On Tuesday, Bilt Rewards, a first-of-its-kind rewards program offering renters the ability to earn points on their rent payments has rolled out some major enhancements to its rewards program by adding new ways to earn points on the Bilt Rewards credit card and even added a new travel transfer partner – providing yet another way to use Bilt Rewards points.
Read on for everything you need to know.
What is Bilt Rewards?
Bilt Rewards is a brand new rewards program that allows qualified U.S. renters the ability to earn rewards by paying their rent through the Bilt Rewards app. Eventually, you’ll be able to earn points on your rent payment no matter where you live.
Despite the fanfare surrounding this new option, Bilt hasn’t launched just yet – you can join the waitlist for the service on the Bilt website.
At launch, you’ll need to be renting from a property management group in the Bilt Rewards Alliance. If your landlord is a member of the Bilt Rewards Alliance, you will be able to pay your rent electronically through the Bilt Rewards app by securely linking your bank account. According to Bilt, the current members of the Bilt Alliance make up more than 2 million rental units. Here are just a few of the property management groups that are already a part of the program:
Bilt Rewards Alliance Members
- The Blackstone Group
- The Related Companies
- Equity Residential
- AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
- Camden Property Trust
- Cushman & Wakefield
- Trammell Crow Residential
- Highmark Residential
- AMLI Residential
- Morgan Properties
- SL Green Realty Corp.
- Starwood Capital Group
- The Moinian Group
- Veritas Investments
- Artemis Real Estate Partners
- And more
Tenants that rent from one of these alliance members will reportedly get priority when Bilt eventually launches.
Renting someplace that doesn’t make this list? By paying your rent through Bilt, the company can send your landlord a paper check via USPS First Class mail for your rental amount, similar to Plastiq. Bilt says it will take five to seven days to process.
No matter where you live, these rental payments via Bilt are completely fee-free.
While it’s not necessary, renters can earn even more points by paying their rent with a new co-branded Bilt Rewards Mastercard.
Bilt Introduces 0-1-2-3 Earnings with the Bilt Mastercard
Starting today, the Bilt Mastercard has made some positive changes for how users can earn points in which they are calling the 0-1-2-3 points earning structure.
First and foremost, the card will continue to have a $0 annual fee to hold the card.
Next, you’ll earn 1x point for every dollar you spend on rent payments with no fees. And you’ll have the ability to earn 1x point on up to $50,000 in rent payments each and every year.
Next, the card will earn 2x points on travel, when you book directly with an airline, hotel, car rental, or cruise line. Finally, the card will earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining plus 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
As long as cardholders make a minimum of five card transactions in a statement period, they’ll be eligible to earn points with the new 0-1-2-3 earning structure.
Also, all new Bilt Rewards Mastercard holders will earn 2x points on all purchases for the first 30 days of card membership.
Previously, Bilt Rewards cardholders received a welcome offer of 3x points per dollar spent on your first month’s rent payment (of up to 10,000 points) and earned only 2x points on all non-rent spend for the first 30 days. This is a solid update, especially for a no annual fee credit card.
The Bilt Rewards Mastercard
In addition to the new benefits outlined above, the Bilt Rewards Mastercard includes a handful of other benefits due to the fact that it is a World Elite Mastercard, including:
● Cell phone insurance protection anytime you pay your monthly bill with your Bilt Mastercard
● Purchase Assurance Plus covers any purchase you make against accidental damage for 90 days
● Exclusive merchant discounts with brands like Lyft, Doordash, and Shoprunner
● Access to the Mastercard Luxury Hotel & Resorts Portfolio which gives you amenities like upgrades, free breakfast, and property credits at over 3,000 hotels
● 24/7 access for the World Elite Concierge, a complimentary service that acts as a personal assistant.
● No Annual Fee
Information about the Bilt Mastercard has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Simplified Status Tiers
Bilt has four levels of membership status – Blue, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Previously, your status tier was determined by how much you spent on your card in non-rent spending each and every month.
Now, Bilt has simplified its status structure so that member status is based on total points earned over the calendar year, instead of monthly points accumulation. Points can now be earned from any source, such as rent transactions, non-rent transactions, bonus points, and more.
The new structure is as follows:
- Blue – anyone enrolled in Bilt Rewards with under 25,000 points
- Silver – 25,000 points earned in a calendar year
- Gold – 50,000 points earned in a calendar year
- Platinum – 100,000 points earned in a calendar year
Enhanced Status Benefits
With these new simplified status tiers, Bilt has also rolled out a handful of new benefits that are available to different levels of status holders.
These new benefits are as follows:
Earn Interest on Points (Silver, Gold, Platinum members)
For Silver, Gold, and Platinum members, Bilt will pay interest in the form of points to a member’s Bilt Rewards account every month, based on their average daily points balance for a 30-day period. The rate paid out will be based on the FDIC published national savings rate found here.
So for example, a Gold member with an average daily points balance for a 30-day period of 50,000 points would earn another 30 points from interest.
Bonus Points on New Leases or Lease Renewals (Silver, Gold, Platinum members)
If you have Silver, Gold, or Platinum Bilt Rewards status, Bilt will deposit up to 50% bonus points on top of the points issued by landlords for signing a new tenant lease, or lease renewal. And just how many bonus points you will get depends on your member status.
Silver members will get a 10% points bonus, Gold members will get a 25% points bonus, and finally, Platinum members will get a 50% points bonus.
Bilt’s Homeownership Concierge (Gold, Platinum members)
One of the ways in which you can redeem your Bilt Rewards points is by putting them towards a down payment on a future home. Gold and Platinum Bilt Rewards members who choose to use their points in this manner will have access to a dedicated concierge that will walk them step by step through the home buying process.
Complimentary Bilt Collection Gift (Platinum members)
Bilt Rewards members who reach Platinum status will unlock a complimentary gift from the Bilt Collection – think home decor and art.
Bilt Introduces IHG as a New Transfer Partner
One of the ways in which Bilt Rewards points can be used is by transferring them to a stable of airline and hotel travel rewards partners on a 1:1 basis (1 Bilt Rewards point is equal to 1 airline mile or hotel point).
Starting today, IHG Hotels will join Bilt as a transfer partner, making them the second hotel group (behind Hyatt) to do so. While it is exciting to see Bilt continue adding transfer partners, you’ll simply find more value in transferring to Hyatt to book hotels – thanks to their incredibly valuable redemption rates.
Below is an updated look at the Bilt Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners.
|American Airlines AAdvantage||Airline||1:1|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Airline||1:1|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||Airline||1:1|
|Turkish Miles & Smiles||Airline||1:1|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||Airline||1:1|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||Airline||1:1|
|World of Hyatt||Hotel||1:1|
If you are a renter, the Bilt Rewards program seems like a no-brainer, and an easy way to get rewarded for your monthly rent payments without paying additional fees – something that largely wasn’t possible before Bilt.
These new changes drastically simplify the program and add value to the no annual fee Bilt Rewards Mastercard. It is also great to see them continue adding to their stable of travel rewards transfer partners.
Critically, the Bilt Mastercard may now be the best card for earning American Airlines miles, period. Due to the lack of other transfer partner options, you are largely left with the co-branded American Airlines credit cards to earn them on your everyday spend. With the new 0-1-2-3 rewards structure on the Bilt card, it is a great option for American Airlines loyalists – regardless of whether you are renting an apartment.
Renters: turn your monthly rent payments into transferable points to use on travel! Bilt Rewards has made a number of updates to its rewards program, added benefits to the no annual fee Bilt Rewards Mastercard, and added IHG Hotels as its ninth transfer partner.