Over the past few months, there has been an influx of refugees worldwide. This has been due to the Ukrainian conflict, natural disasters and political violence. It’s now possible to directly help refugees reach safety by donating travel points and miles.
How To Donate Points/Miles To Help Ukrainian Refugees
The ongoing distress in Ukraine is currently garnering the most media attention. Many travel loyalty programs and credit card rewards programs provide the opportunity to donate travel points and miles to charities helping those in need.
Another option is to sponsor flights for refugees through Miles4Migrants. The service partners with nonprofits to identify refugees needing a permanent home in Europe, Canada or the United States. The program has helped over 15,000 refugees since its inception in 2016.
The charity recently launched its Ukraine2Canada Travel Fund with 500 initial flights. The total goal is to help 10,000 Ukrainian refugees reach various Canadian communities.
With donated frequent flyer miles and credit card rewards, the service can book a flight for an individual or a family. Additionally, a booking coordinator can help donors reserve an award flight for a refugee instead of transferring them to Miles4Migrants first.
Most Needed Travel Points/Miles
While almost any travel miles donation can be life-changing, these rewards points/miles are the most desired to secure refugee flights (in alphabetical order):
- Air Canada/Aeroplan
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Capital One Rewards
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
- Southwest Airlines
How Many Miles To Donate
At a minimum, travelers will need to donate 1,000 points/miles. That’s the transfer minimum for most rewards programs. Here are several examples of how much donated points/miles can be worth:
- 1,000 miles: Can pool miles with other donors to book a flight
- 15,000 miles: A domestic flight in the United States for one refugee
- 50,000 miles: Up to four refugees on a domestic U.S. flight or one international flight
- 100,000 miles: Up to seven U.S. domestic flights or four international flights
It’s also possible to make cash contributions to cover the points/miles difference and pay fees and taxes.
Other Ways Refugee Miles Can Help
The Ukraine conflict isn’t the only cause to donate travel miles to help asylum seekers. During the summer of 2021, Project Afghan Arrival helped refugees in Afghanistan flee the Taliban.
There are also refugees from over 90 countries across the world from Asia, Africa and Latin America seeking religious and political asylum.
Others are hoping to reunite their family.
For example, with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to reverse the “Remain in Mexico” policy, organizations will be gathering donations to help asylum seekers leave temporary
facilities on the Mexico-United States border.
If you’re looking for a productive way to redeem unused travel points or miles, donating them can be a valuable option. You can prevent them from expiring while helping others in great need start their next chapter of life.
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