The Bilt Rewards card has been out for a while now but only with invitation codes and waiting list. Last week, it went mainstream as a Wells Fargo card and it is a no-brainer card – for a specific kind of user. Let’s check it out.
The Bilt Rewards Card Overview
Link: The Bilt Rewards Card (this is a personal referral link that helps me earn points as well – you can get one as well)
There has been a lot written about this card but I am trying to catch up from things the last couple of weeks as things have been incredibly busy for me so hopefully this will still be of some help to you.
Let’s cut to the chase – this card works as a no-brainer for the individual that pays rent. Sure, it has bonus categories for other kinds of purchases as well but so do many cards. If you pay rent (instead of a mortgage or owning your house), you can earn 1 Bilt Reward point per dollar on rent (with a couple of qualifications we will get into below) and there are some great partners you can transfer those points to.
The Earning on the Bilt Rewards Card
So, let’s check out the structure of this card.
- Earn 1X point on rent payments (up to 50,000 points each calendar year)
- Earn 2X points on travel
- Earn 3X points on dining
- Earn 1X point everywhere else
There is one thing to be aware of as this is not your normal requirement – you earn points with this card when you make 5 transactions that post each statement period. In other words, Bilt wants to be a card that you actually use instead of a single use payment for rent each month. So, in order to earn points, make sure you are getting 5 different transactions hitting your account every statement period.
Plus, this card comes with $0 annual fee – but it also comes with no sign-up bonus. The sign-up bonus is one of the most expensive parts in a credit card acquisition system so for a start-up card, it can actually be a good thing that they are not putting their money at the sign-up bonus and instead making sure they are built for the long-haul.
Paying Rent with the Bilt Rewards Card
The chief reason someone would get this card would be for paying rent. You can pay one rent each month with this card and you earn 1 point per dollar of that rent, up to 50,000 points earned in a calendar year.
There is a portal that lets you easily setup your rent if your landlord is in the system or Bilt can do it via ACH as well (they even will cut checks for landlords where that is required). All of this can be setup within your account after you sign-up.
The Bilt Rewards Transfer Partners
Here is where we get to one of the really great things about Bilt Rewards, besides the earning points for rent. They have quite a few travel transfer partners including American Airlines which does not have a major transfer partner with a reward program. Combine that one with others like Hyatt, United, and Air Canada and you have some great options!
Here is the full list:
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- IHG Rewards
- World of Hyatt
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
- Asia Miles
- United Airlines
- Virgin Points
There are also other redemption methods available as well with your reward points but those travel transfer partners will likely be the most interesting.
You can also search for awards right in the Bilt app as well. This is a nice way to see what is available before you transfer your points.
Bilt Rewards Referrals
But, you do not need to have the Bilt Rewards credit card to earn points. If you link your rent payments, you can still earn 250 points just for paying your rent ontime.
You can also earn 25,000 Bilt Reward points for 5 successful referrals as well. It costs nothing to get a referral link – simply sign-up and say that you want a rewards account (vs getting the credit card) and then use the app to generate your referral link. This is a great way to still earn points that can be transferred without having the credit card.
You can earn up to 1 million points this way. You earn the points when each set of 5 friends are approved for their new card and use it within 30 days of opening the account.
The Bilt Rewards Card is a World Elite Mastercard
Because it is a World Elite Mastercard, that comes with some additional features that are great to see in a $0 annual fee credit card. You get these benefits as the result of that:
- Cell phone protection: When you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Bilt Mastercard, you will get up to $800 of protection (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft.
- Purchase security: Purchases made with your Bilt Mastercard may be covered for theft or damage within the first 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $10,000 per claim
- Mastercard World Elite Concierge: Get access to personal assistance including recommendations and reservations for dining, entertainment, and sporting events
- Trip cancellation and interruption: This offers up to $5,000 reimbursement for a non-refundable passenger fare if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason, when your passenger fare is booked with your Bilt Mastercard.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Receive auto coverage for covered damages due to collision or theft for most rental cars when you pay for the transaction with the Bilt Mastercard.
- Trip delay: Get reimbursed for expenses incurred, including meals, when your trip (paid with the Bilt Mastercard) is delayed more than six hours due to reasons like inclement weather, mechanical breakdown of the common carrier or air traffic control delays.
Is the Bilt Rewards Card Worth It?
With no annual fee and the ability to earn 1 point for every dollar spent on rent, this will be a great card option for anyone that rents. Of course, if you do not rent, it is not as appealing of a card to have since there are a variety of cards that award the same (or more) points for travel and dining.
But, if you value the ability to have transfer partner flexibility, having the option to earn points that can transfer to partners like AA, Air Canada, and United is something you will not get anywhere else. You will be sacrificing the ability to earn more points in those categories from other cards so make sure you assess your travel situation to see which you value more – flexibility and ease of transfers or more miles/points in specific programs.
Richard Kerr is the director of the loyalty points program at Bilt which is a great thing for Bilt and all their customers. He has been an authority on points and award programs for a very long time. I first “ran in to him” (online) back when he used to write his own blog, the Points Jock. He went from that to start the very popular Facebook group Award Travel 101 before going to The Points Guy so he knows this stuff inside and out. Having a points veteran like him at Bilt should make all customers very comfortable with the program.