How to donate your points and miles to charity this Christmas

Dec 25, 2019

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Merry Christmas from TPG U.K.! As well as presents, mince pies and turkey, this time of year is also a time for giving, reflection and helping those less fortunate. So to all those with a large and healthy balance of points and miles, did you know you can donate these to charity? Some programmes will convert your miles into a charitable donation, while other programmes will transfer your points directly to the charity, which can put them to good use.

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Here are how some of your favourite programmes allow you to donate to charity:

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Flying Blue has selected 18 different charities members can donate their miles to, including Unicef, the French and Dutch Red Cross and the World Wildlife Foundation through its Flying Blue Hugs page.

American Express Membership Rewards

Our favourite transferrable currency has chosen five charities to support, including Breast Cancer Now, Great Ormond Street Hospital, NSPCC, Save the Children and The Global Fund. You can donate between 500 to 10,000 Membership Rewards points, which Amex will then convert into cash.

(Photo by Josh Gribben/The Points Guy)

Hilton Honors

You can donate your Hilton points through its Point Worthy platform, which offers a wide variety of global organisations to donate towards. For every 10,000 Hilton Honors points donated, Hilton will match it with $25 towards the charity of the member’s choice.

Lufthansa Miles & More

M&M members have two charitable options — MyClimate, which assists with legitimate climate protection projects (i.e. where that carbon offset payment goes towards), and the Help Alliance, an in-house Lufthansa charity initiative with global projects in education, environment, children and women. You can find out more information here.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott allows guests to donate Bonvoy points through its programme, Serve360, which focuses its efforts towards nurturing, sustaining, empowering and welcoming other cultures. Guests can donate a minimum of 2,500 points, which becomes a $500 donation.

Nectar shopping points

You can exchange from £2.50 up to £26 of Nectar points to Oxfam through its Oxfam Unwrapped programme where you can give Oxfam either gifts or cash donations for projects like safe drinking water or even purchase a goat for someone in need.

Read more: What to do if you miss your flight home this Christmas

Brian at PeaceJam Liberia 2018. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin for The Points Guy)
PeaceJam Liberia 2018. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin/ The Points Guy)

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore has partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, allowing members to donate between 1,000 and 100,000 miles to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Given some of these wishes involve travel (and planes specifically), this charity is a great match for the airline.

United MileagePlus

TPG has partnered with United to raise 20 million donated United miles for various nominated charities through its Miles on a Mission initiative. TPG personally sponsors both Rainbow Railroad and PeaceJam, so if you are having trouble deciding on a charity from the list, we can recommend either or both of these.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Over at Virgin, it has selected just one lucky charity for donations — WE (formerly Free The Children). WE empowers people in rural communities to break free from the cycle of poverty where miles will be transferred to the charity to fly volunteers to their project initiatives.

Unfortunately, British Airways does not allow you to donate Avios to charity at this time.

Bottom line

Some of us are lucky enough to fly around the world and explore for pleasure. Unfortunately, there are millions of others who don’t have that luxury. So dig deep and give some of your points and miles to help others travel, to help aid workers get to where they need to be or to convert them to cash for charity.

Featured image by Shutterstock/Alexey Laputin

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