Believe it or not, there’s a lot of good that can come from owning a credit card. Not only, with proper use, can you reap the rewards of cash back, airline miles, or free hotel stays, but with many cards you also have the opportunity to donate your rewards to charity if you so choose. Many WECU members have done just that- used their credit card rewards like a super hero- to do good.

Whether for you that means giving away forgotten loyalty accounts, unused sign-up bonuses, cobweb-covered miles, or other nearly expired rewards, there are numerous ways these benefits can be used for good.

Here’s how it works

As you login to your credit card rewards site, most have a link you can click on to donate rewards to charity. What charities you’re able to donate to depends on the credit card itself. From there, you’re typically able to identify how many rewards points or miles you want to donate.

How do my donations help?

Cash value donations sustain charities so they can continue to operate. There are also many charities that can benefit from hotel points or airline miles. A good example of this is Make-A-Wish Foundation. This charity grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Last year the charity used 50,000 round-trip tickets to cover 15,000 granted wishes. The largest expense associated with this charity is travel and accommodation which is where donated credit card rewards come in.

What does the charity get?

What specifically the charity receives from your donation will depend on the card. Typically points and cash value are redeemed by the charity at a lower rate than they would be by the card holder, but airline miles are often redeemed at the same rate. Most non-profit websites explain how they use these types of donations.

A few things to consider:

  • Donations are not tax-deductible– The IRS sees these donations as the passing along of a discount, rather than cash.
  • Donations can’t be reversed- If you make the donation, you can’t take it back.
  • There likely won’t be fees with your donation, but you should make sure- most credit cards wave transaction fees for donations, but not all. Before you make the donation look up whether you’ll be charged for doing it.

What about WECU credit cards?

You can donate your WECU credit card rewards to charity! Just log into your account, click on the “order awards” tab, select “donations” and choose which charity you want to donate to. With a few clicks you’ll be using your credit card like a super hero.