When a loved one dies, frequent flyer points are probably the last thing on your mind. But those points can be valuable, and if you don’t do anything, they may be forfeited. So it’s worth taking a couple of minutes to understand what happens to frequent flyer points after death, and what you can do to ensure they are not lost.
Unlike money, frequent flyer points are not the property of the person. They belong to the airline, and the airline can choose to forfeit the points if the account holder dies. If this is the airline’s policy, it will usually be stated in the frequent flyer program’s terms and conditions.
In general, it’s a good idea to transfer the points to a family member’s account while the account holder is still alive. But, of course, this is not always possible or practical.
Every frequent flyer program has a different policy regarding frequent flyer points after death. We put together this summary of the main frequent flyer programs of interest to Australians…
Qantas Frequent Flyer
All Qantas Frequent Flyer points are forfeited after the death of the member. So, make sure you transfer any points to a family member before notifying Qantas of the member’s death!
Here’s what the Qantas Frequent Flyer terms and conditions have to say:
8.3 Membership will terminate automatically on the death of a Member. Qantas Points earned but not yet redeemed or transferred prior to the death of the Member will be cancelled. Qantas Loyalty will close the Member’s account on notification of the Member’s death. Qantas Loyalty will not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever suffered by any person as a result of such cancellation.
Velocity Frequent Flyer
With Velocity Frequent Flyer, it is possible to redeem or transfer the points of a deceased member up to 12 months after the member has died. The executor or administrator of the member’s estate would need to contact Velocity to request this. After one year, any remaining points are forfeited. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the Velocity Frequent Flyer terms & conditions:
9.3 Termination on Death of Member
The executors or administrators of a deceased Member’s estate may instruct VRPL to transfer Points to another Membership Account and/or redeem Points associated with the deceased Member’s Membership Account, within 12 months after the Member’s death. If the executors or administrators do not give these instructions within 12 months, all unused Points associated with the Membership Account will be forfeited. Status Credits associated with the Membership Account are personal to the Member and will be forfeited automatically on the death of the Member.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Singapore Airlines takes a no-nonsense approach. According to the KrisFlyer terms and conditions, all miles and membership benefits will terminate immediately after the death of the member. With KrisFlyer, it’s also not possible to transfer miles to family members. Here’s what the KrisFlyer terms & conditions say:
C6. Membership will terminate immediately upon death of the member. KrisFlyer miles, status credits and rewards earned but not redeemed at the time of death, as well as benefits and privileges, will be automatically forfeited on the death of the member. Miles and rewards do not constitute personal property and may not be bequeathed or otherwise treated as personal property.
Air New Zealand Airpoints
Air New Zealand’s Airpoints program takes a similar approach to Velocity Frequent Flyer. The Airpoints account will be cancelled once Air New Zealand is notified of the member’s death. But the executor of the member’s estate can request that the Airpoints balance in the account be transferred to a beneficiary within 2 years. Here’s an excerpt from the Airpoints terms & conditions:
6. Following the date that we become aware of the death of an Airpoints Member, the deceased Member’s Airpoints Account, Shairpoints Account, Status Points, and all other Airpoints Member Benefits will be cancelled and become invalid. If we receive a written request by the executor of an Airpoints Member’s estate to transfer the deceased Airpoints Member’s current Airpoints Dollars balance (but not their Status Points) to the Airpoints accounts of the beneficiaries of the Airpoints Member’s estate, we will do so if we are satisfied that the request is valid and lawful and if the request is made within 2 years of the death of the Airpoints Member.