Bilt Mastercard Review 2023: A must-have travel rewards card for renters

Written by Stella Shon / January 19, 2023
Reviewed by Robin Saks Frankel

Inside this article

  1. About the Bilt Mastercard
  2. Bilt Mastercard basics
  3. Bilt Mastercard other details
  4. Should you get the Bilt Mastercard?
  5. Bilt Mastercard summary
  6. Frequently asked questions

About the Bilt Mastercard

Paying rent with a credit card has long been frowned upon, whether your landlord charges a pesky surcharge or only accepts handwritten checks. Enter the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®, which completely shakes up the landscape for renters across the United States.

This unique no-annual-fee card lets you pay rent at virtually any apartment without incurring additional fees. Plus, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on your rent purchases up to a maximum of 50,000 points earned on rent in a year. 

If you own a home, the Bilt Mastercard currently does not offer points on mortgage payments. However, the card offers solid everyday rewards rates beyond rent: 3 points per dollar on restaurants, 2 points per dollar on travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

You can redeem your Bilt points for a broad range of rewards, including flights, hotel nights and fitness classes. If your goal is to eventually buy a home, you can even save up your points toward a future down payment. 

For a card with no annual fee, you’ll be surprised to find the Bilt Mastercard offering other valuable perks, from cell phone protection, to trip cancellation and interruption insurance to no foreign transaction fee. Just be extra diligent to pay your monthly statement on time and in full to avoid paying an ongoing APR of 20.49% - 28.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers.

Bilt Mastercard basics

  • Annual fee: None.

  • Welcome bonus: None.

  • Rewards: Earn 3 points per dollar on dining; 2 points per dollar on travel booked directly with airlines, hotels and car rental agencies; 1 point per dollar on rent (up to 50,000 points per year) and on all other eligible purchases.

  • Regular APR: 20.49%, 23.49%, or 28.49%, depending on your creditworthiness.

  • Other perks and benefits: Broad range of reward redemption options, travel and purchase protections and insurances. 

  • Does the issuer offer a preapproval tool? No.

  • Recommended credit score: Good to excellent.

Bilt Mastercard other details

Bilt Mastercard rewards

The Bilt Mastercard offers 3 points per dollar on dining, 2 points per dollar on travel and 1 point per dollar on rent (up to 50,000 points per year) and on other eligible purchases. It would take roughly $4,166 per month to hit the calendar year maximum of 50,000 points earned on rent.

However, in order to receive full points on rent—and to earn points on other spending—you must make at least five transactions each statement period. That shouldn’t be a problem as anything will count toward this threshold, whether it’s a $2 pack of gum or a $5 coffee. If you fail to swipe your card five times in a month however, you’ll only earn 250 points on rent. 

There are a few ways to pay rent fee-free with the Bilt Mastercard. The company maintains agreements with more than 2 million rental homes across the country as part of the “Bilt Rewards Alliance.” If you happen to live in one of these properties, you can seamlessly pay your rent on the Bilt Rewards app. 

For any other rental homes outside of this alliance, Bilt generates a unique account and checking number for you on the app. Simply use these account numbers (in place of your personal checking account) to pay in your landlord’s online portal and your monthly rent will get charged to your Bilt Mastercard—again without paying any transaction fees.

If you do not have an online portal, Bilt can send a physical check to your landlord.

You have the option of turning on a feature called BiltProtect, which lets your rent payment be debited from a checking account rather than added to your credit card balance. You’ll still earn points on your rent—and this feature can be a good way to keep your card’s utilization ratio low.

As an added bonus, cardholders can earn double points on non-rent purchases on the 1st of every month, known as “Rent Day.” During Rent Day, the Bilt Mastercard earns 6 points per dollar on dining, 4 points per dollar on travel and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases. While you’ll still earn 1 point per dollar on rent, the ability to supercharge your rewards on other purchases is another unique offering of the Bilt Card.

Despite being a newer loyalty program, Bilt Rewards offers some of the most prolific redemption options available—particularly for travel. With 12 airline and two hotel loyalty partnerships, you can transfer your Bilt points to any of these programs at a simple 1:1 ratio. Some of Bilt’s most valuable partners include American Airlines AAdvantage, United Airlines MileagePlus and World of Hyatt, where you can find outstanding value for flights and hotel stays. Pro tip: You can get 100 points for every loyalty program you link to your Bilt account.

For even more travel options, you can book a flight, hotel, rental car or excursion at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through Bilt’s travel portal powered by Expedia. 

Additional redemption options include popular fitness classes like Rumble Boxing, SoulCycle and SolidCore, and the ability to save your points towards next month’s rent payment or a future down payment on a mortgage. You can also shop with your points on Amazon or through Bilt’s curated catalog of art, decor and apparel. But note that the best value will typically come from using your points for travel—points are only worth 0.7 cents each toward Amazon purchases and just 0.55 cents each when redeeming them toward a rent payment, for example.

While the Bilt Mastercard doesn’t come with an introductory offer, the lack of a sign-up bonus shouldn’t stop you from considering the card—especially if your goal is to earn valuable rewards on your monthly rent. Once you’re a cardmember, you can refer friends to the Bilt Mastercard and earn 2,500 points per referral, and receive 10,000 bonus points for every five referrals. 

Plus, some cardholders have received promotions during their first few days with the Bilt Card, such as an elevated earning rate of 5 points per dollar on non-rent spending for five days.

Bilt Mastercard rewards potential

Using government data and other publicly available information, we estimate that a household in the U.S. that would be in the market for this card has an annual income of $84,352 and $46,495 in rent and expenses they are likely to be able to charge to a credit card. 

Assuming that the cardholder spends $1,784 on monthly rent, they’ll earn 21,408 Bilt points every year. We also estimate that a cardholder spends $3,526 annually on restaurants, earning 10,578 points, and $2,941 on various travel expenses, earning 5,882 points. The remaining $18,620 of expenses would earn 18,620 points, for a grand total of 56,488 points in one year.

These estimates exclude the opportunity to earn double points on Rent Day, but this example should give you a clearer picture of the Bilt points you could accrue in one year.

Bilt Mastercard APR details

The Bilt Mastercard does not offer a 0% introductory APR period. The ongoing APR for purchases and balance transfers will depend on your creditworthiness, but will range from 20.49% to 28.49% variable. 

Bilt Mastercard pros

  • Earn points on rent: You could earn up to 50,000 points per year on rent payments alone. 

  • Bilt points transfer 1:1 to 14 airline and hotel loyalty programs: From American Airlines to Emirates, the award travel possibilities are endless. 

  • Cell phone protection: When you pay your monthly cell phone bill with this card, this coverage can reimburse you up to $800 if your phone is damaged or stolen (subject to a $25 deductible).

  • Travel and everyday benefits: Cardholders get trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay reimbursement, primary rental car insurance (except for residents of the state of New York, for whom this is secondary coverage), access to the World Elite Mastercard Concierge, purchase security and World Elite Mastercard benefits such as Lyft credits and three free months of DashPass.

  • No foreign transaction fees: Travel abroad without worrying about an extra charge being tacked on every time you use your card.

Bilt Mastercard cons

  • Need to make at least five transactions (of any amount) in your billing period: If you fail to meet this threshold, the maximum you can earn on rent each month is just 250 points, and you won’t earn points for any non-rent purchases.

  • No welcome offer: Unlike other cash-back and travel credit cards, there’s no introductory bonus for new applicants.

  • Can’t earn points on mortgages: The Bilt Mastercard currently does not offer a way to pay your mortgage and earn rewards. 

Alternate type of Bilt Mastercard credit cards 

Bilt Mastercard vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

For a modest $95 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers numerous bonus categories. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3 points per dollar on dining, online grocery purchases and select streaming services, 2 points per dollar on other travel and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not waive transaction fees for paying your monthly rent. 

You can use your points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. Alternatively, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points 1:1 to 14 various airline and hotel partners, with some overlap with Bilt in loyalty programs.  

Finally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a new cardmember offer of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. 

Bilt Mastercard vs. Citi Double Cash Card 

The Citi Double Cash Card is a great cash-back option with no annual fee. This card is particularly attractive if you’re looking for the utmost simplicity and don’t want to keep up with bonus categories. You’ll earn 2% unlimited cash back in total: 1% when you make a purchase with your card and 1% when you pay your statement.

Furthermore, the Citi Double Cash Card offers a lengthy 0% introductory APR for 18 months, but on balance transfers only. After, a variable APR of 18.24% - 28.24% will apply.

There’s an intro balance transfer fee of 3% ($5 minimum), later 5% with a $5 minimum. 

While the Citi Double Cash Card does not have access to the full lineup of Citi ThankYou transfer partners that you’d get with the Citi Prestige Card, you can redeem rewards earned with your Double Cash Card at any time for a statement credit or direct deposit.

Bilt Mastercard vs. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

If you’re not a renter, but you want to earn generous rewards on several everyday categories, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is another solid no-annual-fee card to consider—although a Prime membership, which starts at $139 a year, is required to apply. If you’re a Prime member, you can earn 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% on all other purchases.

New applicants can also get a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. Rewards can be redeemed for cash back, future Amazon purchases, gift cards and more.

Should you get the Bilt Mastercard?

If you’re looking to start earning points on rent, the Bilt Mastercard is a must-have card in your wallet. Even if you’re not a renter, the Bilt Mastercard can be a great option for those who want to avoid paying an annual fee and earn bonus points on travel and dining expenses. 

Bilt Mastercard summary

Annual feeNone.
Rewards1 point per dollar on rent payments with no fees (up to 50,000 points each calendar year), 3 points per dollar on dining, 2 points per dollar on travel (when booked through the Bilt Travel Portal or directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company) and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
APR20.49%, 23.49%, or 28.49% variable, depending on your creditworthiness.
Balance transfer fee Introductory fee of either $5 or 3% of the balance transfer, whichever is greater, for the first 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5% balance transfer fee, with a minimum of $5.
Foreign transaction feeNone.
Major perks and benefits Transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to 14 airlines and hotels; trip cancellation and interruption insurance; trip delay reimbursement; primary auto rental collision damage waiver (except for residents of the state of New York); cell phone protection; theft and damage purchase protection; World Elite Mastercard benefits, including Lyft credits and three free months of DashPass, as well as access to the World Elite Mastercard Concierge.

Frequently asked questions

Does the Bilt Mastercard have an annual fee?

No, the Bilt Mastercard does not come with an annual fee.

Is the Bilt Mastercard a World Elite Mastercard?
Which bank issues the Bilt Mastercard?
Can the Bilt Mastercard be used anywhere?
What credit score do I need for the Bilt Mastercard?

About the Authors

Stella Shon

Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a freelance writer that connects the dots between personal finance and travel. Her work has appeared in The Points Guy, ValuePenguin and MoneyUnder30, and she's been interviewed by The New York Times, CNBC and more.

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Robin Saks Frankel

Robin Saks Frankel

Robin Saks Frankel is a credit cards and personal finance writer and editor for Sound Dollar. Previously, she covered credit cards and related content at other national web publications including Forbes Advisor, NerdWallet, Bankrate and HerMoney. She's been featured as a personal finance expert in outlets including CNBC, Business Insider, CBS Marketplace, and has appeared on or contributed to The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio, ABC Radio, NPR, International Business Times and NBC, ABC and CBS TV affiliates nationwide.

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