Bilt… the new(ish) kid on the block.
He’s like the mysterious rocker in an 80s “coming of age” movie who peels into the high school parking lot each morning and effortlessly hops over the driver’s door of his convertible while running a comb through his hair…
You know exactly what I’m talking about.
Who is that guy, you whisper.
He doesn’t always play by the rules, but he always has cool things to offer you… like throwing a party on the first of each month. He’s just freaking cool.
And that pretty much sums up the Bilt Rewards program.
Okay, obvi, there’s more to unpack here, and we are gonna do just that… but first, here’s a little teaser! 👇
So what are Bilt Points?
Bilt Rewards Points are the currency used by credit card newcomer Bilt. They have stepped up their game recently and have become a major competitor to larger programs like Amex and Chase.
They are most widely known for being able to earn points by paying your rent (up to 100,000 points in a calendar year), BUT they are a multifaceted program that goes beyond just that perk.
So yes, they are a bit more unconventional than the others, but they have a respectable lineup of transfer partners and a unique earning structure that is more appealing by the month.
What are Bilt Rewards Worth?
According to The Points Guy, Bilt points are worth around 1.8 cents a piece, though you can certainly get more value than this depending on how you redeem them.
So they aren’t too far off from some of the strongest point currencies out there (like Amex, Capital One, and Chase).
Having an idea of what their value is can be helpful if you are deciding on whether you should redeem your points for a travel experience, or just pay for it with cash.
We use a simple calculation to figure this out:
(cash price) - (taxes and fees) / (points cost) = value per points
In this example, we are comparing the cash price of a flight to its equivalent point redemption value on Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue 👇
Booking example by points vs. cash
If we use the equation above, we would get:
($1,017) - ($86.50) / 12,750) = .073
That means that we would get a value of 7.3 cents per Bilt point if we transferred those points to Flying Blue and booked this flight.
That’s a boatload of value!
Remember, Bilt points are generally valued around 1.8 cents each, so getting a redemption somewhere in that ballpark is considered good and fair.
HOWEVER, if you can get yourself a redemption that is upwards of seven cents?! That’s incredible.
You might be thinking, “Whoa, I don’t even understand how you’re transferring points over to do this…”
That’s a fair question, and it’ll be thoroughly answered in a later section. For now, we need to learn how to earn Bilt points in the first place.
How to Earn Bilt Points
Bilt does offer a credit card… the creatively named Bilt Mastercard®. Except… the most bonkers part about this whole thing is you don’t actually need their credit card to earn Bilt points.
It’s true. You do not technically need that sexy metal to rack up some Bilt points, but if you do want to add this card to your wallet, it offers some additional perks worth knowing about.
Here are the most common ways to earn Bilt Rewards points.
We have seen people shy away from this card because of its lack of sign-up bonus (or so you think 😉), but for a no-annual-fee card (see terms), it brings a lot to the miles and points table.
The card’s straightforward earning structure includes:
3x points per dollar on dining
2x points per dollar on travel
1x point per dollar on rent payments (up to 100,000 points per year)
1x point per dollar on all other purchases
*Use the card at least five times each statement period to earn points
Not gonna lie… that’s pretty dang comparable to some of the other big-name cards.
I think we all dine out, right? And because you are here reading Daily Drop, you also probably travel—so having some solid earning rates on those two categories already makes it a valuable card in my book.
And yes, you can earn by paying rent (which we will talk about next), but as you can see, that isn’t the Bilt Mastercard’s only means of earning some solid points.
You do need to use your card at least five times during each statement period in order to keep earning points, but making five swipes a month is pretty reasonable.
Additionally, it comes with some other benefits like trip cancellation and interruption protection and cellular telephone protection, which we appreciate.
Bilt may not offer an official signup bonus for its card, but it does offer its cardmembers a sort of secret unofficial “non-signup bonus” incentive… sometimes.
If you are just as confused reading that sentence as I was writing it… let me explain further.
Once you are approved for the card and you receive your physical card in the mail, you might also find an email from Bilt offering you a boosted spending bonus.
This will give you the opportunity to earn 5x points on all eligible purchases for the first five days after receiving your card (up to 50,000 points) 😮
So if you strategically have a large expense coming up, you could earn a fat stack of points IF you receive this offer.
But that’s the thing… It’s hard to say who receives it and who doesn’t. One theory is Bilt looks at those who will be high-quality customers before sending this out… but it’s just a theory.
If you do sign up for the Bilt Mastercard, keep an eye out for an email to come through that will detail this unofficial offer to earn a healthy chunk of points.
This is Bilt’s big push and something that makes them unique among the other card issuers.
Currently, you can earn 250 points per on-time rent payments at Bilt Alliance properties through ACH or even non-Bilt cards. So doing the math means you could earn up to 3,000 points a year just for being a responsible adult and making on-time payments.
Alternatively, you can earn 1x point per dollar on rent for any property if you make that payment on the Bilt Mastercard (up to 100,000 points per calendar year, but hopefully your rent isn’t this much 😅).
You can do this online via the Bilt app, or if your landlord only accepts checks, you can still pay online via the app, and Bilt will mail your landlord a rent check each month… pretty cool!
You will earn the points either way without incurring any transaction fees for this.
On the first of each month, Bilt hosts what they call Rent Day. They often release a cool (and sometimes super valuable) perk in addition to fun trivia and other games that can earn you some fast points.
Additionally, you will earn DOUBLE the points you normally would on their regular spending categories… but just for that day (and capped at 10,000 points). You must also use the card five times each statement period to earn these points. See Rewards & Benefits.
So we’re talking 6x points for dining, 4x points for travel, and 2x points for all other eligible purchases (excluding rent). Heck yeah!
Bilt has its own travel portal that allows you to book flights, accommodations, car rentals, and various travel experiences.
As a Bilt member, you will earn 1x point per dollar on travel booked through their portal.
However, that earning rate will increase to 4x points per dollar if you’re a Bilt Mastercard holder (2x for general travel purchases, plus 2x bonus points for holding the card)!
You will earn 2x points per dollar on Lyft rides just by linking your Lyft and Bilt accounts. You don’t even need the Bilt card to earn these points.
But if you do have the card, you will earn an additional 3x points per dollar on top of this!
Bilt has its own dining program, and though it’s currently a bit limited (available in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and NYC), they are hoping to expand this soon.
For starters, you can link any other credit card to your Bilt Wallet within the app, and if you pay with your eligible card to eat at a participating restaurant, you will earn 5x points per dollar.
These 5x points are in addition to what you would normally earn on your card anyway.
How to Redeem Bilt Points
We are officially one step closer to TRAVELING 🎉
Be aware that there are several low-value ways to redeem your Bilt points, but you don’t really want to do this… because they are low-value.
These ways include using points for Amazon purchases, paying your rent with points, and some other random redemptions.
There is a far superior way to cash in your points.
As with most banks and cards, this is the way to go if you want to maximize the value of your points.
Bilt has an excellent list of transfer partners, as you can see 👇
PLUS, Bilt is the only non-American Airlines card that can transfer points to AA 🤯
It’s always free to join these loyalty programs, and since Bilt gifts cardholders 100 bonus points for each program they link to their account, you could earn an easy and effortless 1,400 points just by linking all 14 programs.
Now that you know who you can transfer Bilt points to, let’s walk through how to actually do this.
For starters, you can only transfer Bilt points within the Bilt app. It’ll look something like this:
From your app’s home screen, select Travel > choose your transfer partner (we’re going with Hyatt) > Transfer Points > choose the number of points to transfer > Next
It really is as simple as that! Just remember to always double-check that your points have made it over before you decide to book 😊
Other Reward Programs to Consider
Bilt is a unique program with a unique earning structure that makes them stand apart from the others—you technically don’t even need to sign up for their credit card.
Regardless of some of their unconventional ways, they have become a solid contender to the big-name banks, and many travelers have found tremendous value in getting involved with their program!