Jet Fueling Christian Ministry with miles & certificates for travel via train, plane, rental cars, & otherwise while also sharing options for hotels & other travel arrangements
When no donors are present to give you points, or if your donors want a method to help you without digging into their pocket as much, credit cards present one of the best options to acquire points that can be used for travel. Some sign-up bonuses alone (typically, but not always, after meeting minimum spending thresholds) could cover the cost of multiple round-trip international trips. While some annual fee-incurring credit cards can achieve positive expected value year after year, even if they don't, often, annual fee-incurring cards can be downgraded in the second year to keep positively impacting the cardholder's credit for years to come & achieve other benefits since even a barely used card can positively impact credit utilization. See my page on the credit impact of credit cards (specifically regarding a home purchase), my page on credit card pitfalls, and my page on how you can use credit cards to acquire points to help you cover travel expenses.
There are some cases where a points purchase can be used effectively to drastically reduce the cost of travel or hotels when you don't have the points and when no donor is available. See my page on the subject.