The latest version of the Bilt Rewards app has dropped with a major enhancement: you can now search for award availability on Bilt’s transfer partners via an integration with Point.me in the latest version of the Bilt app. This is a great value-add for Bilt Rewards members — and remember that anybody can join Bilt Rewards for free and earn points without the Bilt credit card.
- The Bilt Rewards app now includes a free integration to search for award space with their transfer partners through Point.me. Note that you may need to update to the latest version of the Bilt app to see this.
I use Point.me almost daily to check on award availability for trips I’ve partially booked, trips I might like to book, and trips I’ve totally booked in case a better option comes around. It saves me loads of time over searching multiple sites since I can essentially search for award availability across numerous programs with a single click.
A day pass for Point.me typically costs $5 (for 24-hour access) or a subscription ordinarily costs $12 per month or $129 per year.
With this new integration, Bilt Rewards members will have access to search for available awards with Bilt’s 12 transfer partners via the Bilt Rewards app (no Point.me subscription required). In my opinion, this is a brilliant customer-friendly move that will make award programs much more accessible for the average consumer.
Note that your searches in the Bilt app are limited to Bilt’s transfer partners. Still, that’s not a very big limitation since Bilt partners with so many partners that you would be likely to want to use: American Airlines, United, Aeroplan, Flying Blue, Avios, Asia Miles, Virgin Red and more. See our Bilt transfer partners page for a full list of partners.
I played with the new tool and it works well. You can find the tool by clicking “Travel” and then choosing “Flights” and “Transfer Partners” (rather than Bilt Travel Portal).
I searched from New York(JFK) to Helsinki, Finland and the tool accurately told me that I could fly Finnair nonstop for 57,500 points at $6 by transferring to American Airlines AAdvantage.
When I sorted results by point total from low to high, I could see that Turkish would charge 45,000 points and $286 for this route.
Just as is the case with the Point.me website, the search tool recognizes that Turkish Miles & Smiles is not the only way to book that award. I clicked where it says “+ 2 add’l options” in the screen shot above and it showed me that I could alternatively book the same award ticket with Bilt transfer partners United at 77K points or Air Canada Aeroplan at 90K points.
Note of course that the Bilt version is only searching Bilt transfer partners (currently 12 airline programs), so you won’t see in the Bilt app that the same flight could be booked via Avianca LifeMiles for 60,000 miles and no surcharges (beyond Avianca’s nominal partner booking fee) since Avianca is not a Bilt transfer partner.
Of course, those of us with a full Point.me subscription using the desktop version of Point.me rather than the Bilt app version can see results from 33 airline programs that partner with various transferable currencies (including Bilt). Since I currently have a Point.me subscription, I’ll still prefer to search there, where I can see that the same flight could be booked via Avianca LifeMiles and also (if searching round trip) that it could be booked with ANA for 88K miles round trip (44K each way), albeit with far more in surcharges in this case.
Those of us with points in many programs still have plenty of reason to use Point.me, but for newcomers and/or those who only have Bilt points so far, this integration is excellent.
When searching in the Bilt app, once you select the program you want to use for an award flight, the app takes you directly to the Bilt page to transfer to your selected program. The experience is impressively smooth and seamless.
This is an awesome enhancement in my opinion and it makes the game far more accessible to award travel newcomers and/or those who simply don’t want to invest a ton of time in figuring out how to maximize their transferable points. I imagine that much of Bilt’s target market of renters stands to benefit big time from this integration
Note that search results felt very slow to me. At the moment, it looks like the Bilt app is displaying results after the entire search is completed whereas the Point.me website populates results as the search continues in additional programs. That makes the Bilt app feel slower than it is. Update: The Bilt app now displays search results dynamically as they load. The full search still takes a little over two minutes, but you’ll get nearly instant gratification of some results showing within a couple of seconds of hitting the “search” button. My example searches took just a little over 2 minutes (I timed them with a stopwatch). That feels slower than it sounds — just be patient with it for a minute or two to get the full search results.
I expect that Bilt and point.me will work on displaying award options in real-time as results populate and if and when they do that will make the experience even better. Still, two minutes and a few seconds to search 12 transfer partners with a single click and easily find the cheapest way to book your trip using your points is a killer value-add in my opinion. This is a functionality that I would love to see other transferable currencies implement, but at this point is clearly differentiates Bilt.
It also makes having a Bilt Rewards account more valuable. We’ve been told that people who abuse the search tool (clearly commercial users, people who make no effort to engage with Bilt other than to use the search tool) may be blocked at Bilt’s discretion. It would seem to me that those who link transfer partners (remember that you get 100 Bilt points for linking each program) and engage with the Rent Day contests for free points (where it’s usually easy to pick up free Bilt points on the first of each month) position themselves to take advantage of this cool new benefit.
Overall, this is exciting news from Bilt. I’d love to see this kind of integration with other major transferable currencies — but at the moment, this makes Bilt the easiest program to use, especially for someone who has less familiarity with points and miles.
[…] like Point.me can be accessed for free if you have a Bilt app installed on your device (see this FM post for details) Personally, I’m too much of a control freak and like to double check individual websites. So, […]
While this feature worked for me previously, the point.me integration hasn’t been working today in my bilt app. Is it just me or are they doing some maintenance or is it gone? @Nick Reyes
DL’d the app today and joined Bilt. There is no link to this integration that I can find as directed by your article, Nick. In fact, all the screens are entirely different. I’m on Android, is this perhaps an Apple-only feature?
I’m on Android, and once I created an account I was able to follow Nick’s prompts to run a search: Login>Travel>Transfer Partners. It did not seem to show dynamic search results for me but otherwise after it loaded it seems to have worked the same.
When I log in, I land on my Account page. I don’t see any link for Travel. From there I have to hit the 3-bar menu and select Rewards (again, there’s no link for Travel on that menu either). That takes me to a page with four selections: Travel (the default), Shopping, Rent and Down Payment, and Fitness. On the default Travel page, I can only choose “Explore the World”, which is a booking engine for travel using Bilt Points (I have none bc I’m not a renter and don’t have the Bilt MC), or “Transfer points to our partner programs”. In this second section there are no links, so if there’s a way to transfer points or search reward flights, it’s not available to me. I have opened a case with Bilt Tech Support and the CSR gave me exactly the same answer you did. i sent her screen-shots of what I get, so we’ll see how she answers. In any event, the screens are nothing like what Nick posted.
That sounds a lot different from what I see. Once I’m on travel it looks like a typical travel interface like you’d see on Priceline. Flights are the default and then I can click transfer to travel partners and enter locations, dates, pax. I hope the support can help you figure it out!
This started when I was in the US and persists while I am here in Costa Rica. Bilt Support told me it doesn’t work in Costa Rica so I have to pursue it upon my return in a few weeks.
Read Greg’s article on seats.aero that went up today. That tool looks even more useful than points.me.
Interesting and useful feature on the app. I’m not a Bilt or Points.me customer, but the app did want me to create a Bilt account in the app in order to do searches. Did a domestic search and the results are thorough, should be helpful for future searches for the listed partners.
Thanks for the details in this post. I am a point.me user, but not yet a Bilt rewards member. I don’t suppose it’s an option to transfer points to Bilt from other programs, then use those points for things like AA flights? Some of the best flights on points.me often involve Bilt. Thank you
The Bilt app requires signing into my (dormant) point.me account. Once signed in the app will not show any results. It only shows “sample points estimates” for the route I entered into the Bilt app. It wants to sell me a point.me subscription.
I see a couple of you mentioning this, but I don’t see any need or way to sign into aPoint.me account through Bilt. Have you updated to the latest version of the app? See the screenshots in the post. When I hit travel and I select search with partners, it’s all within the Bilt app. It doesn’t take me anywhere else to sign in. I’m not signed into my point.me account on my phone, so it’s not like it’s got my login saved or something. I’m only in the Bilt app.
I can’t post the screen shots but the activity is happening still in the Bilt app. After entering the search request it seems to open a link to point.me in the bottom 2/3 of the screen but then says “try signing in with a different account” or “Sign in with Auth0”. When I press “sign in with Auth0” because the “different account” option doesn’t do anything, it moves to “login to point.me”.
This is what entrada is referring to (I hope posting a link to the screenshot is ok)
Thanks for doing that. After several unsuccessful attempts of the point.me integration I finally was able to get through with a successful search. I think the attempt that worked was signing out of the bilt app and signing back in.
Im having similar issue as others. It’s just the Bilt app not having all kinks worked out, I’m guessing.
select account at bottom right, then settings upper right, then log out. I also reset my password during this process so you could also try that.
Uninstalled the app and reinstalled it. It must have had some bad data stored away somewhere.
Did you ever get it to work? I wonder if it only works well if you have a legit Bilt account and not just trying to sneak in—Nick, did you try it with a phone that did NOT already have you Bilt info on it?
Never mind. Got it to work by deleting app and reinstallng.
I doubt it will be useful though…so slow and, well, I prefer to do this sort of thing on a laptop.
Still, better than nothing.
I also finally got it to work by confirming my birthday and phone number with Bilt in a separate browser. I guess this fully “activated” my account and finally let me complete a search.
I tried using this new integration and it looks like I need to create an account with point.me to actually do the search, but it also looks like it’s not possible to create a point.me account without paying for at least one of the plans?
See my comment. Responding to someone with a similar situation of above. I don’t even understand where you would see a sign in….
Does anyone know if Bilt offers any rewards for landlords to sign up for their program?
I’m pretty sure I’m doing something wrong lol. I just searched for flights in app and it wants me to pay for Point.me service
This is a great add by the BILT team.
As this is my first time using Point.me, I ran a few searches and I don’t believe they are showing me all the options through partners.
For example, ORD to FCO on United on July 29th shows economy Saver Availability but Point.me doesn’t return Air Canada availability (like AC site does). Also AA from ORD to FCO on July 22nd shows Saver Availability but shouldn’t it also show me an option to book with Asia Miles? I also saw this on simple short AA non-stops (ORD to DCA) that didn’t show me the BA booking option.
A bit concerning on a few searches I ran….
And you’ll be able to get up in the air even quicker with all the points you’ll get from the hundreds of dollars of fraudulent charges from Amazon Brazil that will be hitting your account!
Snark aside, very cool integration.
The only useful award service would be the one that tells me when low-level saver awards are available. Who cares about a snapshot search that displays rip-off priced awards.
…and they’d be snapped up in seconds. Despite their best efforts to cannibalize their own relevance for short-term gain, the people behind these products haven’t quite gotten their circle & arrows to that level, yet.
I got slightly different results for an award on Air Canada vs using Aeroplan directly (-1500), but this is still a super customer-friendly enhancement. I will take the small delta, as long as the Bilt searches generate the right ideas.
That’s interesting since Aeroplan has an award chart, so I wouldn’t expect to see a discrepancy on partner awards. I assume this was on Air Canada metal? Were you logged in at Aeroplan? Do you have elite status that might give you access to better pricing? Greg has written before about awards on Air Canada metal being available at better prices with this status.
Nick, your guesses are spot on as usual. Yes, the award was entirely on AC and I do have the 25k status via the Chase Aeroplan card. I must have neglected to remember that having this gives better access to awards (similar to UA) + the discount. That’s why you guys are the best.
Doesn’t Amex also offer a free subscription for Point.me(also only with their partners)? Pair it with the bilt version and you almost have the whole thing.
I think the Amex was a limited time offer
They did for a while, but that ended last March. You’re right that having both would have basically covered almost everything.
That said, I think what really sets it apart here is the ability to search in the Bilt app and then seamlessly go to the transfer page to transfer Bilt points. I think that’s going to be really useful for someone who is new to this stuff as it eliminates a couple of steps. I love the Point.me site and I think it works well for those of us with points in all of the major programs, but this is great for someone starting out with transfer partners (and also great for those of us who also have other transferable points that work with Bilt’s partners).
So far I haven’t applied for the Bilt card. Do you think it is worth it to pay for a regular Point.me annual subscription or can a light traveler get away with just using Point.me light via Bilt. I probably only do about 5 award flights per year (3 domestic and 2 international). I know there is a $5 per 24 hours subscription but I don’t like being pressured into making a quick decision so would prefer an unlimited use subscription. I guess what I’m asking is whether there are some useful more exotic airline transfer partners missing from Bilt? Thanks!
First, you don’t need the Bilt card to join Bilt Rewards and use the Bilt app. Signing up for Bilt Rewards is free (like any loyalty program). You can earn 100 Bilt points for each partner program you link and earn points with their monthly quiz giveaways on the 1st of every month. You obviously can get the card if you want it, but I don’t have the card and I did the searches screen shotted in this post today.
In terms of whether it’s worth subscribing to Point.me, I probably wouldn’t pay $129 per year or $12 per month all year long if you’re booking 3 domestic tips and 2 international trips per year. I might consider subscribing for a month for $12 now and then when you want to spend a week or two searching.
In terms of whether there are more exotic airline transfer partners missing from Bilt, well yeah — Bilt has 12 airline partners out of the 33 that Point.me supports. I mentioned one in the post (Avianca LifeMiles) that I personally use a lot for Star Alliance flights. On the other hand, if you use the Bilt version of the app, it’s going to return Star Alliance results because you’ve got United, Turkish, and Aeroplan — so if you either get to know the Avianca award chart or check the price with Avianca when you’re looking at a Star Alliance award, then you wouldn’t necessarily need the Point.me membership that has access to Avianca.
But then you run into the situations that you’re more likely to miss — like, for example, I recently wrote in a post that I didn’t realize that Avianca partners with AeroMexico. I only discovered that because I searched a route on Point.me (the full version) and it returned an AeroMexico flight via Avianca LifeMiles. I went to the LifeMiles site and was very surprised when I realized that yes, you can book AeroMexico with LifeMiles. I didn’t know that and would have missed that option without Point.me.
However, if 3 of your trips are domestic each year, foreign programs may be of less significance. None of the 3 major US programs release much space to foreign partners anymore, so most of the time your only option for booking AA flights will be AA miles and United flights will be United miles, etc. On the rare exception when, for example, United makes space available to partners, you’re going to see that in the Bilt version of Point.me since those flights should show up for both Turkish and Aeroplan (and Turkish is the cheapest way to book them). So the Bilt version may be all you need for domestic stuff.
But you do miss some things internationally. Honestly, I think your best bet would be to sign up for Bilt and try out the free version and then pay for a month of Point.me directly with them for $12 and then decide which seems to suit you more.
Thanks for the helpful advice Nick. Really appreciate it! I figured you’d need the Bilt credit card for the Point.me so this is great. Now if I could only figure out how to get Avianca award flights to show up I would be golden – I’ve tried the drop down box trick to choose “Star Alliance” and “United” instead of “Smart Search” but still nothing, at least for domestic. My city is not a Star Alliance hub so maybe that has something to do with. Thanks again!