What happens to your loyalty points when you die?
As we shop, many of us collect loyalty points from multiple companies and throughout a lifetime this can amount to a substantial value. So what happens to unclaimed loyalty points when we die? This blog post explores how different retailers treat rewards and points after death.
According to TopCashback.co.uk, UK adults build up £5.7billion through loyalty schemes each year. This equates to around £122 per person from an average of five loyalty schemes. These figures highlight that there is a risk of a significant amount of money being lost to retailers upon death.
Additionally, TopCashback.co.uk’s report revealed that 93% of people are unaware that you can pass on loyalty points after death, with only 5% of those aged over 55 mentioning them in their Wills.
Let’s take a look at the policies of some of the largest high street brands:
Tesco Clubcard is one of the leading loyalty schemes in the UK and shoppers are awarded one point for every £1 spent in-store or online. Additionally, they award one point for every £2 spent on fuel. The points collected are then turned into vouchers which can be spent on groceries, days out, eating out, travel and more. 150 points are worth a £1.50 Tesco voucher or alternatively, you can get three times the value of your vouchers if you spend with Tesco Reward Partners.
Tesco Clubcard terms and conditions state that “Members may inherit the points or vouchers of a family member who has died by providing a written request informing us of the membership details of the deceased.” All that a relative of the deceased needs to do is write to Tesco’s Customer Service Centre to close the account and request for the points to be transferred to their existing Clubcard or a new one. They need to include the member’s name, address and Clubcard number.
Sainsbury’s Nectar Card
The Nectar Card allows cardholders to collect points with 450 different retailers and redeem points with over 25 brands. Sainsbury’s Collector Rules are very clear in that points are “personal to the Nectar account and cannot normally be transferred”, however, they do allow points to be passed on death. The rules set out that “points can only be transferred from a Nectar Account to another Nectar Account on death or divorce if adequate evidence of the legal division of points is given to us.” Sainsbury’s have said that they assess what processes will need to be followed on a case by case basis. This often involves providing a copy of the death certificate. The nominated beneficiary should get in touch with Nectar directly if they wish to transfer the loyalty points collected by a deceased relative.
The Boots Advantage Card is one of the longest-running loyalty schemes. It allows shoppers to collect 4 points for every £1 spent and each point is worth a penny. Points can then be used as payment in store and online.
Boots also allows members to pass their points to a nominated beneficiary. All cardholders need to do is get in touch with the Boots Customer Care team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0345 124 4545.
Avios allows members to collect points for flights, online shopping and hotel visits. The points can then be spent on flights with the International Airlines Group, hotels and car hire.
Avios terms and conditions clearly state that “Membership will terminate automatically… Upon the death of a Member. Any Avios points, Tier Points and Lifetime Tier Points accumulated by that Member but unused at the time of death shall be cancelled.” However, some people have reported that when they contacted British Airways upon the death of a relative, they have transferred the points without any issues. We’d advise reaching out to Avios to see whether the points can be transferred in the event of a death.