Why we love Miles4Migrants and how you can give points to those in need
"F" is an Iranian woman now living as a refugee in Belgium. We aren't naming her to protect her safety. She was separated from her children for three years after they fled the repressive regime in Iran. Thanks to Miles4Migrants, she was reunited with her family and is now a free woman.
All it took was 45,000 Capital One miles!
She said, "In Iran, the only thing I could do was cry. Now, ever since I arrived in Belgium and was reunited with my children, the only thing I can do is laugh! I would like to thank the person who bought me the ticket from the bottom of my heart."
This reunion was made possible by a charity that is near and dear to our hearts here at The Points Guy — Miles4Migrants.
Donate your airline miles, credit card points or travel vouchers via this landing page: miles4migrants.org/thepointsguy.
What is Miles4Migrants?
Miles4Migrants is a nonprofit that accepts airline miles, credit card points and travel vouchers as donations from people just like you, and uses them to book airfare for those fleeing persecution, poverty or political or ethnic violence. Miles4Migrants has helped over 4,800 people using over 79 million points and miles.
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Miles4Migrants partners with other nonprofits to identify refugees, asylum-seekers, and immediate family members who have legal approval to travel but cannot afford airfare.
Today, just in time for World Refugee Day on June 20, we are proud to report we are a corporate sponsor for MIles4Migrants again this year. To learn more about the amazing work they do, visit our landing page.
How to get involved
Related: Meet the people using air miles to reunite families
You can donate from a range of airline loyalty and credit card rewards programs. Miles4Migrants tells me they need Aeroplan, United Airlines and American Airlines miles most of all. But the need is great, and they accept donations from most programs, including:
- Alaska Airlines.
- Amtrak Guest Rewards.
- Southwest Airlines.
- Flying Blue.
- American Express Membership Rewards.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Capital One.
To give miles, you can make a pledge on Miles4Migrants’ website. The minimum pledge size varies based on the minimum amount needed to book a ticket with each program. For most programs, the flight booking team at Miles4Migrants will work to match your miles pledged to an individual in need.
Once a match has been found, they will contact you with the recipient’s information and you can book the flight yourself, or Miles4Migrants can do it for you with your help. Oftentimes, you will receive a story and photo of the person or family your miles are helping fly.
If you have Alaska, Aeroplan or United miles to donate, Miles4Migrants has direct relationships with these airlines, so you’ll be able to donate directly into their pooled account. Pooled accounts provide Miles4Migrants with greater flexibility and efficiency when booking, so these miles are always greatly appreciated.
Cash donations are tax-deductible, but donations of miles, points and vouchers are not.
Besides frequent flyer miles, you can also donate travel vouchers and cash. Miles4Migrants currently accepts vouchers from Alaska Airlines, United, Southwest, JetBlue Airways and Allegiant Air. Additionally, cash donations also help to cover any award taxes, fees and surcharges.
Andy Freedman is one of the co-founders of Miles4Migrants. He told TPG:
"Between the new administration's desire to support refugees and the lessening of travel restrictions worldwide, Miles4Migrants needs more support than ever. In fact, Miles4Migrants has already flown more individuals in 2021 than in all of 2020. With new global partnerships with organizations such as UNHCR, we expect the growth in our impact to continue to accelerate."
Related: Happy Pride! Here's what we are doing at TPG to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.