Bilt Mastercard announces new rewards structure for credit cards
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Bilt Rewards on Tuesday introduced a revamped rewards program that now lets you earn bonus points in new expense categories and makes it easier to earn points on the most important expense for many Americans, rent.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Bilt Rewards program and what to consider before applying for the Bilt Rewards Mastercard.
Bilt Rewards unveils new rewards structure
When Bilt first unveiled its credit card in June, its main feature was that it allowed you to earn reward points on your monthly rent without paying a fee. However, the rewards structure was convoluted and did not allow everyday consumers to earn a lot of points on their rent, moreover the card had no bonus category and only earned 1x points on all other purchases.
For starters, the Bilt Mastercard still has no annual fee and will now earn rewards according to the following structure:
- 1X points per dollar spent on rent (up to $ 50,000 per year)
- 2X point per dollar spent on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise line)
- 3X point per dollar spent on meals
And you’ll earn 1X points per dollar on all purchases that don’t fall into those categories. Cardholders must complete a minimum of five card transactions per statement period.
New cardholders will benefit from an additional increase in their income from the start, as they can earn 2x more points per dollar spent on all qualifying purchases during 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 expensive to earn rewards. However, if you pay your rent through the Bilt app, Bilt will cover these charges in full (usually around 3%) and send a check to your landlord on your behalf. This way you earn rewards at no additional cost.
And depending on how many points you earn, you’ll also get status with the Bilt Rewards program which gives you access to a variety of benefits. The status levels are:
- Blue: anyone registered with Bilt Rewards with less than 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 depending on your status level, you can access these benefits:
Earn interest on unused points (Silver, Gold, Platinum) – Instead of having rewards for collecting dust, they will actually earn you interest. This will be paid to you monthly (in the form of points) – the interest rate is based on the FDIC National Savings Rate.
Use points for a deposit, as well as buyer concierge service (Gold, Platinum) – You can always choose to use your rewards for a down payment on a house. From now on, you will benefit from a personalized concierge service to guide you through the process of buying a home.
Bonus points for new leases or renewals – You can earn up to 50% bonus points for signing new tenant leases and renewing leases. The bonus rate will depend on the status level.
Bilt Collection Gift (Platinum) – Once you reach Platinum, Bilt will send you an organized gift, such as decor or artwork for your home.
What you need to know about the Bilt Mastercard
Bilt has already partnered with dozens of property management companies, representing more than two million homes across the country. You can see if your management company is part of the Bilt Rewards Alliance by entering your address in the Bilt app, available on iOS and Android.
However, keep in mind that you must be 21 or over to apply for the Bilt Mastercard.
Advantages of the card
In addition to the ability to earn rewards on your spending and rent with no annual fee, the card also comes with the benefits of Mastercard World Elite. This includes:
- Cell Phone Insurance (up to $ 800 per year of 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 delay protection
- Up to $ 120 in DoorDash credit per year. A $ 5 discount will be applied to your first two DoorDash orders of each month.
- Up to $ 60 in Lyft credit per year when you make 3 rides per month.
- No foreign transaction fees
So what can you do with Bilt Rewards? You can exchange 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 in gym studios such as Soulcycle or Y7 Studio
- A down payment on your house
- A future rent
- Interior decoration, art or clothing in the Bilt collection
You can transfer Bilt Points to its travel partners at a 1: 1 ratio. The list of transfer partners is not as extensive as Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, but the partners themselves can offer incredible value. World of Hyatt, American Airlines AAdvantage, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Turkish all have great rewards tables allowing for plenty of great value redemptions. For example, you can transfer 7,500 Bilt Points to Turkey and book a one-way flight on United Airlines to anywhere in the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska.
Overall, the card benefits are great for a no annual fee credit card.
And if you’re trying to save for a down payment on a house, this card gives you a great opportunity to passively put money aside.
At the end of the line
The Bilt Rewards program is an extremely innovative program because it provides incentives to pay the biggest bill in many Americans’ budgets – rent. The newly restructured programs allow cardholders to earn bonus points on food and travel expenses, and make it easier for everyday users to earn points on rent payments more clearly and easily.
If saving money for a home is your top priority, or you value Bilt’s unique transfer partners, you might want to think of 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.
However, if you want to earn heaps of points and miles, other travel credit cards may be a better option, especially those that offer a big welcome bonus like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
You can earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and spend $ 4000 within the first three months of opening the account. These 100,000 points are worth $ 1,250 when booking a trip through the Chase Travel portal.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
$ 50 annual Ultimate Rewards Resort Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on meals, 2X points on all other travel purchases, 5X points on Lyft trips through March 2022 and 1X points on all other purchases
Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $ 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening the account
15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fees
Either $ 5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fees
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