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Credit Card Review: Bilt Rewards Mastercard Lets You Earn Points Paying Rent

At one time or another, many of those who rent their home have wondered if it was possible to pay their rent with a credit card. They may have considered doing so to earn rewards, enjoy the convenience and potentially to avoid paying late when they’ve been short of money.

Until now, the only ways to pay rent with a credit card was to use a service that imposes a fee of about 3%. However, the Bilt Mastercard is the only credit card that allows renters to earn rewards on their rental payments, with no fees.

Key Terms

Welcome Bonus: None
Rewards: 1x rewards on rent payments, 2x on travel and 3x on dining.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Not disclosed at this time.

How This Card Works

This is the only credit card that allows you to pay your rent with no additional fees. Bilt has arrangements with many of the largest property management groups, which own millions of units in the US. But even outside of that group, Bilt and Mastercard have agreed to remit payments to any landlord, without imposing a fee on either party.

You earn one point per dollar spent on rent payments, 2x on travel booked directly with the travel provider and 3x on dining. Reward points can then be transferred to travel partners including American Airlines, Air Canada, Emirates , Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Turkish, Virgin Atlantic , Hawaiian, IHG Hotels and World of Hyatt.

Bilt has just introduced an elite status program that offers benefits such as assistance with home purchases, bonus points for new leases and referrals and interest on accrued points.

Other benefits include cell phone protection, purchase Protection, rental car Insurance, trip cancellation protection and trip delay protection. There’s no annual fee for this card.

Advantages

For many renters, their rent payment is their largest monthly cost. So the ability to earn rewards on this expense can be incredibly valuable. Also, the Bilt Mastercard’s reward program features one of the most valuable selection of airline and hotel transfer partners offered by any credit card.

The elite status program can also provide some potentially valuable benefits, and the ability to earn interest on your accumulated points is unique. The Bilt Mastercard also offers a strong list of cardholder benefits and has no annual fee.

Disadvantages

The Bilt Mastercard doesn’t come with any new account bonus, contrary to most travel rewards cards. Also, cardholders need to make five or more transaction per statement period in order to earn points on all of their spending, so you won’t earn rewards if use this card just to pay for your rent.

Alternatives

The Bilt Mastercard has no direct competitors that allow you to pay rent with no fees, but here are three other cards that offer rewards that can be transferred to airline and hotel partners.

Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card is currently offering new applicants 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening. It offers 5x points on travel purchased through Chase, and 3x on all other travel and dining. You rewards can be transferred to airline miles or hotel points. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Venture. Capital One’s premium travel rewards card offers new applicants 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. It also offers unlimited double miles on all purchases. Miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel purchases, or can be transferred to airline and hotel partners, typically at a 2:1.5 ratio. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

Citi Premier. This card offers new applicants 80,000 bonus points after using their card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. You also earn three points per dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel and hotels, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Points are earned in Citi’s ThankYou Rewards program which allows you to transfer your points to miles with over a dozen frequent flyer programs including American Airlines, JetBlue, Emirates, Singapore and Turkish. This card also offers an annual $100 savings off of a single hotel stay of $500 or more. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.

Bottom Line

In an industry where lots of credit cards share many of the same features, the Bilt Mastercard is a rare product that has a compelling feature that no other card is currently able to offer. When you add up the value of the rewards that you can earn by charging your rent to this card, you can decide if it’s the right card for you.

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