Travel can change lives. For kids suffering critical illnesses and their families, that’s an understatement.
That’s why we’re partnering with Make-A-Wish Minnesota for the Wishes in Flight Drive this week, from Monday, Feb. 24 through Sunday, March 1. Together, we’re trying to raise at least 2 million airline miles to help cover the travel costs of kids whose only wish is to go to Nashville, Florida, the Bahamas, Japan, and beyond.
And that’s where you come in. Make-A-Wish Minnesota needs your help.
Whether you’ve got a stash of Delta SkyMiles or United miles, American AAdvantage miles that are about to expire, or miles with another major U.S. airline and the desire to do good, we could use your help. Any donation, big or small, could change the lives of hundreds of kids who just need a dose of hope.
We always say that the best use of points and miles is for a trip that couldn’t otherwise happen. And there’s no better example than helping fulfill the travel wishes of these kids.
“Travel wishes are more than just a trip – in fact, research shows children who experience a wish can build the physical and emotional strength needed to fight their critical illness,” said Mia Broos Hoagberg, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Minnesota. “Donated airline miles help make wishes possible, transforming the lives of children and their families for years to come. We are grateful to Thrifty Traveler for helping us raise donated airline miles to grant wishes.”
Once you donate these miles will never expire – they’ll go straight toward putting a kid in need on a plane. Anyone who donates 50,000 miles or more will be entered in a random drawing for a $500 Delta Gift Card!
Here’s everything you need to know to donate.
What airline miles can I donate?
Currently, Make-A-Wish can accept donations of Delta SkyMiles, United MileagePlus miles, American AAdvantage miles, Southwest Rapid Rewards points, and JetBlue TrueBlue Miles. Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus miles are Make-A-Wish Minnesota’s biggest priority.
If you have miles you’d like to donate from another international carrier, be they Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles or British Airways Avios, Make-A-Wish cannot accept them, unfortunately. Make-A-Wish Minnesota is also not currently accepting Sun Country miles.
What if I have credit card points?
Lucky you! And yes, you can still donate them.
If you’ve got a stash of credit card points from banks like Chase, Capital One, American Express, or Citi, you’ll simply want to transfer them to one of the eligible airlines, then make your donation.
So if you’ve got a stash of American Express Membership Rewards points, you could transfer the amount you’d like to donate to either Delta SkyMiles or JetBlue, then make your donation. Read our guide to transferring Amex points.
Got some Chase Ultimate Rewards points? Transfer them to United, Southwest, or JetBlue, then donate them. Read our guide to transferring Chase points to airline partners.
You can also transfer both Citi ThankYou Points and Capital One Venture miles to JetBlue. Read our guide to transferring Capital One miles.
What’s the minimum donation? And the maximum?
It varies by airline, but you can donate as few as 500 miles to Make-A-Wish Minnesota. And if you’re feeling generous, there’s no cap to how many miles you can donate during our drive!
Every donor of at least 50,000 miles will be entered in our giveaway for a $500 Delta gift card! We will randomly select and announce the winner Monday, March 2!
Here are the minimum amounts required for a donation by airline:
- American Airlines: 1,000 miles minimum
- Delta Air Lines: 1,000 miles minimum
- United Airlines: 1,000 miles minimum
- Southwest Airlines: 2,000 points minimum
- JetBlue: 500 miles minimum
Our goal is to raise 2 million airline miles during the week of the drive, but Make-A-Wish Minnesota needs much more. Over 77% of wishes the organization receives involve travel, and those kids’ dreams would require about 75 million miles to fulfill each and every year.
What about hotel points?
Unfortunately, Make-A-Wish Minnesota cannot accept points donations from hotel programs like Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and others.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
While you can deduct most charitable donations for tax purposes, the IRS does not consider airline miles tax-deductible.
What if I don’t have miles? Or want to donate cash instead?
Thank you! You can donate directly to Make-A-Wish Minnesota to help them make more wishes come true. And unlike mileage donations, these are tax-deductible.
We are thrilled and honored to be a part of this amazing organization’s work. Together, we hope to raise at least 2 million miles to make a life-changing difference in many kids’ lives.