I know, you all miss making rent payments fee-free with RoomiPay. That was a heck of a ride.
But there’s a new opportunity in town and it doesn’t even involve any gaming nor a rush to get available payment slots like we saw with RoomiPay.
In this article
Bilt: A Kairos Company
Bilt is founded by Ankur Jain and is part of a larger enterprise called Kairos. The concept is simple at the core: allow renters to pay rent without a fee and earn rewards in the process. These rewards can be used towards a future downpayment on a house (to encourage home ownership) but the rewards program goes much deeper.
Dave Canty conceived the entire Bilt Rewards loyalty program. He is a former Vice President, Global Loyalty Programs at IHG and was a Director of Loyalty and Partnership Marketing at JetBlue before that. I have to say, he’s done a great job with it.
Earning Bilt Rewards by Paying Rent
Bilt Rewards has two primary ways to earn Bilt Rewards points.
The first is if you live in a building owned by any of the following: The Blackstone Group, The Related Companies, Equity Residential, AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Camden Property Trust, Cushman & Wakefield, Trammell Crow Residential, Highmark Residential, AMLI Residential, Morgan Properties, SL Green Realty Corp., Starwood Capital Group, LivCor, GID, The Moinian Group, Veritas Investments, and Artemis Real Estate Partners.
These launch partners will allow you to pay rent via Bilt (linked to your checking account) and earn 250 points a month plus any extra incentives a building might choose to offer (like bonus points for a certain number of consecutive on-time payments).
The second is the Bilt Rewards Mastercard. You earn more points on rent payments based on the status tier you earn from non rent payments:
○ Blue Tier: Once you spend $250 in qualifying non-rent purchases in a calendar month, you’ll earn 1 point per $2 on your next rent payment.
○ Silver Tier: Once you spend $1000 in qualifying non-rent purchases in a calendar month you’ll earn 1 point per $1 on your next rent payment.
○ Gold Tier: Once you spend $2000 in qualifying non-rent purchases in a calendar month you’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 on your next rent payment.
○ Platinum Tier: Once you spend $3500 in qualifying non-rent purchases in a calendar month you’ll earn 2 points per $1 on your next rent payment.
Bonus points for rent are capped at 4,000 per month. That may sound like a lot but many in NYC and SF will surely hit that cap!
New cardholders will earn 3X points with your first rent payment after account approval, up to a maximum of 10,000 points, as a signup bonus.
The card is also a World Elite Mastercard with the associated benefits.
Bilt Rewards Redemptions
Here are the redemption options they have outlined:
TRAVEL: Bilt Rewards points can be redeemed for travel across over 100 major airlines and hotels via 1:1 transfer partnerships. For example 1 Bilt Point = 1 American Airlines mile.
1:1 Transfer partners include:
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Emirates Skywards
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Turkish Miles & Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- World of Hyatt
FITNESS: Redeem your points for group classes or subscriptions at SoulCycle, Rumble, and Y7 starting at 3,500 Bilt Points.
THE BILT COLLECTION: Use your points towards an exclusive, curated and limited-edition collection of home decor, art & novelty items housed within the Bilt App. Items begin at 5,000 points.
RENT CREDIT: Use your points towards your rent payment.
FUTURE MORTGAGE: Unique to Bilt, renters can redeem points towards a future mortgage on a new home when the financing is originated through Bilt.
Needless to say, I think the best ways to redeem your points are with Hyatt, Turkish Airlines, and American Airlines.
Beyond Bilt, Turkish only partners with Marriott (3:1) and Capital One (2:1.5) along with Citi ThankYou (1:1). So aside from Citi, only Bilt transfers 1:1.
American Airlines has no transfer partners besides Marriott (3:1), and Hyatt is, of course, a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner but does not otherwise partner with any transferable points.
You can get more info at biltrewards.com/card (I have no affiliate relationship with Bilt)
I talked with Richard Kerr, Director of Travel Rewards for Bilt, and I was really impressed with what they are launching here.
With no fee to the consumer, it’s an easy way to earn rewards paying rent. Most landlords that allow rent payments pass the cost on to renters. So, this fills a gap in that area for sure.
And while they have a noble goal of encouraging you to use rewards towards a down payment (a manner in which rewards are not typically redeemable), I’m much more impressed that they got Hyatt, American Airlines, and Turkish on their transfer partner list right from the get go.
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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.