When preparing your estate plan or will, it’s important to include all of your possessions and finances – but what happens to your rewards points after death?
Some of the first assets that Canadians include in their estate plans and will include savings accounts, TFSA’s, credit cards, property, and debt, but many will overlook the value of accumulated rewards points and loyalty programs.
The recent passing of the globally-renowned celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has reminded Canadians to never overlook their assets or property.
In Bourdain’s case, his loyalty points were deemed as a valuable asset in his estate plan. If you share Anthony Bourdain’s passion for travel, you may have access to a large number of loyalty points.
Although, not all loyalty rewards programs can be transferred after death.
Here’s what you can do with your earned points.
Rewards Points After Death: Can you pass them on?
Over the past five years in Canada, memberships to loyalty programs have grown by 68%, averaging a total of 12.3 cards per citizen in 2017. According to Bond Brand Loyalty, the value of last year’s unredeemed loyalty points reached $16 billion last year.
While it’s evident that there’s a large Canadian population with a large amount of loyalty program points, many are leaving them out of their estate plan or will.
One of the common misconceptions which lead Canadians to neglect the addition of loyalty rewards points in their will or estate plan is the expiry date.
The majority of Canada’s loyalty points programs permit a transfer of points or miles upon the submission of a death certificate. Some of these programs include:
- Air Miles
- WestJet Airlines
- Porter Airlines
- Hudson’s Bay
Non-Transferable Loyalty Programs
Some larger loyalty programs are either difficult to transfer or non-transferable all together:
- PC Optimum
- Indigo Plum
- Canadian Tire Triangle Rewards
- SAQ Inspire
PC Optimum points may be one of the largest loyalty points programs throughout the country. While the points may be difficult to transfer, Loblaws spokesperson Catherine Thomas says:
“Although PC Optimum points are not transferable, the program has worked with family members of deceased customers in specific cases.”Catherine Thomas, Loblaws Spokeperson
It’s important to note that family members can still access the loyalty program points of a deceased family member if they use their loved one’s loyalty points card.
Starting a discussion with your legal or financial expert about your active loyalty rewards programs is the first step in securing your assets.
Are you currently without a will or estate plan? Unsure if you’ve included everything in your current plan?
Download our complimentary Will Preparation Guide to assist you in getting your will started.