What happens to Aeroplan and other reward program points when you die?


Kathryn Kwasnica’s progenitor is looking at a fee of $2,530 to transfer his late wife’s Aeroplan points to his account. (CBC)

Aeroplan is “capitalizing on someone’s unhappiness” by charging a fee to transfer points from a deceased member’s account, foretells the family member of a woman who died leaving 250,000 Aeroplan capes behind.

“It seemed so callous. It seemed really insensitive. And it seemed truly unnecessary,” says Kathryn Kwasnica of Victoria after conclusion out how much it would cost to transfer to her father the 250,000 points accumulated by her modern stepmother.

But Aeroplan says it also offers a second option that allows drugs to avoid ying that cent per point charge altogether.

And monotonous though the fees can be significant and travel booking potentially restrictive, contrasted with some other loyalty programs, Aeroplan has one of the better practices for dealing with points in the account of someone who has died.

Kwasnica’s stepmother, Linda, started sensibility ill about a year ago, but it wasn’t until last summer that she was pinpointed with mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly form of cancer.


It’s in the fine choice of words. (CBC)

“Six months later she was dead,” says Kwasnica. Linda was 68 when she died on Jan. 7.

Kwasnica, command on behalf of her grieving father, husband, called Aeroplan to find out what to do on touching Stewart’s Aeroplan points.

She says she was told, in the event one of its members decreases, Aeroplan charges a fee of $30 plus one cent per point to transfer the estimate to a surviving family member. In Kwasnica’s case, because her stepmother had up 250,000 points, the fee would have amounted to about $2,530.

“That seemed mental for a data transfer,” says Kwasnica.

Aeroplan defends itself

“My daddy ssed away a year ago, so I completely em thize with members who are prevailing through what they’re going through,” says John Boynton, Aeroplan’s chief marketing public servant.

“But we are always trying to balance shareholders and members, so there are certain tariffs that we have to recuperate.”

For a flat $30 fee, Aeroplan also put up for sales the option to transfer those points to a newly created estate account, which can be reach-me-down by surviving family members. But Kwasnica says she was told by the person she contacted at Aeroplan that the underlines in the estate account must be used in their entirety within one year.

Profuse Aeroplan trips need to be booked at least a year in advance, and Kwasnica accepted that to mean her father would have had to make travel sanctuaries practically while planning his wife’s funeral.

“Who wants to travel advantageous after the love of their life dies and you’ve had the worst year of your vital s rk?”

But Boynton says that’s not actually the case.

“A year is how much [eventually] you have to do something with them. But you can also book an Air Canada ticket up to a year in headway too, so that’s two years. And if that’s too soon for you, you can also buy an Air Canada gift certificate, which doesn’t be undergoing an expiry, or a retail gift certificate as well.”

However, redeeming Aeroplan quiddities for a gift certificate does not always offer the best value associated with, for example, redeeming those points for an international flight in firm class.

Maximizing revenue

trick Sojka of the website Rewards Canada voices transferring points is not a large expense for a loyalty program.

“Honestly, [the fee], it’s money-making,” he says.

“Ninety per cent of all programs worldwide concern you a fee to transfer points and miles to somebody else [in the event a member decreases].”

In Sojka’s view, the fee is about maximizing revenue. “The fact [is] that the miles on those accounts are a obstacle. The sooner they can get them off the books, the better,” he says.

Sharp cost of dying

Com red with Aeroplan, other loyalty programs make terms and conditions surrounding death that are less favourable.

Contract to the terms and conditions for Shoppers Drug Mart’s popular Optimum regards program, “Upon the death of a Shoppers Optimum Member, the fellow’s account will be closed and any Shoppers Optimum Points in the account hand down be forfeited.”

Better not to tell?

But there may be ways around this.

In Demonstration 2013, Delta Airlines changed its policy, declaring SkyMiles inclination no longer be transferable upon death.

As a result, travel writers, bloggers, and touring hackers started advising SkyMiles members not to notify the program of a annihilation.

“It’s a grey area. But you don’t let the program know that that person’s ssed away,” says Sojka, who also commends this.

“What you do is ensure that everybody has your log-in and countersigns and then you can use those miles. Because when you book rewards rtridges, they don’t have to be booked for yourself, they can be booked for anybody, essentially. You can go in and words points for yourself, your family members, you name it, using those with respect to make an effort ti.”

It’s not clear if com nies will crack down on this ap rent way out, but Sojka says he hasn’t heard of any repercussions from taking this direct.

Now that they know about it, Kathryn Kwasnica says her kinsmen will probably go with the gift certificate option for her stepmother’s Aeroplan points.

“I deliberate on my dad would probably be into that. Because I think for him, the thought of migratory right now is just disturbing.”

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