to charities.
Donating Credit Card Points
You may decide to donate credit card rewards that you no longer use as you’ve moved on to a better card. Sometimes, it’s possible to get a redemption bonus by donating to participating charities. Here are how the most prominent credit card rewards programs help you give back to your favorite charities and causes.
American Express Membership Rewards
American Express partners with JustGiving to donate to over 1.5 million non-profits in the United States and worldwide.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the best platforms as its Pay Yourself Back feature lets your points be worth 25% or 50% more at participating charities such as Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity and the International Rescue Community.
You can donate Citi ThankYou points to approximately seven organizations, including the American Red Cross, Unicef USA and SmileTrain. The minimum redemption amount is 2,500 ThankYou points for all charities.
Donating Airline Miles
You can also put your frequent flyer miles to good use. Typically, the redemption minimum is 1,000 miles.
AAdvantage miles can be donated to various causes, including:
- Global health and well-being
- Social Good
The minimum donation is 1,000 miles.
Delta Air Lines
You can donate Delta SkyMiles to charities within the United States, Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It’s possible to donate to up to five charities with one donation.
You can donate Southwest Airlines points to approximately seven charities for various causes that include:
- Combatting child and sex trafficking
- Emergency response teams
- Environmental stewardship
- Honor Flights for veterans
- Support for minorities
The United Airlines MileagePlus Miles on a Mission service to donate as few as 1,000 miles to many domestic and international charities. There are many national and local active causes, such as:
- Big Shoulders Fund
- Boonie Babies Saipan
- Guide Dogs of America
- I Am ALS
- Special Olympics
- World Central Kitchen
Donating Hotel Points
These hotel loyalty programs offer charitable contributions.
You can donate Hilton Honors points to numerous causes through PointWorthy. First, create a PointWorthy account and then link your Hilton Honors account to support causes within these niches:
- Arts and Culture
- Environment and animals
- Human services
- International affairs
- Public societal benefit
- Mutual and membership organizations
IHG One Rewards
IHG Points can support domestic and international organizations within these sectors:
- Disaster relief
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Education and employability
- Food provision
- Human rights
Marriott Bonvoy supports several charities that focus on helping children, providing disaster relief, and promoting sustainability and human rights. Additionally, the brand matches up to 100 million donated points to Ukraine assistance.
Is Donating Travel Miles Tax Deductible?
Unfortunately, you cannot claim donated credit card points and travel miles as a charitable tax deduction. However, you still get to help worthy causes, and the lack of this benefit isn’t a deal breaker if you don’t file an itemized return.
Indirectly, you can redeem credit card points as a statement credit to offset paying for donations by credit card. But this strategy only works with select cards that offer cash redemptions.
You may want to help people at your favorite travel destination. Donating points and miles is an easy way to give back to your local community or to others in need across the globe. To accomplish your year-end giving goals, keep these redemption options in mind.