Update 4/11/23: Bilt has doubled the maximum amount of annual rent payments on which it will award points to cardholders. from $50,000 to $100,000. First off, if you’re paying $8K/month in rent, we’re terribly sorry. Secondly, this does mean that the vast majority of rent payments in the US will now be fully bonused for the entire year by Bilt if you hold the Bilt Mastercard. Pretty good for a $0 annual fee credit card.
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
- 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
- Members will receive a complimentary gift from the Bilt Collection (apparently some type of home decor / art)
How to earn 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 email@example.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 100,000 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 100,000 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)|
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.
Bilt “Rent Day”
For a 24-hour period on the 1st of each calendar month, Bilt offers a promotion called “Rent Day” where members with the Bilt Mastercard earn double points on all non-rent purchases. Not only does this make the base earning rate 2x, it also doubles existing bonus categories, meaning that cardholders earn 6x dining and 4x travel. (but for one day only). That makes the first of the month a great day to buy a gift card at your favorite restaurant or to book pending travel (though it would likely be harder to plan that specifically for the first of the month given the fluidity of pricing).
Your earnings potential on Rent Day isn’t infinite: you can earn up to 10,000 maximum bonus points on rent day. Still, that’s a fairly high ceiling given that it would take $3,333.34 or more in dining purchases to exceed the 10K bonus point cap (or $10K in non-bonused purchases).
It’s also worth pointing out that you still only earn 1x on rent. The double rewards is for non-rent purchases only. In that regard, remember that you need to make 5 non-rent purchases per month in order to earn 1x on the rent. This double rewards deal on the first of the month should make it increasingly easy for cardholders to meet that threshold.
Bilt also runs additional promotions on Rent Day, in addition to the increased earnings. So far, offers that we’ve seen have included a transfer bonus to IHG One Rewards, a monthly rent giveaway, free SoulCycle classes and even a “Points Quest” trivia contest.
Referring friends to Bilt Mastercard
Bilt offers a referral program for the Mastercard, but the normal rates aren’t stellar. For each person you successfully refer, you get 2,500 points. Every 5th successful referral gets you an additional 10,000 points – up to 2 million bonus 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.
How to use 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.
|Rewards Program||Best Uses||Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
|Hyatt||Use for Hyatt free nights, free suite nights, lounge upgrades, or suite upgrades. Hyatt points are often worth at least 2 cents each, but they’re sometimes worth far more. Bonus: award nights are not subject to resort fees.||1 to 1 (~1 Minute)|
|IHG||IHG dynamically prices their awards and sometimes offer very good value. IHG Premier and IHG Premier Business cards offer the fourth night free on award stays.||1 to 1 (~1 Minute)|
|Rewards Program||Best Uses||Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
|Aer Lingus Avios||Fuel surcharges are sometimes lower when booking with Aer Lingus (Avios.com) rather than British Airways, Qatar, or Iberia. 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 Aeroplan||Redeem 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 Blue||Monthly 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 (~5 Minutes)|
|American AAdvantage||Best 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 Avios||While 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 Miles||Cathay 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 a premium cabin award by adding on a lower cabin segment. See this post for details.||1 to 1 (~1 Minute)|
|Emirates Skywards||The 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 Miles||Hawaiian 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, or use miles to upgrade paid flights.||1 to 1 (~1 Minute)|
|Iberia Avios||Iberia offers very low award prices on their own flights and a very reasonable 25 Euro cancellation fee. Partner awards can offer good value under some circumstances as well, but these are usually nonrefundable. Fuel surcharges are sometimes lower when booking with Iberia rather than British Airways, Aer Lingus, or Qatar. 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)|
|Qatar Privilege Club Avios||Qatar has reasonable award prices for flying Qatar itself. Points are now transferable 1 to 1 to British Airways (and from there to Aer Lingus or Iberia)||1 to 1 via BA (~1 Minute)|
|Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles||Miles & 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 MileagePlus||United offers free award changes and free cancelations. 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 Club||Virgin Atlantic offers a few great sweet spot awards including 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 Details||End Date|
Integration with Point.me for Partner Flight Searches
The Bilt Rewards app now includes a free integration to search for award space with their transfer partners through Point.me. Point.me is a search again that allows you to search multiple sites 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.
Bilt Rewards members have access to the Point.me engine to search for available awards with Bilt’s 12 transfer partners via the Bilt Rewards app (no Point.me subscription required). This makes award programs much more accessible for the average consumer. Note that searches in the Bilt app are limited to Bilt’s transfer partners only.
Use Bilt Points to pay for 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 points 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 points 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 points 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.
Use points to 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.
Does anyone know for sure whether or not Wells Fargo Go Far points can be transferred to the Bilt card? I don’t have the Blt card so I can’t test this myself. Wells’ point transfer interface just asks for the recipient’s name and “Wells Fargo credit card number”. Bilt is a Wells card and MMS states that point transfer works even if the reward currencies are different. However, that post predates the Bilt card. Wells hasn’t run a good spending promo for about a year now and with a forced conversion of Propel cards coming later this year, if my points are only worth 1 cent each it’s time to redeem them. Just hate to settle for 1 cent, if I could get say Hyatt points instead by getting a Bilt card and first transferring the points there. .
Perhaps I’ve missed the discussion, but how can Bilt afford to keep giving away points for rent by check?
I don’t have insight into the actual answer, but my guess would be a combination of factors: they don’t offer a welcome bonus, their target market is mostly new to miles and points and probably largely redeems points in a subpar way (like redeeming them towards rent or Amazon purchase), many of their members probably make a lot of purchases at 1x and redeem at less than a cent per point towards rent or Amazon, etc. I could imagine other factors playing into it as well, but those are some explanations that would make sense to me.
still hoping for a SUB before using up one of 5/24 slots
Can this go towards business rent? Because that would be very nice.
Oh I see only residential rent.. too bad.
I wonder once people find loopholes in the Bilt system to earn alot of points, will they start to implement stricter ways to differentiate what is actual rent or p2p transaction. Also I know Bilt is partner with well Fargo, I wonder how long they will continue having this program go for until they start to add in interest charges per transaction or get rid of the program all together. Cheer in your thoughts. Thanks
Weird question… can Bilt be used to pay rent on storage units? Since I own my own home, the rent payments are not an option for me.
No, but even better you can pay your fees on Rent Day for 2x. And if you pay HOA on your home that charges a processing fee you can use Bilt to pay free at 1x.
So, did a test and paid rent via Venmo 4/1 and got the points for it. Had to make another Venmo payment to a friend for a hotel expense a few days ago 4/10. Also got the points for that.
So does that mean I can get 8,000 points months for Venmo-ing to my mom let’s say and her just giving it back to me as a check?
Obviously, the friend also has a Venmo account but does he have a BILT account also? If not, then it would appear that you can get points when you Venmo someone.
How do you get a Venmo account thru Bilt or attach an existing one to your BILT account?
Bilt’s system monitors every ACH payment (they provide you with an ACH and Routing Number for paying rent or HOA thru a property’s portal). I don’t know whether Bilt prevents use (and/or shuts down an account) for other expenses pd thru Venmo or PayPal but it seems like gaming to me considering the intent of their product. Others may have DPs on their results from actually doing this on a repeated basis.
Ahh, thanks. Ignore the question I mentioned to you upthread!
Thanks so much for your assistance!
@Jack Somehow I doubt that Bilt isn’t looking out for that type of behavior.
Questions for you.
You write “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.”
Must these sort of transactions only be to “landlords” or can they be to any entity that does not accept a credit card payment?
For example, I have many expenses where only checks are accepted:
!). Maintenance costs and fee on my condominium;
2) Monthly fees for my parents apartment in a retirement community; and to a lesser extent,
3). Utility expenses.
Can one earn 1x points on these expenses, and if not, does Bilt forsee themselves getting into these areas eventually?
You can follow-up with Bilt c/s to verify or their T&Cs
You bet, want to clarify if you get their MasterCard and pay on Rent Day, you would earn 2x on both your folk’s retirement home rent and utilities, better than 1x trying to use the ACH/rent bank info anyway and not an issue, either, with Bilt
I thought you said that retirement home fees do not qualify, that only homeowner fees on my condo do? See above.
Retirement home/assisted living/nursing home fees do not qualify under the Bilt 1x Rent or HOA/no processing fee rule. If you have a processing fee on your folk’s retirement home apt, Bilt will not eat that. BUT if you get their credit card, you could pay their rent on Rent Day and earn 2x points (or earn 1x any other time of the month). It may, or may not, make sense to do that though depending on if your parent’s facility charges a processing fee and how much.
I think their rent and fees are all wrapped up together and thus would come under the prohibition you cited above.
However, we do have 2 condominiums with HOA monthly fees — I think you noted one per account, so my wife and I could each pay one, I suppose, right?
Now, are those HOA fees considered “rent” or not rent, and thus subject to the double points structure if paid on “Rent” day?
Does your folk’s retirement community charge a separate processing fee to pay their rent by credit card (vs by check/autodraft)?
Similarly, do your condo payment portals charge a processing fee to pay by credit card (vs by check/autodraft)?
I’m not sure. Will have to check with my wife. Why?
I would find out exactly how your parent’s rent payments are being made – this could represent a nice haul of points for you monthly. I have knowledge of the industry – most long-term care facilities allow credit card payments and some also do not charge processing fees. If they do charge a fee to pay by credit card, though, weigh that against the 2x points you could earn on Rent Day by paying with Bilt (up to $10k). Hyatt/AA valuations are around .015, so you could earn .03 by using Bilt, which may be a wash against any transaction fees, or better, depending on how proficient you are at point redemptions.
Facilities code differently by property and credit card company (some non-profits as “Charitable Organizations” when that used to be a bonus cat on some cards!). Regardless, if you aren’t earning the 1x points/no processing fee on your folk’s apt anyway, you can pay the bill on Rent Day for 2x, or 1x any other day of the month. The Rent Day rule is if you try to otherwise pay an allowable rent expense with no processing fee ALSO on the first of the month in an attempt to earn 2x (instead of 1x). Bilt will only allow you 1x, period, regardless of what day of the month you pay your rent (which doesn’t actually have to occur on the 1st).
If you set up 1 HOA fee pmt under your credit card account and 1 under your wife’s (and neither are commercial leases) you should be good to go. It sure feels nice to finally earn something off HOA, believe me.
(note – I was referring to both you & your wife having a card for a ttl of $10k spend, 20k points ttl/mth. You’ll probably need two cards anyway to pay 100% of facility fees with $5k max/ea spend on Rent Day)
Is there a cap on the number of properties you can pay rent on via the program? e.g. Can you pay rent on a family members behalf to get up to the 100k limit?
Only 1 rent pmt per acct
In the rent day section, perhaps you want to revise the math to be $1,666.67 to account for the 6x dining and 10K cap. Although, if youre just comparing to how much spend it would normally take to get to 10k points then it makes sense – just a bit unclear in that paragraph.
Anyway, I’ve used Bilt to pay my landlord for security deposits and things have been just fine, even for little things like an extra garage opener.
Also, BILT will sometimes give you 5x up to 50,000 points ($10K spend) when you get a new card, even a replacement one. I used that to pay my wife’s tuition fee last semester, so definitely came out ahead even though I paid a 2.65% fee.
Both myself and P2 ordered replacement cards but the 5x 5 did not repeat upon delivery of either of those cards. Did yours?
Yes, it was on a replacement.
That is so great!
They’ve replaced mine twice in 4 months (unauthorized charges). No 5x offered.
Curious if this could be used to pay my condo’s monthly HOA (requires ACH deposit with a bank acct # and routing #)
info for anyone curious, YES you can pay your HOA dues on bilt (at least i was able to!)
I reached out to Bilt before I got the card, HOA is most definitely allowed and went thru fine for me, too, for Jan.
Can I pay my SO if we live in the home she owns? we currently split expenses but would be more then happy to split off the “rent” payment part
I used the ACH and account number BILT issued to me to add to Venmo to pay for a $300 bill to a private individual, and it worked. I would guess this could be a work around for you. YMMV
How did the private individual receive the pay? Check? Does the private person need to do anything?
They received the funds in their Venmo account immediately.
They received the funds to their Venmo account immediately. They would need to set up an account to transfer the funds to, and I don’t know if there is a delay in doing that transfer of funds or not.
Do they need to set up a Venmo account or a Bilt account???
If they already have a Venmo account are you saying that by setting up a Bilt account on my end, I can just Venmo the $$ to them even if they don’t have a Bilt account and I can still earn points on that sort of transaction?
I ask because there are many contractors, plumbers, locksmiths, etc who will accept a check or Venmo from you but not a credit card.
Yes, they would also need a Venmo account to receive funds via Venmo.
When you set up a BILT account, they give you ACH info (a routing number, and your personal account t number with them). You add that info to your Venmo account. Then use that as your payment funding option when sending funds to someone else with a Venmo acct.
Thank you, Sandie! Am I correct in concluding that they do not need their own Bilt account?
Correct! They don’t, but you would!
FWIW I’ve been at a Bilt property for a few months, and didn’t sign up for the card until December, at which point I was given all the points I would’ve earned from rent had I always had the card, ~7500 points or so. Not a true SUB, but more than literally nothing.
“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)?
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.
Maybe suggest to him to offer a decent SUB to mitigate the 5/24 spot
They are well aware that many of us would like to see an intro bonus. I get the sense that they view earning 1x transferable points on rent in perpetuity with no annual fee as bonus enough. I don’t get the sense that they have any intention to offer a big public welcome bonus. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see one — I just know that they are aware that many of us would want that and my bet is that they aren’t interested in customers who are only going to pick it up for the bonus but rather for people who are going to continue to use the card, which is why they figure the rent earnings is the incentive rather than an initial bonus. I’m not arguing that they are right, just that they seem to have a strong enough perspective on that and I understand it whether or not I like it.
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.
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.
There’s nothing “wrong” with that model, I just don’t get the sense that they think they need an intro bonus. I would 1000% like to see one, but their success so far despite not offering one tells me that maybe they are right.
In terms of “all issuers” offer an intro bonus to lure people in, that isn’t really the case. Until this month, Citi hadn’t offered an intro bonus on the Double Cash in years and at times in the past they went for stretches with the Prestige and Premier offering no bonus at all (which seemed crazy to me, but Citi is Citi). Fidelity doesn’t offer a public intro bonus on their 2% back card (though they have done targeted offers of $150). Amex historically didn’t offer a public welcome bonus on the Blue Business Plus (we’ve long seen one via referral and some people have been targeted for 50K or 75K offers, but the main public offer on that card has historically been no bonus). I think there are quite a few no-annual-fee cards on the market that offer very low or no intro bonus.
Obviously I know / agree that most rewards card issuers offer a rich intro bonus to draw customers in and that there are plenty of no annual fee cards that offer much better intro bonuses. Of course, those cards don’t offer an easy way to earn points on rent (obviously I know there are roundabout ways to do it, but nothing nearly as easy for the average person).
The point of feedback that people need to earn points faster to be able to redeem and get excited about continuing to use the card is certainly one I’ve made with them directly. I think that especially people who are perhaps just starting out and don’t already have other cards will have to be willing to wait a year or two to have enough points for a vacation and that doesn’t seem like a good way to entice them to use the card. They have obviously disagreed and people are still getting the card because it’s easy points. In the overall scheme of things, a very miniscule percentage of the people who get credit cards will ever have any idea what 5/24 even is, so the fact that it “takes a 5/24 slot” isn’t a primary concern for millions of people who rent apartments and would maybe get a credit card. Indeed, I think of a good friend of mine who only started playing the game a few years ago and already has all the Chase cards he wants and he has gotten the Venture X and most of the lucrative Amex card offers but he also pays a lot of money every month in rent, so points from his Bilt card are just icing on that cake for him that made sense to get. Would be have rather earned a signup bonus? Yes. Will he be happy if he gets 50K points every year that he can transfer to Hyatt/United/AA/et all with very minimal effort on his part? Also yes.
Again, I’m with you on wanting a bonus. I see the merit in that. I also see that they aren’t offering one and yet they have still struck a partnership with Wells Fargo and numerous major player loyalty programs — including the ability in some cases to directly search award inventory in those programs through the Bilt app. I can’t imagine they would have those partnerships if those outside players didn’t think they were attracting cardholders with whatever they are doing. The awards enthusiast in me thinks they should offer an intro bonus. For all I know, maybe they will. I just wouldn’t be surprised if they continue not to. I don’t think it’s a “fear” of churners but rather a business decision for them that they think what they have now or have in store is enough.
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.
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.
One of the things I like most about Bilt is how receptive and responsive they are to feedback. I feel like they really are trying to build a good product and always have more up their sleeve and in the works.
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.
Can you pay rent for a business?
No, only residential rent.
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.
No, only residential rent.
Are you sure? Someone said upthread that they used it to pay their homeowner fees. Can you reach out to Bilt and ask them if HOA fees and other semi-residential situations such as retirement community monthly “rent” fees are within the ambit of their points earning structure?
I have screenshot verification from Bilt before I applied for the card allowing HOA. I have also now used for 3 months running for HOA and am receiving points. Bilt also specifically says “no” to retirement/assisted living facilities BUT if you have the card you could use on Rent Day to earn 2x points on that expense so better yet . . .
Thanks, but I think you noted below that payment on only 1 rental property per account and we have 3. I guess my wife and I could open separate BILT accounts?
Also, have you done the Venmo thing like another poster mentioned? Does it work? I assume you are not limited to 1 payment per month on that?
Also in T&Cs can only get the 1x/no processing fee on 1 non-commercial rental pmt/mth/account (if that makes a difference). Tip for Bilt card sign-up/referral bonus. When you apply for the card you also become a Bilt Member. Once you are a Bilt Member someone else cannot earn a referral bonus from referring you. So don’t both become Members until you are ready to get their card and at least 1 of you can earn a 2,500 point referral bonus from referring the other.
I unfortunately am already a member, having signed up for Bilt — but not the card — for the Hyatt Globalist challenge commencing on 4/17/23.
But, as you noted, I can refer to my wife!
Yes…don’t sign her up separately until time for her to get the card. And don’t get the card for either of you until you figure how to accumulate as much spend up to $10,000 in 5 days as you can on each. Those 50,000 Hyatt/AA promo points are the same as the previous SUB on the Citi AA card! Times 2 = 100,000 and your now-Globalist account could get a nice infusion of points transferred from your wife’s Hyatt account (after transfer from Bilt 5 x 5 promo).
Thanks! Be sure to do that! You are a wealth of information and a real help!
Lol you can thank DSK on FM in a previous post for helping start me on the path to Bilt enlightenment with sufficient and accurate data.
Best credit card there is, overall, with rich transfer partners and an entertaining approach to earning and burning. Breath of fresh air to engage with a financial program with an actual personality. I know enough from previous posts that you, too, are looking for less-esoteric redemptions, I think you’ll really appreciate the program and the exceptional value it will bring to your credit card portfolio.
Now, if they can add Alaska. . .
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