To entice new customers and keep existing ones happy, many companies have rewards programs. For example, you may earn airline miles with every trip you take. Alternatively, your credit card may give you points you can use on future purchases. Either way, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have accumulated rewards points, you must address them in your upcoming divorce.
Because California is a community property state, divorcing spouses typically must divide marital wealth equally. This means both you and your partner should receive half of what you have acquired during your marriage. When it comes to splitting your airline miles or rewards points, though, you may have a bit of a challenge ahead of you.
Your home, cars, furnishings and investment accounts are likely easy to value. The same may not be true for points from your rewards programs, however. Put simply, not all programs assign a monetary value to rewards points. Accordingly, you may have to calculate the financial value of program perks to determine how much your rewards points are worth.
If you and your partner plan to split your rewards points evenly, you must realize that points may not be transferable. As such, if points are in your name, there may be no way to hand them over to your spouse. On the other hand, even if points are transferrable, transferring them may require paying a fee.
You and your spouse may want to continue to use your airline miles and rewards points. If the two of you are on good terms, you may be able to reach an agreement that allows you to do so. With this approach, you may choose to keep the points in separate accounts and use them pursuant to negotiated rules.
Your airline miles and other rewards points are likely valuable to both you and your partner. By exploring all available options, you can better advocate for your financial interests.