This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
TPG reader Paul posted the following question on my Facebook wall:
“My kids’ school is doing a charity auction and I would like to offer up miles as a prize. Can I transfer miles into someone else’s account without fees?”
Donating miles to charity can be one of the most fulfilling ways to put your frequent flyer miles to use. I recently teamed up with American Airlines to give away 1 million miles to the Kids in Need program and flew along with the Snowball Express to Dallas in December when the airline hosted the families of fallen military heroes, and it was a great feeling to be able to help those who needed the miles much more than I did.
So to Paul’s question – the quick answer is no. The airlines will still charge you a transfer fee, usually around 1 cent per mile plus a processing fee, whether you want to donate them to charity or not. You could always try calling the airline’s frequent flyer program and telling them what the transfer is for and asking them to waive the fees since it never hurts to ask. But in general, you’re going to get charged for moving your miles around. That’s especially true because airlines run their own charity programs to which you can donate miles and they prefer you donate your miles through them.
If you really want to use your miles for charity, I’d suggest looking into reputable organizations that accept miles such as Make-A-Wish, American Airlines’ Kids in Need Program, and others directly through your airline of choice.
Let me know if you have any other questions by messaging me on Facebook, Tweeting me or emailing me at email@example.com. With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.
With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.