Updated Ways to Earn and Use Miles for Tornado Victims

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Happy Memorial Day to everyone.  I hope you are all enjoying your extra day off (if you are lucky enough to have today off), and thank you so much for those who served this country.  Below is a picture of my own Grandpa (my Dad’s Dad) who served during WWII.  We are honored to have many who served on all sides of our family.

My Grandpa - Flight Instructor in the Air Corps 1940-1945

In case you want to take a brief pause today from swimming, eating, remembering, or relaxing, here is an updated list of ways you can earn and use miles helping those in Oklahoma impacted by the recent tornadoes.  I published some similar info the day after the storm, but many hotel and airline loyalty programs have since come forward with new ways to help.

American Airlines:  Through June 30, 2013, AAdvantage members will earn a one-time award of 250 AAdvantage miles for a minimum donation of $50, or 500 AAdvantage miles for a donation of $100 or more to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Hyatt Hotels: You can donate your Hyatt Gold Passport points in 5,000 point increments. Each 5,000 point donation results in a $25 USD gift to the American Red Cross. To donate your points, please call Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service toll free at +1.800.228.3360 in the U.S. and Canada or +1.402.593.8615 when outside the U.S. and Canada.

To make a cash donation, please visit Hyatt’s American Red Cross donation page.  Hyatt is donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross.  In addition, they have pledged to match the total donations from Hyatt guests, associates and others up to $25,000 through June 30, 2013.

Choice Hotels: Redeem your Choice Privileges points and we will double your donation to the American Red Cross.  Choice Hotels will double each donation up to a total aggregate amount of $10,000.  1,000 points = $5.00 donation (which presumably is doubled).

Priority Club Rewards: For every 5,000 points you donate, IHG will convert your points into a cash donation of $20 to benefit those in need via their Shelter in a Storm Program.  This program enables IHG’s more than 4,500 hotels in 100 countries and territories around the world to respond quickly to help communities affected by natural and man made disasters.

Starwood Preferred Guest: 2,000 Starpoints = $25 USD donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Hilton HHonors: For every 10,000 Points you donate, HHonors will send a $25 contribution to the charity of your choice (choose from about two dozen charities).

Marriott Rewards: 15,000 points = $50 Donation toward American Red Cross

Red Cross: Donate online or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps people affected by disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires and tornadoes.

They will also accept your Delta, United, or US Airways miles. 

Salvation Army: Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to give $10 to Salvation Army.

They will also accept your United or Delta miles.

I made a few donations to the organizations above using my phone, and I can confirm the donations are just lumped into my AT&T bill the same as if I had paid to download something, so these donations will earn 5x on my Ink Bold.

Of course, earning miles is not the main reason behind helping others, but if it helps motivate someone to do good then that is fantastic!  Whether you are earning or using points to help others, thank you for doing so.

Happy Memorial Day!

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  1. Mommypoints, I am certain you are well intentioned.

    FWIW, I liquidated my skymiles account to the Salvation Army this week after seeing your earlier post. I live in the DC area, which gets little love from DL anyway, and I’ve got quite large balances with other programs, so this provided a good use for what was nevertheless a significant number of miles. And now I am relieved of the burden of monitoring this account.

    Please understand that rather than using my points to “fund” donations from Marriott, Hyatt, SPG, etc., I will hoard them instead. And its not that I lack generosity. Rather, I find the donations they are offering, in comparison to the points spent, absolutely pitiful – I wish I could retire my obligations with such pitiful donations. Instead, I will use my points, at times for myself, at times to provide transport/lodging in support of my church and its youth ministry, and be mindful that the fact that so much of this comes to me for “free” permits me, financially, to be generous with more substantial donations.

    Please note, I find this relevant only with respect to people who actually DO follow through with charitable donations.

  2. And, FWIW, I find the Starwood offer to be the best one of the above – in effect, they give 1.25 cents per Starwood point one redeems.

  3. jfhscott, I agree with you. In a perfect world I would have added some info about about calculating the value of miles and points, break down the value they are offering per point, considering using cash, yada yada yada, but instead I listed resources and hoped/assumed folks would do the calculations for their own situation. (In truth my kid was begging me to go swimming, so she won over the additional analysis).

    I think donating orphaned miles is perfect. I think folks who want to do good, but are “points rich” and cash poor should consider this.

    I also think folks who are reminded about donating, and want to do some good quickly without having to think about it later may also benefit from this list. In other words, there are some even better ways to do good, but for the points world this isn’t a terrible alternative.

    Double thumbs up for all of the good that you do! 😉

  4. You are correct, I presume sufficiently generous points balances and equally generous points balances that one is in a position to target their cash instead of points toward charitable giving. An uncertain presumption, indeed.

    Moreover, I respect the choices of any of your readers – we’re talking about points THEY earned, after all. It is helpful for them to know what they might do with those points even if I cringe at the value proposition. : ).

  5. I recommend something like this: Use 100,000 HHonors points or 20,000 Starpoints to pay for a room that would otherwise cost you $500.00 cash, then donate the $500 cash to charity. This provides much better leverage than donating the points, which only pays $250 to the charity. (Even better – if you itemize deductions, Uncle Sam picks up part of the tab; you may be able to donate $700-800 cash and be out of pocket only $500.)

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