Don’t Ignore Bilt Rewards: Earn Points on Rent, Level Up Your Dining, Then Go

I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.

The Bilt Mastercard® is one of the best new rewards cards introduced in the past several years.

It’s unique because you can use it to earn Bilt 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.)

And their points are among the most valuable – with great transfer partners and a strong value travel portal. Plus – highly unusual for a no annual fee card in my experience – they even offer Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection; Trip Delay Reimbursement; Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver and more.

Lyft And Dining Partnerships

There are numerous additional ways to earn in the program like points for Lyft rides (they’re the most lucrative Lyft partner for this in my view) and a new dining program to earn up to 5x points at restaurants on top of your usual credit card earning and that stacks whether you have a Bilt credit card or not.

While I pay for Lyft rides with a Chase card (for 10x earn!), I still double dip on Lyft with Bilt Rewards earning points for each ride. You may want to credit actual Lyft spend to the Bilt card because as a Mastercard it’s eligible to earn with SimplyMiles and I’ve regularly seen SimplyMiles offers to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles for Lyft spend. And you can also earn with Lyft through ThanksAgain on top of everything else.

Monthly Rent Day Offers

Bilt has been promoting monthly offers on the first of each month under the “Rent Day” branding. Since the card is aimed at (but not only beneficial for) renters, they’re making paying rent more rewarding.

Every month so far they’ve run an offer for double points on charges with the Bilt Mastercard®, up to 10,000 bonus points. What’s best about this offer is that it isn’t just one extra point per dollar spent – it means earning 6 points per dollar at restaurants and 4 points on travel.

They’ve been running trivia games to earn points, and opportunities to earn free rent each month as well. And then there’s been a new unique offer each month. Past offers have included 100% transfer bonuses to Hawaiian Airlines and Air France KLM and a potentially even bigger offer with Virgin.

Redeeming Bilt Points

The best way to redeem Bilt points is transferring them to partner airline and hotel programs. They’ve got coverage across all of the airline alliances, and are unique in having both United Airlines and American Airlines as transfer partners – plus Hyatt.

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

They have the program with the most extreme value (Turkish). I used HawaiianMiles for my last Hawaii trip to upgrade cheap tickets. And first class upgrades are an amazing value since I find they’re almost always available close to departure and you can even upgrade business class awards. Meanwhile, Air France KLM is the only SkyTeam program I use regularly.

You can 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).

Free Airline And Hotel Award Search is a powerful tool for finding airline frequent flyer award space. They search across airlines, come back and show you what’s available, and even walk you through transferring points if you need to and making the booking yourself. It’s a premium service, but anyone who joins Bilt can use it free through the Bilt app, limited to availability with the airlines that Bilt partners with.

Bilt also lets you see hotel redemption opportunities, with Awayz built into their app and available free to all program members (as with, you do not even have to have their co-brand credit card to use this).

What’s included is Awayz Premium (normally $11.99 per month) for up to 50 hotel award searches per month. Use above that cap would require a paid subscription. It allows you to search for hotel award availability by location or specific hotel. There’s a nice mapping feature laying out points options in the city you select, for the programs you ask it to search.

You can flip back and forth between the Bilt travel portal and Awayz to see whether it’s a better deal to redeem points directly at 1.25 cents apiece or to transfer points. Remember that if you redeem points directly through the Expedia portal you aren’t entitled to earn points, elite stay credit, or to elite benefits. I suspect you’ll find you will often do better transferring to Hyatt, and redeeming directly with any other partner, just based on how much each hotel program’s points are worth.

Awayz updates data at least daily, and they tell me that for some properties (especially Hyatt) they update 5 times per day. They’ve basically got a Hyatt availability calendar, something that Hyatt itself is unable to produce (Hyatt should buy them…).

Both are great tools, normally premium priced, but available free at no cost through the Bilt app – a way to help make the most of Bilt points or any points.

A Strong Card Even If You Don’t Rent

Bilt was one of the fastest companies ever to hit unicorn status last year for good reason. They offer an amazing product at great value. And they’ve found a unique solution for finding desirable customers.

I own my home and I’m a Bilt Mastercard cardmember. I have a big Membership Rewards balance already, so I use my Bilt card for dining purchases and to take advantage of myriad promotions. This was my welcome package:

If I were a renter I’d be earning points faster. $100,000 charged in rent in a year to a credit card might cost $2,900 through a bill payment service. They let you earn up to 100,000 points per year paying rent without a fee.

However the points I do earn are super valuable. Bilt was the first program ever to offer a 100% transfer bonus to an airline partner, and they ran double points on spend for a week last year for Black Friday with a 50,000 point cap.

They just keep coming back with regular, lucrative offers which makes the earning (and redemption) potential even greater than it first appears. So it’s a program I want to be active in.

In fact I took advantage of a 150% transfer bonus opportunity to move 200,000 Bilt points into 500,000 Virgin points. So those dining charges which earned me 6 points per dollar? I was effectively earning 15 Virgin points per dollar, which is unheard of anywhere else. If only that dining had been at restaurants in their dining program. Sigh.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

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.


  1. A studio apartment with air conditioning in an unproblematic neighborhood of Manhattan is $4,500/month = $54,000/year. That’s only good enough for one person. Two-bedrooms are easily double that. And we are talking about absolute baseline levels of comfort, not luxury, which would be 10x these quoted values.

  2. I have the Bilt Rewards Mastercard and I don’t rent. It’s a solid card with solid transfer partners. It was the reason I dumped my CSP. Arguably better than the CSP without an annual fee. The card easily stays top of wallet for me.

  3. It is a fantastic card. I don’t rent, but I do have Coop maintenance fees (includes water, heat, building staff, gym fees, and property taxes). Bilt will count that as a rent-related expense, and that alone means I’m picking up a Cat 3-4 hotel night at Hyatt every year just for having the card. But the dining portal has been the biggest value driver for me. 5x extra at restaurants I want to frequent is wonderful. It does break ties when we want to go out in Manhattan, but aren’t quite sure what to get.

    It does 80-90% of the CSP, but then has all these other perks the CSP does not have that drive engagement. I look forward to the monthly quizzes and just to see what the Rent Day promotion is. I don’t think I’ve used one yet, but I like that they change it up to engage different parts of their user base every month. That group is running a master class on having a fun loyalty program.

    Also: really hard to complain much about a no AF card providing the value they provide.

  4. Looks like they have significantly devalued the restaurant program- a lot of restaurants are now giving 2x or 3x points instead of the 5x you mention above.

  5. A “revolution”? This is hyperbole. Gary makes more money pushing this card than any other. Freedom Unlimited is the same/better with no annual fee, and you don’t have to pay rent on it (which many readers don’t do anyway)

  6. 200,000 Bilt points = $33.3K/dining (6 points on rent day) earned in about year and a half since launch?! Are you really spending THAT much on dining on the first day of each month or is this all coming from us reader referrals?

  7. @askmrlee – it’s not just rent day, though last year they had 50k bonus points over the week of black friday, and i was targeted for bonus points in several spend categories. plus i’ve put spend on the card to make sure i hit platinum each year also (which got me a 150% transfer bonus!).

  8. “There are numerous additional ways to earn in the program like points for Lyft rides (they’re the most lucrative Lyft partner for this in my view)”

    Ummm…what about Lyft getting 10% back in Chase UR, via CSR? Surely 3% on Bilt doesn’t beat 10% of Chase points, right?

  9. Yes it is solid (I don’t pay rent) but absent a good promotion it is sock drawer for the next year. 2x everyday spend used for Hyatt points on Bilt Day up to 5k spend was the best deal around. Then Chase came back with 3x Hyatt points on everyday spend every day of the month for a full year and unlimited dollar cap with Freedom Unlimited. That blows Bilt out of the water, absent another 5x promotion. I like Bilt but the Freedom Unlimited offer is a mighty fine deal.

  10. I get 100,000 points per year from paying my mother’s assisted living. It’s got to be a money-losing proposition, but I’ll take it while I can.

  11. But I don’t get AA Loyalty Points if I use Bilt, correct? If I use Bilt, I can transfer to AA but does that mean what gets transferred translates into Loyalty Points or into Award Miles ? Why use Bilt when I can use Citi and earn Loyalty Points to get me status?

  12. @Gary – Is there a list of companies Bilt has a relationship with? My landlord is going to Buildium but I can’t see any list of Bilt rental partners. Any idea how I might find out if Buildium is affiliated?

  13. Question about the bonus 3x on rent day. Let say if I spend $4000 dining on rent day. Do I get 4000×6 = 24000 or just 3333×3 = 9999 (bonus 3x) plus 4000×3 = 12000 (normal 3x)

  14. Pretty awkward not to mention the mistake emails that some/many people got this week saying their Bilt account was cancelled. So they quickly transferred their points and now they are stuck with that, can’t wait for a bonus transfer etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *