Include Bonus Points in Your Death Plans

When you are on your deathbed, family members probably won’t bombard you with questions about unused credit card rewards. And yet, unused points can be worth thousands of dollars – and with a little dexterity and planning, you can ensure that these perks are left behind your family.

How to transfer your bonus points

Each loyalty program has different rules: some simply lose your points upon notification of your death (Delta Air Lines, JetBlue and Southwest), some may offer a small cash refund (Citi ThankYou Rewards), and some allow you to transfer points to someone else. recipient (Alaska Airlines and American Airlines).

Even transferring points can be difficult as some rules require the transfer to be specified in a will or only at the request of an authorized estate agent. Some also require transfers to take place over a certain number of days – this is indeed a mixed set of policies, so you’ll want to read the fine print for your particular loyalty program.

  • Since you are not automatically eligible for the reward, you may not want your family members to apply to the loyalty program immediately after you die. Instead, The Points Guy recommends that you leave your next of kin (ideally, before you die) to log into your account, as this will allow them to redeem points instead of paying the official transfer fees. The website states that airline agents they spoke to encourage this as it might be the easiest way to quickly redeem points.
  • Another similar option is “ point pooling, ” as many programs allow you to add family members as authorized users to your credit card, ensuring that your family still has access to your share of the rewards after you die.
  • Since some programs do allow you to transfer points, you can also indicate in your will that you want to transfer points to your next of kin (if you have a spouse, they may also want to do this).
  • Finally, another good idea is to redeem your points regularly, perhaps with your family, while you are still alive. It doesn’t make sense to carry around a ton of points if you never intend to use them, especially if you pay hundreds of dollars in annual fees on your credit card.

First of all, handing over your points is simply a matter of thinking ahead and having a plan for handing over your points. The material benefit is that the points are not wasted. Perhaps more importantly, you will save your family from at least one trouble during a difficult time.


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