Bilt Rewards program guide | Fortune Recommends

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Feeling the sting of rising rent? Bilt is here to apply the cortisone. This rewards program is the new kid on the block compared to established programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, but it has quickly made a name for itself by giving members ways to earn flexible points in useful spending categories like rent and dining. 

Founded in 2021, Bilt Rewards is the first loyalty program that awards you points specifically for paying rent and lets you avoid the transaction fee for paying rent by credit card. Signing up is free, and the Bilt Points you’ll earn are worth more than you might think (likely up to 2 cents each or thereabouts, if you follow our tips). There’s also a companion credit card, the Bilt Mastercard®, that supercharges your earnings rate and unlocks other handy benefits for no annual fee. 

When all’s said and done, Bilt Rewards can easily convert a year of ~$2,000 monthly rent payments into $300 or more worth of travel redemption. But how does it all work? 

We’ll explore everything you need to know about the Bilt Rewards program. You’ll learn how to earn points, how to reach elite status, and the exact day of the month you might want to save your points for to earn maximum value (Bilt Rent Day). Let’s dive into Bilt Rewards in Bilt Rewards: Everything you need to know in 2024.

What is Bilt Rewards? 

At its most basic, Bilt Rewards is a loyalty rewards program that awards you points for paying rent. 

Bilt Rewards is not owned by a bank, credit card or travel rewards company. Believe it or not, it’s the brainchild of ‘90s baby and former Tinder exec Ankur Jain, who wanted to give renters a faster path to homeownership. 

Here’s how it works, in a nutshell: 

  1. Register for Bilt Rewards (free).
  2. Link your bank account to the Bilt Rewards app.
  3. Pay rent through Bilt. 
  4. Earn rewards.
  5. Spend rewards on travel booked through Bilt’s portal, on 1:1 transfers to airline and hotel loyalty programs, or even apply them toward a down payment on a mortgage.

Jain and his team have built a massive network of private and commercial landlords called the Bilt Alliance that all accept payments through the Bilt app. But even if your landlord hasn’t boarded the train yet, there are still ways to pay them and earn rewards through Bilt (see the bullet point for “paying rent” in the section below on how to earn Bilt Rewards points). 

The last thing to know upfront is that vanilla Bilt Rewards really only provides a tiny trickle of points and benefits. If you sign up for the program but don’t have the companion credit card, you’ll earn a mere 250 points per rent payment. 

To unlock the full potential of the program, you’ll need the Bilt Mastercard in your wallet. The Wells Fargo-issued card charges a , but you’ll likely need a 670+ FICO Score to apply as this is a rewards credit card. It ranks as best overall on our list of best no-annual-fee travel credit cards, and appears on our straight-up lists of best travel credit cards and best credit cards, too.

Bilt Mastercard®

See Rates and Fees

Special feature


The Bilt Mastercard offers the unique ability to earn points on rent.



So let’s dive deeper, starting with the pros and cons. 

To view rates and fees of the Bilt Mastercard®, see this page.

Pros

  • Awards points for paying rent each month (a flat 250 for regular Bilt Rewards members, 1 point per dollar up to the annual cap for Bilt Mastercard holders).
  • Points transfer 1:1 to well over a dozen different transfer partners (including Alaska Airlines, United MileagePlus, and World of Hyatt), meaning you can likely stretch their value to 2 cents or more each. 
  • Bilt celebrates “Rent Day” (aka the first day of each month) by offering bonus points and sometimes transfer multipliers as high as 150%. 
  • Elite status tiers (e.g. Silver status at 50,000 points) unlock high-value benefits like transfer multipliers on Rent Day. 
  • Travel and down payment redemption rates above 1 cent per point.

Cons

  • Bilt Rewards’ best features and earning opportunities are reserved for Bilt Mastercard holders. 
  • The Bilt Mastercard charges a annual fee but requires good or better credit (670+), so some renters who have struggled with credit in the past may be locked out of Bilt’s best features and award rates. Also, while the card offers strong rewards and perks, it does not provide a welcome bonus, unlike many competing travel credit cards. 
  • Transfer partners don’t include Delta SkyMiles or Hilton Honors.

Bilt Rewards points explained

Bilt Rewards calls its points, quite simply, “Bilt Points.” 

You’ll earn Bilt Points mainly by paying rent and using the Bilt Mastercard, as well through additional pathways to inject some occasional extra points into your account (detailed below). You can then redeem your points for travel, statement credits, or even to put a dent in your down payment on a home. 

Bilt Point values can be all over the place, ranging from 0.55 cents to potentially 2 cents or more depending on how you redeem them. The three best options, value-wise, are to save them for 1:1 transfers, a down payment on a house, or travel booked through the Bilt Travel Portal. 

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s examine your points-earning options a little more closely.

How to earn Bilt Rewards points

When it comes to earning Bilt Points, there’s good news, bad news and then more good news. 

The good news is that yes, Bilt will reward you for paying rent. The bad news is that it’s only 250 points per month worth around $3. 

But the good news is that with the Bilt Mastercard, your earnings on rent skyrocket. Cardholders earn 3X Bilt Points on dining, 2X Bilt Points on flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises when booked directly with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies, 1X Bilt Points on purchases (up to 100,000 points per calendar year), and 1X Bilt Points on purchases. 

So, for example, if you pay $2,000 in rent, you’ll earn 24,000 points per year—worth around $300 towards travel (or even more with select transfer partners when you’re savvy about finding good award travel deals). 

Note that you must use the card five times per statement period to earn points. 

In addition to using the Bilt Mastercard, here’s a full breakdown of ways to earn Bilt Points:

  • Paying rent. The first and most fundamental way to rack up Bilt Points is simply by paying rent. As long as your landlord is part of the Bilt Alliance, you can pay rent through the Bilt Rewards app by using a linked checking account. Then, with each successful rent payment, you’ll earn a flat 250 points. Bilt claims that over 4 million rentals are part of the Bilt Alliance, but doesn’t publish a list. If you’re not sure whether your property is part of the Bilt Alliance, Bilt says that the best way to find out is to simply ask your landlord or property manager. If you live in a property owned by a large management company, your chances are higher than if you rent from a family or an individual. You can certainly still ask in the latter case, but be warned that asking a regular person if they’re “part of the Bilt Alliance” may be met with a confused, vacant stare. 
  • Using the Bilt Mastercard. If you really want to rack up the Bilt Points quickly, you’ll want to start using the Bilt Mastercard. As hinted, this $0-annual-fee rewards card essentially unlocks the “full” Bilt experience with better features, points and rewards. For starters, you’ll start earning 1X Bilt Points on rent paid through the Bilt App with your card account up to a maximum of 100,000 points each calendar year—so assuming you pay more than $250 per month in rent, your earnings will almost instantly skyrocket. The card also unlocks the ability to pay out-of-network landlords via ACH with routing and account numbers or with paper check (sent via the app), so you never have to quietly ask them to join the Alliance like a Star Wars character. 
  • Bilt Dining. Bilt currently has restaurant partners in more than two dozen major U.S. cities where Bilt Rewards members can earn between 2X and 10X on their bill. Best of all, you don’t need the Bilt Mastercard—any Visa, Amex or Mastercard linked to your Bilt Rewards account will do. You can search for participating restaurants in the Bilt app in the “Neighborhood” tab.
  • Lyft rides. You can also earn up to 5X on Lyft rides when you link your Lyft and Bilt accounts, although you’ll need to use a Bilt Mastercard to get this rate. 
  • Linking your loyalty accounts. The final way to generate Bilt Points is by linking your airline and hotel partner loyalty accounts (e.g. United MileagePlus, IHG One Rewards) to your Bilt account. You’ll earn 100 points for each account you link.See below for a complete list of Bilt’s transfer partners. 

For the most part, you’ll probably be earning most of your points by paying rent with your Bilt Mastercard. Note, if you don’t want to take up a big chunk of your credit limit with your rent payment, there’s a feature called BiltProtect Debit—this lets you pay rent with the credit card and earn points accordingly, but the money gets pulled directly from your linked checking account.

You’ll also earn double points for all non-rent spending, up to 10,000 bonus points per month, on the first day of every month. Bilt calls this “Rent Day,” and we’ll go into more details about Rent Day promotions later. But for now, know that it boosts your earning rates to 6X on dining, 4X on travel, and 2X on other purchases. And, if you happen to eat at a Bilt Dining restaurant, you earn 6X per dollar for Rent Day plus whatever the Bilt Dining bonus for that establishment is. 

Once you’ve amassed a nice pile of points from monthly rent, what will your fortune be worth? Let’s take a look at how to make the most of your Bilt Points. 

How much are Bilt Points worth?

These points can range in value from just over half a cent each to around 2 cents (when you know how to transfer them and redeem through partner programs) or potentially more, depending on how you redeem them. You can find your complete options and redemption values below, but the main thing you need to know is this—wait for Rent Day. 

Bilt calls the first of each month “Rent Day” as we mentioned above and “celebrates” with its members by offering special bonuses. Back in February 2024, it was up to 150% extra points on transfers to Aeroplan. In March, the company held a March Madness-style “Bilt Bracket” to allow users to vote on the bonus they wanted (which ended up being 1,000 bonus points for linking a credit card in your Bilt Wallet in the mobile app plus 5X rewards at grocery stores). 

So whenever possible, try waiting until Rent Day since it’ll likely present a temporary way to boost your point values by 50% to 150%.

Thankfully, even outside of Rent Day you still have a solid array of redemption options, as we’ll detail next.

How to redeem Bilt Rewards points

Bilt offers a nice variety of ways to redeem your Bilt Points. Here’s a complete list in order of best-to-worst value (not including Rent Day bonuses): 

  • 1:1 transfers (typically worth 0.5 to 2 cents or more). As of April 2024, Bilt has 17 travel partners that accept 1:1 point transfers. Some, like World of Hyatt, have points that can be worth over 2 cents each in some cases, so if you’re looking to maximize the value of your Bilt Points, a transfer may be the ticket. 
  • Contribution toward a mortgage down payment (1.5 cents). You can also save up your points to make a dent in your down payment. 
  • Travel booked in the portal (1.25 cents). Your points are always worth 1.25 cents when redeemed through the Bilt Travel Portal.
  • Amazon Pay with Points (0.7 cents). Once you link your Bilt Mastercard with your Amazon account you’ll unlock the Pay with Points option at checkout. But since the conversion ratio is just 0.7 cents a pop, it’s not your best use of Bilt Points. 
  • Rent (0.55 cents). You can also apply your points toward next month’s rent payment by toggling the “pay with points” option on the Bilt app. But at 0.55 cents per point, this option provides subpar redemption value.
  • Statement credit (0.55 cents). Similar to rent, you can also apply your Bilt Points to your Bilt Mastercard monthly statement. But again, this provides a lackluster value of 0.55 cents per point, so we don’t recommend doing this unless you absolutely will not be traveling in the foreseeable future. And really, since Bilt points don’t expire as long as your account is open, why not just save them until you can leverage them for a flight or hotel stay?
  • Fitness, shopping and lifestyle (<1 cent). Finally, Bilt allows you to apply points towards fitness classes and art/apparel from the Bilt Collection (such as this sweet Smart Jump Rope). However, your points are generally worth less than a penny a pop with these options. 

Needless to say, you’ll probably want to save your Bilt Points for Rent Day transfers, award travel or even toward helping with a down payment on your mortgage so you can get the most value out of them.

Bilt Rewards transfer partners

Before we talk about status, here’s that list we promised of all of Bilt’s transfer partners as of this writing. Keep in mind that each of these loyalty programs accepts Bilt Points at a 1:1 ratio, so you may be able to stretch your point values to 2 cents each (or more) if you choose the right program and book the right award travel itinerary. 

That’s doubly true if you can score a Rent Day transfer bonus, which we’ll explain in the status section below. 

  • Airline partners:
    • Aer Lingus AerClub
    • Air Canada Aeroplan
    • AirFrance – KLM Flying Blue
    • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
    • American Airlines AAdvantage (until June 2025)
    • Avianca LifeMiles
    • British Airways Executive Club
    • Cathay Pacific Cathay
    • Emirates Skywards
    • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
    • Iberia Plus
    • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
    • United MileagePlus
    • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hotel partners:

Bilt Rewards Status Explained

As you rack up Bilt points, you’ll also be inching your way toward elevated status with Bilt Rewards.

Bilt Rewards

Bilt calls it “elite status” and there are four tiers in total. You can earn status through accruing enough points or spending enough on your Bilt Mastercard (rent is excluded) and cards linked in your Bilt Wallet (though spending on the latter will only count toward eligible expenses such as Bilt Dining restaurants). 

Here are the points you’ll need to unlock each tier as well as the best benefits that come with.

  • Blue (get this just for signing up)
    • Rent day transfer bonus offers
  • Silver (50,000+ Bilt Points earned or $10,000 in eligible spending) 
    • Priority access to Rent Day experiences (dining, sport suites etc.)
    • Higher Rent Day transfer bonuses
    • Earn interest on points
    • Rewards and discounts on BLADE bookings (this company allows you to “commute by helicopter or seaplane within and around cities and jet to popular destinations”)
  • Gold (125,000+ Bilt Points earned or $25,000 in eligible spending) 
    • Gold Priority access to Rent Day experiences
    • Gold-level Rent Day transfer bonuses
    • Homeownership concierge (who can help walk you through the buying process)
    • Complimentary access to BLADE lounges
  • Platinum (200,000+ Bilt Points earned or $50,000 in eligible spending)
    • Flying Blue Gold status (including SkyTeam Elite Plus)
    • Platinum Priority access to Rent Day experiences
    • Platinum-level Rent Day transfer bonuses
    • One complimentary BLADE flight per year between Manhattan and JFK or Newark airports

Putting aside the nonessential lifestyle stuff, the most valuable status perks here are definitely the Rent Day bonus multipliers. 

To preface, not every Rent Day will have a bonus multiplier based on your current elite status. But when they do, they make a huge difference.

To illustrate, January 1st, 2024, Bilt offered a tier-based transfer bonus for IHG One Rewards, Air France/KLM and Virgin Atlantic: 

  • Blue – 75%
  • Silver – 100%
  • Gold – 125%
  • Platinum – 150%

So even at the Blue level, the 2,000 Bilt Points you’d earn from paying $2,000 in rent could be worth 3,500 IHG One Rewards points with a transfer bonus like this. At Platinum, they’d be worth 5,000 IHG One Rewards points. That’s potentially enough for a free night at an IHG property, all thanks to that hefty Rent Day bonus.

Is Bilt status worth the effort it takes to earn it? 

Given how powerful those Rent Day multipliers can be, you might be wondering: is it worth changing your spending habits to reach a higher Bilt Rewards elite status tier? 

Well, for starters, you already have to complete five transactions per month using your Bilt Mastercard in order to earn 1X Bilt Points on each month’s rent payment. So that alone might help you reach Silver faster than expected.

Bilt Rewards

Outside of that, we’re not sure it’s worth pushing yourself or changing your spending habits to reach higher elite status. Keep in mind that there are cards on the market now that offer 2% cash back on virtually every purchase (e.g. the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card), and that you’ll probably be better off using one of those instead of your Bilt Mastercard for everyday purchases that the Bilt Card doesn’t earn an elevated rate on. 

So just be sure to pay your rent on time, knock out those five purchases and enjoy your Silver status (or higher) whenever it comes.

How Bilt Rewards compares to other programs

This is the part where we’d normally compare Bilt Rewards to other, similar rewards programs—but the truth is, Bilt Rewards pretty much lives in a league of its own. There aren’t really any other loyalty programs that award you for paying rent, so Bilt Rewards more or less wins by default. Some homeowners may even find the Bilt Card worthwhile for its dining and travel rewards, and situations like if you have a child in college who you wish to help pay rent.

Thankfully, despite the lack of competitive pressure Bilt Rewards is already an incredibly generous and well-crafted rewards program. “Rent Day” is a fun way to gamify rewards, and the overall concept in general—allowing renters to convert rent payments into free travel—is more welcome in 2024 than ever before, applying cortisone to the sting of rising rent.

The closest competitors in the flexible travel rewards space are programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Capital One Miles. Bilt provides a friendly way to break into the travel rewards game by offering a no-annual-fee credit card with powerful earning potential.  

For renters in America, both the Bilt Rewards program itself and the associated Bilt Mastercard are essentially no-brainers.


Fortune Recommends™ has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Fortune Recommends™ and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. 

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying. 



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