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Thoughts on Bilt, the new credit card that rewards you for paying rent?


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Thoughts on Bilt, the new credit card that rewards you for paying rent?

View from the Wing did a post on this new program.  Lucky hasn’t done one.  Wondering what others think.  It’s a niche program, but as I understand it, it potentially packs a big value for renters in high-cost markets.

Basically you earn 1X transferable points for every regular dollar spent (everything that is not rent), plus they will mail a check to your landlord every month (no fee) and you can earn bonus points on your monthly rent check.  The rental bonus is limited to a maximum of 4,000 points per month, and the earn rate depends on your regular (non-rent) spending that month — below $250 there’s no bonus on rent, above $250 regular spend earns 0.5X bonus on rent, above $1,000 earns 1X bonus on rent, above $2,000 earns 2X bonus on rent.

I live in midtown Manhattan and pay $3,850 a month in rent for my one-bedroom.  So if I spend exactly $1,000 in non-rent spending a month, I’d get a return of 4.85X transferable points per non-rent dollar spent, 1000 points on non-rent spend plus the 1X bonus on rent for another 3,850 points, for a total of 4,850 points on $1,000 in non-rent spending.  In practice obviously I won’t be exactly at their tiers, but it looks to me like if I’m *anywhere* between $250 and $2,083 in non-rent spend in a given month, I’d earn *at least* 2.93 points per non-rent dollar.

Also these points transfer to Hyatt, AAdvantage, and a few other programs.  So you can pretty easily get — let’s call it 3X Hyatt points on otherwise nonbonsued spend without much effort. That’s a lot better than 2X points on a typical nonbonsued card.  Basically for at least $1,000 in otherwise unbonused spend, I’d earn 58,200 transferable points a year — about enough for, say, two free nights at Hyatt’s top-tier properties charging 30,000 points per night.  Let’s say realistically I overshoot a bit each month to make sure I’m about $1,000 and end up spending $1,400 a month — I’d be earning an average of 3.75 Hyatt points per non-rent dollar spent, just for letting them write my monthly rent check.  That sounds really good.

Anyone see a catch here I’m missing?  Not sure why Lucky hasn’t written about this opportunity yet?

  1. Clem

    I’m in similar shoes as you, I also live in Manhattan although my rent isn’t as high as yours, but in the same ballpark.

    I’m not sure I’m following your math: why are you attributing the bonus you earn on your rent payment, to your non rent payments? You are earning exactly 1 point per dollar based on your total payment (rent+non rent), if you spend $1000 in non rent every month.

    I’ve been using Plastiq, with the Amex Blue Business Plus. It earns 2 points on every transaction for the first $50k a year, so I essentially earn 2 points per dollar on my whole rent. Yes there is a fee, but it’s well worth it in my opinion. In your case, you’d earn 7700 Amex points a month.

    I think you could also use a Chase Unlimited card, which earns 1.5 points, if Hyatt transfers are what matter to you.

    Personally I don’t see the value for Bilt when you live in a high rent market (the higher above $2000 your rent is, the more you’re missing out on points), but I may honestly be missing something.

    I agree that the Bilt transfer partners are interesting though.

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