May 21, 2012

Reader question: Expiring points/miles

People often ask what they should do with frequent-flyer miles that are about to expire.  Last week a reader asked what to do with credit-card points that she earned but would lose if she didn’t use them for something.  Her husband, not wanting the points to go to waste, ordered magazines that neither of them wants or reads.

Instead of using your expiring points for something you don’t want, consider who else could use them.

This Sunday is Memorial Day and one of the ways you can honor fallen service members is to donate your unused miles to those who need medical care.   Fisher Houseprovides free airline tickets to allow military personnel to travel for treatment at a military medical center.  This program also enables family members to visit the injured service member who is being treated.

You can also donate miles to  Angels Donate Frequent Flyer Miles, which coordinates air travel for patients who need specialized medical care far from home.

Make a Wish Foundationmakes use of donated airline miles, too.  Children with life-threatening medical conditions are treated to a special event, which often includes travel.  Your miles could help make a child’s wish come true.

Individual airlines may even allow you to donate directly from their Web sites.  Click on the link that allows you to redeem your miles and look for a “donate” option.

If you don’t have enough miles to donate or you feel that you don’t have any other option than to redeem your points for magazines, consider donating subscriptions to a VA hospital, convalescent center or nursing home.

Are you aware of other nonprofits who can use frequent-flyer miles?  Click on Post a Comment, below, and tell us.

Organized by MarcieTM: Save time and money by letting go of what you don't need and finding room for what you value
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