Posted date: 7/22/11 | November 7, 2022 As a passionate travel hacker, I’m always looking for new ways to earn more points and miles with daily spending. As a result, I earn over 1 million points each year, allowing me to enjoy all kinds of free flights and hotel stays, upgrades, lounge access, elite status, and more. Travel hacks have saved me thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years, and I wouldn’t be able to travel without them. However, there is traditionally a huge account against which it has always been difficult to earn points: rent. For years, travel hackers have taken advantage of temporary offers that waive credit card fees or go through complicated procedures for paying rent so they can earn points. But all these maneuvers were beaten or failed and did not last long. Keep leaving thousands of potential points on the table. Until now. Earlier this year, a card called Bilt appeared. The game has changed. What is BILT? Bilt is a credit card that allows you to earn points when paying rent (as well as on everyday purchases). You can then use these points as you would any other rewards program: you can use them to book travel directly, transfer them to travel partners, or you can use some other redemption options. There are two ways to earn points with the card: by renting a Bilt Alliance property, or by using a Bilt World Elite Mastercard®. Bilt Alliance properties make up a network of two million units across the United States. But I won’t focus on that. I’m going to talk about her credit card. How does the Bilt Rewards Card work? Once you open the Bilt Mastercard® (which is issued by Wells Fargo and has no annual fee), you go to the Bilt app or website to set up your recurring monthly rental payments. Bilt then creates a unique bank account linked to your Bilt credit card so that your rent is paid by electronic check instead of your credit card. This bank account is essentially a legal “dummy” account created as an alternative to credit card processing fees. Do not use it for anything else, and do not withdraw or deposit money from it. When these unique routing and account numbers are used to pay your rent, your Bilt Mastercard® will be charged in the same amount. (You still have to link your personal bank account to pay for the card each month.) If your property is older and only accepts checks, you can still pay with your Bilt card through the Bilt Rewards app, and Bilt will send a check for you. Setup takes about five minutes. When you’re done, you’ll earn points on your rental. I’m using it, so I don’t leave any points on the table. Bilt Reward Benefits Once you set up your account, you’ll start earning 1 point for every dollar spent using your Bilt credit card on rental payments, up to 50,000 points each calendar year. While the number of miles required for free flights varies greatly depending on many factors, if you play your cards right, many points can get you a free round-trip flight from New York to London. And while earning points for rental payments is Bilt’s main draw, you’ll also earn two points for every dollar spent on travel (when booking directly or through the Bilt Travel portal) and three points for every dollar spent on dining. You will earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Just note that you have to make five purchases per month (no minimum spend requirement) to earn these rewards. You can transfer points 1:1 to travel partners, including American Airlines, United, Emirates, Hawaiian, Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, Air France/KLM, Hyatt and IHG. The fact that they transfer to American Airlines and Hyatt is what really sets this card apart (besides the rental). Nobody is moving to America, so this is a big selling point for this card, because it’s the only way to get AA points without getting an AA card. Earning life points allows you to exit from the Chase system. You can also redeem points for fitness classes, such as SoulCycle, Solidcore, Rumble, and Y7, and for items in the Bilt Collection, an eclectic collection of craft home décor items. But the redemption for fitness classes is about one percent point – you get a better refund for travel purchases. In addition, purchases also help you earn status in the Bilt Rewards program, based on the total points earned annually. The tiers for Bilt rewards are as follows (subsequent tiers include everything in the above categories): Blue: earn points on rent and the ability to transfer them 1:1 to travel partners Silver (25,000 points per year): 10% bonus points when signing a contract New rent or renewal of your lease, interest on your points balance (at the National Savings Interest rate declared by the FDIC) Gold (50,000 points annually): 25% bonus points for new leases/renewals and access to concierge home ownership (which will guide you through the home buying process) Platinum (100,000 points annually): 50% bonus points for new leases/renovations and a free gift from the Bilt collection of home décor items while perks at higher levels are not It’s a great way to earn more points if they apply to you . But, even at the most basic level, you can still take advantage of the main attraction of Bilt: earn points from rent. In addition to earning points, the card also gives you: Trip cancellation protection and interruption coverage Trip delay compensation (for delays of six hours or more) Car rental collision coverage Mobile phone protection (up to $800) No foreign transaction fees A Free Three Month DashPass and $5 off your first DoorDash order every month $5 Lyft credit every month after three rides that month Who is this card for? This card is suitable for anyone who wants to earn points on their monthly rental. Once you’ve set up online payments (you can also set up automatic payment) and use your card five times a month, it’s pretty much a “set and forget” type of card. With no annual fee, you have nothing to lose and you only get points. The card is aimed especially at travelers and diners, as it offers 2x points spent on travel and 3x points on dining out. It is better to pair it with other travel credit cards which have better perks, nice welcome bonuses and higher earning rates. I’ll probably start using the Bilt Card instead of my Chase Sapphire, because I get a lot of Chase points through business spending, and I’m aiming to travel to Japan next year, so I want these AA points (AA is a partner with Japan Airlines). Who is this card for? As with any travel credit card, you should not get a Belt Card if you carry or plan to carry a balance. Interest rates on travel credit cards are remarkably high, and the Belt Card is no different, with a high APR of 19-27%. Points are not worth it if you pay interest every month. This card is also not for anyone with poor credit, as you need good or excellent credit to qualify. Furthermore, the Bilt Card won’t be for anyone looking for one with a huge welcome bonus (as there aren’t any), and it counts toward Chase’s 5/24 rule (you can’t open more than five Chase cards in a 24 month period). If you have already opened five Chase cards or want to unlock more, you may want to skip this card for now. In short, if you’re a renter and want to earn points on that big monthly spend, it’s worth considering the Bilt Card. It’s completely free and easy to set up, so there’s really nothing to lose. Even if your rent isn’t particularly high, points are points, and the Bilt Card can be a great additional source of earning those coveted points and miles (especially if you’re flying on American Airlines, as this is one of our only transportation partners). *** As the only rewards card that offers points for rent absolutely free, Bilt is a welcome new player in the travel space. In my opinion, it really doesn’t make sense to pay the rent, so you can start working on some free flights and hotel stays! Click here to register for BILT! Want to know everything about points and miles? Stop paying the full price for airfare! Download our free travel hacking guide and learn: How to choose a credit card. Click here for the free guide sent to you to book your flight: Logistics tips and tricks Book your flight Find a cheap flight with Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines all over the world so you always know that no stone is left untouched. Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com because it constantly shows the cheapest rates for guest houses and hotels. Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It is a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I have had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and the best value are: Ready to book your flight? Check out my Resources page for the best companies to use when traveling. I list everything I use when I travel. 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