Bilt Rewards is a company that connects renters with landlords and provides them with perks. One of the benefits is that Bilt Rewards members can receive points for paying rent. These points can then be used to cover other expenses, including medical bills or even paying down a mortgage. These points can also be used to pay rent to the landlord.
Bilt is a company that allows you to get reward points for paying rent. Their new free membership program, Bilt Rewards, allows you to receive points for paying rent, renting, and even renting to others. The points can be transferred to your Bilt Rewards account, which can be used on future rentals or as part of an annual Bilt Rewards shopping spree.
Bilt is a company that lets you earn points for paying your rent. As you can imagine, the main appeal of this business is that it is fast and easy: you can earn points for paying rent and then save them in a Bilt Rewards account. These points can then be used to pay for travel purchases or cashback items, such as travel insurance, hotels, and car rentals.
Bilt Rewards is a new program that all tenants must participate in. You get free points for paying your rent. They have a free credit card with no annual fee that allows you to earn points (even double points) to pay rent. Moreover, the points of this program are converted into airline miles and hotel points. This is just the beginning. If you live in a rental house, there is literally no reason not to participate.
Two of the people behind this effort will seem familiar to many of you. Dave Canty is a former Starwood employee and previously ran loyalty programs for JetBlue and IHG. And now comes Richard Kerr, one of the most popular authors, formerly of The Points Guy magazine. He is also joined by Ankur Jain, former VP of product at Tinder. I leave it to you to decide what is more valuable in your life – Bilt Rewards or Tinder.
With Bilt Rewards you earn points wherever you live
If you join the program, you will at least get points for paying rent to your current landlord. But the program is being launched with several major leasing companies as partners, and Dave Canty told me that their network covers over 80% of major residential properties in large areas, from expensive end-of-town properties to the upper-middle class. He said that at launch, 2 million housing units are participating in the program.
Apartments in their network offer points for signing and renewing leases, referring tenants, and as a fee for services and even for enrolling in programs. For example, a landlord may offer incentives to pay the rent on time for a certain number of consecutive months. For example, by awarding 1,000 points to good tenants.
You will transfer points and earn 100 Bilt points for each Transfer Partner account you link to your Bilt Rewards account. For example, if you only add American AAdvantage and Hyatt, you will earn 200 comp points.
If your property is not online, you can earn 250 points per month by linking your bank account and paying rent through the app, as well as points linked to transfer partners. But if you get their credit card, you can earn up to 4,000 points a month by paying your rent.
As Canty explained to me, the program allows the tenants to make money and the landlord to offer incentives. He sees the program as a competitive advantage for the owners and the other partners they attract. They are setting up a loyalty program tied to basic consumer spending, with plans to offer points in related areas such as home furnishings and even later in the customer’s life cycle for mortgage transactions.
Bilt Rewards helps improve credit scores
Bilt helps tenants build credit because rent payments are usually not received on time by the credit bureaus. However, Bilt will report on payments in due course. And, as Canty told me, they will only report payments made on time, no late payments. (Canty determined that a particular owner could, of course, report late payments).
Initially, this is for rental properties in the network, but the company plans to expand once it has a window on people paying through the app (and earning 250 points a month) outside the network of partner properties. They believe it can improve a participant’s credit score by 50 to 100 points in one year.
With the Bilt credit card, you can save points for rent payments
They are offering new Bilt Mastercard 3X cardholders points for the first month’s rent of a property, up to a maximum of 10,000 points, and 2 points per dollar on all non-rent expenses for the first 30 days (no limit).
As the time to earn double points begins to dwindle, the digital card will be available in the Bilt Rewards app immediately upon approval (the physical card will be available 2-4 business days after approval). The card is issued by Evolve Bank and managed by CardWorks.
Outside of the first 30 days, the Bilt Mastercard charges 1 point per dollar on all expenses except rent. The point total depends on the number of non-rental expenses you put on the card during the month:
- $0 – $249 rent free: No points for rent spent
- $250 – $999 not spent on rent: 1 point per $2 spent on rent
- $1000 – $1999 rent free: 1 point per dollar of rent
- $2000 – $3499 no rent: 1.5 point per dollar of rent
- $3500+ non-rental charges: 2 points per rental dollar
This would be a great way to allow a lot of spending without rent and get more and more spending from people with higher rents (and thus probably spending more overall), except that there is a 4000 point monthly limit on how much you can earn from paying rent. So while you can earn 2 points per dollar on rent, you only earn on the first $2,000 per month of rent payments. (The limit is $10,000 in the first month for new participants in the program as an acquisition offer).
Canty thinks it would be crazy not to have this card because it earns points on rentals and even gets you up to two points per dollar, and the fact that it’s a World Elite Mastercard [with no annual fee] is very important.
It includes Mastercard Mobile Phone Insurance (when you pay your monthly bill with the card); Purchase Insurance, which covers damage to purchases for 90 days; discounts at Lyft, Doordash and Shoprunner; Mastercard Luxury Hotel & Resorts amenities; and World Elite Concierge.
Residents of select homes that are part of the launch of the Bilt Rewards Alliance will receive emails today inviting them to join the program and apply for the card. All others must register on the waiting list at Biltrewards.com to learn when they can participate in the program and apply for the card.
Transferring points to airline or hotel programs or redeeming them for a down payment on a mortgage
In addition to redeeming points for convenience products, rental credits and fitness classes, Bilt Rewards points can be transferred one-to-one to multiple loyalty programs, with a minimum transfer of 5,000 points.
- Airline: American AAdvantage, Air Canada Aeroplan, Emirates Skywards, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Turkish Miles & Smiles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles.
- Hotels: Hyatt
This is a brilliant collection of partner glasses.
- Hyatt is the only hotel chain where a 1:1 points conversion is attractive. They’re just Chase’s transfer partner today.
- No credit card points transfer program has American AAdvantage as a partner. Citibank could have gotten it if they had been willing to pay enough for it in the final contract negotiations, but they passed.
- Aeroplan is an excellent partner and Turkish Miles & Smiles offers incredible value for money. It offers a 48-hour premium commitment, allowing you to lock in the premium before you transfer points. Cancellation and reloading fees are only $25. First class to the Caribbean or Hawaii costs just 12,500 miles on United flights. Europe is only 45,000 miles in business class and India is 52,500 miles (plus fuel surcharges).
- Air France completes the list of partners in all three global alliances and, at the risk of exaggeration, probably has the best SkyTeam program.
- Although Virgin Atlantic miles are often worth less than other currencies, they do have some incredible assets. Emirates gives you access to the first class awards it takes from its partners.
This is a very thoughtful list of transfer partners, even if HawaiianMiles is not a good program, it has a Hawaii name that can be a strong motivator.
Interestingly, Bilt Rewards offers a credit card that allows points to be transferred to AAdvantage and Hyatt without violating those brands’ exclusivity clauses. Canty said it like this: This is a loyalty program that includes a credit card. Otherwise we would have problems with our partners.
How to use the Bilt Mastercard
For those who rent and only have one card, this is a pretty good option because for most people, rent is the biggest expense.
Of course, I’m not saying this is the right way to go. I think this is a good card to pay rent with, and you should think about how much more you want to spend on the card to maximize your rental income.
- To break even on a 2x card with transferable points, you need $1,750 in rent. And saving points for rentals is limited to 4,000 points per month. So that’s $2,000 a month for double rent. This is a very narrow range of $3500 per month for non-rent expenses and $1750 to $2000 per month for rent.
- I think it makes sense for most people who maximize their rewards to spend less with the card and settle for less rent – especially if you have high rents and your landlord doesn’t accept free credit cards.
The amount you can put on this card depends on the amount of your rent. For example,
- Spend $251 per month to qualify for 1x rent and get up to $4000 per month in rent. It’s a good deal because you only give up 251 points (compared to the 2x card) for unused expenses and you get up to 4,000 points a month when you pay your rent.
- If you spend $1001 per month to qualify for 1.5 rent increases, you can earn up to $2667 per month in rent. You donate 1001 points (against a 2x card) for unused expenses and you get up to 4,000 points per month if you rent.
If you’re paying $4,000 a month for an apartment, which is not uncommon in places like New York or San Francisco, take a card and put $251 a month on it.
Homeownership as part of the income life cycle
Canty explains that Bilt can see and understand your spending and behavioral history, as well as your credit score, and make specific offers that will help you find a home.
Bilt sees itself as part of the journey from renting to home ownership, and in the market it can help with home ownership. This could go beyond the use of points for a deposit, for which a minimum value in cents per point is promised, which could increase significantly depending on other elements.
At this stage we can only speculate on the circumstances in which participants will be able to use their points to gain further benefits, but presumably this will involve the use of preferred partners such as brokers and lenders (from which Bilt will derive income).
In my opinion, it will be ideal to transfer bilt points to other programs instead of collecting them for mortgages, and to be able to get the same or better mortgage and brokerage terms (including through lower fees or discounts) outside the program. I’ll look into it and hope I’m wrong.
Lake View from the Wing
I have been renting a few places in the last few months, and I have found that Bilt rewards me for paying rent with those points that don’t expire. I have used them to pay for internet, gas and other items that I needed. I have used them toward a new car, and I have even used them to buy a new mattress. This is easy way to save money.. Read more about paying rent with credit card for points and let us know what you think.