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What happens to my credit card rewards point during divorce?

Mar 6, 2019 | Firm News, Property Division

While people in West Virginia might not be big fans of debt, it might be difficult to find a person who does not have at least one credit card in his or her name. However, having a credit card does not mean that a person has a lot of debt. Indeed, many people use credit cards wisely to take advantage of point reward programs. While this might be advantageous, problems can arise during divorce. How does one even begin to split a credit card rewards point?

First, couples should determine whether the rewards points are separate or marital property. If a person opened a credit card before marriage and earned reward points exclusively before walking down the aisle, then these points are likely separate property. However, points earned after the marriage would be marital property. Even if one person opens up a solo credit card account in his or her name only, points earned during the marriage are generally still considered marital property.

Next, couples need to figure out the cash value of rewards points. Some companies might provide this information, but it is often not so straightforward, as a single rewards point toward air travel does not necessarily have a specific monetary value. After figuring out the cash value, it is time to handle the actual division. In some cases, rewards points cannot be transferred between accounts, while in others points can be transferred for a fee.

Dividing rewards points does not have to mean each person takes an even split. Instead, one person might decide that he or she would rather keep the rewards points and let the ex hang on to a different marital asset of similar value. Sorting out these decisions can be difficult, particularly since there is the possibility of accidentally shortchanging one person or the other. For this reason, many people in West Virginia choose to work with experienced attorneys when going through a divorce.