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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?”

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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.

Airlines usually only waive transfer fees when you donate through them.
Airlines usually only waive transfer fees when you donate 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 info@thepointsguy.com.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

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.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.