Earn 50 American Airlines Miles Per Dollar For Cancer Donations

Singer and Stand Up To Cancer Ambassador Mandy Moore is the spokesperson for the American Airlines fundraising campaign. Her father retired as an American Airlines pilot last year.

Through September 30 American will reward donations with:

  • 25 miles per dollar
  • 50 miles per dollar if you pay with an American Airlines U.S.-issued cobrand Mastercard, on up to $10,000 in donations

The miles earned for donations to Stand Up To Cancer do not count as Loyalty Points. Remember that this is American Airlines (and Mastercard) supporting a fundraising drive, not Stand Up To Cancer buying Loyalty Points (which American charges quite a lot for!). So this won’t help your quest for status. Too bad, a $4000 donation to charity would earn Executive Platinum status if it did!

Stand Up To Cancer is not actually an organization. It’s a project of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. They do make large grants to medical research. Donations are actually made to the Entertainment Industry Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 public charity, so normal donations are tax deductible.

I will leave it to you or your tax advisor to determine the value of a deduction is reduced by the American Airlines miles received in exchange for that donation. The fine print on the offer suggests, bluntly, “Due to the receipt of miles, donations over $75 are not tax deductible for this promotion.”

I’m frankly somewhat more concerned about actually getting the full 50 miles per dollar promised for paying by Mastercard. If you click through and read the details of the offer there is this: “Promotion ends September 30, 2022 or when overall promotion donations total $1,000,000.”

It is not clear to me that you will know when the cumulative total of donations reaches $1 million, exhausting what appears to be Mastercard’s match. One million dollars at an extra 25 miles per dollar would mean 25 million miles. If they’re funding those miles at a discount from American it may represent a $250,000 commitment of support.

Is it possible that the $1 million threshold will be reached, and Mastercard will cut off the additional mileage-earning funds, but that won’t flow through to the website? With SimplyMiles and year-end 2021 donations to Charity International this happened and it took a few days for Mastercard to get approval for additional dollars to fund miles for consumers who fully expected to receive them.

If you’re interested in earning 50 miles per dollar on donations to cancer programs, likely without a tax deduction (but many of you don’t itemize anyway!), then it’s advisable to act quickly since the offer is just out today and probably hasn’t reached its cap yet and won’t for a little bit. I still like wrapping a plane with the names of supporters though.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is awesome! We all know someone impacted by cancer. Thanks, AA, for doing this!! 🙂

  2. Million dollars max is nothing. At $10K max donation, it only takes 100 and if you’re 101, reads like you’re out of luck. I did great with SimplyMiles and will let it go at that. Good Luck to anyone on this one, regardless for a great cause.

  3. As for the economics of it . . . one is purchasing miles for 2 cents each. Buy wisely.

  4. Was hoping the 25 + 50 miles might stack. As others have said, it’s for a good cause, if not a great “buy.”

  5. Earlier today Mastercard ended (early) the $10.00 back promotion for restaurant week when paying with your Mastercard…I don’t trust Mastercard.

  6. You get LP’s for the donation spend on your AA card 🙂 obviously half cent per mile isn’t quite as lucrative as the SimplyMiles donation. If you are paying cash for a biz ticket, this will probably make it cheaper. Hopefully these keep coming along in the future.

  7. I didn’t get an email receipt for a fonation made last night. Usually those are instant. Have other got theirs?

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