Alaska Airlines Now A Bilt Transfer Partner, Will Offer 3x Paying Rent Using Alaska Visa

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Bilt Rewards has just added Alaska Airlines as a 1:1 transfer partner. And this spring they will launch earning triple Alaska Airlines miles when paying rent through Bilt with an Alaska Airlines Visa
Signature card. So you’ll earn 3 Alaska miles per dollar on rent – for a fee. Plus this makes it possible to even earn Alaska Airlines elite status just by paying rent.

Alaska Airlines Becomes Bilt Rewards Transfer Partner

Alaska Airlines has one of the most valuable frequent flyer currencies. They’re about to introduce a new award chart and some awards, especially ultra-long haul premium cabin awards, get more expensive. But many awards – especially on their newer airline partners – go down by quite a lot.

The great news it that Alaska kept a transparent award chart, and that it’s very high value. This isn’t a big devaluation that frankly I’d been expecting. There are still many tricks to get incredible value out of their points.

While long haul awards involving connections will often get more expensive, non-stop awards in a majority of cases will get cheaper and short distance awards in Asia and the Mideast are an amazing deal at just 15,000 miles each way in business class (e.g. Tokyo to Beijing or Shanghai, Bangkok to Hong Kong, etc. – and you can even do a stopover in the price).

Alaska is a oneworld program, but also has numerous partnerships outside of the oneworld alliance, and redemptions on these partners are all combinable and they continue to allow a stopover even on one-way awards.

Earn Triple Miles Paying Rent

Once this begins (spring) they’ll reward 3x Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for every dollar spent on rent using the Alaska card, up to $50,000 annually (so a cap of 150,000 miles earned, achievable spending $4166.67 per month on rent). This will come at a fee of 3%, or effectively at a cost per mile of 1 cent. I last valued Alaska Airlines miles at 1.6 cents apiece.

Earn Alaska Airlines Status Paying Rent

Rent spend on the Alaska card will help significantly with Mileage Plan elite status, because it is significant spend on an Alaska Airlines card.

  • This year every $10,000 spend on Alaska Airlines credit cards earns 4,000 elite qualifying miles, up to a total of $50,000 spend and 20,000 qualifying miles. The role of card spend toward status may grow further in future years.

  • $50,000 rent spend on the card in a year, at current status-earning value, would mean not just 100,000 Mileage Plan miles (for something most people can’t earn any miles doing without a big fee) but also 20,000 status miles – enough for Mileage Plan MVP status without setting foot on an aircraft, or a big boost to earning higher levels of status.

Bilt Rewards Becomes Even More Valuable Currency

Bilt manages to transfer to Alaska and United and Hyatt, which is the most valuable hotel partner at 1:1. Overall, a single Bilt Rewards point is more valuable than one point in any other program. And that was true even before adding Alaska as a transfer partner – which no other program has.

Here are Bilt’s transfer partners (all 1:1):

  • Star Alliance: Air Canada Aeroplan, Turkish Miles & Smiles, United Airlines MileagePlus, Avianca LifeMiles
  • oneworld: American AAdvantage (until June), Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus
  • SkyTeam: Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • Non-alliance: Emirates Skywards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, Aer Lingus Aer Club
  • Hotels: Hyatt, IHG Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy

You can also You use Bilt points at 1.25 cents apiece towards travel through their (Expedia-powered) portal, redeem for rent (please don’t) or Amazon purchases (please don’t).

While Bilt’s transfer partnership with American will end in June, I’d probably take Alaska’s full access to oneworld partnerships and their other partner airlines on a unified distance-based award chart over American transfers. After all, we know what changes are being made to Alaska Airlines partner awards (they’ve just been made!) while American has been saying that changes to partner awards are coming on their side.

Interesting Consequences For Bilt’s Own Credit Card

The Bilt Mastercard® is one of the best new rewards cards introduced in the past several years. It’s the only card that allows you to earn points for paying rent with no transaction fee – the biggest expense most people have, and something no other card offers.

Plus you earn earn 3x at restaurants and 2x on travel. All of this earn is available as long as you make at least 5 purchases per month on the card. And it’s all with no annual fee. (See rates and fees.)

That’s great. But with the opportunity to earn 3x Alaska miles on rent using an the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card once that launches, the Alaska card might be more lucrative for some people paying rent through Bilt than Bilt’s own co-brand will? Some people will prefer earning 3x at 3% over earning 1x for free (in some sense, earning those incremental 2 points at 1.5 cents each).

Even then I might still even lean towards the value of the Bilt card:

  • A single Bilt point that even transfers to Alaska is worth more than a single Alaska mile.
  • And the Bilt Rewards card is still excellent. It’s also the fastest way for most people to earn Bilt points, which have been able to transfer at up to 150% bonus into Air France KLM, Air Canada, Virgin Atlantic and more with Rent Day transfer bonuses.
  • Bilt card spend helps towards Bilt status, which doesn’t just maximize those transfer bonuses but Bilt Platinum also comes with benefits like Air France KLM Flying Blue Gold status.

It’s also worth noting that anyone with extremely high rent spend can take advantage of both – up to 150,000 miles from $50,000 spend with a the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card when that option begins, and also up to 100,000 points charging $100,000 in rent in a year to the Bilt Mastercard®. One will not preclude the other, and charging that much rent to a credit card through a bill payment service would run over $4,000.

Plus – highly unusual for a no annual fee card in my experience – the Bilt card even offers Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection; Trip Delay Reimbursement; Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver and more.

Select to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. A Bilt Rewards point should be worth at least as much as an AS mile since it can be transferred 1:1, so using Alaska Visa to pay rent generates 2 (not 3) additional miles. The decision is whether those 2 miles are worth buying for $0.03 (and losing the option to transfer to other mileage currencies). Unless you’re certain that you want to transfer your Bilt Rewards to AS, it still makes more sense to use Bilt Rewards Mastercard instead of Alaska Visa to pay rent.

  2. I’d prefer Alaska as an addition to American rather than replacing it. For my situation, American miles are much more valuable than Alaska.

  3. @Tony – possibly for one subset. that doesn’t factor the AS card spending benefit toward elite earning or annual companion fare for another subset.

    In the grand scheme outside the niche world of points enthusiasts and some people on the West Coast Alaska isn’t viewed as a very relevant currency, so losing AA is a hit to the Bilt mainstream appeal. And now the West Coast members who ‘get’ Alaska have a real rent payment alternative via BofA that helps them earning elite status and companion fares.

  4. @Greg
    We don’t know yet whether spending on rent payments will count toward elite status or companion pass. I suspect T&C on the Alaska Visa will be revised to explicitly exclude rent payments. We’ll see.

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