For quite a long time, I had a bit more than 10,000 miles in my Miles & More account that I had no use for. As their expiration was getting closer, and I didn’t want to let them just expire, I decided to donate them to Lufthansa’s partner charity.
Through this, I wanted to remind you that, if you have any expiring miles that you have no use for, donating them to a charity is one of the ways to avoid “donating them” to the airline by letting them expire.
Before you proceed, please keep in mind that mileage donations are not tax-deductible.
Which Mileage Programs Let Members Donate Miles to Charity?
While I had some excess miles in my Lufthansa Miles & More account, that might not be the case with everyone. Luckily, Lufthansa is not the only one that let’s you give miles to charity. In fact, large part of the major mileage programs have that option.
While I am not going to list them all here, some of the programs include:
- Air France-KLM Flying Blue
- Avianca LifeMiles
- JAL Mileage Bank
- Lufthansa Miles & More
- TAP Portugal Victoria
Also, all the major American airlines offer this option.
If you happen to have some leftover miles in one of the programs not listed above, just search for “[airline] miles donate” or similar, and you should be quickly able to find out whether your program has such an option.
Which Charity Should You Give Your Miles to?
In some instances, an airline might have just one partner charity that you can donate your miles to. In other, however, you will be able to choose from a variety of charities, or even specific programs within a non-profit organization.
You should, of course, just pick the cause that you feel is the most important. The only limiting factor might be the minimum number of miles that can be donated. While in some cases you will be able to donate in increments of 1 mile, in others in increments of 500 miles while in others in increments of 1,000 miles.
In either case, donating whatever maximum amount of miles you are able to and letting the remainder expire is better than letting the whole amount expire.
In my case, I was able to donate 10,000 miles. That left a bit more than 1,121 miles in my account that will go to waste as I have no use for them, but that’s still better than letting all 11,121 miles expire. No matter how small or large positive effect will the donated miles have.