I’ve written extensively about the Bilt Mastercard® (review), which is an innovative and rewarding credit card. The greatest selling point of the card is that you can earn points for paying your rent (and anecdotally your HOA as well). Best of all, the points are quite valuable, which is also why this is a card that I applied for.
Another unique aspect of Bilt is how it has an elite status program. Major changes are coming to this as of 2024, and it’s both good and bad news.
In this post:
Bilt makes elite status harder to earn
Bilt has four membership tiers — Blue, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Currently, status is earned based on how many points you rack up in the program in a calendar year, regardless of what the method is. Blue is the entry level tier, and then you can earn Bilt elite status at the following thresholds:
- You can earn Bilt Silver status when you accrue 25,000 points
- You can earn Bilt Gold status when you accrue 50,000 points
- You can earn Bilt Platinum status when you accrue 100,000 points
With the new program launching in 2024, you’ll be able to qualify for Bilt elite status in one of two ways:
- Based on qualifying points, which would include all the Bilt points that you earn, regardless of the method
- Based on spending, whereby you can fast track your way to elite status with all eligible non-rent spending, including Bilt Mastercard spending, spending on SoulCycle classes booked in the Bilt app, spending on Lyft rideshares when Bilt is set as your rewards partner, and spending in the Bilt Travel Portal
Just to be crystal clear, with the latter method, earning status is literally based on the cumulative spending via all these means, rather than the number of points earned.
So, what are the new elite requirements for 2024?
- You can earn Bilt Silver status with 50,000 qualifying points or $10,000 of eligible spending
- You can earn Bilt Gold status with 125,000 qualifying points or $25,000 of eligible spending
- You can earn Bilt Platinum status with 200,000 qualifying points or $50,000 of eligible spending
As you can see, the points requirements are increasing by at least 100% at each tier, though the spending thresholds are new, and may make status easier to earn for some (though not most, given the ability to earn points on rent, spending bonus categories, etc.).
Bilt promises more elite status benefits
Admittedly elite status will be harder to earn for most members, but Bilt emphasizes two points:
- Bilt will be introducing Milestone Rewards, where you’ll unlock special rewards for every 25,000 points you earn, as you work your way to elite status
- Bilt states that it has dropped new status-based benefits in the past year, including unprecedented transfer bonuses and priority event access, which will continue with the new program, and we should stay tuned to learn about brand new benefits in the coming months
While that sounds great, as of now we don’t actually have many details about what this will look like, so it’s hard to judge how positive these changes will be.
Bilt’s logic for elite status program changes
So, why is Bilt changing its elite status program? The company explains that the existing elite status program is something that was created 2.5 years ago, a week before the product launched in June 2021. At the time, there weren’t nearly as many ways to earn Bilt points.
While the initial plan was to make elite status changes shortly after launch, Bilt ultimately decided to wait until the program became more mature to make changes, to see how the member base and opportunities to earn points would evolve.
So when Bilt redesigned the elite status program, the goal was to come up with something that’s both sustainable and rewarding. Bilt acknowledges that up until now, status tiers haven’t yielded many benefits beyond lucrative Rent Day offers, but that will be changing as of 2024.
My take on Bilt elite status changes
It’s hard to know what exactly to make of these changes. Make no mistake, for most members, elite status is becoming much more difficult to earn. The thing is, prior to the past year, Bilt elite status had very little value.
However, we’ve now seen several Rent Day offers with transfer bonuses for Bilt’s travel partners, and those with higher elite status were eligible for larger bonuses. If Bilt continues offering 150% transfer bonuses for Platinum members, then it could absolutely be worth going out of your way to earn that status, because the value of that could be huge.
For now, Bilt is only firmly announcing how status will be harder to earn, with limited details about what Milestone Rewards and elite perks will look like.
If the perks of Platinum were consistently rewarding, I’d absolutely put $50K of spending per year on my Bilt Mastercard. However, there’s an opportunity cost to that spending, so I hope Bilt can come up with some mutually beneficial rewards. Bilt has generally done a good job with delivering ongoing value, so I suspect we’ll see some nice improvements.
The Bilt elite status program is being refreshed in 2024. With the new program, status can be earned in one of two ways, based on total points earned or total eligible spending. For most members, the requirements to earn status are going up.
I’m not surprised to see some changes, given that the elite status program initially had limited benefits, and Bilt points were also harder to earn. The jury is still out, though, on the new program, based on the details of the new elite perks, the details of Milestone Rewards, and how often we see elevated transfer bonuses from elite members.
What do you make of these Bilt elite status program changes?