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How The Points Guy (and our readers) gave back in 2021

Dec. 23, 2021
9 min read
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After another unprecedented year filled with ever-changing border openings and closures, long-overdue reunions and yet another round of travel disappointments, we want to end the year on a high note with a recap of all of the charitable organizations that TPG — and you, our readers — helped support in 2021. And the numbers are staggering.

With your help, we donated and raised more than $800,000 and over 21.5 million airline miles for dozens of charities around the world.

Before we recap our year of giving, we want to thank all of our generous readers for every dollar and every airline mile you donated in support of the causes near and dear to our hearts. You've made a significant difference in countless lives this year — and we're looking forward to even more in 2022.

Here are all the ways TPG gave back in 2021.

PeaceJam

(Photo courtesy of PeaceJam)

PeaceJam brings together Nobel Peace Prize winners and youth in Liberia, Ghana, Guatemala and South Africa to work toward changing the world for the better. TPG's Fellowship program with PeaceJam is honored to be able to support outstanding young leaders in gaining the skills and training necessary to amplify their impact and create sustainable change in their communities.

This is the second year in a row that we were unable to visit our mentors in their home country but we made sure to continue our support in any way we could, including:

  • Revamping our TPG Fellows Mentorship Program to provide more direction and support to our mentors and mentees.
  • Pairing our 12 Fellows with 12 TPG staff members to help our fellows become leaders in their communities.
  • Accepting eight new Fellows who will be joining the program in 2022.

Rainbow Railroad

Rainbow Railroad assists LGBTQIA+ people seeking asylum from places where they face death or imprisonment — and it's a charity that TPG supports often. During Pride Month, we launched a fundraiser for Rainbow Railroad and promised to match up to $100,000 of readers' donations — and with your help, we met that goal, allowing us to donate over $200,000.

In total, TPG has contributed over $720,00 and 2 million miles to Rainbow Railroad — directly helping more than 80 LGBTQIA+ individuals around the world.

Gbowee Peace Foundation

Founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, the Gbowee Foundation provides outstanding education and leadership opportunities to women and youth with the goal of ensuring that the next generation of Liberians are peaceful, reconciled and powerful.

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Earlier this year, we partnered with United Airlines to give away 1 million United miles to raise money and awareness for the Foundation — which resulted in $127,025 in donations from over 10,000 readers.

Related: Best credit cards to use for charitable donations

Miles4Migrants

Miles4Migrants is a nonprofit organization that allows donors to give in the form of airline miles, credit card points and travel vouchers — which are then used to book airfare for those fleeing persecution, poverty or public or ethnic violence. This work took on even more importance in 2021, as a refugee crisis emerged from Afghanistan.

In response, TPG and Lonely Planet worked together to raise more than $30,000 in cash and over 5.5 million miles to help refugees from Afghanistan and around the world. Our campaign raised the second-highest number of miles in any partner campaign — and helped nearly 500 individuals.

We also honored Miles4Migrants with the Impact Award during Airlines Week at the 2021 TPG Awards.

Give Kids The World

The TPG (and friends) team that raised over $20,000 for Give Kids the World. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Give Kids The World provides week-long, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families. This year, a group of TPG employees and friends of the brand put the new Disney World paid FastPass replacement system, Genie+, to the test as they attempted to ride every attraction across all four parks in one day and raise to raise money for Give Kids The World.

TPG donated $150 per ride that they were able to complete, and ultimately, the group ended with a $20,000 donation.

(If you're in the Orlando area over the holidays and want to support Give Kids The World yourself, be sure to check out the organization's Night of a Million Lights — which is open through Jan. 2, 2022.)

Comic Relief US

Through the power of entertainment, Comic Relief works to create a more just and poverty-free world by supporting causes that are already doing the work. This year, TPG has teamed up with the British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus credit cards from Chase in our final sweepstakes of the year to raise money for Comic Relief and give 10 lucky donors 1 million Avios.

At the time of this article, we've raised over $50,000 from more than 3,000 TPG readers — and counting. This campaign will run through early 2022, so if you haven't contributed (and want a chance to take home one of the grand prizes), you can donate right here.

Related: Enter for a chance to win 1 million Avios by supporting a great cause

Journalism organizations

It's important that we continue to promote marginalized voices within our own community of journalists, and that's why we're proud to support several journalism organizations this year. In addition to long-term partnerships — which include scholarships and ongoing recruiting efforts from both TPG and Red Ventures, our parent company — we've donated $25,000 to each of the following organizations:

These organizations support journalists, media professionals, educators and students who contribute not only critical thought but valuable experiences and perspectives to newsrooms across the nation.

Charity chats

Charity Chats is our internal monthly discussion series where TPG and Lonely Planet employees come together to learn more about various nonprofit organizations and how they can get involved.

Below is a list of the charities that we featured this year.

  • God's Love We Deliver: Cooks and home-delivers nutritious, medically-tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves.
  • Miles4Migrants: Uses frequent flyer miles, credit card points and cash donations to help people impacted by war, persecution or disaster start a new beginning in a new home.
  • Emily's Entourage: Focuses on speeding up research for new treatments and a cure for people with nonsense mutations of Cystic Fibrosis.
  • SAGE: Improves the lives of older adults in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, focusing on the issue of LGBT aging.
  • Crohn's & Colitis Foundation: Focuses on finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases.
  • Global Glimpse: Provides powerful international travel, leadership and global learning opportunities to high school students.
  • Gracious Hands Housing: Provides affordable housing and support services to women who are homeless or close to homelessness in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area.
  • Lacrosse the Nations: Uses the lacrosse field as a platform to teach students valuable life skills and promote education, while ultimately bringing joy to their lives.

Related: How to donate your points and miles to charity

Additional charities

Our employees also devoted their time and resources to a number of other worthy causes, and here are some of our personal favorites.

  • Home For Good Dog Rescue: Rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in the South to give them a second chance at life.
  • Steve's Camp at Horizon Farms: Provides a unique summer camp experience for New York City youth belonging to underrepresented communities and empowers them to develop a healthy bodies, hearts and minds.
  • Big Vision: Exists to support and encourage young adults in their 20s and 30s, working to sustain their recovery from substance abuse in New York City.
  • Magic Wheelchair: Builds epic costumes for kids in wheelchairs — at no cost to families. TPG recognized Magic Wheelchair for their partnership with Cory Lee, a member of the TPG advisory panel.
  • Airlink: Connects airlines and pre-qualified nonprofits to help communities in crisis quickly when disaster strikes.
  • Brave Space Alliance: the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ center on the South Side of Chicago and is dedicated to providing affirming and culturally competent resources, programming and services for LGBTQ+ individuals on the South and West sides of the city.
  • Comfort Cases: Provides comfort to children in foster care by providing backpacks filled with personal care items for young people entering the foster care system.
  • One for One Chicago: A nonprofit organization supporting young adults living in Chicago neighborhoods with high rates of violent crime and joblessness through workshops, high-touch mentorship and employment.
  • Code (Red): Aims to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates around the world and provide life-saving personal protective equipment to those that need it the most — and you can earn bonus points with your donation through the end of the year.

Bottom line

It's been another incredible year of giving here at The Points Guy, and we couldn't have accomplished any of this without you, our readers.

We wish you all happy holidays and a beautiful new year — and we're excited for even more to come in 2022.

Featured image by (Image by The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

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80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more