Dividing travel rewards points during your divorce

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, you probably love the perks that come with regular bookings. This makes sense, as rewards programs often offer free trips, upgraded rooms, discounted excursions and other benefits. If you accumulated your rewards points during your marriage, though, you probably must address them during your divorce.

In Tennessee, divorcing spouses split marital wealth according to what is equitable. It is important to recognize that this approach does not necessarily mean that you get exactly 50% of what you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse own. Fortunately, however, you should receive your fair share. Nonetheless, when it comes to your travel rewards points, the standard is likely to be instructive.

The definition of marital property 

Whether you can keep all your rewards points without much fuss may depend on whether they are marital or separate property. In simple terms, marital property is everything that does not belong exclusively to one spouse. If you enrolled in the rewards program during your marriage, your points are probably marital property. Even if you enrolled before you walked down the aisle, points accumulated during your marriage are probably part of your marital estate.

A valuation problem 

If you want to keep your rewards points after your divorce, you may need to give up other assets. Unfortunately, though, valuing rewards points is often exceedingly difficult. That is, many programs do not assign a cash value to travel perks. As such, you may need to obtain the fair market value of reward incentives to determine how much your points are worth.

Some limitations on transferring points 

Finally, you should recognize that even if your partner wants you to transfer rewards points to him or her, doing so may be impossible. Simply put, you must comply with the terms and conditions of the rewards program. Many programs prohibit transferring points altogether, while others charge processing fees or assess other penalties.

Your rewards points likely have both financial and sentimental value to you. If your points are marital assets, however, your spouse likely has an ownership interest in them. Nonetheless, by understanding your options, you can better advocate for your fair share of marital wealth.