Coates & Frey, Attorneys at Law, LLLC
Phone: (808) 524-4854

Credit card points, airline miles and divorce

In the modern age, divorce can get tricky. The emotional aspects of a divorce are, naturally, difficult -- and dividing tangible goods can always be problematic. But it can really get rough when couples start to try to figure out how to handle digital assets like credit card points and airline miles.

While these issues may not be a concern for some couples, for others they're quite important -- the accrued values can be significant. So, what can you expect to happen?

Credit card rewards

What happens here may depend on a few different factors:

  • Who opened the account?
  • Who used the account?
  • When were the points accrued?

Like other assets, the more clearly you can identify them as either pre-marital or post-marital, the easier it will be to determine ownership. If the card was used to rack up reward points after the marriage, there's a good chance you may have to divide them -- even if the account was solely in one person's name. If it was a holdover from your unmarried life, you'll probably be able to keep them.

Airline miles

If either you or your spouse (or both of you) spent a lot of time in the air, those airline miles may have some serious value -- and that can offer some very nice opportunities for future vacations.

Some airline points are specifically limited in the event of a divorce and cannot be transferred to a spouse. If that happens, you may be able to estimate a value of the points and use it as a negotiating point for something else of equal value. Other programs will allow you to cash out the miles -- but that might be at a significant loss.

Sometimes, it takes creative effort to divide marital property fairly. If you need advice, turn to your attorney for solutions.

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