How to turn loyalty program points into charitable donations

This holiday season, support your favorite charities and nonprofits by donating points and miles.

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WWhile the holidays lend themselves to the traditions of material gifts, there is also an important element of giving back associated with the holiday season. Thanks to collaborations with selected charities, many loyalty programs allow their members to engage in charitable actions without ever pulling out a checkbook or credit card. Everyone has their own platform for converting points or miles into donations, often monetary equivalents.

While donating points and miles doesn’t qualify for any tax deduction, it allows frequent travelers and credit card holders to make a difference without spending a dime. Here are nine programs where you can redeem points and miles for good this holiday season.

1. American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines allows you to donate your AAdvantage miles to partner organizations that fall under four areas: Social Good, Global Health and Wellness, Heroes and Our Planet. By donating miles to Social Good, for example, you will be supporting organizations such as the American Red Cross, Feeding America, and UNICEF.

2. American Express Membership Rewards

Thanks to a partnership with JustGiving, American Express cardholders can convert Membership Rewards points into cash for charities, nonprofits, or fundraisers. Cardholders can choose from 1.5 million registered US nonprofits through the JustGiving search engine and even donate a combination of points and cash. (Caveat: Be diligent when searching for the recipient of your choice on the JustGiving page; way too lots of random crowdfunding sites and personal fundraising pages live there.)

3. Hunt for the ultimate rewards

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With Ultimate Rewards’ “Refund” feature, holders of certain Chase cards, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve, can use Ultimate Rewards points to offset charges that fall under specific categories. One of these categories is “Select Charities” and includes Habitat for Humanity, International Medical Corporation and United Way, among others.

Until December 31, 2022, redeem Ultimate Rewards points for these charities with a 25% bonus for Preferred cardholders and a 50% bonus for Reserve cardholders.

4. Thank you Citi

Through a partnership with CODE (Red), Citi cardholders can donate ThankYou points to the PayPal Giving Fund, which is helping low-income countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ThankYou Points can also be used as monetary donations to many charities ranging from American Red Cross Disaster Relief to No Kid Hungry to Smile Train, a global charity that empowers local healthcare professionals to provide surgical services and care. long lasting to children with cleft lip and palate.

5. Delta SkyMiles

Through Delta SkyWish Landing Page, Delta SkyMiles members can allocate miles to any of 15 US-based charities, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Make-A-Wish America, as well as 19 international organizations.

6. Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors has partnered with PointWorthy for its return initiatives. Simply create a PointWorthy account, link your Hilton Honors account to that, find the organization of your choice and let the charitable giving begin. You can donate to more than one cause at the same time. Just make sure you select Hilton Honors as your payment method.

7. Marriott Bonvoy

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Marriott Bonvoy members can redeem their points as contributions to dozens of charities from the World Central Kitchen to the World Wildlife Fund. As a special promotion during the holiday season (and through December 31, 2021), Marriott matches contributions made to four specific charities: UNICEF USA, National Park Foundation, NAACP, and International Rescue Committee.

8. Quick Southwest Rewards

Through its “Points for a Purpose” program, Southwest Airlines allows Rapid Rewards members to award points to seven different recipients, ranging from the Ronald McDonald House charities to the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

9. United MileagePlus

With “Miles on a mission” United makes it easy for MileagePlus members to share their miles with 20 different partner charities, including Conservation International, Guide Dogs of America, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Miles4Migrants is also part of this portfolio, an organization that leads the resettlement of refugees from Afghanistan and is dedicated to helping refugees, asylum seekers and asylum seekers around the world.

>> Next: These Travel Charities Make The Perfect Holiday Gift

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