What if you could earn cash back and additional perks by paying your biggest monthly bill with a credit card? Sounds nice, but until recently, it’s been a pipe dream, basically impossible to pull off. But thanks to the Bilt Mastercard, that’s not the case anymore.
Reward optimizers, rejoice! The Bilt Rewards Mastercard is the first credit card of its kind, allowing you to pay rent with plastic and actually earn rewards for doing so.
What is Bilt?
Bilt is a fintech platform and credit card rewards company that lets you earn points and cash back by simply paying your rent! This is a massive innovation because currently ~80% of renters pay their landlord via check, money order or cash.
The Bilt Mastercard is backed by Wells Fargo, and you use it to pay rent without transaction fees via the Bilt Rewards site or app. The credit card also works for regular purchases too with various reward options. We’ll get into more details on that below.
How do I use Bilt to pay my rent?
Anyone can join the Bilt Rewards program.
If your house or apartment is part of the Bilt Alliance, you simply pay your rent with the Bilt Rewards app. There is no fee, and you earn points every month for doing so.
If your landlord isn’t part of the Bilt Alliance, no worries! You still create a profile with Bilt Rewards and select the option to “send a check” to your landlord. There are no fees, you earn rewards, and your landlord gets a check like usual. Win/win!
*Caution: It can take 5-8 days for a check to be mailed. So definitely plan to pay in advance to make sure your landlord receives the rent check in time before late fees hit!
The Bilt Mastercard has no fees!
Paying your rent with a credit card isn’t a brand-new concept. As many tenants know, some landlords collect rent on a platform that allows you to pay with a card. But the problem is that there’s almost always a fee for doing so! You’ll often be charged a 3% fee for the pleasure of paying your rent with a credit card.
That defeats the purpose! Paying 3% to snag a 2% reward is a losing proposition for you.
But Bilt doesn’t charge any fees for paying rent with your card (via the Bilt app). If you live in a Bilt-affiliated property (which covers more than 2 million folks), you can pay within the Bilt Rewards app and easily earn points without incurring any sort of fee for doing so.
There is also no annual fee for the Bilt Mastercard.
Does Bilt work if my landlord doesn’t take credit cards?
IMO, this is one of the coolest features of the Bilt Mastercard. Your landlord can be an old-school human being who prefers to receive a check every month over modern digital payment methods and you can still pay your rent with this card.
How? You pay rent via your card via the Bilt portal and they will promptly mail your landlord a check. It’s a win for everyone. Pretty cool, right!?
Are Bilt Rewards worth it?
The quick answer is yes. That’s mainly because there is no other credit card in existence that offers you a fee-free way to earn cash back when paying your rent.
The Bilt Mastercard charges no annual fee. Considering the perks you receive, that’s a substantial additional benefit.
You will, of course, earn 1x on rent payments. That’s the main selling point. You’ll also earn 2x on travel spending, and 3x when you use the card dining out. Those last two are nice to have even though there are better travel reward cards out there.
Using your Bilt Rewards points for rent
I also love how Bilt allows you to use the points you earn. You can allocate those points directly towards next month’s rent or you can use them to save up for a future down payment.
You might currently be a renter but there’s a decent chance that you are working towards buying a home in the future. The cool thing is that by paying your rent with this card it’s helping you achieve that goal more quickly.
Bilt users can also earn interest on their points if they use their card enough, which is a unique feature that we’ve not seen any other credit cards offer.
The Bilt Mastercard has great secondary perks
This card offers more than just cashback for paying rent with your credit card. That’s the headline benefit and it is, of course, epic. But there are other benefits that are well worth mentioning.
The Bilt Mastercard offers:
- 1 x points on rent payments
- 2 x points on travel purchases
- 3 x points on dining out
- Double points on the 1st of each month (everything except rent)
The secondary travel benefits that Bilt offers are pretty sweet. Bilt users get trip cancellation & interruption protection, trip delay reimbursement, and primary auto damage coverage. Most credit cards only offer secondary coverage so opting to book your next rental car with the Bilt card for this perk alone makes a ton of sense.
There are also no foreign currency transaction fees when you use this card overseas.
One of our other favorite secondary perks that Bilt offers is cell phone protection. If you pay your cell phone bill each month with the Bilt card, you get $800 worth of cell phone damage or theft. And the deductible is only $25! If you tend to be clumsy with your smartphone, this perk could end up saving you a boatload.
A few other basic benefits worth mentioning are Lyft and DoorDash credits. Here’s a link to Bilt’s full rewards and benefits offerings.
What credit score is needed to get approved for the Bilt Mastercard?
You will typically need a good or great credit score in order to be approved for this card.
What does that mean? A good credit score typically means anything north of 670. A great credit score is often considered anything above 760.
If you aren’t sure what your credit score currently is it’s a great idea to check your personal credit standing on a site like Credit Karma before you apply.
Can I pay my mortgage with the Bilt card?
Sadly, no. The Bilt card does not allow users to pay their mortgage. That would be cool though!
Final thoughts on the Bilt Mastercard
We at How To Money think that this card can be a game-changer for renters everywhere. Being able to pay rent and simultaneously earn rewards without paying a fee is clutch! The secondary benefits are like icing on the already delicious cake.
Please use the Bilt credit card or any card in your possession wisely. Only use credit cards if you can pay the balance off on-time and in full each and every month.
But if you are a renter who handles credit responsibly, the rewards you can glean by paying your rent regularly with the Bilt card can be substantial. And heck, they might even add a meaningful boost to your goal of owning your own home someday!