Did you know there are several options to donate funds to a cause you love simply by shopping or paying your bills?
Recently, I visited my local grocery store. Being a thrifty shopper, I often log into my rewards account app on my smartphone, and select instant coupons. It’s become part of my routine, only takes a few minutes and my pocketbook is much happier for it. Additionally, the rewards account app tracks my spending, and provides me points for every dollar I spend. Those rewards can be turned in for gas savings, free products (gallon of milk, box of pasta, dozen eggs, etc.) and store savings.
As I perused the list of awards I could claim with my points, I noticed an option to donate my rewards to community relief fund. I had 3 rewards expiring this month, and a choice: Redeem the rewards for a gallon of milk I intended to buy anyway, or turn them in for a $3 donation to feeding people right in my community. The choice was easy, I chose my community.
Looking in my pocketbook, there are a handful of “reward cards” holding space between my credit card and driver’s license. I pulled out those cards, and looked up my accounts online. I was pleasantly surprised to learn another grocery store I frequent offers a program to donate a portion of my spending to charity. The only thing required was to select the charity (I chose a local one) and assign it to my account. Every future visit will automatically provide a donation on eligible purchases.
The online tour of my reward accounts quickly took a detour, when I discovered the holy grail of online shopping offers a program to donate a portion of your spending. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Smile.Amazon.com. It’s the same Amazon.com store we all know and love, but with a twist. If you shop under the website Smile.Amazon.com, 0.5% of eligible purchases will go to a charity of your choice. The only hitch is, you have to complete your order through the website (at this time, it’s not available on the Amazon app). Alas, there is a solution to this dilemma. If you must use your smartphone or tablet app to shop (like I do), fill up your cart and save. When you’re ready to blast off the order, log into Smile.Amazon.com on the internet and check out from there. Your cart is already saved from your app.
These programs donate to our communities with no added cost to us. It’s especially meaningful when you have the power to select the charity and see the impact on a local basis. Next time you find yourself in front of the television playing on social media, take a few minutes to check out some of the reward programs you participate in. Your small amount of time could mean funding for important causes.
Below is a small list of reward programs I discovered on my tour. Each of these offer donations at no added cost to you. There are many programs out there. In addition to shopping, travel rewards can also be donated. Looking for a new car? Consider purchasing during Subaru’s Share the Love Event and they will donate $250 to a charity you select, at no cost. Lastly, consider looking into your wireless provider. They too, provide reward programs for paying your bill, which can also be donated to a charity.
Albertsons Rewards: www.albertsons.com/justforu
Amazon Smile: smile.amazon.com
Kroeger Brand Stores: https://www.kroger.com/i/community/community-rewards
Safeway Rewards: www.safeway.com/justforu
Marriott Hotels: https://giving.marriott.com/
United Airlines: https://donate.mileageplus.com/
Subaru Share the Love Event: www.subaru.com/share-the-love