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Earn Bonus Miles for Hurricane Harvey Relief Donations

The effects of Hurricane Harvey over the last week have been devastating. Luckily, there are lots of great organizations out there, doing their best to alleviate the situation. If you want to donate to one of these organizations, you’ll be glad to know that several airlines are offering bonus miles for donations to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. Both United and American Airlines are offering upwards of 10 miles per $1 on donations to the Red Cross. These donations are tax deducible, which is an added bonus, but regardless it’s a good time for everyone to consider making a small donation. 

Earn Miles for Donations to Hurricane Harvey Relief

Earn Miles for Donations to Hurricane Harvey Relief

The Red Cross is expected to provide housing for over 78,000 people this week, which will cost a total of $10 million! Clearly, they’re going to need all the donations they can get. As a contributor, it’s nice to know the money is going to be spent well:

  • $20 – Provides breakfast, lunch and dinner. During times of disaster, these prepared meals are served by Red Cross workers at shelters or Red Cross emergency response vehicles driving through neighborhoods.
  • $30 – Covers the cost of a cleanup kit and comfort supplies for a family of 4. These supplies are stored and ready for distribution nationwide.
  • $88 – Covers the cost to support a family of 3 for one day – This service includes providing a day’s worth of food, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus blankets and other essentials to a family in the aftermath of a disaster.
  • $150 – Provides travel, meals and shelter for 1 day for a disaster relief volunteer worker. Workers deploy for 14 day rotations at a minimum.
  • $200 – Provides a full day of food and shelter for a family of 4.

Earn American Miles for Donations to Hurricane Harvey Relief

Through September 24, American Airlines is offering a very generous 10 miles per $1 donated to the Red Cross. There is a $25 minimum donation, for which you will earn 250 miles. Take into consideration that you’ll also earn miles from your mile-earning credit card, so that’s quite a generous return! Of course, this isn’t just about earning miles – it’s about giving back to people who are in desperate need and worried about more than just flying first class to Fiji. But it’s nice to know that American Airlines is making an effort to ramp up donations with a generous incentive. 

Earn United Miles for Donations to Hurricane Harvey Relief

Through September 15, United Airlines is also offering miles for donations to the Hurricane Harvey Relief effort. United has partnered with the Red Cross, Greater Houston Community Foundation, AirLink, AmeriCares, and Operation USA. MileagePlus members who donate at least $50 will earn at least 250 miles for their donation:

  • Donate $50-$99 – Earn 250 bonus miles
  • $100-$249 – Earn 500 bonus miles
  • $250 or more – Earn 1,000 bonus miles

The terms state “the bonus relating to this offer can be earned a maximum of one time per MileagePlus account.” I take that to mean you can only earn one bonus, so I’d go for the highest possible. 😉

Should You Donate Miles to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts?

Several rewards programs are also allowing members to donate points and miles rather than money. I personally wouldn’t do this because those points are worth a lot and I can get more value out of them. More importantly, I think a lot of organizations would prefer monetary donations. It’s easy, fast, and flexible. So I’d stick to making a tax-deducible donation with a credit card.

Have you donated to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts to earn miles? Or are you going to donate miles instead? If you want to recommend any great organizations assisting hurricane victims, please share in the comment section.

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Ariana Arghandewal

9 Comments

  1. You should be screening charities through Charity Navigator. They will tell you how effective your donation will be to a particular group.
    Red Cross does not get their highest rating, they spend a lot on overhead.
    Try Shelter Box USA for a very good non-profit, they have a four star rating, Red Cross has three.
    Kieran Walsh,
    Eugene, Oregon

  2. Please, please donate. Last year I was hit by Hurricane Matthew. Lost 2 cars, countless woodworking machines, and 26 trees. FEMA is worthless. It is you and I that can help people. Please, please help these people.

    • Byron,
      I have. I used to work for FEMA and you are right, they are absolutely worthless.
      Donate to four star charities, Red Cross is not one of them.

  3. I have not donated, but definitely will! My heart goes out to those who lost their love ones and/or their homes.

  4. Donate. Don’t let people suffer because you have a beef with Red Cross. Red Cross is there helping. And Ariana, you keep caring.

    • I don’t have a beef with the Red Cross. Merely pointing out that you’ll get more bang for your donation giving to a four star charity.

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