How to Donate Your Points to Charities

If you're not using points for travel, consider donating them to charity through your preferred program.
Erin Hurd
By Erin Hurd 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Whether you’ve got a million or 10,000 points stashed away, there’s always someone needing a little help. Happily, those who’d like to donate their points and miles to charities have plenty of options. Let’s take a look at the donation programs for all the big U.S. hotels and airlines.

Should you donate your points and miles to charities?

Before you donate your points and miles, there are a couple of things you should know:

  • You won’t be able to deduct the donation from your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn’t generally count rewards as a source of income, so donating them doesn’t affect your taxes. 

  • Your rewards may be more valuable when used differently. Charities don’t usually get the highest value from your donations, which means you’d be better off redeeming your rewards for someone in need or even donating them to a charity like Miles4Migrants.

Donating airline miles

Most major U.S. airlines allow you to donate the points and miles that you’ve earned, though each program varies.

Alaska Airlines: CARE Miles program

If you’d like to donate your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, you can choose a single charity or a group of charities on Alaska’s website. Single charities include Make-A-Wish, the Honor Flight Network and The Nature Conservancy. Groups include the Alaska Airlines Disaster Relief Pool and Alaska Airlines Miles for Youth.

You’ll need to donate a minimum of 1,000 miles per transaction, and donations can be made in 1,000-mile increments.

American Airlines: Let Good Take Flight

American Airlines has four groups of charities to which you can donate your AAdvantage miles.

  • Miles for Our Planet: Charities that combat climate change and make efforts to protect the planet. 

  • Miles for Social Good: Nonprofits dedicated to improving health and care for those in need around the world.

  • Miles for Global Health and Well-Being: A collection of organizations committed to bringing treatment to patients.

  • Miles for Heroes: Charities that support veterans, military members and their families.

You’ll need to donate a minimum of 1,000 miles, though members with fewer than 1,000 miles in their balance can simply donate them all.

Delta Air Lines: SkyWish

Delta Air Lines has 15 charities to which you can donate your SkyMiles, including Make-A-Wish, Habitat for Humanity and UNICEF.

Members are able to select up to five charities at a time for donations, with a minimum donation requirement of 1,000 miles per charity.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines has a few charities to which you can donate, including Make-A-Wish, the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation and the American Red Cross. To donate your Frontier miles, you’ll need to chat with a representative.

Hawaiian Airlines

Your Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles donation goes directly to one of 14 charities in Hawaii. These include charities that support culture, education, the environment and health.

Donating miles is simple and can be done via Hawaiian’s website.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Airways has more than 20 charities to which you can donate, including Angel Flight and World Central Kitchen. You’ll need to donate at least 500 TrueBlue points in a transaction.

Southwest Airlines: Points for a Purpose

Southwest Airlines allows you to donate to eight charities, including Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Honor Flight Network and the American Red Cross. You’ll need to donate at least 2,000 Rapid Rewards points at a time.

United Airlines: Miles on a Mission

United Airlines has two ways to donate miles. The first is to donate to one of United’s main partners, which include 22 charities such as the Special Olympics, Rise Against Hunger Inc. and Guide Dogs of America.

United also has active campaigns for a rotating selection of charities. If you choose to donate to these charities, United will match your donation up to 50,000 miles per campaign.

No matter how you donate, you’ll need to give a minimum of 1,000 United MileagePlus miles at a time.

Donating hotel points

Choice Privileges Club

Choice points can be used to donate to six charities, including the American Red Cross, Operation Homefront and Polaris. You’ll need at least 1,000 Choice Privileges points to make a donation.

Hilton Honors

If you’d like to donate your Hilton Honors points, you’ll need to make a PointWorthy account. Once done, you’ll be able to choose from charities of all types, including religious, health care and education.

🤓Nerdy Tip

There is no formal program for donating World of Hyatt rewards points to charity.

IHG One Rewards

Those with a stash of IHG points can choose from 15 charities to which to donate. These include Goodwill, No Kid Hungry and The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN).

Donations start at 2,500 IHG One Rewards points and max out at 10,000 points in a single transaction.

Marriott Bonvoy Giving

Marriott Bonvoy has four different buckets to which you can donate your points. These are:

  • Nurture: American Red Cross, UNICEF, Al Jalila Foundation and more.

  • Sustain: World Wildlife Fund, Arbor Day Foundation, The Ocean Foundation and more. 

  • Empower: Prince’s Trust, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, WEConnect International and more. 

  • Welcome: Polaris, NAACP, Immigration Equality and more.

You’ll need to donate at least 2,500 Bonvoy points, which equals a $10 donation to these charities.

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham Rewards donations start at just 500 points, which matches the lowest threshold we’ve seen. Wyndham has 14 charities to which you can donate, including Fisher House, the YMCA and the National Parks Conservation Association.

Donating credit card points

If you have a credit card that earns points, you may be able to donate those points.

  • American Express: Thanks to a partnership with JustGiving, members can use Pay With Points to donate their Membership Rewards to charities on JustGiving’s website

  • Citi: Citi features several charities to which you can donate your ThankYou points, including Susan G. Komen, the American Red Cross and the USO. 

  • Discover: Donating your cashback bonus can be done online to nine charities, including the World Wildlife Fund, Operation Homefront and the American Cancer Society. 

If you’re looking to donate your points …

Donating your points and miles can be a great way to help support charities. This is especially true if you have points languishing in an account you don’t use.

However, the value that you’ll get from donating your points isn’t always the best, so you’ll always want to double-check before making a donation.

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