bilt and alaska

I find this personally SUPER exciting.

While yesterday we learned that Bilt Rewards (the card that lets you earn points for paying rent with no transaction fees if you are not in the loop on Bilt) will lose American Airlines AAdvantage as a transfer partner in June, I think this new partnership with Alaska Airlines’ MileagePlan more than makes up for it.

No major bank transferable currencies currently transfer to Alaska (save for Marriott Bonvoy but at 60,000 Bonvoy to 25,000 Alaska, it’s a tough transfer pill to swallow).

Now Bilt Rewards does.

Bilt x Alaska Airlines

And while the new unified award chart for Alaska made many redemptions worse, it didn’t make them all worse and, in fact, Alaska has some unique partners. Starlux, for example, which I just had the pleasure of flying KIX-TPE-LAX this week is only partnered with Alaska. While LATAM isn’t only partnered with Alaska, they provide compelling redemption rates for many LATAM flights. 

The fact is that even with the devaluation of the Alaska reward charts, Alaska is a very solid program both for oneworld redemptions, redemptions on Alaska metal, and on unique partners like Starlux.

Good thing that, just yesterday, we published an article on Sweet Spots in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Program!

We’ve previously discussed a potential merger between Hawaiian and Alaska which would mean you could (briefly) transfer Amex Membership Rewards to Hawaiian speculatively to gain Alaska miles.

A true ongoing bank transfer partner is much, much better.

Additionally, in a pretty unique arrangement, you could chose to pay your rent on your Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card and earn 3X miles on up to $50,000 in annual rent (vs the 1x you earn on rent via Bilt directly with the credit card, up to $100,000, however, you would pay a 3% fee to do so. It’s interesting for sure, as it essentially lets you buy up to 150,000 Alaska miles for 1 cent a piece, however that is at the opportunity cost of earning the Bilt points – assuming, again, that you have the Bilt Mastercard.

In a hypothetical scenario of $5,000 in rent, you could pay $150 and earn 15,000 Alaska miles or earn 5,000 Bilt points at no cost.

I’ve historically valued Alaska miles at 1.8 cents (though perhaps that goes down with the new award chart). I would do all the math but I probably need to re-evaluate the values first.

If Alaska miles are now more accurately worth 1.6 cents and I raise Bilt points to 2 cents (likely), for example, then you’d be earning $480 worth of points but spending $150 cash and losing $200 worth of Bilt points. Still a net $130 (worth of points) gain, but you do lose the transferability to any partner option as well as any future Bilt Rent Day transfer bonuses. I think this option would be best for someone saving for a specific Alaska award (like Starlux, for example, which you can’t get elsewhere), but I think otherwise I’d stick to earning Bilt points.  

Now, is it too much to hope for a Rent Day Transfer bonus next month to really kick this off? 😉 With Platinum Bilt members potentially getting a 150% transfer bonus, I would definitely make a nice transfer should that come about. Even if it doesn’t, I’m pretty happy to have the transfer option.

Apply for the Bilt Mastercard – earn points for paying rent with no transaction fees

PS: Here is an updated Bilt transfer partner chart:

Bilt Transfer PartnersAll transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Transfer times below:
Alaska Airlines MileagePlanTBD
American Airlines AAdvantage®Within 1 day
Aer Lingus AviosWithin 10 minutes
Avianca LifemilesWithin 10 minutes
Air Canada AeroplanWithin 10 minutes
Air France Flying BlueWithin 10 minutes
British Airways AviosWithin 10 minutes
Cathay Pacific AsiaMilesWithin 10 minutes
Emirates SkywardsWithin 10 minutes
Hawaiian AirlinesWithin 10 minutes
Iberia AviosWithin 10 minutes
IHG RewardsWithin 10 minutes
Marriott BonvoyUp to 48 hours; generally within minutes. (5,000 point bonus when you transfer 20,000).
United Airlines MileagePlusWithin 10 minutes
Turkish Airlines Miles&SmilesWithin 10 minutes
Virgin PointsWithin 10 minutes
World of HyattWithin 10 minutes


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