How to put your points to good use

Are you a frequent flyer with piles of points you can afford to offload?

Are you feeling charitable? How about donating your stockpile of points or miles to an immigrant family or refugee in need?

Organisations such as Miles4Migrants collect donated frequent flyer points and use them to arrange travel for refugees, to reunite families who have been separated by borders, or simply to donate to families who don’t have the money or opportunity to see each other.

Miles4Migrants recently made social media waves after a law professor at University of Michigan tweeted a request for people to help families in need, which resulted in 7.3 million miles being donated.

“My husband travels a lot. Downside: he’s gone a lot. Upside: frequent flyer miles. We just used some to fly a three-year-old and his dad, who had been separated at the border, from Michigan (where the son had been taken) to their extended family,” tweeted Ms Wilensky.

“[We] have big plans for use of these miles … both to support separated immigrant families and continue our global family reunification work with refugees around the world,” a spokesperson told Lifehacker.

There are also other ways you can put your points towards helping others.

Qantas and Virgin will happily trade your points for cash donations to selected charities.

Qantas will trade from 2900 points ($25) up to 174,000 points ($1500) and will donate the proceeds to either of the six charities listed:

  • The Clontarf Foundation
  • The Fred Hollows Foundation
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • The World Wide Fund for Nature Australia
  • Unicef

Virgin will convert donations of 4500 points ($25) up to 17,500 points ($100) to any of the following charities:

  • AIME
  • Barnardos Australia
  • Black Dog Institute
  • Brisbane Youth Service
  • Camp Quality
  • Green Cross Australia
  • Kids Helpline
  • Lifeline Australia
  • Oasis – The Salvation Army
  • Oxfam Australia
  • Plan International Australia
  • Sir David Martin Foundation
  • Starlight Foundation
  • The Oaktree Foundation
  • Variety, The Children’s Charity
  • Virgin Unite
  • Youth Off The Streets

Emirates accepts points and converts them to Skyward Miles, which are used to sponsor flights for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions.

Would you donate your points to any of these causes?

Related articles:
Using points to buy fuel
The best way to use your points
Where to go with 60,000 points

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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