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December 11, 2021

Would you consider donating frequent flier miles to charity?

With the economy leaving many feeling financially squeezed, it’s tough to find the cash to support your favourite charity. How about donating some of those air miles instead?

Websites such as MileDonor have detailed lists of airlines and their charity organizations. Donating your AIR MILES allows non-profit organizations like Kids Help Phone or Special Olympics Canada to access airline seats to fly people in need, or book them into a hotel room. 

Miles donated through Air France-KLM's frequent flier program are converted into tickets and sent to charities such as La Chaîne de l'Espoir, helping to mobilize doctors, nurses and foster families for children in medical need in developing countries.

Aeroplan, for example, allows its members to donate rewards miles gained from air flights to offset the damage those flights cause, through the donation of carbon credits. Donations can also be made to several charities, including Doctors Without Borders, and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

The Ottawa Humane Society uses the miles it receives from sponsors to purchase prizes that are then raffled or sold to raise cash.

Even those who don’t have a card can participate: When cashiers ask you for your AIR MILES card you can either give them the Ottawa Humane Society’s collector number – 8402 125 6112 – or give them a photocopy of the OHS card so the cashier can then scan the barcode or enter their number.

Any similar plans for your frequent flier points this winter?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...