Update 8/18/22: The current referral program is ending on August 31, 2022. A new referral program will be launched in the fall. (ht Doug)
We’ve posted a smattering of information on the Bilt Rewards Mastercard (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) as the card evolved over the past year. I thought it useful to consolidate everything into a single formal review which we’ll try to keep updated. Please let us know in the comments if there’s anything missing in this review and I’ll add it in.
Bilt is a platform for paying rent. They’ve launched a credit card, in partnership with Wells Fargo, which offers the ability to charge your monthly rent to the card and earn rewards, even if your landlord does not accept credit card payments. You can earn up to 50,000 points per year and set up the payment to be sent out either via check or ACH (they give you a routing/account number to draw the rent from).
The card comes with many top-notch travel partners where you can transfer points and has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. The Bilt credit card earns 3x on Dining, 2x on Travel, and 1x on all other purchases, including Rent payments.
Card earns the following reward earnings:
- 3x points per dollar on Dining
- 2x points per dollar on Travel (see this comment)
- 1x points per dollar on all other purchases
- 1x points per dollar on rent payments, up to 50,000 points per year
- Note: You must make a minimum of five purchases per statement period to earn rewards (a rent payment counts as one)
- Points are worth 1.5 cents each when applying them toward a down payment on a home (you might need to have ‘Gold’ status in order to use this option (?) which is someone who accrues at least 50,000 points in a calendar year)
- Points can be cashed out by applying them toward a future rent payment at a rate of 0.55¢
- Bilt is also a partner in the Amazon Shop With Points program which gives a redemption rate of .7¢ per point ($.007). A little better than the cash redemption rate.
Points can also be transferred to travel partners at 1:1 ratio to the following travel partners:
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- World of Hyatt
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Emirates Skywards
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Turkish Miles & Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hawaiian Miles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- IHG Hotels and Resorts
- United Miles
Points never expire. Points can be transferred in 2,000 point increments (or in lower 1,000 point increments for ‘Silver’ members who accrue at least 25,000 points in a calendar year).
There is no signup bonus on the card, though I have seen a couple of reports of some small bonus offer being sent to some people after signing up so keep an eye out in case you get that.
- Card is issued in partnership with Wells Fargo Bank
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- Primary car rental insurance
- $800 of cell phone insurance
- Mastercard World Elite benefits
- Trip cancellation & interruption protection (up to $5,000)
- Trip delay reimbursement for a delay of 6 hours or more (max $200/day and $1,800 total)
- Purchase protection for damage or theft (up to $10,000)
- Card is metal
- Upon approval, you get an instant virtual card number from the Bilt app which can be used digitally until the physical card comes
Bilt is also offering a referral program whereby a member can refer 5 friends and get 25,000 bonus points if the friend uses the card within 30 days. You can get a maximum of 1 million bonus points from referring.
Even those who do not have the Bilt card can refer friends to the Bilt card, so long as they are signed up for the Bilt Rewards program (free).
NO REFERRAL LINKS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. I’m not planning on creating a referral thread since there’s no bonus on this card and since it requires 5 referrals to get anything.
The Bilt card is an easy opportunity for someone who rents to earn up to 50,000 valuable, transferable points per year by paying with the Bilt card at no cost for you or the landlord, even if your landlord does not accept credit card payment. Some people might be nervous trusting the system to have the rent in on time; I suppose you can set up the payment to go a week early and ensure it gets there on time.
Beyond the rent payment angle, there are some nice rewards and benefits which are unique to a no-fee card: 3x dining & 2x travel earnings are nice, primary car rental insurance is useful, along with other travel protections and no foreign transaction fee.
For those who don’t travel, the redemption options are more limited. The 1.5 cents value toward a future down payment is nice for someone who plans on buying a house in the near future, but otherwise you’re stuck with .55 cents value toward a rent payment or .7 cents value on Amazon.
In the end, I see this card as useful for someone who has a decently high monthly rent payment, who can make use of the valuable transfer partners, and who is willing to sacrifice a 5/24 spot for the card. The card can also make sense for someone starting out who doesn’t have many other chargeable expenses and wants to build a credit history with their rent payments. Or, more generally, it can be a practical no-fee starter card.