Rewards credit cards will often let you donate your cash back, points, or miles directly to charity. Even if that isn’t an option, you may be able to redeem your rewards for cash back and simply donate those funds once they land in your account.
“Most credit card companies allow you to do this directly from their website. Simply log in to your account, go to the section to manage your rewards and look for a charity link,” says Hoxmeier.
Where can and should I donate points to charity from?
Some hotel loyalty programs, airline loyalty programs and transferable currencies allow you to donate your miles to charity. However, Amex and Hilton really take the crown when it comes to the number of nonprofits that you could support. There are thousands of charities that you can donate Amex Membership Rewards or Hilton Honors points towards.
Additionally, while we typically prefer to accrue miles and points and use them to travel, donating a small amount of miles or points can be a great way to keep your points and miles from expiring. Of course, if you have a large stash of points and want to do good — without spending cash — using points can make sense too.
Best ways to redeem points for donations
When it comes to donating your hard-earned points, there are several opportunities out there. I wanted to spotlight two programs that make it easy to redeem towards thousands of fundraisers or nonprofits.
Both American Express Membership Rewards and Hilton Honors allow points in these programs to be used towards a diverse array of nonprofit organizations. Amex partners with JustGiving and Hilton partners with PointWorthy to make the process straightforward by linking your accounts.
You can earn Membership Rewards points by holding an Amex card; here are some of our best Amex card options. Likewise, Hilton Honors points can be earned not only with stays at a Hilton property but also by signing up for a Hilton credit card.