Make a donation. Make a difference.
Maybe win one million MileagePlus miles!

The travel writer known as The Points Guy has teamed up with United Airlines to give away one million MileagePlus miles, while simultaneously benefiting the Make-A-Wish® foundation.

As you may be aware, Make-A-Wish grants wishes for children with critical illnesses, in large measure because research has shown that children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness.

“A wish trip is more than a vacation,” David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America, said. “A wish is an important and often necessary part of a child’s medical journey.”

The Points Guy, a/k/a Brian Kelly, was inspired by a benefactor who gifted 2.5 million United Airlines MileagePlus miles to Make-A-Wish earlier this summer. Kelly then decided to see what he could do.

He approached United Airlines (NYSE:UAL), which donated 500,000 miles. Then, he added the same amount of his own miles to create a grand prize of one million miles. In addition, the winner will receive $2,000 in Airbnb coupons, and Avis Rent a Car services upon arrival at their destination. Finally, Kelly will fly the winner to The Points Guy’s New York City headquarters to advise him or her on maximizing their one million MileagePlus miles for a dream vacation.

Entering is simple. Anyone over 13 years of age can visit and donate to Make-A-Wish. A minimum donation of $10 will earn 10 sweepstakes entries per dollar. A $10 donation will get 100 entries; $20 will earn 200, etc. And donors of $30 and greater will receive some additional tchotchkes.

“But,” you say, “Isn’t it illegal to require a purchase or donation to enter?” It is. And though there is a way to enter without making a donation, I’d say two things.

First, Make-A-Wish really does make a difference. I know first-hand. Some years ago, I participated with a team from my company to build a backyard play set for a little girl named Maria. Her immune system was so badly compromised that her parents couldn’t risk taking her to the local park and exposing her to other kids’ germs. Seeing the look on her face as she slid down her new slide for the first time – and knew she’d be able to do it again and again – was priceless.

Second, the minimum is $10. That’s the price of two Grande Chia lattes at Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).

If you’re not inclined to donate, here's how to enter without ponying up (m)any of your hard-earned dollars.

Visit and log in to the Sweepstakes Website, print the free entry form ("Form"), and complete the Form by hand using blue or black ink. Place the completed Form in an envelope, affix proper first-class postage to each envelope, and mail the envelope to the applicable Administrator address as indicated on the Form. Each postal entry must be stamped and mailed separately.

So, at 47 cents per letter, 100 entries would cost you $47. Plus the paper and envelopes, your time and effort. Are you REALLY going to mail it in? C’mon; be a mensch. Do a mitzvah and, win or not, know that you’re helping a sick child.

The sweepstakes period opened August 28 and ends on Nov. 30, 2018.

Visit my main page at for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Click on images to view larger size

If you found this article helpful, informative and/or entertaining, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help support this private project.