Bilt Mastercard® Review [2024]: Earn Rewards on Rent

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The Bilt Mastercard offers rewards for paying your rent — without the costly fees. See how it works.
Updated May 13, 2024
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With the Bilt Mastercard®, you can earn valuable points when you pay for your rent. All with a $0 annual fee and no pesky rent transaction fee.

Let's see how it works in our Bilt Mastercard review.

In this Bilt Mastercard review

Who should get the Bilt Mastercard?

If you want to earn rewards on monthly rent payments, the Bilt Mastercard might be the way to go. Credit cards aren’t always accepted for rent payments and if they are, they often come with heavy processing fees. But because the Bilt Mastercard doesn’t have these fees and also has a $0 annual fee, it’s like a renter’s dream come true.

Keep in mind, many factors including your credit history are considered when applying for this card. Also, the Bilt Mastercard doesn’t have the overall best earning potential (more info on this below) when compared with other rewards credit cards, especially if you want to use it for non-rent spending.

But there’s no other card that rewards you with bonus points for rent. And you get some excellent benefits and card perks, such as being able to transfer your points to certain airlines, as well as receiving cell phone protection.

Card basics

Card type Travel/Rewards
Credit card issuer Wells Fargo
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $0
Welcome bonus Earn up to 1X points on rent payments without the transaction fee (up to 100,000 points each calendar year; must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points)
Reward rate 3X points on dining, 2X points on travel, up to 1X points on rent payments without the transaction fee (up to 100,000 points each calendar year), and 1X points on other purchases; must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

Bilt Mastercard benefits and perks

  • Unique earning opportunity: Earn up to 1X points on rent payments without the transaction fee (up to 100,000 points each calendar year; must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points).
  • Earning potential: Earn 3X points on dining, 2X points on travel, up to 1X points on rent payments without the transaction fee (up to 100,000 points each calendar year), and 1X points on other purchases; must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points. Your rental property doesn't have to be a qualifying Bilt Alliance property to take advantage of earning points on rent.
  • No annual fee: The Bilt Mastercard is a $0-annual-fee card, so there’s no annual cost to offset.
  • No transaction fees for paying rent: Your rent payments don't include transaction fees, which is a unique benefit among credit cards. In most cases, if you want to pay rent with a credit card, it comes with transaction fees. 
  • BiltProtect: This feature lets you pull funds for your rent payments from a linked bank account (savings or checking account via ACH) instead of your credit line so there’s no risk of going into debt by paying your rent. This feature doesn’t incur any fees and you still earn Bilt points for paying rent.
  • Rent Day: You can earn double points on Rent Day for eligible purchases (not rent). Rent Day typically falls on the first of each month.

  • Lyft credits: Get a $5 Lyft credit if you take three Lyft rides in one calendar month.

  • No foreign currency conversion fees: You don’t have to pay foreign currency conversion fees with the Bilt credit card.

  • Travel benefits and insurance: Bilt cardholders can take advantage of trip cancellation and interruption protection, trip delay reimbursement, and an auto rental collision damage waiver.

  • Bilt World Elite Mastercard Concierge: Use the complimentary concierge service to make dinner reservations, receive hotel recommendations, and much more.
  • Cellular Telephone Protection: Receive up to $800 (with a $25 deductible) in cell phone coverage against lost or damaged phones, with up to two paid claims in a 12-month period.
  • Purchase protection (theft and damage protection): Receive up to $10,000 (dependent on repair or replacement) if an eligible item purchased in the past 90 days with your card is lost or damaged.
  • Transfer partners: Transfer your points to popular airline and hotel partner programs, including American Airlines AAdvantage, World of Hyatt, and Air Canada Aeroplan.
  • Cover your rent: You can redeem your points toward future rent payments.
  • Mortgage down payment: You could also redeem your points toward a down payment on a house.
  • Fitness redemptions: Use your points toward fitness classes, including Y7 Studio and SoulCycle.
  • Bilt Collection: Redeem points toward items in the Bilt Collection, which features home decor products from different artists. Items could include speakers, candles, vases, and more.

Drawbacks to this card

  • Minimum use requirements: Unfortunately, having the Bilt Mastercard doesn’t automatically qualify you to earn rewards. Beyond spending on travel, dining, and rent, you must use your card five times each statement period to earn rewards. This is an uncommon restriction that you won't find on the best travel credit cards.
  • Inconsistent welcome bonus: There's typically no welcome bonus when you qualify and open an account as a new cardholder unless you receive an email from Bilt that says you're receiving a welcome offer.

Earning and redeeming Bilt Rewards

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your points can add up with the Bilt Mastercard. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1.55 cents per point, which is the average of the typical value of Hyatt points and AAdvantage miles (both transfer partners with Bilt).

According to ApartmentGuide.com, the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the United States is $1,680 per month. That comes out to $20,160 per year. Here are your estimated earnings based on receiving 1 point for every $1 spent on rent.

Year one earnings: $708.35

Year two earnings: $708.35

Remember, this is an estimation of the cash redemption value. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Of course, if you did more non-rent spending and worked your way up to higher status tiers within the Bilt Rewards system, you could potentially increase your earnings. But whether or not you choose to do that would depend on if you are utilizing other rewards cards that might earn more on that spending or if you want to prioritize earning Bilt points.

Best ways to earn

As a Bilt Mastercard cardholder, your rent and non-rent expenses automatically earn points through the Bilt Rewards loyalty program. However, you don’t actually need the credit card to be a member of the program — it’s free to join and you can earn 250 points per rent payment. You can learn more about the rewards program in our Bilt Rewards review.

Keep in mind, non-cardholders can earn Bilt Rewards points on rent only if their apartment is within the Bilt Rewards Alliance. Cardholders can earn points on rent payments whether or not they’re within the Bilt Rewards Alliance. The Bilt Rewards Alliance is a network of more than 2 million apartments from popular management companies, such as Windsor Communities, Morgan Properties, and Starwood Capital Group. You can check to see whether your apartment is in-network by using the Bilt app.

Having the Bilt Mastercard increases your earning potential with Bilt Rewards. With the Bilt Mastercard, you have the opportunity to earn 1X points on all your rent payments, up to a maximum of 100,000 points per year. Without this card, you're limited to earning a maximum of 250 points per month, or 3,000 points per year.

Here are the Bilt Rewards status tiers:

Status tier Qualification Benefits
Blue Enroll in Bilt Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfers to travel partners
  • Access to the Bilt Collection
  • Build credit history with on-time rent payments
Silver 50,000 points earned in a calendar year or $10,000 in non-rent spend on your Bilt Mastercard or another card linked in your Bilt wallet
  • All Blue benefits
  • 10% bonus points from new leases/renewals
  • Earn interest on eligible points balance
Gold 125,000 points earned in a calendar year or $25,000 in non-rent spend on your Bilt Mastercard or another card linked in your Bilt wallet
  • All Silver benefits
  • 25% bonus points from new leases/renewals
  • Homeownership concierge
Platinum 200,000 points earned in a calendar year or $50,000 in non-rent spend on your Bilt Mastercard or another card linked in your Bilt wallet
  • All Gold benefits
  • 50% bonus points from new leases/renewals
  • Gift from collection

As shown in the table, Silver members and higher can receive interest on their eligible points balance. This is an interesting concept (like a savings account), but you typically want to use your rewards rather than hanging onto them for long periods of time. Also, it might be difficult to earn these higher tiers of membership since the points requirements are so high.

Maximizing your redemptions

The Bilt Rewards program offers multiple ways to redeem your points, including:

  • Transfer points to travel partners
  • Travel portal redemptions
  • Paying rent
  • Paying for a portion of a down payment on a house (potentially useful as a new homeowner)
  • Fitness classes from Y7 Studio, SoulCycle, and Solidcore
  • Home decor items from the Bilt Collection
  • Amazon purchases

The best way to redeem your points ultimately depends on what kind of redemption will be valuable to you. For example, if you aren’t interested in travel redemptions, it likely makes more sense to use your credit card rewards for paying rent or something else.

But overall, transfers to travel partners often provide the best value for your points depending on which loyalty program you transfer your points to. World of Hyatt points are typically worth 1.7 cents per point, which is likely one of your best redemption options when it comes to actual value. For slightly less value, you might consider using your points to cover a portion of a down payment on a house at 1.5 cents per point.

You might also consider using the Bilt travel portal (powered by Expedia) for travel redemptions. Your points are worth 1.25 cents per point in the travel portal, which is decent value for redemptions such as flights, car rentals, and hotel stays. 

Bilt Mastercard transfer partners

One of the best redemption options for your Bilt Rewards points is transferring them to different travel partners. This allows you to help fund your travels from rewards you earn on paying rent and other expenses.

Bilt Rewards transfer partners include:

  • Avianca Lifemiles
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • FlyingBlue Air France / KLM
  • Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub
  • Iberia
  • British Airways
  • AERClub
  • United Mileage Plus
  • World of Hyatt
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Cathay Pacific 
  • Hawaiian Airlines 
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Your Bilt Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the listed travel partners, which means 10,000 Bilt Rewards points could equal 10,000 Hyatt points, 10,000 AAdvantage miles, or another 10,000 of an applicable rewards currency.

It should be noted that you receive indirect access to the transfer partners of these travel partners as well. For example, if you transfer your Bilt Rewards points to your AAdvantage account, you can now use miles to book flights with American Airlines. But you'll discover that your miles are also good for American Airlines partner flights with Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, and more.

Overall, your Bilt Rewards points can be transferred to at least 10 direct travel partners and loads of indirect travel partners. Bilt is frequently updating its travel partner information, including adding more partners. To see this updated information, check the Bilt Rewards app.

Bilt Mastercard FAQs

What credit score do you need to get a Bilt credit card?

It varies, but your approval odds are better if you have at least a good credit score. That’s a 670 on the FICO scoring range. In general, a good or excellent credit score is enough to qualify you for most travel rewards card offers. 

Is it hard to get approved for the Bilt Mastercard?

It depends on your credit score and other creditworthiness factors, but a good credit score of 670 is often enough to qualify for the Bilt Mastercard. Keep in mind that credit card issuers typically consider your annual income, total debt, and recent credit inquiries to determine your eligibility for a new card or credit limit.

Which bureau does Bilt pull from?

Wells Fargo issues the Bilt credit card and can pull credit report information from any of the three major credit bureaus to determine your card eligibility. In most cases, credit card companies typically pull from one bureau, including Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

How does Bilt make money?

Bilt Rewards makes money in a few different ways, including taking a portion of the transaction fees whenever a Bilt Mastercard is used to make a purchase. In addition, Bilt also makes money through partnerships with real estate companies.

Is Bilt part of Wells Fargo?

Bilt isn't part of Wells Fargo, but Bilt has a partnership with Wells Fargo to issue the Bilt Mastercard. Wells Fargo announced its partnership with Bilt Rewards in March 2022 to become the official card issuer for the Bilt card. Bilt previously had a partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust to issue its credit card.

Who owns Bilt Rewards?

Bilt Rewards is the loyalty program for Bilt, a company founded by Ankur Jain and part of the Kairos family of companies. Bilt was founded as a way to give renters a path to homeownership, which the Bilt Rewards program provides. Rent payments made with the Bilt Mastercard earn Bilt Rewards points, which can be redeemed for a variety of things, including cash for a down payment on a house.

Other cards to consider

The Bilt Mastercard provides a unique opportunity for renters to earn points for paying their rent, but it won’t make sense for everyone. For other credit card options that could work in different situations, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi Double Cash® Card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a Visa card with a $95 annual fee, but its rewards and benefits can easily offset this cost. You get a $50 annual hotel credit and 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases. If your everyday purchases align with these bonus categories, you could have better earning potential than with the Bilt Mastercard.

For more details, read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

The Citi Double Cash Card is an excellent choice for flat-rate cash back. It has a $0 annual fee and offers 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24. This rate is much better than the other purchases rate you get on the Bilt Mastercard for non-rent purchases. If you can’t meet the non-rent spending requirements on the Bilt Mastercard to get the best earning rate, this card could be a better option for your everyday expenses.

For more details, read our Citi Double Cash Card review.

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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