Amid the negotiations with your spouse over child custody, alimony and property division, it’s easy to overlook some valuable assets. Among these are airline frequent flyer miles and reward points.
If you and your spouse have spent your marriage flying around the country and, perhaps, overseas on business, you’ve likely accumulated many thousands of miles — possibly even millions — of unused frequent flyer miles. You may have accumulated additional miles just by using airline credit cards.
The same can be true for hotel chain rewards. You may have earned rewards points for staying in hotels and for using specific credit cards. It’s worthwhile to look at what you’ve accumulated in all of the rewards programs to which you belong. You can find assets that may be in your name that you’ve forgotten or may never have been aware of.
The next step, of course, is determining how to divide up all of those rewards. If the rewards are tied to credit cards and you’re joint owners of the cards, they’re considered marital assets.
It’s important to look at the terms of the programs to determine whether you can divide the points between two accounts and if there’s a transfer fee to do that. Some companies won’t allow transfers. However, if they have a cash value for each point or if you can estimate the value, one of you can keep them in exchange for another asset of similar value. If you are unsure of the points’ worth, it may be worthwhile to ask your Providence family law attorney to recommend a professional to valuate them.
Another option, if it’s allowed, is to use the points or miles to purchase gift cards with you both taking an equal or agreed-upon amount in those cards.
You may want to determine if your accumulated rewards, miles and points are valuable enough to spend time dividing up. If it means being able to take a nice, relaxing vacation nearly free of charge when your divorce is over, it may well be worth it.