What happens to your points and rewards when you die? A person holds up a cell phone with a rewards announcement on it

Loyalty Programs – Can You Give Your Rewards to Loved Ones When You Die?

If you’re an avid traveler, Amazon user, or enjoy maximizing benefits when you are shopping, you may be part of loyalty rewards programs. You may be earning airline miles; hotel, rental car, and gas rewards; points on a credit card; shopping rewards from various stores; or other loyalty rewards benefits.  But what happens to your rewards and points when you die?

You have already spent the money to earn these rewards, and may want someone else to benefit if you are not able to.

It is likely that your rewards program has “terms and conditions” that say these points are not your property.  So, it may take a bit of planning to ensure your loved ones have access to these rewards.

How can I plan so that my rewards can be used by my loved ones?

  1. Understand your rewards program’s rules about when a member dies. Find out:
    • Can your loved ones keep your account open after your death and use the rewards?
    • Are they able to transfer your reward points to their rewards accounts?
    • Can they only redeem or transfer the rewards once?
    • Is there a fee to transfer the rewards?
  2. Make sure your loved ones are able to log in to your account(s). This includes your username and password, AND answers to any security questions.
  3. Consider including in your will who you want to leave your rewards to.

What are ways my loved ones can use my rewards?

  1. Your loved ones may be able to transfer the rewards to someone else
  2. If your points are not able to be transferred, see if your loved ones are able to keep your account open to use the points or purchase tickets for themselves or others
  3. If option 1 and 2 are not possible, and your rewards are from a credit card, see if your rewards can be converted to a fixed-rate redemption. For example, this may be in the form of a statement credit to lower your bill.

For more in-depth information on how transferring points or miles works for various rewards programs, and how to plan so that others have access to your rewards when you die, you can read “What happens to your points and miles after you die?” written by The Points Guy.

For more information about other practical things to think about when planning ahead, such as financial or medical decision making, visit Triage Cancer’s Estate Planning Resource Hub.

About Triage Cancer

Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit providing free education to people diagnosed with cancer, caregivers, and health care professionals on cancer-related legal and practical issues. Through eventsmaterials, and resources, Triage Cancer is dedicated to helping people move beyond diagnosis.

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