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Bilt Rewards May 1st ‘Rent Day’ promotions includes a 100% bonus on points transfers to Air France KLM Flying Blue. Before Bilt ran a 100% bonus to Hawaiian Airlines there had never been a double points transfer bonus to an airline where points already transferred one-to-one. And now they’ve done it again.
And they’ve coordinated with Flying Blue to make May’s discounted ‘promo awards’ especially lucrative from North America. I haven’t seen such a great set of award discounts from Flying Blue in years. You can book one-way between several major U.S. cities and your choice of destinations in Europe from just 6,000 Bilt points each way in economy (with the double points transfer bonus) – and there are a plethora of business class deals too that mean,
- Taking 25% off when redeeming for promo awards
- And getting double points when you transfer
- Which combines for an effective 62.5% discount on your redemptions, including in business class
Bilt Rewards seems to me to be the most interesting loyalty program in travel right now. They run a steady stream of promotions, and keep adding new benefits. And every change is an improvement for members, not something taken away.
Air France Business Class
Bilt Rewards Rent Day Offers
Bilt runs double points on the first of each month for holders of their Bilt World Elite Mastercard – which means 6 points per dollar on dining, 4 points per dollar on travel, and 2 points on all other qualifying spend, up to 10,000 total bonus points.
They’ve run more generous promotions for Rent Day too, plus done 100% transfer bonuses to Hawaiian and IHG and given away status with United Airlines and Hyatt. Plus each Rent Day they offer free points for answering trivia questions and some members even win free rent.
It’s frankly exciting each month to take advantage of offers, some of which pair with their co-brand credit card but many of which don’t require it at all.
A 100% bonus on transfers from Bilt to Air France KLM Flying Blue on May 1 is rather unprecedented, and you’re eligible whether you have the Bilt Mastercard or not though of course you likely have a lot more Bilt points if you do.
Air France KLM Flying Blue Promo Rewards
Flying Blue runs award discounts for certain routes each month. That lets you fly, for instance, between a specific listed U.S. city and anywhere in Europe at a discount – usually 25% off. You need to book during that month for travel for any time within the next six months.
Usually there’s just a couple of U.S. cities listed, and there isn’t always a discount offered for business class travel. So I was shocked to see Flying Blue align their promo awards for May with Bilt’s major markets. And this allows you to take advantage of Bilt’s 100% transfer bonus and stack it with award discounts. (Plus, all of the other major transferable points currencies can be moved to Flying Blue to top off an account if needed as well, just not with this 100% bonus.)
Here are the relevant May promo award cities (book by May 31 for travel through October 31):
- Atlanta: 25% off economy or business on Air France
- Newark 25% off premium economy or business on Air France
- Dallas: 25% off economy or business on Air France
- Washington Dulles: 25% off economy, premium economy or business on Air France and 25% off economy on KLM
- Houston: 25% off economy, premium economy and business on both Air France and KLM
- Boston: 25% off economy on Air France or KLM
- Austin: 25% off economy on KLM
- Chicago: 25% off economy on KLM
- Los Angeles: 25% off economy on KLM
- Miami: 25% off economy on Air France
Boston – Europe on KLM in economy starts at 11,250 miles each way, so transfer 6,000 Bilt points and you’d have 12,000 Flying Blue miles which is more than enough for this ticket (plus taxes and fees). While the program does add surcharges not just taxes to awards, they’re far more modest on coach redemptions (such that taxes and fees can be less than $200).
Flying Blue is the best loyalty program in the SkyTeam alliance in my view. I find their points useful both for Air France and KLM redemptions (where they offer better availability than you can get through their partners) as well as redemptions on other SkyTeam airlines. I won’t be making speculative transfers to Flying Blue for this – I already have a stash of points there and the flexibility that Bilt offers me is very valuable. But these offers make Europe incredibly accessible for many.
Bilt Just Keeps Adding To The Value Proposition
The Bilt Mastercard has no annual fee and a great value proposition – double points on travel, triple points on dining, and you can pay your rent with the card and earn points at no extra cost. They’ve even just doubled the cap on points you can earn in a year paying rent, from 50,000 points up to 100,000 points.
The points are valuable because you can choose between redeeming them at 1.25 cents apiece towards travel through Bilt’s portal or transferring them to airline or hotel programs like United, American, Hyatt and more. And they help you use your points by integrating Point.me award search into their website and mobile app – a service that otherwise is charged for.
The new Bilt dining program gives you free extra points when you eat at a participating restaurant when you’ve linked a credit card to the program, and that doesn’t really cost you anything extra – just add a card and if you happen to eat somewhere that’s a part of the program you get points.
It Just Makes Sense To Play In The Bilt Rewards Ecosystem
It’s obvious how this cashes out if you rent, since Bilt offers the only way to earn valuable points paying rent at no extra cost.
But I’m a homeowner. I don’t rent. They still offer hugely valuable points, with great transfer partners, and numerous earning opportunities – like 3x on dining with the Bilt Mastercard, doubled on rent day, and stackable with 5x earning in their new dining program. And I earn through their Lyft partnership, too!
Since they’re the only ones that run 100% transfer bonuses, and they’ve got a steady stream of monthly offers, targeted offers, and program improvements, I want to be well-positioned to take advantage of the program. So it just makes sense that I carry that Bilt Mastercard even though I don’t rent (though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little bit jealous of those who have big rent payments, or at least who have to pay an HOA fee every month).
Most importantly, Bilt has increased their referral bonus, which is why OMAAT and VFTW are pushing this card heavily at the moment.
Enough of this points garbage. Can we get back to the stories about brawling, woke, barefoot goats whose rights as sovereign persons were trampled by power-tripping TSA agents?
Both comments above win the day!
One thing I don’t get about Bilt is how they recover the cost of points given for rent, it’s just a cashed check or ACH payment so there is no interchange fee to cover costs? Or is it more just an acquisition cost for them?
@Nick – they clearly have a deal with Mastercard that no one else has on the processing of rent which holds down their cost, at least, in awarding these points. It’s a huge coup to be able to do this.
@Sara Smith – false.
@Gary: You wouldn’t make specularive transfers to Flying Blue? Do you expect it to repeat? Otherwise it sounds like an opportunity not to be missed. Thks.
@Gary Leff Do you think Bilt is sustainable or will it burn out hard like other VC backed, money burning, inflated TAM startups? I ask this seriously. It’s been reported that they’ve only earned $41m in revenue since they’re started, they’ve raised ~$210m but $150m of that was last fall. Especially with rates rising, making companies that (hypothetically) lose money now in hopes of making money now less attractive? The losses now are more expensive(compared to tres bond) and their future CF are seriously discounted. I must admit NPV/TVM is not my strong suit, but that’s my understanding.
*hopes of making money in the future
@Scott i have no inside knowledge of their financials but they bulked up on cash, i’ve heard them claim to be profitable (though do not know on what basis), and they have a co-brand card deal with wells fargo. so i have no reason to think their business isn’t sustainable. i’d say, can they maintain their airline and hotel partnerships – in the face of citi (aa) and chase (hyatt, united)?
Love all the hate this card gets every post. Sure, it isn’t a perfect product, but earning something on my rent is 1000% better than earning nothing.
All you jealous homeowners can keep punching air (and maybe realize that you shouldn’t be so jealous…you own a damn house)
You might be surprised to learn that one can also collect Bilt miles on one’s condo or co-op maintenance payments, as I’ve been doing for more than a year.
@Richard G- I actually mention this in the post 😉
If they are able to send a cheque to a landlord, when paying rent, why can’t they send a check to my mortgage company?
FYI Bilt allows you to Venmo your rent. They give you a bank account so you can just connect it and easy way to max out the points.
My condo management company charges me a 3 percent fee if i pay my monthly condo maintenance fee (which i assume is the same as an HOA fee?) with a credit card. Wouldn’t that negate the value of charging that fee on Bilt? I can charge it in any card, as long as I’d be willing to pay 3 percent extra.