What Happens to my Credit Card and/or Travel Rewards When I Pass?
If you have travel and/or reward credit cards that allow you to earn “points” or “miles”, your reserve of rewards could be worth thousands of dollars. But what happens to credit card points or miles after you pass?
Each company has its own specific requirements and stipulations regarding the transfer of credit card reward points. Generally, reward points are not actual property, so you cannot legally own the points and therefore are not legally entitled to have them transferred to anyone upon your passing. With that said, each rewards program has its own policy on what happens to the points of an account holder who has passed, which can be found in the credit cards’ terms and conditions.
American Express Membership Rewards: Reward points may be reinstated to a new account when an eligible “Basic Card Member” meets specified requirements or redeemed by the estate of the decedent (original card holder). An executor of the estate may send a formal written request to customer service to request point redemption. However, all rewards points are forfeited immediately upon cancellation of the account. https://www.americanexpress.com/us/help/deceased-cardmembers.html
Bank of America: Reward points eligible for redemption may be redeemed if an authorized representative of the estate requests a reward redemption.
Chase Ultimate Rewards: Reward points are automatically redeemed for cash in the form of a statement credit. Currently, Chase provides one (1) cent per point when redeemed for a statement credit.
Discover Rewards: Reward points are automatically credited to the account or Discover will send you a check with your rewards balance when the account is closed.
Wells Fargo Rewards: Reward points cannot be transferred after passing and all points are forfeited upon account closure.
Similar to your other assets, you should plan how to allocate your points or miles to your loved ones. If you have a large allocation of miles or points, the simplest step is to use the points to ensure that your reward points are not forfeited and wasted. It is important to ensure your trusted loved ones have access to banking accounts and reward programs, through the preparation of a Power of Attorney. At SAMUELS WOOD PLLC, our attorneys make planning for your future easy. It is important to us that you feel at ease when thinking about your future, whether it is planning your estate or who receives your credit card reward points. Call our firm at 561-864-3371.