Bilt partners with BLADE: free flights, points earning and elite benefits

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Looking for a way to bypass NYC’s infamous airport traffic? How about grabbing a helicopter? Greg the Frequent Miler did just that last November, when he used his wife’s matched JetBlue Mosaic status to snag complimentary BLADE Helicopter rides between Manhattan and JFK. In case you were wondering, he’s a fan.

Today, Bilt Rewards announced a new partnership with BLADE, which flies passengers between Newark/JFK airports and two locations in Manhattan, as well as between Nice and Monaco…which seems like an appropriate way to transit when you’re in the mood to bling out on the French Riviera.

Eligible Bilt members can now earn points and receive discounts on BLADE Helicopter flights, use BLADE lounges even when not using the service and get a free BLADE helicopter ride upon qualifying for Bilt Platinum status.

a blue helicopter on a tarmac

Bilt Rewards/BLADE partnership details

  • Bilt members will receive 2x bonus Bilt points when paying for any BLADE booking made via a credit card that’s linked to their Bilt account (regardless of whether or not the flight is booked through Bilt)
  • Bilt Rewards elite members now receive the following benefits on BLADE flights and lounges:
    • Bilt Silver – 10% off BLADE flights when booked through the Bilt app (or site)
    • Bilt Gold – 10% off BLADE airport flights + access to BLADE lounges regardless of if you’re flying (two beverage limit if not flying)
    • Bilt Platinum – all the above + one free BLADE flight between EWR/JFK and Manhattan or between Nice and Monaco (one free flight per status qualification)
  • Eventually, Bilt members will be able to redeem points for BLADE flights via the Bilt app.

Complete Guide to Bilt Rewards

BLADE Basics

  • Normal price: One-way transfers start at $195 per person and you get a $50 discount if you book round-trip.
  • Baggage limit: Each person is allowed a personal item and a carry-on bag, but together the bags must total no more than 25 pounds.
  • Manhattan heliports: There are two Blade heliports in Manhattan:
    • East 34th St
    • West 30th St
  • Supported NYC airports: Blade can be booked from JFK or Newark airport (EWR)
a man in a suit sitting in a plane
Greg the Frequent Miler enjoying a BLADE ride from JFK to Manhattan.

Quick Thoughts

Bilt’s new partnership with BLADE is a fun one, although I imagine that the vast majority of non-Platinum members will never darken the door of an actual helicopter given the price of the rides. Platinum members getting a free ride every time they qualify is great value-added perk.

For Bilt Gold and Platinum members, it could also be useful to have free access to BLADE’s lounges, by far the most useful of which are the two that are located in Manhattan. You don’t see many programs offering lounge access with free drinks to folks that aren’t even using the service (even if there’s a two drink limit). I’ll be interested to see how long that lasts.

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Sean

I wonder if they will extend to bus service: Blade Now Offers a $275 Bus Ticket to The Hamptons – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

I have done the drive from Nice to Monaco, that is going to be a gorgeous flight.

Sco

So I’m Bilt Gold and I’m gonna be in NYC in a couple months and at one point I’ll be like a 12 minute walk from one of the Blade lounges. Is there anything there that would actually make it worthwhile to stop by?

Kinda sad I’m not Plat, as I would have really enjoyed the free helicopter ride to JFK on my way out.

Coleslaw

“ Eligible Bilt members can now earn points and receive discounts on BLADE Helicopter flights, use BLADE lounges even when not using the service and get a free BLADE helicopter upon qualifying for Bilt Platinum status.”

A free helicopter?!? That is a pretty amazing perk.

Lee

People who are familiar with my comments to other articles know that I’m a big fan of the Bilt Card. Yes, it is an amazing perk but one must understand the whole picture.

Just to set expectations on cost, while one helicopter fare is covered, helicopter fare for P2 (if applicable) is not, non-carry-on bags are $135 each and one must add the cost from the heliport to the hotel. For my wife and I, it would be $850 – $250 = $600 net. Call it a 25 percent discount. Do the math for your own situation.

Just to set expectations on time, see my comment below.

At the end of it all, it’s a $250 per year benefit. And, each person ought to assess the opportunity cost of putting qualifying spending on the Bilt Card versus another card.

Of course, if they were to throw in a Founders Card membership as well (Greg), perhaps.

Greg The Frequent Miler

if they were to throw in a Founders Card membership as well…” LOL!

Paul

Just don’t bring checked bags. Pack lighter. We got it for $229 after the 10% discount for P2.

Lee

For some, sure. For others, not in the cards. Just trying to set expectations. Nothing more.

Paul

The expectations are: If you don’t check bags, you should be able to get it for $229 or less for 2 people not $600.

Lee

No argument.

And, the expectation is that it is 35-45 minutes from baggage claim curb to hotel curb.

Lee

If you look at baggage curb to hotel curb time, you’re looking at 35 minutes at best with Blade. In other than rush hour traffic conditions, you might save only five or ten minutes over a taxi. When Blade is useful is during rush hour. Don’t forget to figure add-on expenses.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lee
UnitedEF

The 25lb limit sucks did not know about that but makes sense. Will have to weigh my setup to see if that would make the weight limit.