[Update] Bilt adds free Point.me integration for award searches with partners!

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Update 1/29/23: Search results now load dynamically as the search is performing. This is a huge enhancement. While it still takes just over 2 minutes for the entire search to finish, you’ll begin seeing options potentially within a few seconds of hitting the search button. That both makes it clear that the search is working and gives you some options to consider almost immediately. Note that just like the desktop form of Point.me, it defaults to sorting flights by “quickest”, but you can choose to sort by “Points – low to high” if you want to see the cheapest (in terms of the number of miles required) award flights at the top. The original post follows.

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 Deal

  • 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.

Quick Thoughts

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 isUpdate: 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.

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CharlesNYC

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.

Jason

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

Last edited 1 day ago by Jason
entrada

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.

entrada

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”.

FM fan

This is what entrada is referring to (I hope posting a link to the screenshot is ok)

https://imgur.com/a/66BzPqP

Entrada

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.

BlueCat

Im having similar issue as others. It’s just the Bilt app not having all kinks worked out, I’m guessing.

Last edited 16 hours ago by BlueCat
entrada

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.

BlueCat

Uninstalled the app and reinstalled it. It must have had some bad data stored away somewhere.

BlueCat

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?

BlueCat

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.

FM fan

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.

FM fan

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?

Lou

Does anyone know if Bilt offers any rewards for landlords to sign up for their program?

Sonu

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

Steve

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….

Last edited 5 days ago by Steve
M.A.

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.

Ed

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.

Parts Unknown

…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.

Nikolay

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.

Nikolay

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.

Ben

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.

Other Josh

I think the Amex was a limited time offer

Mark

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!

Mark

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!