Give back! Use your credit card points to donate to charities this GivingTuesday

This GivingTuesday, you may want to consider leveraging your reward points balances to help out your favorite causes and organizations. GivingTuesday was established in 2012 as a global generosity movement meant to inspire people to do good in their communities and around the world. Many people use GivingTuesday as a day to donate to causes they care about, volunteer their time, or simply make someone smile.

If you have a tight budget and your points are going unused, using those rewards to donate on or after GivingTuesday can be a great option for you. There are several credit card companies that offer the ability to donate your points to charitable organizations.

American Express is a perennial front-runner when it comes to using points for charity. Through their partnership with JustGiving, Amex cardholders can donate Membership Rewards points at a 0.7-cent-per-point valuation to thousands of charities and causes in need. The portal allows you to donate points for all or part of the donation amount without the need for a specific increment. While it may not be the highest-value option, if you have a significant number of points and are wondering how to make a difference, this could be the option for you.

Chase also offers a redemption option called Pay Yourself Back that allows you to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points at preferential rates for specific types of purchases. This includes charitable donations. For instance, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeeming this way, while they are worth 1.5 cents each with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Now through December 31, you can use Pay Yourself Back to offset purchases like groceries, but you can also use it for charitable donations. By donating to specific nonprofit organizations and then redeeming your points as a statement credit through the Pay Yourself Back tab, you can make a difference without spending extra money.

Citi also offers charity partner redemption options for ThankYou Rewards points. Some of the nonprofits you can donate to include the American Red Cross, No Kid Hungry, SmileTrain, and UNICEF USA, among others. Each ThankYou point redeemed this way is worth 1 cent, and you can select from different donation thresholds. While the set thresholds may limit the usefulness of using points, it’s still a good deal for Citi cardholders who want an additional redemption option.

These credit card partnerships make it easy to donate using your points. American Express offers the widest range of organizations to donate to, while Chase cardholders can potentially get more value on a per-point basis for charitable donations through the Pay Yourself Back feature. Hopefully, more card issuers will provide flexibility and redemption opportunities for causes in the future.

In conclusion, if you have unused reward points and want to make a difference on GivingTuesday, consider donating them to your favorite causes and organizations. It’s a great way to support important causes without spending extra money out of your budget.

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