Jan 18, 2010

Donating your Points for Disaster Relief Charity (haiti)

If you are moved immensely by the tragedy at Haiti but do not have immediate cash to help, despair not. For example, you can donate your hotel points (10,000 Hilton Honors pts converts to $25 for Red Cross) or Discover card's cashback money ($20 or $25 increments). Further Discover Credit Card is matching donations up to a total of $1 Million.
According to some estimates, another 7000-8000 people could donate $20 -$25 which would get fully matched by Discover. The matching is a nice gesture by Discover, which it normally reserves for gift cards to certain merchants.
The hotel points may not be the most efficient donation though in terms of value. Typically, 10,000 Hilton points can get me a hotel stay at an Airport Hilton (~ $80-100) in some places. But if the points are just languishing and you are not traveling soon, just donate it! And have some peace of mind!

Other ways to donate your frequent flier/hotel points are listed below:

Starwood ($50 for 4000 points and corresponding $$ for higher increments) - to Red Cross

United lets you donate miles to the American Red Cross. United Airlines Foundation is also matching up to $50,000 of monetary donations via United's page to the Red Cross.

The above four are the programs that I use most, so I wrote about them first.  An additional list of programs and donations can be viewed in this USA Today Article.


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