Bilt Rewards Adds Alaska Mileage Plan As Transfer Partner, And More

Bilt Rewards Adds Alaska Mileage Plan As Transfer Partner, And More

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Bilt Rewards is the loyalty program of the no annual fee Bilt Mastercard® (review), which is quite lucrative. This is a proper transferable points currency, allowing 1:1 transfers to a variety of partners.

There’s an exciting update, as Bilt Rewards and Alaska Airlines have launched a partnership. Not only is Alaska Mileage Plan being added as a transfer partner, but those with an Alaska Visa Card can also soon earn bonus miles when they pay rent. Let’s go over the details.

Transfer Bilt Rewards points to Alaska Mileage Plan

Effective immediately, Alaska Mileage Plan has been added as a 1:1 transfer partner of Bilt Rewards, opening up all kinds of great redemptions on Alaska Airlines, oneworld carriers, and other partner airlines.

I’d consider this to be a major development, as Alaska Mileage Plan historically hasn’t partnered with any major transferable points currencies, so this is a first. This announcement comes shortly after we learned that Bilt Rewards will lose American AAdvantage as a transfer partner as of June 2024.

It’s a big month for Alaska Mileage Plan, as the program is also completely overhauling award pricing. This is largely advantageous for short haul awards, while it’s bad news for long haul awards. Then again, award availability has been so limited on the best redemption options (like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Qantas), so I’d consider the program to be moving from aspirational to practical.

I’m very curious to see how this evolves. Is this an exclusive collaboration, because Alaska Airlines sees benefits to tapping into Bilt Rewards’ customer base? Or is this a way for Alaska Airlines to test the waters with a transferable points currency? With the Mileage Plan changes being implemented this month, maybe the economics of transferable points currencies works better. It would be great to see Mileage Plan miles become more easy to accrue.

There’s an exciting new way to earn Mileage Plan miles!

Earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles for paying rent

The new partnership between Bilt Rewards and Alaska Airlines goes beyond the airline just being a transfer partner.

Keep in mind that one of the selling points of the Bilt Mastercard® is the ability to earn points for paying rent at no additional cost. So the two companies are introducing an interesting twist on that concept.

Later this year (we don’t have a specific date yet), those with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card (review) will start to be able to earn 3x Mileage Plan miles per dollar spent on rent through Bilt, on up to $50,000 spent annually. So rent payments through Bilt are being added as a bonus category on the card, just as the card offers 2x Mileage Plan miles per dollar spent on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services, and local transit purchases.

Essentially you’ll be able to link your Alaska Card to your Bilt account, and then Bilt will process the rent payment, and in turn you’ll be awarded bonus miles.

Now, the catch is that Bilt charges a 3% fee for third party credit card payments, and that applies here as well. So this will be an opportunity to pick up Mileage Plan miles on your rent payment for one cent each — I think most people would consider that to be a great deal.

That’s not necessarily how you should approach the math, though — you can either earn 1x Bilt Rewards points for paying rent at no cost with the Bilt Mastercard®, or 3x Mileage Plan miles for paying rent at a 3% fee with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card. Based on my valuation of different points, I’d rather earn 1x Bilt Rewards points at no cost than 3x Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a 3% fee.

Still, I think this will be an intriguing option for those who don’t want to get the Bilt Mastercard, since acquiring Mileage Plan miles for a cent each is quite a deal.

Earn Mileage Plan miles for paying rent, at a cost

Bottom line

Bilt Rewards and Alaska Airlines have launched a partnership. As part of this, Alaska Mileage Plan has become a 1:1 transfer partner of Bilt Rewards, making Bilt the first transfer partner for Alaska. Furthermore, as of later this year, it will be possible to pay your rent with an Alaska Visa Card and earn 3x Mileage Plan miles, though there will be a 3% fee for doing so. Still, that could represent a great deal.

This is a creative and exciting partnership, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this evolves.

What do you make of this new Bilt Rewards & Alaska Mileage Plan partnership?

Conversations (37)
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  1. Greg Guest

    i dont get all the hate for BILT, just cause it breaks the Status quo with churn/burn. The reward days 100%+ transfer bonus has been a great value add for me. Was worth a 5/24 slot for me, and to get 2x points on the first for my normal transactions is a huge plus also :)

  2. Andrew Diamond

    “[Mileage Plan opens up] all kinds of great redemptions on Alaska Airlines, oneworld carriers, and other partner airlines.”

    This is an educational thing for me - can someone tell me what is so hot about Alaska’s miles? When I look at the same west-coast JAL redemptions, AA is cheaper. When I look at the same west-coast DXB redemptions, AA is cheaper (and everyone still screws you through LHR on fees).

    The Emirates deals are long...

    “[Mileage Plan opens up] all kinds of great redemptions on Alaska Airlines, oneworld carriers, and other partner airlines.”

    This is an educational thing for me - can someone tell me what is so hot about Alaska’s miles? When I look at the same west-coast JAL redemptions, AA is cheaper. When I look at the same west-coast DXB redemptions, AA is cheaper (and everyone still screws you through LHR on fees).

    The Emirates deals are long gone. There’s El Al, but their route network is limited. I don’t get how Alaska is hot s**t anymore. Can someone explain where this alleged value is coming from.

  3. Chris Guest

    As a non-American I don't get what is special about rent. Here in the EU everyone just does a wire transfer for rent and that's it. Paying it by credit card assumes your landlord actually accepts credit cards, how does that work? Also how does the credit card company know a specific payment is for rent?

    1. Joe Jones Guest

      It's usually the same in the US. Some landlords accept credit cards for rent but there's usually a surcharge that eats up any points benefit.

      Bilt gives you points if you make the monthly rent payment through them and make a certain number of other transactions on the card each month. Rent payments through Bilt are not subject to a surcharge because they wire transfer to the landlord on their end. This is the key value proposition of the card.

    2. Chris Guest

      How do they know the transfer is rent and not say, a points laundering scheme with a relative?

  4. Lee Guest

    My wife and I both have had the Bilt Card for just over two years and pursued every angle. We paid rent. We moved spending for double earn rate on Rent Day. We did 3x plus 5x bonus on dining. We ended up with 1 million points then transferred at 2.5x. Some people figure it out and some people don't.

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      My wife and I are equity partners at two of the most prominent law firms in the country. We met as 1Ls at our T14 law school. Two decades into our careers, we each make $8,500,000 annually which is dollar cost averaged into SPLG. My wife and I earn in one month what the average American earns in three decades. Some people figure it out and some people don’t.

    2. Reasonable Prudent Person Guest

      People like you are why I left biglaw for banking. Your average banker is (far) less insufferable than your average biglaw partner…

      NB: The fact that you’re name dropping T14 and “two of the most prominent law firms” like it means anything reeeeeeeeks of Kirkland.

    3. Unimpressed Guest

      This is why people hate lawyers. Such condescending classist bullshit in a points and miles blog. Smh...

  5. Mantis Gold

    1x Bilt points on rent with Bilt card and lose 5/24 slot, 3x AS on rent with 3% fee, or the equivalent of 10-20x on rent by putting spend towards a new SUB. Hmmm, math is so hard.

  6. eponymous coward Guest

    The twist is that I would guess using your AS Bank of America card should also get you spend towards the 2-4-1 companion certificate at 6k and EQM at 4k per 10k spend (maxes out at 50k) as well as the 3x AS miles, so that would be additional value (if you paired it with other Alaska and partners flying you could be getting 75k status with your fave, OneWorld Emerald, and a 50,000 RDM bonus).

    1. Greg Guest

      Yes indeed, and Alaska users are pretty heavily skewed to those cardholders. Don't underestimate that companion cert for cash strapped renters.

  7. Mark Guest

    Not sure what value is being added since we can already book one world flights via avoid.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Mark -- Just because programs belong to the same alliance doesn't mean they have the same value proposition. Different programs have different redemption rates. Furthermore, Mileage Plan has lots of partner redemptions outside of oneworld, like Icelandair, Singapore, Starlux, and more.

    2. Jacob Guest

      Good luck finding anything in business class for a decent point value with any of those carriers. 165K each way with Starlux is a joke.

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jacob -- Speaking of Starlux, yes, long haul award space is abysmal. But the airline is good at releasing business class awards on flights within Asia, so there's quite a bit of value there.

    4. Peter Guest

      A few months ago I booked LAX to PPT for 60k in J on Air Tahiti Nui.

      This week, I just booked Condor FRA to MLE for 60k in J. I think that rate stays the same or goes down after the new award program is active.

      The new rates look reasonable for Singapore's JFK-FRA in J and that has reasonable availability (in waves).

  8. Alex Guest

    I'd love some information on how much Bilt pays you points bloggers. You're all obsessed with it and tend to gloss over the catches and gotchas of the program.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Alex -- I get a commission when someone applies for a Bilt Card through my link (as is the case with most kinds of cards), but that's it. I don't have any relationship with the company beyond that, unlike many other bloggers.

      But I'm curious what you think I'm glossing over? And I also don't know how I'm "obsessed" with Bilt? I report on the transfer bonuses, and I like the ability to earn...

      @ Alex -- I get a commission when someone applies for a Bilt Card through my link (as is the case with most kinds of cards), but that's it. I don't have any relationship with the company beyond that, unlike many other bloggers.

      But I'm curious what you think I'm glossing over? And I also don't know how I'm "obsessed" with Bilt? I report on the transfer bonuses, and I like the ability to earn points at no cost for paying rent or an HOA. It's not my everyday spending card, and I don't suggest it should be.

    2. Alex Guest

      Is that commission more or less than the other cards?

    3. 305 Guest

      I'd love some information on how much competitors pay all you complainers. You're all obsessed with "how bad Bilt is" and tend to gloss over the uniqueness and benefits of the program

      Seriously, I don't get the hate. It's a no annual fee card that lets a person earn points on their largest expense/an expense no other provider offers points for

    4. Greg Guest

      On cue, the Bilt paid / partner shill that appears in most threads

    5. Greg Guest

      LOL I get that vibe too sometimes, not necessarily here, but generally. Guess the free trips to Branson's island for some got them feeling connected.

      AS fliers who already know the program have less of an incentive to go Bilt if they like using their card for earning elite status or companion fare. Some may go Bilt to earn option value for AS miles while having flexibility to xfer to other programs.

      Overall...

      LOL I get that vibe too sometimes, not necessarily here, but generally. Guess the free trips to Branson's island for some got them feeling connected.

      AS fliers who already know the program have less of an incentive to go Bilt if they like using their card for earning elite status or companion fare. Some may go Bilt to earn option value for AS miles while having flexibility to xfer to other programs.

      Overall a win for AS accruers with more choice two places, loss for AA accruers. There are a lot more AA accruers out there. I'd guess it was up there with Hyatt or more in terms of point transfer frequency for Bilt.

  9. Tony Guest

    "...the catch is that Bilt charges a 3% fee for third party credit card payments, and that applies here as well. So this will be an opportunity to pick up Mileage Plan miles on your rent payment for one cent each — I think most people would consider that to be a great deal."

    That's NOT the right way to look at it. A Bilt Rewards point should be worth at least as much as...

    "...the catch is that Bilt charges a 3% fee for third party credit card payments, and that applies here as well. So this will be an opportunity to pick up Mileage Plan miles on your rent payment for one cent each — I think most people would consider that to be a great deal."

    That's NOT the right way to look at it. A Bilt Rewards point should be worth at least as much as an Alaska mile since it can be transferred 1:1, so using Alaska Visa to pay rent generates 2 (not 3) additional miles. The decision is whether those 2 miles are worth buying for $0.03 (and losing the option to transfer to other mileage currencies).

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Tony -- I think we're saying the same thing. In the paragraph below what you quote, I wrote the following:
      "That’s not necessarily how you should approach the math, though — you can either earn 1x Bilt Rewards points for paying rent at no cost with the Bilt Mastercard®, or 3x Mileage Plan miles for paying rent at a 3% fee with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card. Based on my valuation of...

      @ Tony -- I think we're saying the same thing. In the paragraph below what you quote, I wrote the following:
      "That’s not necessarily how you should approach the math, though — you can either earn 1x Bilt Rewards points for paying rent at no cost with the Bilt Mastercard®, or 3x Mileage Plan miles for paying rent at a 3% fee with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card. Based on my valuation of different points, I’d rather earn 1x Bilt Rewards points at no cost than 3x Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a 3% fee."

    2. Giri Guest

      That's incorrect, because you're assuming said person already has a Bilt card.

      If you already have a Bilt card, yes, it's an incremental 2x for 3% fee, but if you do not, it's still getting a mile per cent.

  10. eds183 Guest

    Quibbling correction. The way I read it is that you get a total of 3 AS miles each $ for paying rent with the AS card.
    Since you get 1x Bilt points/AS miles for free paying rent with the Bilt card you are actually only getting 2 extra AS miles by paying the 3% with a AS card via the app. Therefore you are paying 1.5 cents per mile for the AS miles instead...

    Quibbling correction. The way I read it is that you get a total of 3 AS miles each $ for paying rent with the AS card.
    Since you get 1x Bilt points/AS miles for free paying rent with the Bilt card you are actually only getting 2 extra AS miles by paying the 3% with a AS card via the app. Therefore you are paying 1.5 cents per mile for the AS miles instead of 1 cent.

    If you get a total of 4 AS miles a dollar somehow by paying through the App, then of course the 1 cent/mile is correct.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ eds183 -- The one cent per mile math is for those who don't want to get the Bilt Card, and I think I explain that in a bit more detail in the next paragraph. But I totally agree with your math, of course.

  11. Redacted Guest

    Good to have Alaska as a partner but I still don’t see BILT as advantageous enough to warrant my non-rent spend.

    Unless anything dramatic changes with this card, it’s just going to be a monthly rent plus four $5 gift cards, rinse and repeat, situation for me and many others.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Redacted -- That's not too far off from my strategy. However, if the 75-150% transfer bonuses continue in the long run, then I do think that helps with the math on everyday spending.

    2. Greg Guest

      Kind of a high bar given many active points earners have at least one intro bonus offer going on about half the time, earning 10x miles per dollar or more.

    3. Redacted Guest

      Agreed, Ben. And to be fair to BILT, it *is* a no-annual fee card. That fact alone can make it very appealing for folks who either don’t like paying annual fees out of principle, or simply those who don’t spend enough on CC (or utilize perks) to clearly justify the fee.

      Honestly if I was forced to only use non-fee cards…. this, Venture One, and Amex ED would be strong contenders for the primary card position.

    4. pstm91 Diamond

      Same here, but instead of gift cards it's a quick walk to CVS and 4 individual purchases of the cheapest thing I can find; usually snickers or bottles of water...

  12. Jacob Guest

    Being punished for having a mortgage and building equity instead of paying rent. Yay me.

    1. Zach Guest

      I’ll trade you the points for your tax break on mortgage interest…

    2. Peter Guest

      For folks who own their home, are there 3X bonus points cards for home equity loan payments? Karma Wallet tells me opening this type of credit card could improve one's credit rating which took a ding due to a lack of outstanding loans.

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Greg Guest

i dont get all the hate for BILT, just cause it breaks the Status quo with churn/burn. The reward days 100%+ transfer bonus has been a great value add for me. Was worth a 5/24 slot for me, and to get 2x points on the first for my normal transactions is a huge plus also :)

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Alex Guest

Is that commission more or less than the other cards?

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Chris Guest

How do they know the transfer is rent and not say, a points laundering scheme with a relative?

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