Can you donate credit card rewards?The holiday season is a great time for charitable donations, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, donations may be felt more now than ever before.

Perhaps you have an abundance of miles that you’re not using due to postponed travel plans, or maybe you’re cutting back on holiday shopping and have extra rewards to redeem that would usually be used toward gift purchases. Donating credit card rewards is a great way to give back as you can do so at no additional cost to you, and because some credit issuers offer a match or bonus on charitable donations furthering their impact. 

Two credit card issuers to pay particular attention to this holiday season are Chase and American Express.

Chase recently launched their Pay Yourself Back program, which allows cardholders of eligible cards to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards® points at a higher value for select everyday purchases, as well as for eligible charitable donations. The current list of eligible charities includes:

  • American Red Cross
  • Equal Justice Initiative
  • Feeding America
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • International Medical Corporation
  • Leadership Education Fund
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • National Urban League
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  • United Negro College Fund
  • United Way
  • World Central Kitchen

Through the end of the year, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card points will be worth 25% more when donated to an eligible charity, and continuing through April 30, 2021 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points will also be worth 25% more, and Chase Sapphire Reserve® points will be worth 50% more. Furthermore, Chase Freedom®, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and Chase Freedom Flex℠ points will be worth 25% more with no end date currently in place.

After making a donation to an eligible charity, cardholders can select from recent transactions (made up to 90 days prior) and choose to redeem points for all or a portion of the donation, and get paid back with a statement credit. For more details, please see our guide to the Chase Pay Yourself Back program.

Also notable is the American Express JustGiving partnership, which is offering up to a 10X Feeding America match now through Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1, 2020).

When you use your Membership Rewards® points towards a donation to Feeding America, American Express will make a 10X match for the dollar amount of each donation, up to $1 million in total donations. For example, if you donate $100, American Express will match that with a $1,000 donation. That has potential to go a long way towards helping alleviate hunger in communities nationwide. 

Membership Rewards® points can be earned with a number of American Express cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, the American Express® Gold Card, the American Express® Business Gold Card, and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. Please see our Guide to American Express Membership Rewards® to learn more about these cards and the Membership Rewards® program.

To make your donation, simply create a JustGiving account and enter your eligible card information. Enter the dollar amount you’d like to donate to Feeding America, apply your Membership Rewards® points, and American Express will automatically match 10X the dollar amount of your donation.  

This match offer expires on Dec 1, 2020, however, there are a number of charities, including Feeding America, that you can donate Membership Reward® points to when ever you'd like. So whether you make a charitable donation this holiday season, or maybe later down the line, credit card rewards can be a great tool for helping your favorite charities all year long.

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