Bilt adds Alaska Airlines as transfer partner, will offer 3x on rent payments

43

Earlier this week, Bilt Rewards announced that it was ending its partnership with American Airlines, thus losing its status as the only rewards currency to offer 1-1 transfers to the AAdvantage program. This was understandably a huge blow to many folks engaged with Bilt, partially because of the ease of using AA to book domestic flights and also due to the loss of access to AA’s partner awards for oneworld airlines (and others).

Today, that news looks a little more bearable as Bilt made the announcement that it has added another oneworld member, Alaska Mileage Plan, as a transfer partner. Alaska doesn’t work with any other transferable currencies (outside of Marriott), making Bilt the only rewards program to offer 1-1 transfers.

Perhaps even better for some folks, Bilt and Alaska have announced that they will be launching a program later this Spring that will award Alaska credit card holders 3 miles per dollar when using their Alaska Visa Signature card to pay rent through the Bilt app (on up to $50,000 in rent per year).

Update: Unbeknownst to us when we got this news, using an Alaska card to pay rent through Bilt will mean paying a 3% transaction fee, whereas you pay no fee to pay rent when using a Bilt Rewards Mastercard (but only earn 1x).

What’s Happened

  • Bilt Rewards has added Alaska Mileage Plan as a 1-1 transfer partner.
  • Bilt and Alaska have announced that, starting later this Spring, you will be able to earn 3x Alaska miles per dollar when using an Alaska Visa Signature credit card to pay rent through the Bilt app (on up to $50,000 in rent payments/year). Note that this offer does not apply to the Alaska Business Visa and you will pay a 3% fee if you want to use your Alaska card to pay rent.

Sweet Spots in Alaska Mileage Plan’s New Award Chart

an airplane flying over a bridge
Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

Quick Thoughts

This is an exciting, and somewhat surprising, development for both Alaska cardholders and Bilt Rewards members. Alaska Mileage Plan is right in middle of moving to a new set of award charts, but there will still be plenty of attractive redemptions…and that could get even better if its purchase of Hawaiian Airlines goes through.

That said, a frequent complaint about the program is that Alaska miles can be difficult to earn, primarily because ever since SPG devolved into Bonvoy, Alaska miles haven’t been available through any of the major transferable currencies as a 1 to 1 transfer option (and the two credit cards that Alaska offers aren’t as churnable as they used to be). Now there’s a substantial new avenue to gain Alaska miles.

By earning 3x Alaska miles on rent payments, the miles will pile up fairly quickly…even someone who’s only paying $1,250/month in rent would have enough miles for a business class flight from the East Coast to Europe after only a year. For just paying their rent. (you will pay a 3% transaction fee, so make sure that the math works for your situation).

Again, it’s worth emphasizing that this 3x offer on rent payments applies to the Alaska consumer card only, the Alaska Business Visa is not eligible to earn 3x on rent payments.

This year, Alaska credit cards added a feature whereby you can earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) through spending on Alaska credit cards, at a rate of 4,000 EQMs/$10,000 in spend (up to a maximum of 20,000). We’ve confirmed that rent payments will be an eligible charge under that promo.

In addition, rent payments will also count towards the $6,000 annual minimum spend for a companion ticket on newly-issued Alaska cards…effectively making that an included benefit for those that are using one of them to pay for rent.

Recent underwhelming loyalty news aside, Bilt continues to surprise me in terms of the partnerships that it’s been able to arrange and the deals that it continues to offer. Losing AA undoubtedly stinks, but adding 1:1 transfers to Alaska will certainly help to dry some of those tears.

Alaska Airlines credit cards

Card Offer and Details
75K miles + Companion Fare ⓘ Non-Affiliate
75k miles + Companion Fare ($99 fare + taxes) after $3K spend in 90 days
$95 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
FM Mini Review: Alaska miles are quite valuable so this offer is better than it appears
Earning rate: 3X Alaska Airlines ✦ 2x gas, EV charging, local transit, rideshare, cable, and select streaming services purchases ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Card Info: Visa Signature issued by BOA. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: $121 companion pass every year after $6K spend.
Noteworthy perks: ✦ Free first checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on your reservation ✦ Priority Boarding ✦ 10% bonus on earned miles with eligible BOA account ✦ During 2024, earn 4K EQMs/$10K spend, up to a maximum of 20K EQMs.
Card Offer and Details
75K miles + Companion Fare ⓘ Non-Affiliate
75K miles + Companion Fare ($99 fare + taxes) after $4K spend in 3 months (enter any random 6-digit number for referral code)
$95 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 70K after $4K in 3 months [Expired 4/23]
FM Mini Review: Alaska miles are quite valuable so this offer is better than it appears
Earning rate: 3X Alaska Airlines ✦ 2x gas, EV charging, shipping and local transit ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Card Info: Visa issued by BOA. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: $121 companion pass every year after $6K spend.
Noteworthy perks: ✦ Free first checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on your reservation ✦ 10% bonus on earned miles with eligible BOA business account ✦ During 2024, earn 4K EQMs/$10K spend, up to a maximum of 20K EQMs.

Alaska Mileage Plan Award Charts (fully implemented by 3/31/24)

Alaska-only

This chart is used for all awards flown entirely by Alaska Airlines (i.e. no partner flights are included).

a table with numbers and a number of miles

Americas

This chart is used for flights wholly within the Americas including Central, North, and South America, and Caribbean Islands, except when all segments are flown by Alaska Airlines.

a screenshot of a graph

Europe, Middle East, Africa

This chart is used for all flights within Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and it includes all flights between the United States, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

a screenshot of a graph

Asia Pacific

This chart includes travel from US to Asia Pacific, within Asia Pacific and between Asia Pacific–Europe, Middle East, Africa.

a screenshot of a graph

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

43 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bilt shills

Funny that Richard Kerr posts hostile messages about the X1 card and you are silent about that card, and also FM keeps bilt front and centre of their homepage… Proving you are beholden to Mr Kerr

Eugene

How come the Alaska Business Visa doesn’t get 3x on rent deal? Seems odd only only consumer card gets this offer.

Rio

With Bilt, rent a more expensive place and earn more Alaska miles. It’s a Win-Win! I see nothing wrong here! lol

Christian

Do you need to have a Bilt card or will the app alone be enough for this to work?

Alex Z.

Lol.
You won’t be able to login without the card 😉

Christian

I guess I’d better apply for the Bilt card.

Lrdx

Alex is wrong, you can make a Bilt account without the card.

Gino

I wonder if Alaska will increase the rideshare bonus on their card. Before Bilt, you’d get 3 AS miles for linking mileage plan and paying with co branded Visa. Now you can get 5 Bilt points for linking Bilt and paying with Bilt, then transferring for 5 AS miles.

Christian

It’d be nice.

Last edited 27 days ago by Christian
Marcus

Just to confirm there would be a 3% fee on rent on the cc in addition to the % the landlord already charges for using a cc. Sorry I’m a bit confused. Thx!

Landon

Bilt allows you to send a check for rent payments, so your landlord’s fee shouldn’t also apply.

Pat

Would an Alaska card Rent payment then earn both 3x Alaska points and 1x Bilt points for that 3% card fee? or just the Alaska points?

Llamamanc

Where is the announcement regarding the Alaska Visa card? As someone going for Alaska status I’m willing to pay 1 cent per mile for Alaska miles IF the offer also nets me 4k EQM per $10k in rent spend.

Due to 5/24 I haven’t been able to fit the Bilt card into my lineup without a up front sign on bonus to seal the deal. Looks like this offer would allow me to use my Alaska Visa instead.

Llamamanc

That’s the EQM offer, I was looking for where Bank of America is offering 3x miles sometime later this year. I’m certainly not going to start absorbing a 3% fee for 1x miles only.

Lee

While it’s anyone’s guess, if Rent Day transfer bonuses continue and Alaska is the designated transfer partner, 1X on Bilt with no fee becomes 2.5X on Alaska with no fee. So, the 3 percent fee might only be buying 0.5X extra on Alaska. Just a thought.

Tonei Glavinic

They’ve never done a rent day bonus with a domestic partner though right? I’m not holding my breath

Last edited 28 days ago by Tonei Glavinic
pcw

Hawaiian

LarryInNYC

The transfer bonuses don’t apply to ALL transfers, just one designated partner and I don’t think anyone expects Alaska to be so designated.

Tony

Using Alaska Visa to pay rent does NOT triple the earning. A Bilt Rewards point should be worth at least as much as an AS mile since it can be transferred 1:1, so using Alaska Visa generates 2 (not 3) additional miles. Are those extra 2 miles worth the 3% fee that you have to pay (and you’ll lose the option to transfer to other programs)? It depends on your own valuation but I would stick with Bilt Mastercard.

Tonei Glavinic

Not for me, but I could see the math working for some people with the EQM boost

Tony

I suspect T&C on the Alaska card will be revised to exclude rent payments for elite status and companion pass benefits.

Tonei Glavinic

I doubt it. the only exclusions currently are cash advances and balance transfers, and AS and BoA are getting paid the same whether you’re paying rent or buying anything else

Tony

Except that they aren’t being paid the same. BoA may choose to forego its portion of the interchange fee, but the other parties involved in the credit card payment process would still have to be paid. The money has to come from somewhere. Would BoA still pay AS for elite status and companion pass benefits for spending on rents that BoA actually lose money on? I doubt it.

Last edited 28 days ago by Tony
Tonei Glavinic

where do you think the 3% fee is going?

Tony

Most of it used to pay AS for its miles. I believe AS charges BoA more than 1 penny for each of its mile. And there’re additional fees for companion pass and elite status benefits.

Greg

LOL BofA isn’t going to roll out a spend multiplier category and say it won’t count toward the base crd benefits. Wishful thinking Bilt.

cindy

3x alaska on rent is amazing!!!! i would buy more alaska points at 1cpp at any time!!! now i have a reason to keep my alaska card despite i rarely fly alaska ! 🙂

eds183

Bilt must be paying some serious $$ for those Alaska miles. And/or AS was able to get some very high revenue commitments from Bilt. But Bilt had to do something since it was going to see a pretty big fall off in revenue since it was losing/lost AA.

I would love to see Bilt’s P&L and balance sheet. I know that they are touting a 3.1B valuation, but they seem to have to raise a lot of $$ from VC firms for a profitable company.

I am guessing that they will be bought by some major in the next two years, the founders, VC firms, and bloggers involved will get paid out. Then the buyer will gut the program to get an ROI on what they overpay.

Jace

Can you confirm if the 3% non Bilt credit card fee still applies when paying with the Alaska personal card? That’s the real kicker IMO. I imagine it does or it would de-incentivize to use their own Bilt card at 1x and no fee.

Ben

The 3% fee applies not that great of a deal it’s like buying points for 1 cent each

Nick Reyes

The 3% fee still applies. We’ve made some updates.

Jerry

Hi Tim, you wrote that “being able to earn 3x Alaska miles on rent payments with no transaction fees is an amazing deal.” However, that seems to conflict with other reports that I’ve seen that state that you’ll have to pay the 3% transaction fee that Bilt charges for processing the payment (if you don’t use the Bilt card of course). Would the FM team be able to confirm? I’d be shocked but pleasantly surprised if you can earn 3x miles on rent but not pay the fee. Assuming you do, I’d still rather get 1x Bilt points without the fee.

eds183

Which of course makes sense otherwise the economics are completely upside down for Bilt on those transactions. If the 3% is charged, this is a big nothing burger besides being able to buy AS miles at 1.5 cents each. (3% for the extra two miles earned)

Greg The Frequent Miler

Ooh, good point about it costing 1.5 cents per point. I was about to correct you until I realized what you mean… For others….

Since you can pay your rent with the Bilt card for free and earn 1x, using your Alaska card to pay rent to get 3x means only netting 2x more and since it would cost you a 3% fee, the extra 2x points (over using your Bilt card to pay rent) costs you 1.5 cents per Alaska mile.

Chris

Well you still earn regular Alaska miles on the credit card as regular spend don’t you?

Tonei Glavinic

no – they’re basically making Bilt a 3x category on the Alaska card (so technically speaking you’re earning 1 mile for regular spend + 2 bonus miles).

sheng

Yeah, I plan on putting 2 months rent on it just to get (very near to) the $6k for the companion pass and then go back to using my Bilt card (other than occasionally using my rent to hit a large MSR, fingers still crossed for the 250k MR SUB).

Assuming the rent spend counts toward MSRs (why wouldn’t it), I will also be applying as often as myself and P2 are eligible.

Darin

I realize I’m an edge case, but I will max out the 100k points Bilt will allow per year on rent. At that point, I can shift to Alaska, where it is an additional 3 points per dollar (0 points on Bilt vs 3 points with the Alaska payment). At 1 cent per point, I’m definitely a buyer once I’ve hit the max with Bilt.

Aaron

Just to be pedantic and annoying, the cost is actually slightly more than 1.5 cpp if you include the $95 annual fee on the card.

But yes, I agree. This is nothing to get excited about. I’ll gladly take the 100k free Bilt points over this.

Greg The Frequent Miler

We just learned that you’re right: the fee applies. We’ll update the post ASAP