Talking Miles and Points on the Radio this Morning

I expect to be on Rudy Maxa’s World nationally syndicated radio program this morning around 10:18am Eastern time talking about how to handle miles and points in death and divorce (fun times!).

In addition I’ll be talking these same topics on Rudy’s KFWB 980AM Los Angeles show around 12:30pm Eastern.

Listen in if you’d like.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. congrats on getting on the radio about the world of miles and points, Gary. I am sure it will be a great topic. But pleaseeeeeeee do not share all the gigs that you think may be dead and could be killed if overly publicized. Thanks in advance.

  2. Hahahahahah. I’m talking about how to handle miles and points in your estate plans, and what happens to them in divorce agreements. You can’t ‘fuel dump’ when you aren’t alive to fly… Just sayin’.

    By the way doing radio is nothing new, my first radio slot was in 2002 talking airport security…

  3. This is a relevant topic to me, as my mother is aging and has quite a few miles on account. She used to take trips regularly to visit siblings in another part of the country, and in her more active years often traveled internationally, but now is very happy to use the miles for trips for family members, as her health no longer permits her to fly. I have wondered if it is important to spend down those miles as quickly as possible or if the miles will transfer easily to her heirs upon her passing. She is not currently experiencing any life threatening illness, but is quite frail. We hope she’ll be with us a while yet, but this is part of the whole planning process, so I’ll be interested to hear the radio discussion.

  4. @DaveS – generally (most) airlines and hotels are accommodating in the event of death, she should (1) document all of her account numbers and passwords/PINs, (2) include a note with her estate plans [or formally include in her will] what she would like to have happen to the miles and points.

    Miles/points aren’t generally the property of the member and most programs say members aren’t entitled to transfer them (in fact, that membership terminates upon death).

    However with proper instructions most programs will do a transfer, sometimes for a fee eg I believe American Airlines charges $50. Those that will not you can just redeem points from her account with membership # and PIN. Some programs require you to be designated on the account to do this, eg British Airways can have her fill out a form to authorize you (just don’t inform them of her passing and redeem points as-needed).

    Of course the particulars vary by program.

  5. Yes, and sadly when death comes, even these matters have to be dealt with. When my father passed in 2001 things were a bit easier for miles and points. Some airlines/hotels just wanted to know who the executor was and in at least one case they wanted a fax of the death cert, but all points were transferred without fees. Now fees do pop up here or there so as Gary says, it may just be better to list yourself on the person’s program now and be able to book with that account later on.

    And yeah, I guess this IS about a ‘dead’ deal so while dying itself is no laughing matter, I guess that play on words could be in here. Of course, this brings me to one more thing: Could someone find a way to comb the obituaries for people who passed on that had lots of miles and didn’t bequeath them to anyone? Just find the PINs and you are like SET for LIFE lol

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