Donate Your Miles & United Will Match: Here’s How To Do It

by Chris Dong

So long Thanksgiving, and the chaotic shopping days that follow.

We’ve moved on to Giving Tuesday, known as the kickoff day for charitable giving each holiday season. There are tons of ways to pay it forward and give back. One way to easily do that is by donating your airline miles to a worthy cause.

One of those causes? Global Glimpse. They’re an organization that helps empower young people through the transformative power of travel. In fact, as a travel enthusiast, if there was only one organization you could choose to give to this holiday season, Global Glimpse should be high on your list.

While many airlines have their own dedicated pages to donating miles to worthy nonprofits, United Airlines is Global Glimpse’s official airline partner — and is matching each mile donated, up to 500,000 miles.

Instead of scrambling to figure out a use for your United miles, donate them.

What Is Global Glimpse? 

Global Glimpse is a nonprofit that provides powerful travel and leadership opportunities to U.S. high school students from diverse backgrounds. It’s part leadership development program, and part in-country service learning in Latin America and the Caribbean.

By partnering with 100 high schools in diverse neighborhoods across the U.S., Global Glimpse has made travel possible for 6,700 students and awarded over $13M in need-based travel scholarships. Over the last decade, Global Glimpse has made it their mission to place access, equity, and diversity at the heart of its model.

Here’s a quick video about Global Glimpse’s work:

On A Personal Note…

I’ve been lucky enough to serve on Global Glimpse’s leadership council for the past year and a half, and have met students who have shared how much the program has impacted them. Some of my most rewarding moments have been reading student applications, and seeing through high schoolers’ eyes what transformative international travel means.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively, and this is my way of paying it forward. If you think the mission resonates, awesome. But you might also be asking how donating United miles would help…

Why Donate United Miles To Global Glimpse? 

 

Glad you asked. Global Glimpse sends students to local communities in one of three countries — Ecuador, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. United miles will help send those students there from a handful of U.S. gateways including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, and Massachusetts.

Global Glimpse’s goal is to raise one million United miles this holiday season as part of the Ticket to the World campaign. While United award pricing is now dynamic, 1,000,000 United miles should be more than enough to fly an entire delegation (a cohort of about 20 students).

Yes, United’s shift to dynamic award pricing even affects nonprofits too.

why donate airline miles

Some of the United Airlines flights that Global Glimpse students take

How To Donate United Miles To Global Glimpse

It’s super easy to donate your extra United miles.

  1. Head over to United’s Miles On A Mission page for Global Glimpse.
  2. Click on “Donate” and log in to your United MileagePlus account.
  3. Select the number of United miles you want to donate (or enter a custom amount in increments of 1,000 miles), and click Donate.

    Remember, United is matching all Global Glimpse mileage donations up to 500,000 miles!

    donate united miles

Finally, you’ll see a “Thank You” screen and also receive a confirmation email from Miles On A Mission.


Don’t Have United Miles? Donate Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. Here’s How.

Even if you don’t have a United MileagePlus account, you can still donate miles to Global Glimpse. 

Or, if you do have a United account without any miles in it, you can still make a donation. How? With Chase Ultimate Rewards points which are transferable to United.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned through credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Business Preferred, among others.

  1. Head over to the Ultimate Rewards portal and login to your Chase account.
  2. After signing in, navigate to the header and click on “Transfer To Travel Partners”
  3. You’ll see a list of Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners. Scroll down until you find, yep, you guessed it, United MileagePlus.

    If you don’t already have a United MileagePlus account, you can quickly sign up for one in just a couple of minutes. You can sign up for an account even if you’ve never flown on United and/or never plan to. It makes sense to earn miles whenever you’re traveling on United or any of their Star Alliance partner airlines.

  4. After clicking “Transfer Points,” you’ll be asked to enter your United MileagePlus number under “Member ID.” This will link your Chase account with your United account.donate united miles
  5. Now, you’ll be asked to enter how many Chase Ultimate Rewards points you want to transfer to United MileagePlus. Transfers are 1:1 and must be done in increments of 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

    As an example, if you transfer 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points, 10,000 United miles will instantly be placed into your MileagePlus account. You might have to sign out of your United account and sign back in for the miles to appear.

    donate united miles

That’s it! Now that you have United miles in your account, you can scroll back up to go through the 3 steps to donate miles directly to Global Glimpse. 

The Upshot

There’s a lot of choices for year-end giving this holiday season, but a mileage donation to Global Glimpse should be high on your list. United will match your donated miles, up to 500,000 miles in total. And of course, you’d be giving the gift of travel to students who deserve it.

If you’d rather donate in dollars, you can do that too. To just learn more about Global Glimpse, and the work the organization does, head over here.

Questions about Global Glimpse or about donating miles to charity in general? Feel free to leave them in the comments.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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MikeL December 3, 2019 - 11:57 am

Thank you for this wonderful idea… I clicked your linked and donated… then explored the site and found a few other causes to donate… Perfect time of year to make a difference!

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