Racking Up Credit Rewards

Charitable Giving Cards and Programs

Charities are non-profits that survive strictly off donations from individuals and companies alike. Some banks are starting to tie in charities by allowing cardmembers to donate points and rewards to a charity affiliated with the bank. You can donate points, miles, or rewards with a credit card you may already be carrying, or through a rewards program of which you’re already a member.

Charitable Giving Via Credit Cards

There are a few banks that offer charity donations with their credit cards.

  • Capital One: Capital One has one of the more popular programs for charity donations. Their No Hassle Giving Site is powered by Network for Good, which allows for Capital One credit card members to donate cash or rewards to over 1.2 million charities and Capital One will cover the transaction fees. Donations will come with an an online receipt for your records. All Capital One crdit cards are eligible to donate through their No Hassle Giving Site.
  • American Express: American Express has a charity program called Members Give that allows cardmembers to donate rewards points to any non-profit registered with Members Give. American Express will donate $10 for every 1,000 points that are donated to a charity, up to 500,000 points in donations annually.
  • Discover: Discover contributes an additional $25,000 to the organization that receives the most donations from their cardmembers each year.
  • Citi: Citi has a great program called “ThankYou Your Way” that allows cardholders to choose how to donate their points to a charity of their choice through PointWorthy.

Donate Miles to Charity

Donating miles will help fund charity travel expenses, which is a great idea since many charities volunteer all over the world.

There is an entire network of airlines that allow the donation of air miles. Donating earned miles is likely not tax deductible since it’s difficult to determine the point value. Some donation sites even include disclaimers that the IRS does not consider donated miles as tax deductible. One foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which needs more than 2.5 billion miles per year to cover every travel wish, lets you donate miles earned from Delta, United, American Airlines, or Jet Blue.

If you’re interested in donating miles, the following is a list of airlines that participate in a donation program:

  • Aeroplan’s Charitable Pooling Program: Offers an airmile program, Aeroplan Beyond Miles, which has many affiliations, including AirCanada, Avis Rent-a-Car, Delta Hotels and Resorts, TD Aeroplan Credit Card, American Express credit cards, and more. To date, they’ve received over 487 million miles with almost 900 participating charities.