Bilt Mastercard Applications Finally Available, Earn Points Referring Your Friends Too

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The Bilt Mastercard has no annual fee, lets you earn up to 50,000 points per year paying rent on your card without a fee, and earns double points on travel and triple points on dining. If you rent an apartment or house this card is a no-brainer, but it’s a great travel card period and arguably the best no annual fee card even if you don’t rent.

The problem has been that this new program wasn’t able to keep up with demand, so there was a wait list to join. For awhile readers of this blog had access to an invite code that allowed skipping that list. Recently though there’s been just no way to get the card.

Fortunately that’s changed. Bilt is now issued by Wells Fargo. There are no changes to the program, but they’re able to handle the volume.

Several readers have asked me how to get the card. I used to have a code that would skip the wait list, but even that was no longer available. It’s been the most in demand card that no one could get. But you can finally get it.

Renters earn points paying rent, but even without that you can think of their cobrand as a Sapphire Preferred without the annual fee. In my most recent valuation Bilt points were worth 1.7 cents apiece.

It’s the first transferable points program in more than a decade to offer transfers to two of the three largest U.S. airlines:

  • Star Alliance Airlines: Air Canada Aeroplan, Turkish Miles & Smiles, United Airlines MileagePlus

  • oneworld Airlines: American AAdvantage, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (starting mid-April)

  • SkyTeam Airlines: Air France KLM Flying Blue

  • Non-alliance Airlines: Emirates Skywards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

  • Hotels: Hyatt, IHG Rewards

To earn points with the card you need to use it at least 5 times in a month, which is easy – split up your gas fill up into 5 transactions if you must. The point is they want you to use the card, which makes sense to do. Even if your landlord doesn’t take credit cards, you can pay rent through the app and they’ll mail a check for you. And this doesn’t cost you anything. How much is that worth? If you were doing that through Plastiq.com, paying $50,000 in rent would cost $1425 in fees.

And when you earn 25,000 points a year and you earn interest on your unredeemed balance in the program, which is fairly unique. At today’s low interest rates that doesn’t get you a lot of points, but it’s a built-in way to generate trust – your point balances grow rather than being devalued.

Now that the Bilt Mastercard is available for new applicants, they’ve launched a referral program Links in this post are my referral links. Cardmembers will find theirs in the Bilt app – a link in the upper right corner to click through to:

For every 5 successful referrals Bilt awards 25,000 points. You can earn up to 1 million points for 200 successful referrals (approved for and use the card once) under this program.

This isn’t a big up front bonus card. It’s the card that lets you earn points for what may be your single biggest expense, that you probably do not earn points for at all any other way. And once you have it for that, it’s the best all-around no annual fee consumer rewards card out there.

Bilt Mastercard

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Dropping my referral code (hope you don’t mind, Gary)

    ETHAN-R5RL0

    Very appreciative to anyone who uses it.

  2. @Gene – I imagine you own your home. If you rent this is up to 50,000 points you can’t earn anywhere else every year, not just once, and with a bank you probably don’t have any other cards from and with no annual fee.

  3. This is a reasonable card for on-going spend, and a great program in terms of redemption partners. If you pay a reasonably high rent or have very high organic spend, it makes a lot of sense. Also, if you’re even a mid-level “influencer” the new referral system is attractive.

    The problem is that, for people in your audience, Bilt does not (and never will, because they know us too well — heck, they are us) allow racking up “free” points through multiple sign-up bonuses, nor will they have insanely generous or exploitable category bonuses or offers.

    For someone with realistic spend ($30K to $100K per year) who doesn’t pay rent, it will be better to do a few new sign-ups each year, plus using the bonus categories and special offers on other cards.

  4. So for folks who own their homes, is this in any way useful compared to the CapitalOne or Chase travel cards?

  5. A stupid question from me. If you live in Brazil. Is it possible to order the card without Social Security or itin? And this “rent” how does it identify not to charge a fee? Can I try to pay other general bills with barcode? Will the app charge?

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