[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners if available here — Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard and JetBlue Card.]
Toward the end of every year, charitable giving always picks up. Partly because the holidays get people in the giving spirit. Other times, it’s because they are doing some end-of-year tax planning. No matter what the reason, charitable giving is a great thing because it helps so many people.
But did you know that giving doesn’t always have to come in the form of cash or physical goods? It can also come in the form of your loyalty points. Several credit cards will actually let you redeem your points and miles toward a charitable organization.
Here’s a look at three credit cards that allow you to donate your points.
1. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card From American Express
A favorite card among many travel enthusiasts is the the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. Starwood has some of the nicest properties in the world, and because of their recent merger, you can now use your points at Marriott hotels. Travel isn’t the only way to redeem your points, though. Starwood has partnered up with several different organizations so that you can donate your points toward a good cause.
One of these organizations is Clean the World, a global recycler of hotel soap and amenity products. Not only does the organization help cut down on waste, it gives these products to disaster victims, refugees, children and families living in extreme poverty.
You can also donate your points to a joint charity between Starwood Hotels and UNICEF called Check Out for Children. So far they have been able to raise over $30 million to help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. You can also donate your Starwood points to the American Red Cross.
The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card (see full review here) carries a $95 annual fee, waived the first year, and a variable 15.74% to 19.74% annual percentage rate (APR), depending on creditworthiness. Cardholders get 5 points per dollar spent at eligible Starwood hotel purchases, 2 points per dollar on eligible Marriott hotel purchases and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.
2. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard (see full review here) lets you donate your miles. American Airlines has partnered up with several organizations to help give back to others in the community. One of the organizations is Miles for Kids in Need. This program helps provide support for children, their families and organizations that aim to improve children’s lives. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Another great organization that your AAdvantage miles can help support is Miles for All Who Serve. This organization helps provide support for veterans, active military and their families.
Finally, your miles can also go to Miles of Hope. This program helps support organizations that dedicate their resources to helping troubled populations with food, shelter, health, education and employment.
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select carries a $95 annual fee, waived the first year. You’ll have a variable 16.24% to 24.24% APR, depending on creditworthiness. Cardholders get 2 AAdvantage miles for each dollar spent at American Airlines and 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else.
3. JetBlue Card
The JetBlue card also allows you to donate your points to a worthy cause. There are a lot of different charities that you can choose from, but one of them is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The JetBlue card has no annual fee; it carries a variable APR of 12.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, depending on creditworthiness. Cardholders get 3x the points on Jet Blue purchases, 2x the points at restaurants and grocery stores and 1x points on all other purchases.
Finding Charitable Redemption Options
JetBlue’s loyalty program isn’t the only one that supports this great cause. Credit card miles earned with Delta, Southwest, United and American Airlines can also go toward the charity’s annual goal.
These are only a few of the credit cards that will allow you to donate your miles or points to a charity. If you have a credit card that earns hotel points or airlines miles, or even a card that earns transferable points, make sure you check your account to see about possible donation options. And before you donate to a charity, always make sure you do your research to make sure it aligns with your personal values.
Remember, it’s a good idea to read the fine print of cards you’re considering and to check your credit before you apply to see if you’ll qualify. You can view two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com. Note: Checking your credit will not harm your scores in any way.
At publishing time, the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard and JetBlue Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuers. Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuers.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.