Credit Cards

What Is Bilt

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 6 minute read

You will not be charged any additional transaction or membership fees as a result of using Bilt Rewards. Check it out. Tenants are responsible for paying their monthly rent. This will likely be one of your most significant monthly costs.

More than five million new high-cost rental units have been added in recent years, according to a Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies assessment of the rental housing market in the United States. Rent costs are rising, which means that renters will have to pay more money out of their own pockets.

Bilt has established a loyalty program called Bilt Prizes to provide rewards when you pay your monthly rent — without fees — to address this feeling of financial loss. If you don’t pay transaction fees on your credit card, you’ll be able to collect points for paying your rent. This is a major and beneficial step.

To help you determine if Bilt is appropriate for you, we’ve written this review to walk you through the ins and outs of the software.

What does Bilt Rewards mean?

It’s part of the Kairos family of companies: Bilt Rewards is a reward program and brand. As of 2021, the Bilt Rewards program was only in existence for a year after the company was created in 2019. New York City, New York, is home to the company’s headquarters.

At Kairos, the company formed by Ankur Jain (CEO, Rhino, and Tinder VP of Product), Ankur launched Bilt. Alloy and Rhino are two other Kairos-owned businesses. Cera and Little Spoon are also Kairos-owned. However, holding a Bilt Mastercard might help you earn more points in the Bilt Rewards program.

How Bilt Rewards works

The goal of Bilt was to provide a route to homeownership for renters. Residents can earn points on their monthly rent payments through the Bilt Rewards program, whether or whether they use the Bilt Mastercard. Using a credit card to pay rent incurs additional costs.

Credit cards may now be used for a wide range of purchases, allowing you to accrue benefits if the card is linked to a loyalty program. In the past, rental property owners have either not accepted credit card payments or charged transaction fees if you wanted to pay with a credit card.

When paying your rent, you won’t have to be concerned about transaction costs with Bilt Rewards. The Bilt Mastercard and the Bilt Loyalty Program do not charge an annual membership fee. You may also use the points you earn to pay for trips, fitness courses, rent, a down payment on a house, and many other things. The Bilt Rewards app, which is accessible for both iOS and Android smartphones, may be used to redeem Bilt Rewards.

How to earn Bilt Rewards

When comparing credit cards, you’ll often discover that different reward cards offer different ways to accumulate points or miles. With Bilt, you’ll also be able to earn points in a variety of ways. It works like this:

Paying rent

Even if you don’t have a Bilt Mastercard, you can still use the Bilt Rewards app to pay your rent. With the Bilt Rewards program, you’ll get 250 points for every rent payment you make using the app. Assuming you pay rent every month, this means that you can only gain 3,000 points in a year by doing so. You can only earn points if you live in a Bilt Rewards Alliance property.

More than two million residences are members of the Bilt Rewards Alliance’s network. The Related Companies, the Starwood Capital Group, the Windsor Communities, the Morgan Properties, the Equity Residential, and many more have rental units included in this list. Go into the Bilt Rewards app and see if you can link your rental to the network to see if it’s part of the program.

The Bilt app lets you pay your rent even if your landlord doesn’t take credit cards. Bilt will pay your landlord whichever they choose, whether that’s a written check, an automated clearing house (ACH), or any other payment method. If you don’t also have the Bilt Mastercard, you won’t be able to earn points through Bilt Rewards until you pay your rent using the app and your apartment is in-network.

Using the Bilt Mastercard

3X points on eating, 2X points on travel, and 1X points on everything else are offered with the Bilt Mastercard (including rent). Additionally, there is no yearly charge. Rent payments and other purchases you make with a Mastercard credit card are also eligible for these rewards rates.

Rent payments for units outside of the Bilt Rewards Alliance will not count against your point total. You can still use your Bilt Rewards app to pay your rent even if your flat isn’t on the network. Additionally, the Bilt Mastercard comes with the following benefits:

  • Credits for Lyft and DoorDash: Up to $60 in Lyft credits and up to $120 in DoorDash credits each year are yours.
  • In the event of a lost or damaged cell phone, you can receive up to $1,000 every year.
  • Up to $1,000 for lost or damaged purchases made with your Bilt Mastercard in the past 90 days are covered by purchase protection.
  • A World Elite Concierge: If you need tickets to a performance, reservations for a restaurant, or a present for a friend or family member, the concierge service is available around the clock to assist you.
  • It’s a built-in function that keeps your credit card from being used to pay rent if you turn it on. As a result, a connected bank account can assist safeguard your credit rating from a high use rate.

Other options

Additionally, Bilt Rewards gives property owners the flexibility to offer their renters additional opportunities to earn points through the program. Signing a new lease or renewing an existing lease might fall under this category. If you’re wondering about further points-earning options, talk to your landlord.

Who can use Bilt Rewards?

The new Bilt Rewards program is now only open to those who have received an invitation from the company (as of Jan. 7, 2022). Bilt Rewards Alliance members are given first dibs on membership, however anybody may join the early access queue on their website.

You should be able to join up and utilize the site, regardless of whether or not you’re a renter, once the program is completely launched. Renters who want to receive incentives on their rent payments but don’t want to pay transaction fees may find this useful. Even so, it’s possible that this isn’t the ideal way to earn credit card points.

Using Bilt Rewards, how much can you earn?

How much rent you pay, whether you have a Bilt Mastercard, and if you live in the Bilt Rewards Alliance all affect how many points you may earn with Bilt Rewards.
No points may be earned if you do not belong to the Bilt Rewards Alliance and do not have a Bilt Mastercard.

In the Alliance, you can only earn 250 points every rent payment if you don’t have the Bilt Mastercard. You’d need to pay rent for a year to earn enough points for one workout session, yet redemptions start at just 3,000 points.

With the Bilt Mastercard, however, spending a reasonable amount of money on rent and non-rent expenditures each month will allow you to accrue far more points. Rent, for example, might get you as many as 50,000 bonus points every year. Let’s suppose you make that much and spend $15,000 on non-rental costs, and we’ll assume that’s the case. 

You’d get 65,000 points at the very least. You may be eligible for even greater rewards if you spend some of your money in one of the card’s bonus areas. The following are a few instances of what 65,000 points may get you:

  • Thirteen nights in Hyatt hotels rated Category 1 (5,000 points per night)
  • From Los Angeles to Tokyo with American Airlines (about 65,000 points each flight), you’ll get a round-trip economy ticket.
  • From New York City to Miami, American Airlines offers eight one-way flights. More than 7,500 points are earned every flight
  • A down payment of $990 on a home
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