You’re Losing 8,333 Miles A Month And Not Realizing 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 100,000 points a year this way, which would cost you $2,850 if you used Plastiq to accomplish the same thing. And it’s a no annual fee card.

You’re losing up to 8,333 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 statement period 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. You must make at least 5 purchases each statement period to earn points. 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.

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, 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.


  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
    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.

  15. @gary or anybody else familiar with the program, if you are a small business owner and have a lease for a retail space, would I be able to pay my monthly rent using Bilt, or is for housing rent only?

  16. If your landlord takes a credit card, you could just use an existing no-fee card like the Citi DoubleCash instead. I am certain that I’m not losing 4166 miles per month.

  17. I keep contemplating getting this card, as I could earn about 3K miles per month with it. But my fear is this:

    By the time I actually got close to a normal signup bonus in earnings (50-100K), Bilt will have decided this is no longer profitable and will cancel the ability to earn miles with rent payments. It’s happened in the past too many times with too-good-to-be-true for the long-term opportunities.

  18. I haven’t seen this mentioned before, but to be clear your rent is pulled from your linked checking account – it is NOT charged to the bilt credit card.

    I truly wish the bloggers that promote this card were actually more familiar with it. 🙁

  19. I like earning points on my rent payments, but Wells Fargo still hasn’t figured out how to deal with the rent payments pulled from your checking account and treats them as if it is a charge and then an immediate credit.

    Since the rent credit usually exceeds my credit card charges, It means that automatic payments to pay credit card charges are not automatically pulled from your account because it shows the rent credit as a payment. Having noticed this, each month I make a separate payment based on my previous statement minus any other credits.

    I do not want to be charged intertest on my credit card charges and have not allowed the possibility, as I detest dealing with customer service reps to correct banking service errors. Attempts to get answers or corrections from Wells Fargo or BILT have been fruitless.

    BILT and the ACH rent process requires more attention than just sending my landlord a check each month, so I’ll have to see whether it continues to work as worthwhile.

  20. @andrew we are here for the long run. You’ll always be able to earn points on rent, with no fee.

    @Joe that’s the case if you turn BiltProtect on. If you do not, the rent is charged to your Bilt Card.

    @Paul you can email me richard @ and I’ll look into any issues you have.

  21. Okay, I’ll bite. What are the odds my kid in law school can get this card and pay the rent with it? Only working summers and a bit in school, paying for rent with student loans. Great credit score, but no real income at the moment.

  22. Thanks Gary! Used your link to apply. Instant approval 8k. Already requested my first rent check be mailed out to my landlord. Web site easy to navigate. Should have done this earlier!!!

  23. Personally I’d rather just use my Chase Freedom Unlimited and gain 1.5x on my rent while keeping my points within the Chase system than branch out to another. I’d use the Amex BBP for 2x, but apartment landlords don’t accept Amex via their online CC payment system.
    The Bilt card does look like a good deal if you’re not already knee deep in bonuses that come with other cards and have a relationship with Wells Fargo.

  24. I really like the BILT card. I’ve had it almost a year I think. The reason I got it was because of the American Airlines and Hyatt partnerships. I find them very valuable. Paying rent has been totally faultless. I haven’t even thought about it since I set it up after getting the card.

  25. Question… Does anyone know if the points earned on Bilt, when transferred to a partner airline, get applied to the miles/points for status, in particular AA?

  26. I feel like I’m on AA with their credit card pitches

    You neglect to mention the below. I know, a few small transactions to make 5 but it’s an important fact

    “When you make at least 5 posted transactions in a statement period using your Bilt Mastercard, you’ll earn points on rent and qualifying net purchases”

    So many other cards that the bonus alone will give you 50k and many that offer a better return

    Can you tell us where the emergency exit is too?

  27. So much angst and misdirection from a post that’s probably not that valuable to Gary- back off, people!

    – If you can charge your rent payment on a credit card without paying a transaction fee, then yes, Jinxed, get 1.5 Chase points per dollar.

    – If you are getting so many other new cards that the Bilt card would impact you getting another bonus, then yes, Chris, Bob- don’t sign up for the Bilt card. By the way, the lack of a sign up bonus and the economics of giving points on ACH transactions probably means that Gary gets a minimal or no referral credit for this card. I think it’s great that he posts about something a bit different, because he thinks it will help his readers.

    Now, the 5 transactions/month is a valid concern- that’s probably how they are paying for the points, because some recurring transactions are bigger. And I appreciate the feedback on how easy or hard it is for people to use. But if I lived in the US, this would be a no brainer for me.

  28. ” By the way, the lack of a sign up bonus and the economics of giving points on ACH transactions probably means that Gary gets a minimal or no referral credit for this card.”

    Yeah… right. That is why he reposts this multiple times per month.

    Summary of the problem:

    1. Lately VFTW has had more and more reposts of advertisements like this, along with with less original-content.

    2. People usually don’t mind being treated as a product (commissioned referrals / money) to VFTW as long as they are also getting a benefit (human nature).

    3. This card only appeals to a subset of VFTW readers. So no big shocker here that people get annoyed and a bad feeling from VFTW’s repeated pushing of something that many readers can’t get any benefit from.

  29. Out of curiosity, I followed your link to the web site to sign up. No mention of double points on the first of the month that I could find. Couldn’t find it in the Ts&Cs either. No mention in your article. Has that come and gone? Thought that was a permanent new feature.

  30. I am really interested in this card and think it would be a great product for me. However, the lack of even a modest sign-up bonus keeps me from pulling the trigger. Bilt has previously offered limited (possibly targeted) sign-up bonuses for new accounts. I don’t want to apply and find out that a bonus is being offered a month later. Any word from their marketing folks on this Gary?

  31. IMO BILT have better transfer partners for me than Chase, where I’ve accumulated most of my miles. Both programs share useful transfer partners like Aeroplan/Hyatt/BA-EI-IB Avios/United/Flying Blue/Virgin but BILT also gives you American, Turkish, Cathay, etc. They recently added BA-EI-IB Avios, and I hope they are not done with adding useful new transfer partners.

    The 5x monthly usage requirement is not an issue for me as I get 3x points for restaurants. This is the same as would get with Chase Sapphire Reserved, with no annual fee and IMO more useful transfer partners.

    AFAIK, paying rent while earning points with zero fees has not been possible for me previously. I live in a high rent city so I view BILT as additional passive point income that is equivalent to a decent sign up bonus, every couple of years. It’s a no brainer and keeper for my high rent situation.

  32. You don’t pay rent, who cares? Have a cookie. That’s as silly as a grown man complaining about how a Happy Meal marketed to little girls doesn’t make sense for him. Homeowner superiority complex…buying a home is hardly the only game in town for a lot of financially savvy people. A lot of people rent, and it’s not a “small” subset of VFTW readers [Sidney Freeman]. You don’t need to live in New York City to benefit from this product.

    All of the complaints in the comments are from people who are confused, ignorant, or both. I’ve had the Bilt card since the beginning of the year and it’s an essential card in my wallet. People who are narrowly focused on SUBs for this card lack the long view. I earned SUBs on 4 other cards this year, and this is an independent points stream on autopilot. I’m running an Amex/Bilt/Chase setup, as the currencies perfectly complement each other. Bilt also introduced incentives with Bilt Rent Day, adding to the value of the card and program. The Bilt card is an excellent secondary card to something like Amex or Chase.

    The 5x monthly usage requirement takes 5 minutes to accomplish each month the hard way, and zero effort the easy way (rent, two automatic charitable donations, cellphone bill, and internet bill…done). Turn off BiltProtect if you want to charge your rent to the card, and the statement balance still functions like every other card [Paul]. The Bilt card is superior to the Freedom Unlimited or Amex EveryDay Preferred in that I can pay my landlord automatically via bank-by-mail into her checking account, or via PayPal, through the Bilt ACH option, both of which offer much greater flexibility to pay any landlord, anywhere, with or without a portal, now or in the future.

  33. My first thought is “how do I pay my mortgage with this?” Rent is just another charge, so why not extend to mortgage payments? If all you need is to provide the bilt account and routing numbers to do an ach, then it seems as though I can just grab those and input them into my mortgage portal to pay it.

    Although the Bilt rewards program states specifically it is only for rent, how is it possible for them to know it is not for a mortgage or any other expense I can pay with ach?

  34. I wonder about HOA dues also. I currently will be paying about $1500 a month, wondering if this card would work.

  35. Had been Wells Fargo customer since 2001. Received email from Wells Fargo to apply for Bilt mastercard. Apply online from their link and get pending status. Got letter mail from them told that they can’t verify my identity which is very strange since I am their customer. Anyway, call them and fax my passport and utilities bill under my name with address to them. Got email 2 days later told that they cannot process my application and will let me know the reason by letter mail. My credit score from Experian is 816 and income is around 300K per year. Wait for the letter since I want to know the reason that them can’t process my application.

  36. Gary, it might be worth updating your article to include language that called particular attention to:
    – Commercial rent
    – HOA fees
    – Mortgage payments
    – Buying ponies

    Also, it might be worth noting that while Bilt does not have a sign-up bonus, it does have monthly “Rent Day” double-points up to 10K (120K per year) on an ongoing basis. As such, does someone really need a sign-up bonus to be motivated to get this card?

  37. @Danny – not accurate to describe as data breach, it’s reportedly a BIN attack that isn’t limited to Bilt or Wells Fargo, but in any case hasn’t exposed anyone’s personal data

  38. Worst beginning of a new card ever. First rent check never got there (next month’s did arrive). Paid first bill on time – to cover the missing check- through the Bilt App and Wells Fargo is claiming it was late and charging insane interest and will not remove the charges. Its been calls and messages nonstop to Bilt and WF. Plus an unauthorized charge from…. Not sure I’ll keep it once we get the first months missing rent sorted.

  39. I can’t figure out how to make Bilt work for me: our property owner only wants a direct deposit ACH into his company’s bank account, not a check, and there’s no online payment portal for paying with a card number or Bilt’s routing/account number. Does Bilt have a service similar to Zelle or other Send-Money services direct to another routing/account number?

  40. Can HOA and/or monthly maintenance fees that use a direct ACH payment get BILT points?

  41. Slightly off-topic but similar vein: T-Mobile says that they will no longer give auto-payment discounts for credit cards effective July 19. Only debit cards. Perhaps BILT can talk to them?

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