You May Be Losing 4000 Miles A Month And Not Realize It

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If you rent where you live and that rent is at all significant (it’s the biggest single expense for most), getting the Bilt Mastercard is an absolute no brainer to consider.

That’s because you earn points paying rent with the card. If you don’t live in a Bilt-affiliate building that’s fine, they charge your credit card and pay your landlord. You can earn up to 50,000 points a year this way, which would cost you $1425 if you used Plastiq to accomplish the same thing. And it’s a no annual fee card.

You’re losing up to 4,166 points per month if you rent and do not have a Bilt Mastercard. This card offers something literally no other card does and it can mean a huge difference in your points balance as long as you use the card 5 times each month to be eligible to earn points.

It’s also a great starter card, which earns 3 points per dollar on dining and 2 points per dollar on travel, and they’re the only loyalty program transferring to more than one of American, United, and Delta. Their transfer partners are:

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

It’s even a good looking card, with a functional app, and they even give you free points for linking your airline and hotel accounts to the program. Right now, since there’s a bonus for linking Hyatt accounts, you can get 1500 free points this way.

And since the card is now from Wells Fargo, you’re not even dipping into the usual Chase, American Express or Citibank ecosystem to get it. Wells finally has a really attractive travel card that competes in a strong way with the best offerings from other banks – with the unique add of earning points for rent without a fee to do so.

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. Same can’t be used for mortgage payments? I use plastiq every month with citi dc

  2. If you’re paying $4,000/mo in rent, you’re probably either too wealthy to care about 50,000 airline miles or else you really need to move. Median rent in the U.S. is about a third of that figure (even with the crazy prices of the last year.) Still, an extra 15k-20k miles per year certainly doesn’t hurt.

  3. The median 1 bedroom in San Diego is 2,700.00 a month now for basic 500 to 650 sq foot apt to rent according to rent.com
    Sadly all my properties are paid off 🙁

  4. You could be losing hundreds of thousands of miles a year by not churning cards with better sign up offers than this!

  5. I don’t get it, there’s no sign up bonus so why is it so good? Better to pay the 3% fee with plastiq and earn the 50,000, 60,000, 100000 points elsewhere no?

  6. $4000 is a midrange one bedroom unit, or an average two bedroom unit, in major metros like Manhattan, West LA, and San Francisco where Bilt’s target audience lives. I assure you these people would bend over backwards for 50,000 points. Holding this card does not preclude you from holding other cards, so I’m not understanding the putative opportunity cost.

    To be rich enough not to care about 50,000 points, you would be a homeowner, not a renter, in these metros. As a rule, even the most expensive apartments are actually cheaply constructed because they are, at the end of the day, mass market products intended to deliver the highest return for a REIT, not to provide actual luxury for the consumer. To see this, just try to find a “luxury” apartment with actual hardwood flooring, not laminate.

  7. @Chris 50k points a year for 4 years is 200,000 points you would rather pay $6000 to earn that than get this card? That seems to me to be insane, pocket the money. Seriously.

  8. Please make mention of the 5X monthly transactions needed for this benefit.

  9. I just did a search or Bilt. What is Bilt? I’ve been interested since you first stated promoting it. I understand the MC licenses it (or whatever it’s called) and Wells Fargo issues it, but what is the entity behind Bilt? What do they do? Why are they issuing an affinity credit card? I’m very interested in paying my office rent and earning points. But I don’t want to get into bed with an entity that is mysterious to me.

  10. Good earning proposition for a renters with some kinks to be worked out. If you don’t live in a Bilt-affiliate building, they charge your credit card and pay your landlord. Further, if your landlord doesn’t accept an ACH, but prefers a check, there is an ACH from your aligned checking account in real time.
    A debit and credit is applied to your credit card account, which isn’t accounted for when it comes to paying the credit card balance. The amount of my rent would’ve been missing from my credit card payment, but for making a supplemental payment in the rent amount.
    Still left wondering if it would’ve been considered as a partial payment and subject to interest hefty charges. There is also the question of how they intend to make money on this card…and viability.

  11. Something renters need to factor in: I don’t know about other apartment buildings, but my newish 300-unit building in NYC charges a fee equal to 3% of your rent if you pay by credit card.

  12. Something renters need to factor in: I don’t know about other apartment buildings, but my newish 300-unit building in NYC charges a fee equal to 3% of your rent if you pay by credit card.

    The innovation of Bilt is that you are not paying by credit card. You are paying with a checking account that Bilt gives you as part of your cardmembership. There is no fee, credit pull, or any nonsense associated with this checking account and you do not have any dealings with it other than to provide the routing and account number to your building’s payment portal.

    Should your property manager be so behind the times as to not operate an online payment portal, then Bilt will mail a rent check on your behalf, and you can add a MEMO line to indicate any personal details to help your property manager identify the payment as yours.

    The only way Bilt does not work is if your property manager does not even offer a pay-by-mail option, a.k.a., you have you drop a check in a lock box.

    Please make mention of the 5X monthly transactions needed for this benefit.

    Easy to do with recurring transactions.

    1. Spotify
    2. Streaming video (Disney+, HBO Max, etc.)
    3. Renters insurance
    4. Internet
    5. Cell phone

  13. I don’t do business with Wells Fargo. I’m just one person, but I boycott that bank.

  14. No relationship with Wells Fargo. A few other credit cards open for a few years. Score of almost 800. Yet I got a credit limit of $2500. When I called, WF said it’s because I’m too new of a customer. If it weren’t for the dearth of alternatives to earning points on rent, I’d be upset at having spent a credit pull and a 5/24 for such a small credit limit, as I was hoping for the larger denominator to increase my score. Still, I’m pretty disappointed.

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