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 email@example.com 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.
Kings Court Trust are experts in estate administration; the process of dealing with a loved one’s legal and tax affairs after they’ve passed away. We are an award-winning probate and estate administration provider who handles the complicated practicalities after death, so families can focus on life’s important moments. If you have any questions about probate or estate administration, call our experienced Client Services Team on 0300 303 9000.