Monday Morning Miles Talk is a regular series that has some smaller, more quirky ideas to kick off the work week. These are essentially random ideas that I wanted to share with you. Here are the 4 most recent topics.
- How to Remove Fighting over Money from your Marriage
- Selling Amazon Fire Tablets Results
- 5 Mistakes Experienced Travel Hackers Still Make
- The Chase IHG card is being discontinued – what should I do?
If you would like to read even more articles in the series you can click HERE.
Are you Prepared in Case Tragedy Strikes?
In last weeks edition of Monday Morning Miles Talk I went a little off course from traditional miles and points blogging. Today I am going to stay in that realm. I want to talk about whether or not you have properly prepared your loved ones in case something terrible should happen to you.
I have been thinking about this for a few weeks, if something should happen to me I don’t think my wife would know how to handle our accounts. And I don’t mean keeping up with “the hobby”. I mean she wouldn’t know which cards we have, what random bank accounts we currently have open, what loyalty programs have balances etc.
If tragedy struck she would have to deal with 60 some odd credit card accounts and 10 or so current bank accounts on top of everything else. What a PIA!
I think our dynamic is probably similar to many of the readers out there. By dynamic I mean one person is interested in travel hacking (me) and one is interested in reaping the rewards of the work (her).
Suffice to say she is over talking about credit cards, bank bonuses, and future trips. She likes taking advantage of all that this hobby has to offer but she doesn’t want to be involved in the day to day stuff. So I sign her up for what is needed and tell her what card to use etc., and it works.
That is what we have been doing up and until now and we have built quite the portfolio. But, I haven’t done a good job of laying out where everything is for her and what would need to be done should anything happen. Mainly because it is constantly changing and it is a lot of work to keep updated.
I have set my wife up for failure. Especially when you consider most accounts don’t even mail out statements anymore! It is time to kick it into gear and get a system in place…so here is my preliminary plan.
Close Needless Accounts
My first plan is to close some excess accounts. This may cause my score to dip some but I think it is worth it. You may want to do it a different way.
I plan on closing some of our accounts that haven’t been touched in a long time. My goal is to get each bank down to 1 no annual fee card. I would keep 1 with each bank to keep average age of accounts up and to maintain a relationship with each bank.
The goal here is to limit the work for her. There is no reason to have 2 MLB Bank of America cards etc. She would have to close all of my personal accounts is something happens anyways and this will help reduce the workload.
Doing this should also help with approvals going forward, eliminating my overall credit available and my credit accounts with each bank. I know I could use the help!
Spreadsheets Are My Friend
Next I need to set up a spreadsheet of all active credit cards and bank accounts. I have one that tracks my applications, approvals, and closures but it wouldn’t be easy for most people to decipher.
On this new spreadsheet I plan to divide it up by bank. I will break it down by person as well (myself and my wife). For my cards it would be a closure list for her to go through and check off.
For her cards I would then list the annual fee, when the anniversary date is, and if it should be kept open or closed. I would probably pick 2-3 cards for her to keep open and then highlight what to use them for etc.
Another spreadsheet will list all of our loyalty accounts and updated balances. Anything in my name will have to be cashed out or transferred to her loyalty account. An example would be transferring my Membership Rewards to her Delta account or my Hilton points to her Hilton account etc. I would most likely have her cash out anything that is a cash equivalent, like Ultimate Rewards. I need to create a detailed list for all of this.
It is long overdue for me to sign up for a password service. An account that keeps all of your logins safe and secure and I believe also updates them for you (more research needed!). This would mean I could eliminate a lot of the leg work for her since one password would unlock many.
If you didn’t want to go this route you could create another spreadsheet or write them down somewhere and keep it somewhere safe.
Well I think that covers the nuts and bolts of what I need to do going forward. The only thing that would be left is to sit down with my wife and review it all when it is completed.
I think this is important stuff and it could help make a stressful time a little less stressful, should tragedy strike. This hobby isn’t easy to manage when you go at it as hard as we do and it could leave a large mess in our wake. You never know when something could happen, look no further than the Southwest flight last week.
Do you already have a system in place? Is this something you have considered? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.