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How to donate airline miles to charity

Make a difference and help nonprofits around the world.

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Most airlines allow you to donate your miles to partner charities and nonprofit organizations, like the American Red Cross and Make-A-Wish. These donations support the operations and transportation needs of these organizations. If you have unused miles about to expire, don’t hesitate to donate.

How to donate airline miles

The process of donating airline miles varies depending on the airline. But in general you:

  1. Log in to your frequent flyer account.
  2. Select a charity.
  3. Donate airline miles.

Note: You can also donate by calling the airline customer support. Some charities, like Make-A-Wish, let you donate by visiting their website and filling out a form.

How to donate Delta miles

Delta has one of the largest selection of nonprofit organizations that accept donated miles. Examples include the American Red Cross, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army and UNICEF. Here’s how to donate:

  1. Log in to your Delta SkyMiles account.
  2. Select Use miles and find buy, gift, transfer or donate section.
  3. Scroll down the page until you find Donate Your Miles with SkyWish.
  4. Select a continent where you want to donate your miles.
  5. Select the charity you wish to donate miles to.
The minimum number of miles you can donate depends on the charity, but in most cases, it starts from 1,000 miles.

How to donate American Airlines miles

As of this writing, you only have three donation options: Miles for Our Social Good, Miles for Our Well-Being and Miles for Our Heroes. Each options has three nonprofits, including Make-A-Wish, American Red Cross, UNICEF, Feeding America and Medal of Honor. Follow these steps to make your donation:

  1. Log in to your American Airlines account.
  2. Click AAdvantage and select Redeem miles.
  3. Scroll down the page until you find Donate.
  4. Select one of the available options.
You can transfer a minimum of 1,000 miles unless if you have less than 1,000 miles. In that case, you can donate all of your miles.

How to donate United Airlines miles

United collects donations in two ways: campaigns and partners. Campaigns usually last 28 days and if the funding goal is reached, all miles go to that campaign. If not, United returns the miles back to your account. Donating to partners, on the other hand, lets you donate to a charity you choose. Here’s how to donate:

  1. Log in to your United MileagePlus account.
  2. Select to use your miles.
  3. Find the donate miles option under Buy, donate or transfer miles.
  4. Click View charities and select one to donate.
The minimum number of miles you can donate is 1,000.

How to donate Southwest Airlines points

Choose from multiple charities, including Make-A-Wish, Honor Flight Network, Dream Foundation and The Mission Continues. Here’s how to make your donation:

  1. Log in to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account.
  2. Select Donate points.
  3. Choose a participating charity.
You can donate a minimum of 500 points.

How to donate JetBlue points

Some of the available charities available for points donation include American Red Cross, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Restoration Project and Ocean Foundation. To donate, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your TrueBlue account.
  2. Select Using points.
  3. Scroll down until you find Donate points.
  4. Select a charity you wish to donate miles.
The minimum number of points you can donate is 500.

How to donate Alaska Airlines miles

Alaska Airlines lets you donate to several charities, including Make-A-Wish, Dream Foundation, National Forest Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Once you have extra miles you want to donate, here’s how to do it:

  1. Log in to your Mileage Plan account.
  2. Select the Donate miles link.
  3. Choose a charity.
The minimum number of miles you can donate is 1,000.

Donate airline miles to charity

Depending on the charity you donate your miles to, you help the organization with transportation of staff, goods and services. For example, donating miles to:

  1. American Red Cross helps volunteers get to critical areas fast.
  2. Make-A-Wish helps kids and their families travel to destinations worldwide.
  3. Hero Miles helps injured military personnel travel for medical treatments.

Compare airline credit cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
United℠ Explorer Card
2x miles at restaurants, hotels and United and 1x miles on all other purchases
16.49% to 23.49% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other purchases
15.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
With a welcome offer worth up to $600, up to 2x miles on select purchases, and assorted Delta perks, this is a strong choice for Delta fans. Rates & fees
United Club℠ Infinite Card
4x miles on United purchases, 2x miles on travel and dining and 1x miles on all other purchases
16.49% to 23.49% variable
$525
Get United Club membership with access for you and two guests at any United Club or Star Alliance lounge -- a value of up to $650 annually.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $$1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases
15.24% variable
$0
Get 3% back on your travel and dining purchases with no foreign transaction fees and use the card for your Costco membership.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

You can always donate your unused airline miles and points to organizations like the American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish, Hero Miles and others to help them meet their transportation needs.

To earn the most miles, consider an airline cobranded credit card.

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