Use Them Before You Lose Them: Transferring Airline Miles

With the Moderna/Pfizer vaccine rollout, plane tickets at a relative all-time low, and airline miles accumulating due to lack of travel, why not transfer your expiring airline miles points to a loved one who could safely use them?

For many of us, the idea of traveling to an exotic locale in 2021 is still (sadly) a pipe dream. But for healthcare providers, first responders, and other members of the population, that idea is not out of the question since they are first in line to receive the vaccine.

Delta says in their Sky Miles terms and conditions that “miles are not the property of any Member.” But you can still transfer points to a loved one. You can set up the flight yourself using your points by typing in the individual’s information for the tickets.

But if miles aren’t your property, what happens to them when you pass away? Do they just vanish, or can they be transferred to a loved one at that point?

Like most things (especially when it comes to legal issues): it depends. Many airlines reserve the right to deactivate your account upon your death. This may mean that your miles in fact vanish. However, some airlines allow points to be transferred if you submit proof of death. This is usually accomplished by submitting a death certificate.

To find out if you can transfer your credit card points upon your passing, call your airline or rewards program and confirm their policy. If they allow it, it is usually as simple as giving your login information to a loved one. However, it can be more involved depending on the program. This is why it’s worth a phone call.

When a loved one passes away, we advise our clients to call their airline or rewards program to at least try to transfer their credit card points. Don’t leave assets on the table!

All airline miles programs are different, and if you are looking for help in any facet of estate planning in Georgia or Florida, call our office at (678) 784-4150. The estate planning attorneys at Thrift McLemore are here to support you at every stage of handling an estate from planning to administering.