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There’s a new way for renters to save on one of their biggest monthly expenses.
The new Bilt World Elite Mastercard, issued by Wells Fargo, is open for applications after months of invitation-only access. Bilt is an online loyalty program that lets you earn rewards on rental payments, and its co-branded card offers more rental rewards options with no annual fee.
You’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend paying rent with the card through the Bilt app, up to 50,000 points each calendar year.
And while this card’s biggest selling point is rental rewards, it’s also a Mastercard you can use to earn 3 points at restaurants, 2 points on travel (including airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and car rentals). ) and one point per dollar spent on everything else.
Here’s what you need to know about paying your rent with Bilt and how this card can help you maximize your monthly rental payments:
Can a credit card be used to pay the rent?
Many landlords do not directly accept credit cards as a rent payment option, preferring instead cash or check.
Other properties may allow credit card payments, for example through an online payment portal, but pass the fees on to you. Third parties such as Plastiq and RentPad are also another option for facilitating credit card rental payments, but they often have monthly fees.
And some experts warn that paying rent with a credit card is risky, in large part because of high fees and possible interest costs if you don’t pay the balance.
Bilt, which first launched in 2021, is unlike many other options for paying rent by credit card because it doesn’t charge fees for its service. The only charges you will incur when paying your rental with Bilt Mastercard are standard credit card charges, including interest if you have a balance or late fees.
There are a couple of different ways to use Bilt, depending on your rental property. If your building management is a member of the Bilt Rewards Alliance, you can find your property and pay your rent directly through the Bilt Rewards app. More than 2 million apartment units are currently under management ownership in the alliance, according to Bilt.
If you don’t live in a property that’s part of the alliance, you can still pay rent through the Bilt app (with any credit card), and Bilt will send your landlord a check every month at no additional cost. However, if you live in a building that is not a Bilt Alliance member, you will not earn rewards on your rent payments unless you use the Bilt Mastercard.
As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any association or advertising relationship.
- Introductory Offer:Earn an extra 1.5% cash back
- Annual quota:
- ordinary APR:
14.99% – 23.74% Variable
- Recommended credit:
670-850 (Good to Excellent)
- Apply Nowexternal link icon On Chase’s secure site
- Introductory Offer:
- Annual quota:
- ordinary APR:
14.24% – 24.24% (varies)
- Recommended credit:
670-850 (Good to Excellent)
- More informationexternal link icon On our partner’s secure site
How to use the Bilt Mastercard for Rent Rewards
When you use the Bilt Mastercard to pay for your rent through the Bilt app, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar, up to 50,000 points per calendar year. That means if your rent is less than approximately $4,166 per month, you can earn rewards for every dollar you spend on rent.
American renters spend an average of $1,096 on rent each month, according to the latest US Census data. Using the Bilt card, that’s worth more than 13,000 annual points in rent payments alone.
To earn rewards with Bilt Mastercard, you must load at least five transactions to your card each billing cycle.
When it comes to redeeming the rewards you earn with Bilt, there are a few options, including for future rental payments. Here are all the available redemptions:
- Redeem for next month’s rent payment
- Save points toward a down payment on a home (when you finance a future mortgage through Bilt, a service the company plans to offer in the future)
- 1:1 transfer to travel partners including American Airlines AAdvantage, AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue, IHG Rewards, World of Hyatt and more
- Redeem for fitness classes (starting at 1600 points per class) with SoulCycle, Rumble Boxing and more
- Shop art, decor, and apparel from Bilt’s curated catalog
Bilt says that redemption values can vary widely, depending on how you redeem. Even the simplest option (using points for future rentals) can vary depending on your management company, which is why Bilt does not publish any standard points rating.
Like many other rewards programs, you’ll likely get the best value by transferring your points to travel loyalty programs on a 1:1 basis.
As you accumulate points, you can also move up in status within the Bilt rewards program. You’ll start out as a Blue member, but as you spend more, you’ll earn additional benefits with Silver, Gold and Platinum status, including the option to earn interest on your points (in the form of bonus points).
Risks of paying rent with a credit card
Although Bilt waives the fees you may pay with other services that facilitate credit card rental payments, there are still risks you may incur when paying rent with a credit card.
Due to sky-high interest rates charged by credit cards (the Bilt Mastercard has a variable APR from 16.49% to 24.49%), racking up debt on rental charges can quickly lead to lasting balances.
If you use the Bilt Mastercard, or any other credit card, to pay your rent, it is essential to treat the charge as if it were a cash payment and have the money in your account to pay it in full before your statement is due. . You may even want to keep a month or two of your rental cost in a designated account, to make sure you have the money to pay off your card balance.
Another thing to keep in mind is your credit limit. The card agreement specifies that the minimum credit limit that can be assigned to you is $1,000. Depending on your rental cost, your monthly rent could represent a large part of your credit line, which determines your credit utilization ratio (the second most influential factor in your credit score).
However, Bilt does offer a service called BiltProtect, which you can use specifically to pay rent without affecting your line of credit. You’ll still earn points, but the funds will be drawn directly from a bank account you link to the Bilt app. If you disable BiltProtect, your rental payment will be charged to your card as a transaction and will reduce your available credit.
Either way, always remember to maintain good credit while using this card. Keep an eye on how close your spending is to your credit limit, and always make sure you pay your balance in full each month.
The new Bilt Mastercard offers a fresh way to add to your credit card savings. Especially in major cities and other areas where rental prices are skyrocketing and make up a large part of renters’ monthly budgets, even small rewards on rent can make a big difference over time.
However, like any option for paying rent with a credit card, you can risk very high interest payments if you carry a balance on the card. And because your payments are reported to all three credit reporting agencies, missing a payment or not paying in full can hurt your credit score.
Before you apply, consider whether Bilt rewards options make sense for you and make sure you have a plan to make your payments in full and on time every month.
Editor’s Note: NextAdvisor is owned by Red Ventures, which also owns The Points Guy. Brian Kelly, the founder of The Points Guy, is a Bilt advisor and investor. Our story was published independently, with no connection to The Points Guy or Bilt.