More than a third of Americans are renters, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and for many, rent is their top expense. For credit card users, it's been challenging to earn rewards on rent payments. But with the new Bilt Mastercard, they can earn up to 2 points per dollar on rent payments with any landlord. The card's setup is a bit complicated, though, so it's important to understand how it works before you decide it belongs in your wallet. While you can't apply for the new card yet, you can join the waitlist.
- The Bilt Mastercard rewards cardholders for paying their rent with the card.
- When customers use their card to pay rent, Bilt writes a check to their landlord.
- The structure of the rewards program is complicated, but could be worth it, especially if you're a big spender in general.
- Interested consumers can join the card's waitlist for early access.
How the New Bilt Mastercard Works
The Bilt Mastercard offers customers a way to rack up points on one of their biggest monthly expenses: rent.
The card offers up to 2 points per dollar on your rent payments, but the catch is that the actual rate depends on how much you use the card for other purchases. And those earn just 1 point per dollar. Here's how it breaks down:
- Blue status: Earn 0.5 points per dollar on your next rent payment if you spend at least $250 on non-rent purchases in a calendar month.
- Silver status: Earn 1 point per dollar on your next rent payment if you spend at least $1,000 on non-rent purchases in a calendar month.
- Gold status: Earn 1.5 points per dollar on your next rent payment if you spend at least $2,000 on non-rent purchases in a calendar month.
- Platinum status: Earn 2 points per dollar on your next rent payment if you spend at least $3,500 on non-rent purchases in a calendar month.
Additionally, there's a cap on how many points you can earn on rent payments: 4,000 points per month.
To pay your rent, you use your card via the Bilt app to trigger a payment, and the company will cut a check and send it to your landlord. This makes it possible for you to take advantage of these rewards even if your landlord doesn't accept credit cards as a payment method.
The card doesn't offer a traditional sign-up bonus, but you'll earn 3 points per dollar on your first rent payment using it, up to 10,000 points in total. You'll also get 2 points per dollar on all non-rent payments during your first 30 days with the card.
Those bonuses are nothing to write home about, but if you're already thinking about getting the card, they're a nice addition. The card doesn't charge an annual fee.
Other Card Benefits
Additional perks include:
- Up to $60 per year in Lyft credits, up to $120 in DoorDash credits, and other discounts when you use your card to pay.
- Cell phone protection worth up to $1,000 per claim when you use your card to pay your phone bill.
- Purchase protection against damage or theft of eligible items you purchase with the card. You'll get 90 days of coverage and up to $1,000 per claim.
You can use points earned through the Bilt Mastercard to book travel, pay rent, take fitness classes or even make a down payment on a home purchase. The card also allows you to transfer points to any of the following airline and hotel partners:
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Emirates Skywards
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- World of Hyatt
If you'd like to earn rewards on your rent payments but don't want another credit card, you can still achieve that goal through the Bilt app. Sign up for a Bilt Rewards account, and you'll get at least 250 points per month on your rent payments. The caveat here is that your landlord must be a member of the Bilt Rewards Alliance.
Is This Card Right for You?
The idea of earning rewards on rent payments can be enticing, but it's important to note that you have to spend a lot on non-rent purchases to maximize your rewards, and they only earn 1 point per dollar.
There are plenty of other credit cards that offer a 2% rewards rate without forcing you to jump through hoops. And while they won't reward you for rent payments, they can make up for it with a higher rewards rate on all of your purchases.
That said, the card may still be worth considering if you don't mind earning a lower rate on other purchases. If you're interested, you can join the waitlist on the Bilt Rewards website to get information once the card is ready to be launched.