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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Blue Business℠ Plus Card from American Express, Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, Chase Freedom Unlimited
In the wake of the disastrous hurricanes in fall 2017, American Airlines and United stepped up to encourage members to donate to charities by offering bonus miles. Now American Airlines is doing the same by directing donations to help those affected by the California wildfires.
Through Aug. 10, you’ll get 10x AAdvantage miles for donating to the American Red Cross through this link. And if you’re not as passionate about donating to help those affected by California wildfires, the same 10x mileage bonus is also available for donations to your local Red Cross chapter, general disaster relief or where the organization deems it can do the most good.
The terms and conditions are short, but include a couple of important pieces of info: You must donate at least $25 to get the 10x mileage bonus. Also, the miles won’t show up on your statement until 30 to 45 days after donation is received. So don’t count on the miles posting immediately.
Besides helping the group provide help to those in need, other good reasons to donate through this campaign are:
- If you’re running out of time to finish off a minimum spend requirement to earn a credit-card sign-up bonus.
- If you need a boost toward a spending threshold.
- If you’re just shy of a redemption — but you’re OK not getting the miles for over a month.
- If your AAdvantage account is going to expire in the next few months but you don’t have an easy way of generating activity.
In his latest valuations, TPG pegs the value of AAdvantage miles at 1.4 cents per point. At that rate, this 10x bonus gets you an effective 14% rebate on your donation before even factoring the points and miles you’d get from the credit-card purchase.
Unfortunately, credit cards have cut back on charity bonus categories. So, if you’re not working toward a minimum spending requirement, you’ll want to use a general spending credit card such as The Blue Business℠ Plus Card from American Express (2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50k of spending per year; then 1x thereafter), Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5x Ultimate Rewards points on all spending) or Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card (2.63% cashback if you have substantial assets with BOA or Merrill Lynch).
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Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $700. In addition, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you. Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Admirals Club® membership for you and access for guests traveling with you
- Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
- Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation