The Bilt Mastercard offers a unique incentive that allows service members to pay their rent through the card and earn points that can be applied to several attractive redemption options. Combined with 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel, and 1x points on all other purchases, it’s a worthy addition to your wallet.
Bilt Rewards Mastercard Overview
The Bilt Mastercard is a versatile rewards card that attracts a lot of attention by letting cardholders earn points when they pay rent using this card. It’s better than other similar cards because no transaction or processing fees can otherwise eat up this benefit.
Service members can save up Bilt rewards to put toward a down payment on a home, a highly attractive perk for young military members just starting families or wanting to break into homeownership.
There are also competitive point rewards on dining at 3x points, travel at 2x points, and 1x points on all other purchases. When used strategically, Bilt’s relationship with preferred travel partners can result in even bigger redemptions.
You can also score enhanced benefits when you reach annual point plateaus as part of the Bilt Rewards program, including earning interest on unused points, among others.
You will need a credit score of 670 or above to enhance your chances for approval, but if you’re a renter looking to save several hundred dollars a year on housing payments, this could be a great addition for you.
Benefits & Perks of the Bilt Rewards Credit Card
Earn 3x points on dining, 2x on travel, 1x on rent payments up to 50,000 points per year, and 1x on other eligible purchases. You only earn points when you make five transactions that post each statement period.
Earn enhanced benefits the more points you accumulate annually. Rewards program bonuses are available when you reach 25k. 50k, 75k, and 100k levels.
Service members can also earn rewards for referring friends and family to sign up for the Bilt Mastercard. You will earn 2,500 Bilt Rewards points for each person approved for the Bilt card using your link. You’ll also earn 10,000 bonus points for every fifth referral up to 2 million points.
One drawback is that the Bilt Mastercard does not offer a welcome bonus for new applicants. You will not earn bulk points are completing an introductory spending requirement.
With the Bilt card, you get up to $5,000 worth of trip cancellation and interruption if your trip gets interrupted or canceled due to a covered event. Trip delay reimbursement provides up to $200 per day and $1,800 in expenses for all covered people on a delayed trip for at least 6 hours.
Cardholders also receive an auto rental collision damage waiver if a rental car is damaged or stolen.
If your cellphone is damaged or stolen, this supplemental coverage will reimburse you up to $800 for repair or replacement after any coverage that may be provided by primary insurance. There’s a $25 deductible, and you are limited to two paid claims per year.
World Elite Mastercard Concierge service offers 24/7 service members assistance in several areas, including travel planning, help finding gifts, making dinner reservations, and other similar offerings.
Cardholders enjoy a free three-month DashPass trial on DoorDash that includes a $0 delivery fee, 5% credit on orders you pick up, and $5 off your first order every month.
How Bilt Mastercard Rewards Work
Cardholders earn 3 points per dollar spent on dining, 2 points per dollar on travel, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases, including rent payments. The catch is that you only earn points when you make at least five transactions on your card in a statement period.
That means one of the biggest perks of the Bilt Mastercard, earning points on your rent payment, only works to your maximum advantage when you meet the required minimum number of transactions.
Otherwise, you earn a flat rate of 250 points for paying rent with your card. You’ll also receive 250 points for your rent payment if your payment is less than $250 that month.
The Bilt Card maxes out at 50,000 points of credit for rent payments each year, which works out to an average monthly rent of $4,166.67 to hit the maximum points return.
Cardholders also earn double points on the first day of each month, other than for rent payments, up to 10,000 points on the first of each month.
In addition, the more points you earn annually, the higher your status level in Bilt Rewards. For example, the Blue tier of fewer than 25,000 points annually offers 1:1 points transfers to travel partners, access to the Bilt Collection, and building credit history through rent reporting. The Silver tier benefits, over 25,000 points annually, also earns you interest on your points and a 10% bonus on lease incentive points.
Gold tier status at 50,000 points gets you a 25% bonus on lease incentive points, earned interest on points, and use of the Homeownership Concierge. The Platinum tier status of 100,000 points or more gives cardholders a 50% bonus on lease incentive points, earned interest on points, use of the Homeownership Concierge, and gifts from the Bilt Collection.
How Military Members Can Benefit From Using the Bilt Rewards Credit Card
The Bilt Mastercard is ideal for service members who pay rent each month and want to earn credit card rewards but don’t want to pay related fees. Other cards often charge 2-3% fees, which can reduce or eliminate the value of any rewards you earn when paying rent by credit card.
If you travel a lot as a service member, the 2 points per dollar spent is also an attractive benefit, especially when combined with dining at 3 points per dollar and the rent rewards you can rack up. Points can accumulate quickly when using the Bilt Mastercard the right way, and that’s always a welcome benefit for service members trying to make ends meet.
Also, if you’re stationed outside the U.S., the Bilt Mastercard has zero foreign transaction fees, another saving that can add up quickly for daily use and purchases.
At a time when inflation is high, this can be part of an overall effective strategy to preserve dollars as you battle rising prices.
Earning Points with the Bilt Rewards Program
Cardholders earn 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel, 1x points on rent payments (up to a maximum of 50,000 points per year), and 1x points on other eligible purchases. What sets the Bilt Mastercard apart from similar cards is that you can avoid transaction and processing fees.
The Bilt card doesn’t offer as many travel rewards or bonus categories as other similar cards, so it may work best when you pair it with other cards to maximize the rewards you earn.
Bilt reward values vary based on which redemption option you choose. Bilt doesn’t publish set values for all of its redemption options, but based on research by industry analysts, here are the values you are likely to find:
- Bilt travel portal: 1.25 cents
- High-value transfer partners: 2.2 cents (average)
- Down payment on home: 1.5 cents
- Rent: 0.55 cents
- Fitness & lifestyle partners: Around 1 cent
- The Collection curated by BILT: Around 1 cent
- Amazon purchases: 0.7 cents
Redeeming Bilt Rewards Points
To pay rent using the Bilt card, cardholders can log into the Bilt app and choose from several possible options:
- A check mailed to your landlord
- Any online portal
Cardholders can also use the BiltProtect feature, which immediately draws money from a linked bank account after Bilt pays the rent. This ensures you avoid interest charges while earning rewards for paying rent.
Rent payments can only be made to one rental property per month, and cardholders must use the Bilt Mastercard at least five times each statement period to earn the maximum amount of points.
Travelers who transfer their points can potentially get the best value by leveraging the right transfer partner.
You can book flights, hotels, car rentals, and more using the Bilt Travel portal. Or you can transfer your points to one of Bilt’s 12 transfer partners, typically only reserved for travel cards with annual fees.
Here are the rates you can expect when transferring points with Bilt Mastercard transfer partners.*
|Transfer Partner||Estimated Value/point||Estimated value/50k points|
|Air Canada Aeroplane||1.2 cents||$600|
|Air France||1.3 cents||$650|
|American Airlines Advantage||1 cent||$500|
|Cathay Pacific Asian Miles||3 cents||$1,500|
|Emirates Skywards||1.8 cents||$900|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||1 cent||$500|
|IHG One Rewards||.7 cents||$350|
|KLM Flying Blue||1.2 cents||$600|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||.6 cents||$300|
|United Airlines Mileage Plus||1.1 cents||$550|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||2.6 cents||$1,300|
|World of Hyatt||2.1 cents||$1,050|
The Bilt card gives you plenty of non-rent and travel redemption options.
You can also redeem your points for items at Amazon, curated art, apparel and decor through the Bilt Collection, or fitness classes at companies like SoulCycle, Y7 Studio, and [solidcore].
How to Pay Your Rent with Bilt Credit Card
The Bilt Mastercard Rewards program launched with a limited network of landlords and apartments, originally requiring renters to live in an associated property to earn these rewards.
However, Bilt expanded further when Wells Fargo started issuing this card with World Elite Mastercard benefits. Any renter who qualifies for this card can earn rewards and avoid the transaction fee when they pay rent using the Bilt card.
In addition, on the first of every month, cardholders will earn double points on all non-rent purchases for 24 hours, up to 10,000 bonus points. You’ll earn 6x points on dining, 4x on travel, and 2x on all other non-rent purchases. Rent payments remain at 1x points.
After you reach 10,000 bonus points with these double rates, you’ll resume earning rewards at your regular rates.
Bilt also offers lease incentives when you sign a new tenant lease or renew at an eligible property. There is also a homeownership concierge service for cardholders who need step-by-step guidance in understanding the homebuying process.
How to Apply for the Bilt Rewards Credit Card
You’ll need to have good or excellent credit with a FICO score of 670 and above to qualify for the Bilt Mastercard.
Here are details about rates and fees you should also know.
- $0 annual fee
- $0 foreign transaction fees
- An introductory balance transfer fee of 3% that increases to 5% 120 days after opening an account.
- The APR for purchases is 20.49%, 23.49%, or 28.49%, based on creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate.
- The APR for balance transfers is also 20.49%, 23.49%, or 28.49%, based on creditworthiness. Balance transfers are subject to eligibility, and this APR also varies with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate.
- The APR for cash advances is 28.24% and varies with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate. The cash advance fee is either $10 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater.
- You can avoid paying interest on purchases by paying in full during the 25-day grace period.
Bilt Rewards Credit Card vs. Other Cards for Military Members
|Bilt Rewards Mastercard||Chase Freedom Unlimited||Wells Fargo Autograph Card||Hilton Honors AmEx Card|
|$0 Annual Fee||$0 Annual Fee||$0 Annual Fee||$0 Annual Fee|
|1x points on rent payments, 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel, earn enhanced benefits by leveling up to Silver, Gold or Platinum tier status, earn double points on monthly Rent Day||5% cash back on all travel purchased through the Chase portal, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, 1.5% back on all other purchases, 0% intro APR for 15 months||3x points on travel, gas, transit, and other popular categories, 1x points on other categories, 20k points bonus offer when spending $1,000 in first three months, 0% intro APR for first 12 months||7x points on Hilton property purchases, 5x points on U.S. gas, supermarkets and dining, 80,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months|
|670 minimum FICO score for approval||670 minimum FICO score for approval||670 minimum FICO score for approval||700 minimum FICO score for approval|
|20.49%, 23.49%, or 28.49% APR on purchases||19.24% – 27.99 variable APR after intro period||18.24% and up variable APR||19.99% to 28.99% variable APR on purchases|
|Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
Is Bilt Mastercard Worth It?
If you want to earn lots of points by paying your rent via a credit card, the Bilt Mastercard is one of the best in class, with no transaction or processing fees.
You can level up on your benefits with the more points you earn each year, which can lead to some nice additional perks.
Redemption rates are in line with similar cards in the space, but redemption point rates are doubled on the first of each month during Bilt’s “Rent Day” which can supersize discounts if you time your purchases appropriately. You can transfer points to one of 12 travel partners, which could help bring down the cost of travel even further as well.
For maximum value, the Bilt Mastercard works best when you pair it with another rewards card or multiple rewards cards with high-earning bonus categories that fit your spending habits.
The Military Wallet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.