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,
fun days out, and much more. 150 points are worth a £1.50 Tesco voucher or alternatively, you can get up to 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 and/or vouchers of a family
member who has died by providing a written request informing us of the membership details of the deceased”. A relative of the deceased needs to phone,
write or email the 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 and details will need to be supplied in writing.
Sainsbury’s Nectar Card
The Nectar Card allows cardholders to collect points with 300+ partners and redeem points with various brands. It allows shoppers to collect 1
point for every £1 qualifying spend in store and online, including 1 point for every litre of fuel purchased in Sainsbury’s fuel station stores. 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 “upon the death of a Member, Points accumulated but unused at the time of death shall be cancelled together with Membership of the Scheme.” 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.
Morrisons More members can collect 5 points per £1 spent in store, online, in their Cafes and per litre bought in fuel at Morrisons petrol stations. Additional points can be accumulated on selected promotions, and a £5 More voucher is earned for every 5,000 points earnt.
The terms and conditions state that ‘Your card, More Points, More Vouchers, coupons and card account are personal to you, are not transferable and cannot be shared, sold, exchanged, bought, or traded in any way’. As the terms and conditions do not detail on transferring on death, we advise contacting Morrisons directly through their contact us section on their website.
Costa Coffee Club
Costa Coffee Club members can get 5 points for every £1 spent in participating Costa stores, where each point is worth 1p. Coffee Club members can also collect points at all Costa Express machines, and have the chance to win extra points on purchases through exclusive bonus offers.
Costa Coffee will transfer the deceased’s points and can be notified through their general enquiry page. Details required are not limited to but include the date of death, the deceased’s name and account number, and details of the account that will receive the transferred points.
The M&S Sparks club allowed members to collect 10 sparks every time they shopped and for every £1 spent in store or online. Additionally, 25 sparks were rewarded by writing a review, and offers tailored to members’ buying habits were gifted. Whilst the M&S Sparks club still continues to offer tailored promotions, they ‘waved goodbye to confusing points’ in 2020, therefore, all accumulated points have now been lost and cannot be transferred.
"Making a Will or lasting power of attorney can help get your affairs in order for your loved ones".
The Importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
17th December 2020 (3 minute read)
It’s a thought no one enjoys pondering, but what would happen if we fell ill or had an accident and were unable to make important decisions for
ourselves? Many people believe this only applies as we get older, however, no one is immune to an unfortunate circumstance, which makes it all the more important to think
about and plan for sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, 53-year-old Derek Draper, husband to Good Morning Britain presenter, Kate Garraway, contracted COVID-19 in
March 2020. As Derek battles the effects of the virus, Kate recently spoke out about her financial struggles as Derek fell ill without a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
in place. Before examining Derek’s situation, let’s take a closer look at what this means.
What is an LPA
An LPA is a document that lets someone, the ‘Donor’, give one or more people, known as the ‘Attorney(s)’, the legal authority to make decisions on their behalf.
This would apply if the Donor ever lacks the physical or mental capacity to do so themselves or they choose not to make decisions for themselves for another reason.
According to the Office of the Public Guardian, less than 1% of the adult UK population has an LPA. In England and Wales, there are two types of LPA: Health &welfare:
This can include things related to one’s daily routine, medical care, decisions on moving to a care home or receiving life-sustaining treatments. This only applies
when someone is unable to make their own decisions. Property & finances: This can include decisions related to managing one’s bank account(s), paying bills, benefits
or pension payments or selling one’s home. This can apply as soon as it is registered, with the Donor’s permission. To set up an LPA, you need to be at least 18 years
old and have mental capacity (i.e. the ability to make your own decisions).
What happens without an LPA?
If someone loses mental or physical capacity, it's often a significant emotional and psychological burden on their family. However, if a loved one doesn’t have the
legal authority to make decisions on their behalf, that burden intensifies. For example, if someone has a joint bank account and they lose their mental capacity, a
bank will likely freeze the account, blocking most transactions. They will only reinstate the account after the court has appointed someone, called a deputy, to handle
financial responsibilities on the individual’s behalf. This can be a long and expensive process, during which no money can leave the account to take care of bills or
other family expenses. Similarly, if decisions need to be made about medical treatment without an LPA in place, a family loses their authority to make those health-related
LPAs and estate administration
An LPA can only be in effect while the Donor is alive. If the Donor passes away, the LPA is no longer in effect, meaning the Attorney(s) can no longer make
decisions on behalf of the Donor nor control any assets. Upon death, the Will comes into effect and the Executor becomes responsible for administering the estate.
If there is no Will, the rules of intestacy apply, and the appointed Administrator manages the estate. The Attorney may or may not be the same person as the Executor,
however, if there is no Will, the Attorney could apply to become the Administrator of the estate.
Putting it into perspective.
As mentioned above, Derek Draper did not put an LPA in place before falling ill, which is putting his wife, Kate, in a tough situation as Derek’s name is on
most of their assets. As we now know, without an LPA, no one can deal with Derek’s affairs during his incapacity, not even his wife. “One of the practical
problems – which a lot of people would’ve experienced if they’ve got the absence of someone in their life – like many things the car is entirely in Derek’s
name, the insurance is in Derek’s name, a lot of our bank accounts.” - Kate Garraway, wife of Derek Draper. With an LPA in place, Kate would have been able
to focus on caring for their two young children as well as dealing with the emotional difficulties of her husband being ill. Handling household finances and
insurers would have been one less thing to worry about. This is clearly not a situation anyone wants to be in, however, their story truly highlights the
importance of an LPA to reduce the weight on your loved one’s shoulders, just in case.
Please get in touch if you have questions about Lasting Powers of Attorney on 01943 678100.