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Credit Cards

Bilt Mastercard announces new rewards structure: Simplifies earning on rent payment, adds dining and travel bonuses

The Bilt Mastercard introduced its revamped '0-1-2-3' points earning structure.

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Vladimir Vladimirov | E+ | Getty Images

Bilt Rewards introduced a revamped rewards program on Tuesday which now allows you to earn bonus points in new spending categories and simplifies earning points on the largest expense for many Americans, rent.

Here's everything you need to know about the Bilt Rewards program, and what to consider before you apply for the Bilt Rewards Mastercard.

Bilt Rewards unveils new rewards structure

When Bilt first unveiled its credit card in June, it's primary feature was that it allowed you to earn rewards points on your monthly rent payment without paying any fees. However, the rewards structure was convoluted and didn't allow for everyday spenders to earn many points on their rent, plus the card had no bonus categories and only earned 1x points on all other purchases.

To start, the Bilt Mastercard still has no annual fee and will now earn rewards based on the following structure:

  • 1X points per dollar spent on rent payments (up to $50,000 each year)
  • 2X point per dollar spent on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company)
  • 3X point per dollar spent on dining

And you will earn 1X points per dollar on all purchases that don't fall under those categories. Cardholders must make at least five card transactions per statement period.

New cardholders will have an extra boost to their earnings from the start, as they can earn 2X points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases for the first 30 days of card membership.

In many cases, landlords will charge you a processing fee if you pay your rent with a credit card — making it costly to earn rewards. However, if you pay your rent through the Bilt app, Bilt will cover that fee (usually around 3%) in full and send your landlord a check on your behalf. This way, you're earning rewards without any additional fees.

Status levels

And based on how many points you earn, you will also earn status with the Bilt Rewards program which grants you access to a variety of benefits. The status levels are:

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

All of these metrics are based on points earned throughout a calendar year, and based on which status level you are, you can access these benefits:

Earn interest on unused points (Silver, Gold, Platinum) - Instead of having rewards collecting dust, they will actually earn you interest. This will be paid to you each month (in the form of points) — the interest rate is based on the FDIC national savings rate.

Use points towards a down payment, along with homebuyer concierge service (Gold, Platinum) - You can still opt to use your rewards towards a down payment on a home. Now, you will have a personalized concierge service to help guide you through the home buying process.

Bonus points for new leases or renewals - You can earn up to 50% bonus points for signing new tenant leases and lease renewals. The bonus rate will depend on status level.

Bilt Collection gift (Platinum) - Once you reach Platinum, Bilt will send you a curated gift, such as decor or artwork for your home.

What to know about the Bilt Mastercard

Bilt has already partnered with dozens of property management companies, accounting for over two million homes across the country. You can see if your management company is part of the Bilt Rewards Alliance by entering your address into the Bilt app, which is available on iOS and Android.

However, keep in mind that you must be 21 years of age or older to apply for the Bilt Mastercard.

Card benefits

Along with the ability to earn rewards on your spending and rent payments with no annual fee, the card also comes with Mastercard World Elite benefits. This includes:

  • Cell phone insurance (up to $800 a year in coverage per claim as long as you use the Bilt Mastercard to pay your cell phone bill). Limited to 2 claims per year.
  • Purchase protection
  • Concierge service
  • Rental car insurance
  • Travel insurance including trip cancellation and trip delay protection
  • Up to $120 of DoorDash credit per year. A $5 discount will be applied to your first two DoorDash orders of each month.
  • Up to $60 of Lyft credit per year when you take 3 rides per month.
  • No foreign transaction fees

Redeeming rewards

So what can you do with Bilt Rewards? You can redeem them for:

  • Transfers to a long list of travel partners, including: American AAdvantage, Air Canada Aeroplan, IHG Hotels, World of Hyatt, Turkish Miles&Smiles, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Emirates Skywards, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles or Virgin Points.
  • Fitness classes at gym studios such as Soulcycle or Y7 Studio
  • A down payment on your home
  • A future rent payment
  • Home decor, art or apparel in the Bilt Collection

You can transfer Bilt points to its travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. The transfer partners list isn't as extensive as Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, but the partners themselves can provide some incredible value. World of Hyatt, American Airlines AAdvantage, Air Canada Aeroplan and Turkish all have great award charts allowing for many high-value redemptions. For example, you can transfer 7,500 Bilt points to Turkish and book a flight one-way flight on United Airlines to anywhere in the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska.

Overall, the benefits of the card are excellent for a no-annual-fee credit card.

And if you are trying to save for a down payment on a home, this card gives you a great opportunity to stash away some "cash" passively.

Bottom line

The Bilt Rewards program is an extremely innovative program as it incentivizes paying the most major bill in many American's budgets — rent. The newly restructured programs allows cardholders to earn bonus points on dining and travel expenses, and makes it clearer and easier for everyday spenders to earn points on rent payments.

If saving money for a home is your top priority or you enjoy the unique Bilt transfer partners, you may want to consider this card as your primary credit card. At the very least, consider getting the Bilt Mastercard just so you can earn points on your monthly rent payment.

However, if you want to earn heaps of points and miles, other travel credit cards may be a better option, especially ones that offer a large welcome bonus like the Citi Premier® Card.

You can earn 80,000 ThankYou® Points when you sign up for the Citi Premier Card and spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. Those 80,000 points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards, or they can be transferred to participating airline loyalty programs including TrueBlue®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. There is no fee, and the minimum transfer is only 1,000 points.

Citi Premier® Card

On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    3X points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and on hotels and air travel, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    18.99% - 26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer, $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Plenty of rewards and benefits including 4X points per dollar for dining at restaurants worldwide