Divorcing couples row over loyalty points and airmiles

The house, the car, the dog... the items divorcing couples often fight over have been joined by a somewhat surprising bone of contention – supermarket loyalty cards.

As the recession continues to bite, lawyers are reporting that divorces are increasingly being delayed by couples rowing over supermarket and airline loyalty points.

Ed Kitchen, partner at Family law firm Pannone, said arguments about how to split loyalty points are often 'deal-breakers', causing friction between couples who have succeeded in reaching a settlement over their the rest of their finances relatively easily.

"Establishing a fair divorce settlement involves calculating what someone will lose out on as a result of not being married,' Mr Kitchen said. "Traditionally, that has meant considering things like pensions or health insurance. Now, though, people realise the value of points accrued through loyalty schemes."

He continued: "When you consider that it can cost several thousand pounds a year to pay for the family holidays and even discounted groceries that these schemes provide, it is perhaps no wonder that separating spouses are demanding either the points themselves or money in lieu of the points."

Valuable points
Pannone said recent statistics suggest that there are more than 30m Nectar or Tesco Clubcard members in the UK while more than 120m people worldwide are thought to be part of frequent flyer programmes operated by leading airlines.

Boots currently has one of the most generous loyalty card schemes with cardholders receiving four points for every pound spent. Each point is worth 1p so if you spend £20 you will earn 80 points, worth 80p.

Tesco Clubcard holders get two points for every £1 and 100 points is worth £1 in reward vouchers.

Sainsbury's Nectar card gives you 2 points for every pound although some retailers offer double points for spending. Points are worth an average of 0.5p.

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