AmEx Rewards Points upon death

Old Jul 6, 09, 4:56 pm
  #1  
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Deceased Family Member-Can I Move AMEX MR points?

One would think as the moderator here, I'd either be able to:

A. Remember if this question was answered.

B. Be able to search appropriately for the answer.

Alas, I'm too stupid for either. If I have a deceased parent who has a large chunk of AMEX MR points, is there a way to transfer them into my name so we don't lose them?
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Old Jul 6, 09, 5:45 pm
  #2  
mia
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It is difficult to lose a parent and you shouldn't have to think about these things at a time like this.

Officially...

If for any reason we cancel any Linked Account (including because of your death, bankruptcy or insolvency), any points accrued in your program account will be forfeited.

http://www.membershiprewards.com/cat...rmsSplash.aspx

In my one experience with American Express, after the death of my father-in-law, the only concern of the first level contact was to extract a promise of payment, and the account was immediately closed. His Amex balance was trivial and the card did not earn meaningful rewards. I learned from this and redeemed the rewards from his other cards before notifying the issuer. For example, we applied for a new account in my mother-in-law's name and activated it before notifying Citi that he had died. This allowed her to keep using her card in the interim.

Do you have online access to the account or (if you think there has never been online access) physical possession of the card?

dennis
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Old Jul 6, 09, 7:07 pm
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The credit card companies including amex use the government SSDI database to close and lock down accounts to prevent fraud and identity theft.
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Old Jul 7, 09, 6:30 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
It is difficult to lose a parent and you shouldn't have to think about these things at a time like this.

Do you have online access to the account or (if you think there has never been online access) physical possession of the card?

dennis
We have the physical card. Haven't tried to gain online access yet. It's probably not something I'd be overly worried about, but in this situation, we'll be traveling a good distance back and forth to wrap up his affairs. The mileage would pay for 8 tickets on JetBlue, which would severely cut down our expenses. My guess is that I could leave the account open and issue tickets from his AMEX MR points by transferring them to JetBlue.
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Old Jul 7, 09, 6:35 am
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Originally Posted by Pizzaman View Post
We have the physical card. Haven't tried to gain online access yet. It's probably not something I'd be overly worried about, but in this situation, we'll be traveling a good distance back and forth to wrap up his affairs. The mileage would pay for 8 tickets on JetBlue, which would severely cut down our expenses. My guess is that I could leave the account open and issue tickets from his AMEX MR points by transferring them to JetBlue.
I really wouldn't suggest it. While the odds are very good that it will never be discovered, you would be opening yourself to charges of credit card fraud, which I believe is a federal offense.

Is it really worth the risk?
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Old Jul 7, 09, 12:16 pm
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Point Inheritance

I have seen (in estates I have handled) MR points transferred from deceased husband to surviving wife. As I recall, it took a few calls to CS (with general questions, no specifics) before I was able to locate someone who knew what to do. I believe they required a death certificate and some sort of indication that the points were going to the right person. In this case, there was a similar situation -- wife needed to fly back from Europe to wrap up affairs, and there were sufficient points to help her get back and forth a couple of times.

I'm not sure whether parent-child transfer will work, but it sure sounds like you should try calling CS. YMMV, of course.
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Old Jul 7, 09, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
I really wouldn't suggest it. While the odds are very good that it will never be discovered, you would be opening yourself to charges of credit card fraud, which I believe is a federal offense.

Is it really worth the risk?
I'd love to see that article in the newspaper. "AMEX sues bereaved family members for using deceased's reward points in funeral arrangements."
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Old Jul 7, 09, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by unrequited View Post
I'd love to see that article in the newspaper. "AMEX sues bereaved family members for using deceased's reward points in funeral arrangements."
I think it would be closer to "Family members indicted for using deceased's credit card."
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Old Jul 7, 09, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by unrequited View Post
I'd love to see that article in the newspaper. "AMEX sues bereaved family members for using deceased's reward points in funeral arrangements."
In estates I have handled, the family has used the deceased's credit card for funeral expenses. Often it is the easiest way to get things paid so as not to delay funeral... Using points from the account probably takes it a step farther, but the logic certainly is the same...
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Old Jan 18, 10, 5:40 am
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AmEx Rewards Points upon death

A friend of mine is in a terrible situation. Her husband has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. This is the last thing she is thinking about, but the topic came up and so I thought I'd research for them and get some answers. Her husband has had a personal and a business amex gold card for years and he has accumulated almost 1 million points. Can these points be passed on to her after he dies? If not, can they add her to the card accounts, so the account becomes a joint account before his death? I cannot find any info online about this and would really like to help them out with some answers and comfort.
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Old Jan 18, 10, 6:55 am
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Sorry for her situation

Things to do...
should add her as joint not authorized user
or
transfer pts now to her FF accounts, add them to MR links (sometimes this works sometimes not)
or
cash them out now, she can take over his FF accounts later

AMEX, has been getting kinda bad about taking advantage of this situation to steal the pts.

Having gone throught this situation myself these things have to be thought about now, and there are lots of little things like this to consider
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Old Jan 19, 10, 2:01 pm
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Without knowing their financial situation, it may be a good idea to get her added to the account anyway. Spouses sometimes haven't built up much of a credit record, and it's better to have an account than to be looking for one.
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Old Jan 19, 10, 6:04 pm
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The way I read it, the OP was asking about the 1M points being passed to the wife. If they're in the form of FF miles, she should contact the airline in question. IIRC, most will transfer to the spouse or other designated person with appropriate ducumentation. If the wife has no credit on her own, making her a joint owner of the cc would be a good ides. Just be sure they won't close the account upon his death, and void the points.
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Old Jan 19, 10, 8:33 pm
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After my father's passing, I had all his Amex points transfered to his Delta account as there was a promo going and that is where 98% of all his frequent flyer miles were held anyway. The only issue is that now all the miles are in his FF account, is using them or some how crediting the account to keep it current and active.
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Old Jan 25, 10, 2:24 pm
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AmEx Rewards Points upon death

Flyaway33:

This is Courtney with Amex. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's situation. I have reached out to our Membership Rewards (MR) department and was advised that the MR points would go to the Executor of his estate and would be up to the Executor to decide what to do with them. If your friend is added to his accounts as an additional Cardmember she would have to take over the accounts after his passing in order to use the MR points. Best suggestion would be to have your friends husband add her as an authorized user through MR so that she can redeem the points now. Hope this helps.
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