Published: 02/08/2023 | February 8, 2023
Since release in 2021 Bilt Rewards Mastercard completely changed the rules of the game for renters who love to travel. This is the only credit card that allows you to earn points on your monthly rentals – up to 50,000 points per year (for example, round-trip flights to Hawaii).
You can use these points like any other travel reward points (for example, from Chase, American Express or Capital One) by transferring them to partner airlines or hotels or by paying for your trip directly through a specific portal.
But while the rental points perk gets all the attention (and rightly so), the Bilt Rewards Mastercard is more than a one-trick pony.
To really get the most out of this valuable card (which I think every renter should have in their wallet), here are a few key things to know about the Bilt Mastercard:
1. No annual fee
One of the most important things to consider when opening a new credit card is whether there is an annual fee, and if so, whether it makes sense to pay it according to your habits and goals.
Most of the best travel credit cards have an annual fee, and for frequent travelers, they are usually worth it. You can get a lot more value out of the card than for its annual fee if you’re an avid traveler who enjoys lounge access, priority boarding, extra baggage screening, or other usual perks.
But you don’t have to worry about that with Bilt as the card currently has no fees. You can earn points for renting for free!
2. Also no welcome offer
However, the downside of not having an annual fee is that there is no welcome offer on the Bilt Rewards Mastercard either.
Welcome offers (also known as signup bonuses) are points you earn by spending a certain amount within a certain period of time after opening a credit card. For example, you can earn 60,000 points if you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening a particular card.
These offers give you a boost in “funding” your points and can often mean free roundtrip airfare right away. Welcome offers are so important to any good travel hack strategy that I generally don’t advise making a card unless it’s significant. The fact that I sincerely recommend the Bilt card, even without a welcome offer, should show you how good I think this card is.
3. A minimum transaction amount is required to earn points.
After opening a Bilt Mastercard, perhaps the most important thing to know is that you must make at least five transactions in each credit period in order to earn points. This applies to all points, including the points you earn for paying rent.
This means that if you don’t make five purchases with your card during that period, you won’t earn any points at all, even if you paid your rent through Bilt.
The good news is that there is no minimum purchase requirement, just a minimum deal requirement. If you make five purchases of any size with your Bilt card every month, you earn points.
4. You can earn points for more than just rentals
While earning points for rent is the main selling point, the card also offers additional ways to earn points:
- 2x travel points
- 3x Food Points
- 1x points on all other purchases
(These earning categories are the same as the fan favorites Chase Sapphire prefersfor which there is an annual fee of $95).
So, for example, if you use your Bilt card for a month for trips or shopping at a restaurant, you will not only get 2-3 times more points, but also Also hit your minimum requirement of five purchases.
5. You can make the most of your rental points
It’s also worth using your card for purchases other than rentals because you can maximize the points you earn from rentals (there is a rental point limit of 50,000 per year). After that, you will no longer earn points for that year’s rentals.
However, given that you earn at a rate of 1 Bilt per $1 spent on rent, you will only reach the cap if you spend more than $4,166 per month on rent. If your rent is below this, you don’t have to worry about going over the limit.
6. You can earn even more points on the day of the rental
On the first day of the month, your ability to earn points doubles, which means you’ll earn 6x points for meals, 4x for travel, and 2x for other purchases (other than rent) made on the first of the month.
If you develop the habit of using your Bilt card for all purchases on the first day of the month, you will be much closer to completing the minimum five transactions, while earning even more points for your purchases.
And while no one wants more apps on your phones, you’ll want to download the Bilt app for a chance to earn even more points. Every day of the rental in the application there are new ways to easily earn points. They change every month, but in the past they included a Point Quest game where you earn points for answering quizzes correctly.
There is also a Rent Day Challenge that you can enter to win a free monthly rent by correctly completing a blank phrase during the day.
While some of these opportunities don’t give you many points, they take very little time, and they all add up!
7. Bilt Points = American Airlines Points
Another reason to accumulate points is that Bilt has American Airlines as a transfer partner – and it’s the only card that does this. Since no other card offers points that convert to American, Bilt is the only way to earn AA points without having an AA card.
This is great news for American Airlines supporters or travelers planning specific trips for which they want to use AA points. For example, I currently prefer my Bilt card over Chase Sapphire because I need those AA points for a trip I’m planning to Japan this year (AA is a Japan Airlines partner).
In addition to American Airlines, you can transfer your Bilt points at a 1:1 ratio to many other travel partners, including:
- Air Canada
- french airlines
- cathay pacific
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
You can also redeem points for fitness activities such as SoulCycle, Solidcore, Rumble, and Y7, as well as items from the Bilt Collection, hand-picked home decor items. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing this as the points redemption for fitness activities is around one percent and you can get a much better redemption for travel purchases.
8. Bilt offers excellent travel protection.
In addition to being able to earn points, Bilt offers solid travel protection, especially for the free card. Just keep in mind that you must book trips with the Bilt Card in order to receive these benefits. The protection is similar to that of other “starter” travel credit cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Here are the travel protections that Bilt currently offers:
- Trip cancellation protection and break coverage
- Travel Delay Compensation (if delayed by six hours or more)
- Accident coverage when renting a car
- Mobile phone protection (up to $800)
- No fees for foreign transactions
Click here for full details on awards and benefits And tariffs and fees.
While these protections, like any card, do not replace travel insurance (which you should always have!), they are great benefits and you get them at no extra cost.
All in all, getting a Bilt card is easy for anyone paying their rent in the US, as it is currently the only way to earn points for free on these required monthly expenses.
But, while it’s worth it to get that benefit alone, the Bilt card offers many other great features that make it even more valuable. The ability to transfer to American Airlines, double points on the day of rental, new ways to earn extra points, and an extensive list of travel benefits and guarantees make the Bilt card more than worthy of a place in your wallet. It has become one of my favorite cards and I often reach for it!
Want to learn all about points and miles?
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Book Your Trip: Logistics Tips & Tricks
Book your flight
Find a cheap flight with skyscanner. This is my favorite search engine because it searches for websites and airlines all over the world, so you always know that no stone is left untouched.
Book your stay
You can book the hostel with hostel world. If you want to stay somewhere other than the hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the lowest prices for guest houses and hotels.
Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellations. This is a comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I have had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Want to travel for free?
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