3 minute read

What Happens to Airline Points & Miles After You Die?

If you’ve begun the important task of preparing your Estate Plan, you may want to consider what to do with any of your unused airline points or miles.

Are you a frequent flyer who loves to travel? Have you ever wondered what would happen to all your rewards points and frequent flyer miles after you die? If you’ve begun the important task of preparing your Estate Plan, you may want to consider what to do with any of your unused points.

Most commercial airlines offer their passengers a frequent-flyer loyalty program which is designed to entice airline travelers to enroll and accumulate frequent-flyer points which they can then redeem for travel perks and discounts. 

Your rewards can add up quickly, especially if you have accumulated hundreds of thousands of points. Unfortunately, many of the biggest airlines have policies clearly stating that frequent flyer miles are not transferable upon death. Other airlines include vague statements and wording about the use of “sole discretion” as it pertains to decisions regarding the transference of accrued mileage credit to beneficiaries.

Looking into Airline’s Policies

It is a wise idea to review your loyalty program’s terms and conditions prior to drafting your Will. But do keep in mind that terms and conditions can change at any time making it easier, or more difficult, for your beneficiaries to redeem your reward points after your passing. For that reason, you may want to go ahead and list in your Estate Plan, a beneficiary for your accumulated flyer rewards and points. At the appropriate time, it is recommended that your beneficiary contact your frequent flyer service department and personally speak to a representative - which may, in turn, elicit a better response.

Below, is a list of several airlines and website links to their frequent-flyer terms and conditions pages for your convenience. 

The Importance of an Estate Plan

Thinking ahead and having a plan in place for your airline points and miles - and for the entirety of your Estate, is always a good idea. Not only does estate planning provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your affairs are in order, but it is also that final act of kindness you can bestow on your loved ones. 

After your passing, your friends and family will be faced with a tidal wave of emotions. Shock, sadness, fear, longing, regret, heartache, helplessness, and despair are just some of the common feelings that are left in the wake of a loved one’s passing. Now, imagine confusion thrown into the mix. Immediately after someone dies, very important decisions must be made on your behalf. 

The first decision families are confronted with is the transport of the deceased’s body. If no autopsy is required, the mortuary or funeral home can be called to pick up the body. Will your family members know in advance where you want your body taken? Having a family discussion about end-of-life decisions, well in advance, is strongly recommended. 

If you have stated in your Estate Plan your preferred end-of-life arrangements, you will have alleviated a huge source of pain and stress for your loved ones. With the first of many very emotional decisions already made by you, as documented in your Estate Plan, your family will be forever grateful. 

Trust & Will provides a comprehensive and complete process to protect your assets and loved ones. From the comfort of your own home, you can easily create customized and state-specific estate planning documents online to nominate trusted guardians for your children, list your assets, and outline what should happen in a medical emergency. Having a proper Estate Plan in place will help to avoid costly and time-intensive probate court procedures and will allow your assets to pass seamlessly to your beneficiaries.

You can fully customize your Estate Plan online to fit your preferred wishes for how you would like your affairs to be handled when you are gone. Some of the information and documents you may want to consider including in your customized Estate Plan are the following:

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Executor Documents

  • Revocable Living Trust 

  • Legal Will

  • Nomination of Child or Pet Guardians

  • Desired plans for final arrangements (funeral, burial, cremation) 

  • Living Will & Health Care Power of Attorney

  • List of member loyalty programs (Frequent-Flyer etc.)

With so many important decisions to be made when drafting your online estate planning documents, wondering what will happen to all your frequent flyer points may seem trivial to some people. However, if traveling is your passion and accruing travel rewards points adds considerable pleasure to your journeys, you may feel strongly about passing along your reward points to that special someone who loves traveling as much as you always have. Although there are no certainties when it comes to which travel rewards program will or will not honor your points and rewards after you pass, your thoughtfulness in gifting them in your Will to your favorite travel aficionado will always be fondly remembered and appreciated.

If you have been putting off creating your customized Estate Plan due to the emotional “heaviness” of the subject matter, Trust & Will can lighten the burden for you! Think of estate planning as a well-planned journey that leads to a destination of clarity, peace of mind, and the assurance that your final wishes will one day experience a smooth take-off! Get started today!

Is there a question here we didn’t answer? Reach out to us today or chat with a live member support representative!