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How to earn extra United miles by supporting Black History Month

And stretch your giving even further when you do


Now you can donate rewards instead of donating from your checking account – and United will reward you with 5 miles for every dollar you give, up to $1,000.

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February is Black History Month, and it’s possible for some United Airlines credit cardholders to earn bonus United miles by donating to eligible organizations that are dedicated to supporting civil rights and expanding educational opportunities for Black students.

The participating cards are the United Gateway Card, United Explorer Card, United Quest℠ Card, United Club℠ Infinite Card, United℠ Business Card* and the United Club℠ Business Card. Cardholders will receive 5 miles for every dollar they donate (up to $1,000) to the following organizations from Feb. 1 through March 15, 2022:

“At JPMorgan Chase, we are on a mission to help close the racial wealth gap and drive economic inclusion for Black communities,” said Ed Olebe, president of co-brand cards at JPMorgan Chase. “Providing more access to educational opportunities for Black students and increasing civil rights is foundational to our long-term success. We are partnering with United and Visa during Black History Month again this year to reward our customers when they take action to support organizations that are truly making a difference in these critical areas.”

Michelle Gethers-Clark, chief diversity officer and head of corporate responsibility at Visa, added, “At Visa, we are committed to supporting our partners and communities as we work to uplift everyone, everywhere. As the Black and African-American communities in the U.S. continue to face inequities with regards to access to education and capital, we are proud to celebrate Black History Month by once again partnering with United and Chase to collectively support non-profit organizations that are on the frontlines supporting Black communities across the U.S.”

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You could also consider donating your rewards

One of my favorite tips regarding charitable giving is to donate your credit card rewards, airline miles and/or hotel points. Many organizations make it very easy to give these directly, including American Airlines, American Express, Discover and Marriott.

A big part of the appeal is that many people find their hearts are bigger than their wallets. In other words, they want to give to causes they care about, but money may be tight. Rewards represent found money – they have value but donating rewards doesn’t require you to dip into your checking account.

For example, if you have Marriott points, you can donate those to any of their 30 charitable partners. Some with Black History Month tie-ins include My Brother’s Keeper, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Urban League.

Many Chase credit cardholders can stretch their donations further through the bank’s Pay Yourself Back program.  For instance, I have the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card, and through the end of 2022, I can redeem my points for 25% more value when I use them to offset certain charitable contributions. There’s an added step, because you need to pay for the donation with your card and then get reimbursed by cashing out your rewards, but the net effect is a sizable bonus. Most of the aforementioned organizations, plus some others, are eligible for this promotion.

Bottom line

Whether you’re donating rewards directly or looking to earn extra rewards while donating money, your giving can stretch even further thanks to many credit card issuers, airlines and hotels.

Have a question about credit cards? E-mail me at and I’d be happy to help.

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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