Sunday, January 17, 2010

Donating Miles for Haiti

The tragedy in Haiti is pretty horrific and if you're like me, you feel compelled to do something. Most sites suggest donating to the Red Cross. Unfortunately, the amount of cash I have in my bank account is not enough to really make much of a difference. However, I saw one site that suggested donating airline miles. Great idea! While these are only worth about $0.01 per mile, when you have 30,000 miles here and 20,000 miles, there, the change starts to add up. Of course, I could use these to get magazine subscriptions that I wouldn't read or plastic junk that wouldn't work. Instead, I decided to try to give all of my miles to the American Red Cross. All of my airlines' websites had a button for donating to them. Here's what I found on each site:

Unfortunately, my American Airlines miles expired in December. "AAdvantage members must have mileage earning or redeeming activity once every 18 months in order to retain their miles" I think this is all the more reason to donate miles; it is quite possible they will expire before you get to use them!

Delta SkyMiles didn't have a web form but did create an email that could be sent. If you have some miles with them, remember that "accounts with no activity for 12 consecutive months after enrollment will be deleted."

Continental OnePass miles had a form but didn't actually deduct them from the balance after hitting the "Donate" button. I think they get deducted in 5-6 weeks. OnePass miles don't expire, so I had lots leftover from graduate school in Houston, one of their hubs.

US Airways had a form that included the Red Cross, but had a funny line at the bottom. "US Airways reserves the right to allocate miles between charities within the guidelines of the Miles of Hope (R) program." Also, their miles can go away, too. "Miles are subject to forfeiture if no miles have been earned or redeemed within a consecutive 18-month period."

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