[New partner: Avios] Bilt Rewards Complete Guide

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Note: Frequent Miler has a business relationship with Bilt. We are compensated when readers click through our Bilt Mastercard link and successfully apply for the card. Further, Bilt has invited select Frequent Miler team members to attend events related to the Bilt card and rewards program. Despite this relationship between Frequent Miler and Bilt, we work hard to provide unbiased information.

Today, Bilt Rewards has announced the addition of their 10th, 11th, and 12th airline partners in British Airways Avios, Aer Lingus Avios, and Iberia Avios. Beginning today, Bilt Rewards points can be transferred to British Airways Avios, with Aer Lingus and Iberia transfers being implemented in September 2022. Keep in mind that Avios can be moved between the airlines that use the Avios currencies, so if you transfer to British Airways today you can then transfer from British Airways to Aer Lingus, Iberia, or Qatar Airways thereafter. See How to transfer Avios between British Airways, Qatar, Iberia, and Aer Lingus for more on the mechanics once your Bilt points are transferred to British Airways.

Bilt Rewards is the core program in which you can earn points by paying your rent and/or using the Bilt Mastercard. We’ve published a number of posts about Bilt, but until now we hadn’t consolidated all of the pertinent information into a single guide. This guide includes everything you need to know about Bilt and will be updated as the Bilt Rewards program evolves.

Bilt Rewards: a points program built for renters

Bilt Rewards is a program designed to enable those who rent their homes to earn points on the rent. This makes the program and associated card unique in offering an easy way to earn points on what is the largest monthly expenditure for those living in many markets.

There are several ways to earn and redeem Bilt Rewards points, each covered below in this guide to both the program and card.

Bilt Rewards elite status

Bilt Rewards offers an elite status program that offers the chance to earn interest on rewards points among other benefits.

The ability to earn interest based on your points balance is available to those with Silver status or higher. Status is earned based on total points earned over a calendar year as follows:

  • Blue – anyone enrolled in Bilt Rewards with under 25,000 points
  • Silver – 25,000 points earned
  • Gold – 50,000 points earned
  • Platinum – 100,000 points earned

You will need to have earned 25K points in a calendar year (Silver status) to earn interest on your points balance. Those 25K points can come from any type of spend — meaning that in addition to the points you earn for paying your rent, dining and travel spend will accelerate your pace up the status tiers.

Benefits as you move up status tiers include:

  • Silver and higher
    • Earn interest in the form of points to a member’s Bilt Rewards account every month based on average daily points balance for each 30-day period (rate is based on the FDIC published national savings rate)
    • Bilt will deposit up to 50% bonus points on top of points issued by landlords to
      members for signing for new tenant leases and lease renewal., depending on
      member status.
  • Gold and higher
    • Bilt Homeownership Concierge: Members who redeem Bilt Points toward a home down payment can get help from a dedicated concierge who will walk the member through the home buying process
  • Platinum
    • Members will receive a complimentary gift from the Bilt Collection (apparently some type of home decor / art)

Earning Bilt Rewards points

Paying rent (non-cardholders).

You can earn 250 points per month for paying your rent with the Bilt Rewards app even if you do not have a Bilt Mastercard. However, if you do not have the Bilt Mastercard, you’ll need to live in an apartment that is part of the Bilt Alliance in order to earn Bilt points for paying rent. From Bilt’s FAQs:

How do I know if my property is part of the Bilt Alliance?

The quickest way to find out is by asking your property manager / on-site teams. You can also email us at support@biltrewards.com. Note, you should have received a personalized invite from your property manager if you’re renting from a Bilt Alliance Property.

The earnings here won’t be very significant at just 3,000 points per year for non-cardholders paying rent, though together with 100 points for linking each transfer partner program you can possibly put together enough points in the first year for a free night at an off-peak Category 1 Hyatt hotel even without the Bilt credit card. If you live in an apartment that is part of the Bilt Alliance, it probably makes sense to sign up for the app and earn points whether or not you get the Mastercard.

Paying Rent (cardholders). Pay by card, check, or ACH transfer.

Even if your landlord doesn’t accept a credit card, Bilt Mastercard cardholders can pay rent via check or ACH and still earn 1x points on rent (up to 50,000 points per year). Whether you pay by check, ACH, or with your Bilt Mastercard, you’ll pay your rent through the Bilt app (or use the app to generate ACH account information that can be copied into your online rent payment portal). This makes it very easy for most people to earn 1 point per dollar spent on rent (up to 50,000 points per year). Keep in mind that you’ll need to make 5 total transactions per month with the Bilt Mastercard in order to earn points, so be sure to use it for more than just the rent.

In the Bilt Rewards app, cardholders have the option to send a rent payment by mailing a check or by ACH transfer using ClickPay, RentCafe, or other online payment portals.

Linking Rewards Programs to Bilt

Bilt Rewards offers 100 points for every loyalty program you link to your Bilt Rewards account. This represents very low-hanging fruit for most members.

Note that Bilt has occasionally run promotions with increased incentives for linking specific programs. For instance, in April 2022, Bilt offered 500 points for linking an American Airlines AAdvantage account and in May 2022 Bilt offered 500 points for linking a World of Hyatt account. Both of those promotions have since expired, but it is worth keeping your eye out for future promotions if you have not yet linked all of your loyalty accounts.

Using the Bilt Mastercard

Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)
Bilt Mastercard

FM Mini Review: If you pay rent and haven't been earning rewards, this card is a no-brainer as you can pay your rent and earn rewards with no fee. A surprisingly good set of transfer partners makes the rewards for using this for rent worth getting the card for that main purpose alone (as long as you remember to use the card 5 times per month).


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine

Earning rate: Must use your card for 5 purchases per month, then: 3x Dining ⚬ 2x Travel ⚬ 1x rent (up to 50,000 points per year) ⚬ 1x everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: Transfer points 1 to 1 to airline and hotel programs (including American Airlines, United, Hyatt, Aeroplan, and more) ⚬ Redeem points for 1.25 cents each towards travel booked through Bilt's travel portal ⚬ Cell phone insurance ⚬ No fee to pay rent and earn rewards

See also: Read more about Bilt's recent improvements here.

The Bilt Mastercard offers rewards in the form of Bilt Rewards points as shown above so long as you use your card for at least 5 transactions per month. If you do not use your card for at least 5 transactions per month, you will not earn points based on your card activity.

2x travel, 3x dining

The Bilt Mastercard offers two bonus categories: 2x travel and 3x dining. While those multipliers do not put it at the top of our list of best category bonuses, they represent good return for a no annual fee card that earns points that can be directly transferred to partners.

Assuming you can meet the minimum transaction requirements, the return on dining and travel spend is respectable for a card with no annual fee given Bilt’s very strong set of transfer partners and even more so when you consider that points can be used not only to transfer to partners but also to book travel at a value of 1.25c per point through Bilt’s portal. While booking through a travel portal won’t always make sense (you need to shop rates), the added flexibility is nice for times when the portal is price-competitive.

1x everywhere else

Unfortunately, the Bilt mastercard does not offer a strong earning rate on everyday spend at just 1x for most purchases, nor does it offer a public introductory bonus. We recently saw a targeted offer where some were targeted for 10,000 points after $1,000 in purchases. In the first 90 days. Those targeted received an email with a personalized link.

Where the card really shines is in offering 1x on rent payments — even if your landlord does not accept a credit card. That’s because cardholders gain the ability to pay not only landlords in the Bilt alliance but any landlord by sending a check or by ACH transfer as outlined above in this guide.

Earning 1 point per dollar on most purchases is not a good return on spend. That said, if you would not otherwise earn points for paying your rent, the overall math may work out well for those looking for a single long-term card. For instance, if you generally have $1500 per month in expenses paid by credit card and you also pay $2,000 per month in rent, you would earn at least 3,500 points per month with the Bilt Mastercard and possibly more if any of those purchases are in bonus categories (assuming you make at least 5 transactions). If you would have alternatively put those $1500 in monthly purchases on a card that earns 2x everywhere and not earned points on rent, you would only earn 3,000 points per month. You could earn far more points by focusing your spend toward excellent credit card welcome bonuses, but the Bilt Mastercard can be a reasonable choice for someone who rents and is looking for a single no-annual-fee credit card.

Bilt has run some spending promotions like 5x everywhere for Black Friday with Bilt Rewards card last year. It’s worth keeping an eye out for similar promotions.

Referring friends to Bilt Mastercard

At the time of writing, Bilt Rewards is offering a referral promotion through August 31st, 2022. If you refer five friends who are approved for the Bilt MasterCard, you can earn 25,000 points.

Note that you do not need to be a card holder in order to refer friends to the Bilt MasterCard. If you have friends who rent, this could be a way to earn some easy points. You can find your referral code by tapping the invite button in the app.

Using Bilt Rewards points

Transfer Bilt Rewards points to airline and hotel partners

Bilt has a very unique set of transfer partner that make the program surprisingly strong. Points transfer 1:1 to partners, with most transfers occurring near instantly for all partners but American Airlines AAdvantage (which transfer once per day). Partner programs can provide opportunities for far outsized value. See our Bilt Rewards sweet spots post for full details on the best redemption opportunities.

Partners include:

Hotels

Rewards ProgramBest UsesBilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
HyattUse for Hyatt free nights, free suite nights, lounge upgrades, or suite upgrades. Hyatt points are often worth at least 1.5 cents each, but they’re sometimes worth far more. Bonus: award nights are not subject to resort fees.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
IHGIHG dynamically prices their awards and sometimes offer very good value. IHG credit cards can increase value: IHG Select Card (no longer available to new applicants) offers a 10% rebate on awards. IHG Premier, IHG Premier Business, and IHG Traveler Cards offer fourth night free on award stays.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)

Airlines

Rewards ProgramBest UsesBilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Aer Lingus AviosIberia offers very low award prices on their own flights. Round trip partner awards can offer good value under some circumstances as well. Fuel surcharges are often lower when booking with Iberia rather than British Airways. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar.  See also: Avios Sweet Spots for Award Tickets.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
Air Canada AeroplanRedeem for Star Alliance flights and/or flights with Air Canada partners (such as Etihad). No fuel surcharges; $39 CAD award booking fee; 5,000 points to add stopover on one-way award. See: Air Canada Aeroplan: Everything you need to know.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
Air France KLM Flying BlueMonthly Air France Promo Awards often represent very good value. Air France miles can be used to book Sky Team awards, including Delta awards. Air France often offers very good business class award pricing between the US and Europe & Israel.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
American AAdvantageBest for AA's web special awards or for partner awards such as Cathay Pacific business class, Qatar business class, Etihad first class, etc. AA no longer charges change or cancellation fees on awards.1 to 1 (1 Day)
British Airways AviosWhile flights on British Airways itself often incur outrageously high fuel surcharges, many BA partners charge low or no fuel surcharges. Excellent value can be had in redeeming BA points for short distance flights. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar. See also: Avios Sweet Spots for Award Tickets.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesCathay Pacific has a decent distance based award chart, but they no longer allow stopovers longer than 24 hours. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles can be a good option for booking American Airlines flights with a distance based award chart, especially if other OneWorld Alliance miles aren't available. For long distance flights, it is possible to reduce the cost of first class by adding on a business class flight. See this post for details.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
Emirates SkywardsThe best use of Emirates miles has been to fly Emirates itself. Unfortunately fuel surcharges can be steep. See: Emirates Sweet Spot Awards - First class from 30K miles round trip. 1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
Hawaiian MilesHawaiian Airlines’ award prices tend to be quite high, but there are some not-terrible uses: fly to neighboring islands for 7.5K miles, fly first class round-trip from Hawaii to South Pacific islands for as few as 95K miles, fly first class round-trip from Hawaii to Australia for as few as 130K miles.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
Iberia AviosIberia offers very low award prices on their own flights. Round trip partner awards can offer good value under some circumstances as well. Fuel surcharges are often lower when booking with Iberia rather than British Airways. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Qatar.  See also: Avios Sweet Spots for Award Tickets.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
Turkish Airlines Miles & SmilesMiles & Smiles offers a number of awesome sweet-spot awards including 7.5K one-way anywhere within the US, even to Hawaii. Many awards cannot be booked online but can be booked via phone or email. See: Turkish Miles & Smiles Complete Guide and Turkish business class sweet spots from the US.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
United MileagePlusUnited offers free award changes, and free cancelations 30+ days before departure. Like Avianca and Aeroplan, United never charges fuel surcharges for awards. Unfortunately, United charges many more miles for international first class awards. Good uses of miles include United's Excursionist Perk awards and (sometimes) dynamically priced United economy awards.1 to 1 (~1 Minute)
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubVirgin Atlantic offers a few great sweet spot awards including ANA first class between the US and Japan for as low as 55K points one-way; and US to Europe on Delta One business class for 50K points one-way. See: Best uses for Virgin Atlantic points (Sweet Spot Spotlight).1 to 1 (~1 Minute)

Current Transfer Bonuses

If Bilt Rewards is running any transfer bonuses, details will appear here:

Transfer Bonus DetailsEnd Date

Cover travel at 1.25c per point

Bilt now offers the ability to use points at a value of 1.25 cents per point when booking travel through their new travel portal. The portal is baked into the Bilt app (simply select the “Travel” tab) or members can browse to: travel.biltrewards.com.

Like many other travel portals, Bilt’s portal is powered by Expedia. This means that most flights will probably be the same price that you can find elsewhere, but rental cars, hotels, and activities may cost a bit more. Still, this can be a good way to get decent value for points when booking hotels or certain experiences (like tickets for Disney World).

One really cool feature is only available through the Bilt app. When searching for flights, you can choose to search through the Bilt Portal for cash rates or through a selection of their airline partners to see award rates for the same dates and destination. This should make it easier for people to decide whether to use their points through the portal or by transferring to partners. At the moment, only American Airlines AAdvantage, Air Canada Aeroplan, and United MileagePlus are supported, but I’m guessing that Bilt will add more partners soon.

If you don’t have enough points to cover an entire charge, you can pay in part with points and the remainder in cash.

While you can often get far more value by transferring points to airline and hotel programs, the ability to alternatively get decent value when redeeming for travel directly is a strength for those who don’t intend to learn the intricacies of booking award flights using airline miles.

Redeem for rent

Bilt allows you to redeem points for rent. The value here is very poor as you will get less than 1c per point. If you intend to use credit card rewards to pay for rent, you would likely be better off with a credit card that earns 2% cash back everywhere and using that cash back toward your rent.

Redeem for fitness classes

Bilt has partnerships with several popular exercise class brands, so you can redeem your points for popular classes like Soul Cycle, Rumble boxing, Solidcore, and Y7. These redemptions generally don’t provide maximum value.

Redeem for art, home décor and more

Bilt offers the Bilt Collection, a curated selection of limited-edition art and home décor. Redemptions start at 5,000 points. Whether or not these redemptions make sense is a matter of personal taste.

Cover Amazon purchases

You can use Bilt Rewards points at checkout to cover purchases at Amazon.com. This yields very poor value for points at 0.7c per point and should be avoided.

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James

“The earnings here won’t be very significant at just 2,500 points per year for non-cardholders paying rent”
Not to be picky, but isn’t 250 a month for rent 3,000 points in a year…since there are 12 months in a year (not 10)?

Reno Joe

In a conversation with the CEO of Bilt almost a year ago, I suggested he work on BA and he said they would. I also suggested Bilt roll out a flat earn rate card a la the Sapphire / Freedom Unlimited or Premier / Double Cash tag teams. That one is a back burner item but don’t be surprised.

Benn

Maybe suggest to him to offer a decent SUB to mitigate the 5/24 spot

Reno Joe

Exactly.

One and done bonuses don’t keep cardholders. It’s not the business any card issuer wants. But, up to 50k points on rent does keep cardholders. Think of it as a retention bonus without the uncertainty. It’s gravy. Every two years, that alone transferred to Virgin (almost) gets a person a round-trip in business class from the East Coast to London. Pay your rent, go to London.

Benn

What’s wrong with people picking it up for the bonus and then continuing to use it to pay rent? Why would they ever close it after that? There’s no AF.
Don’t all issuers do this? Offer a SUB to lure people in? I believe management has a overblown fear of people churning this card. I don’t see this being the case.
Remember- rent earnings are capped at 50k per year which can easily be surpassed or even doubled by more than a few of the SUB out there.
They’ve done a great job with their transfer partners but you need to be able to earn points to transfer.

Benn

If they’ve been having success with this model, then so be it.
The one thing that strikes me as strange, is that on one hand they market themselves for millions who pay rent who”don’t know what 5/24 is” yet they’ve clearly went out of their way to get TK, AA and Hyatt as partners which is meant to entice those who are in the game. They are kind of trying to have their cake and eat it too so to speak.

Also don’t underestimate the power of a good SUB. As you very well know there are many, many people who have CSP/CSR Amex Plat in wallets for years upon years(unwittingly paying the AF) only because someone told them to sign up because the SUB is worth X amount towards travel.

Last edited 3 months ago by Benn
DaveS

Very reasonable points, yet though I rent, it doesn’t catch my eye. I guess my rent just isn’t high enough to make it an exciting proposition, without a signup bonus, and tied also to the five transactions per month where I’d either have an opportunity cost or need to remember to do a few rinky dink little transactions to go through the hoops. I think by definition the great majority of the readers of this blog play the miles and points game, and indeed the blog helps us to play it well. But this readership is precisely the people who will see the limitations of this product. I agree that for those who don’t normally want to pay much attention to miles and points, but just want to get something out of their rent payments, it could work well. But maybe that’s a pretty low ceiling of cardholders.

Reno Joe

Agreed. Some have lumped Bilt in with the now-imploding FinTech card models. I disagree. In paralleling the CSP reward structure, I think Bilt is smart and is a survivor. And, yes, more is on the way.

koby jones

Can you pay rent for a business?

Robert

How about HOA fees? Several of my properties collect through ClickPay (which I noticed in your screenshot) and I’m wondering if I could earn points on that.

LarryInNYC

Now, if they can add Alaska. . .

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