Bilt Now Lets You Earn 3 Miles Per Dollar Paying Rent With Alaska Visa

I flagged the opportunity in March. With Bilt Rewards adding Alaska Airlines as a transfer partner, they are also introducing the ability to earn miles paying rent with an Alaska Visa.

That option is finally live: 3 Alaska miles per dollar spent on rent on the first $50,000 in rent each calendar year with a 3% fee. After $50,000, one mile per dollar is earned (still with a 3% fee).

  • Currently the only fee-free way to pay rent and earn miles is Bilt’s own no annual fee credit card, which earns 1 point per dollar on rent (up to $100,000 in rent annually).

  • You can use a bill payment service like Plastiq to charge your card and send payment, but that’s going to cost ~ 2.9% and usually earn just one mile per dollar.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card will earn 3 miles per dollar, effectively at a cost of 1 cent per mile which is less than Alaska miles are worth. (I last valued them at 1.6 cents.) So that’s a really good deal after linking their card in their Bilt account. This option is not available with the Alaska business card.

Rent spend on the Alaska card will help significantly with Mileage Plan elite status:

  • 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 would mean not just 150,000 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.

Unless you’re going for Alaska status, though, I think I prefer paying rent with Bilt’s own card – one point per dollar without the 3% fee.

  • A single Bilt point that even transfers to Alaska or to other places is worth more than a single Alaska mile.

  • But if they were worth the same, then you’d be paying 1.5 cents per point for the incremental two Alaska miles. That’s about a break-even proposition. And Bilt and Alaska miles aren’t worth the same.

  • Bilt spend counts towards their status, which has been key to unlocking transfer bonuses like 150% bonus into Air France KLM, Air Canada, Virgin Atlantic and more. Bilt Platinum also comes with benefits like Air France KLM Flying Blue Gold status as well as a free BLADE airport helicopter transfer.

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 the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card 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.

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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Comments

  1. Time to get an AS card and Bilt card. Gonna pay lot’s of “rent”

    This will definitely drive down the price of alaska miles in the short term at least till bilt cracks down on all the “rent”

  2. Do we know if these rent payments count towards the $6K spend for the annual companion fare?

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