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|Issuer Customer Experience||2.0|
In a Nutshell:
The Bilt Mastercard is perfect for renters and people saving up for their next home. Not only do you earn points on monthly rent, but you also get rewarded for travel and dining.
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Bilt Mastercard: A Full Review
Housing tends to be the biggest expense in most budgets. As rents rise and homeownership becomes even more elusive for millennials and Gen-Zers, there’s been a demand for landlords to accept credit card payments. This has largely been rejected or the process made complicated with third-party sites — but no longer.
Made as an addition to the Bilt Rewards Alliance, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard gives you the ability to pay rent directly with your credit card, whether you live in a Bilt property or not. Cardholders earn 1X points per dollar on rent payments (up to 50,000 points per year). Still, if your rent is, say, $1,300 per month, that works out to be quite a few points earned annually.
On top of this perk, you earn 2X points on travel, including Lyft and Uber, and 3X points on dining, including DoorDash. All other purchases earn 1X points (Earn points when you make 5 transactions that post each statement period). This all comes without an annual fee. That said, this card is geared toward renters, which means that homeowners might not find it valuable, plus the lack of welcome offer may disappoint some.
Why you might want the Bilt Mastercard
This card will mainly appeal to renters, and it offers some other great benefits that provide good overall value for a no-annual-fee card.
Points on rent
The option to pay rent on your credit card, and earn 1X the points on it, without paying transaction fees is the standout feature of the Bilt card (Earn points when you make 5 transactions that post each statement period). Using another rewards card to pay rent would generally incur a transaction fee for most renters, which could wipe out any rewards value earned. The Bilt card removes that issue.
The Bilt app also makes paying your rent on the card easy. You have the option to have a check mailed directly to your landlord or management company. The app also has a unique system to allow you to pay rent through online portals without a transaction fee. Venmo and PayPal are also available.
This feature does have some qualifications. You need to use your Bilt card a minimum of five times each statement period to earn the maximum amount of points on rent. If you don’t, you’ll earn only a flat rate of 250 points on rent.
One of the reasons people are discouraged from using their credit card for rent is because of the potentially high interest if it’s not paid off by the end of the billing cycle. That can be a fast track to debt if you’re not careful. It can also lower your credit availability by a substantial amount. However, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard solves these problems with its BiltProtect feature. With BiltProtect, funds from your bank account will be used to pay the rent on your credit statement within 48 hours. This way, you won’t have to worry about remembering to pay your card off while automating your rewards.
One option for this card is to save the points you earn to redeem toward a down payment for a house later. Points can quickly add up for those who regularly travel and dine out as these two rewards categories have no spending cap. It’s especially helpful to gold and platinum cardmembers as they gain access to Bilt’s homeownership concierge, someone dedicated to walking you through the home buying process. While this isn’t the most effective way to save for a house on its own, it’s a great addition on top of your monthly savings, speeding up the process.
World-Class Travel partners
With a 1:1 transfer rate to many airline and hotel travel partners, traveling with this card can be handy. This card comes with over 100 airline and hotel partners worldwide and its highest-value travel partners offer an average of around 2.2 cents per point in redemption value based on Bankrate’s latest point valuations, giving you plenty of opportunities to book a rewarding vacation. Travel partners include American Airlines, Hyatt hotels, Hawaiian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, IHG hotels, Emirates and more.
Get ready for top-notch dining experiences with one of the best Mastercard benefits, World Elite Mastercard Concierge. Whether you’re looking for hard-to-book reservations or a last-minute table for the holidays, the card’s concierge service is there to help.
You also get a three-month DashPass membership with DoorDash and $5 off your first order each month, for new and existing DoorDash customers. On top of that, whether you eat out or order in, you earn 3X points on orders (Earn points when you make 5 transactions that post each statement period). Thanks to the lack of foreign transaction fees, this card can be used at restaurants worldwide, making it an amazing addition on vacations.
Why you might want a different card
The Bilt World Elite Mastercard is a great choice for renters, but homeowners may find it a little lackluster.
No intro APRs
While this card does give an incentive to charge for large expenses, it charges interest on any leftover balance. For those hoping for a grace period, this card can feel risky, especially with its high interest rate (see terms).
Lack of welcome bonus
While there’s a lot to like about the Bilt World Elite Mastercard, there’s no bonus for signing as you would expect with most rewards cards. On one hand, that can be beneficial if you’re trying to build up your credit score since there’s no incentive to spend beyond your budget. However, for those with bigger budgets, it could be a downside.
Low rewards rates
While the card’s perks and protections are appealing, there’s no denying the low rewards rates on the card. With the highest rate being 3X points on dining, this card can come up short compared to other rewards cards (Earn points when you make 5 transactions that post each statement period).
How does the Bilt World Elite Mastercard compare to other rewards credit cards?
While the Bilt World Elite Mastercard is a convenient card to carry, some spenders might find it limiting for their lifestyle. Here are a few of our rewards credit card alternatives:
|Rewards rate ||Rewards rate ||Rewards rate |
Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months (terms apply).
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
$95 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year)
|Other things to know||Other things to know|
|Other things to know|
Bilt World Elite Mastercard vs. Citi Double Cash
For those who tend to spend outside the typical rewards categories, a flat-rate card may be the better option. With the Citi Double Cash, you earn 2 percent cash back on all general purchases (1 percent when making the purchase and then 1 percent when you pay it off) with no spending cap. In addition to this, the card offers 0 percent intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, 18.49 percent to 28.49 percent variable APR thereafter.
While you may have more earning opportunities with the Citi Double Cash, the point value isn’t as high as the Bilt Rewards. If you want higher value rewards, this may not be the best card for you.
Bilt World Elite Mastercard vs. Blue Cash Preferred Amex
The Blue Cash Preferred from American Express is a well-rounded card for a large household. If a good chunk of your budget goes towards groceries, gas and streaming subscriptions. Not to mention you have all the Amex benefits such as car rental loss and damage insurance, full access to travel discounts and their Pay It Plan It feature, which lets you pay off purchases over $100 over time.
However, there’s no ignoring the Blue Cash Preferred $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for first year). While this can be easily recouped by families or households that prefer a night in, this can be cumbersome for others. If you don’t see yourself spending enough to cover the fee, skip this card.
Bilt World Elite Mastercard vs. Chase Freedom Flex
If you’re looking for high rewards with no annual fee, look no further than the Chase Freedom Flex. With this card, you earn 5 percent cash back on quarterly rotating categories (activation required, up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent) and travel through Chase Ultimate Reward as well as 3 percent at restaurants. For those looking for a break from interest, there’s 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months (19.49 to 28.24 percent, variable APR thereafter). It also offers a $200 welcome bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months of account opening.
For some, the $1,500 cap on quarterly categories could be a downgrade. This along with the activation requirement may be one too many hassles.
How to use Bilt World Elite Mastercard
- Use to pay rent and set up BiltProtect to pay off credit card
- Use at restaurants and for DoorDash subscription
- Order Lyft rides for discount
- Check out travel partners for point-earning opportunities
- Sign up for top-tier fitness classes using points
Is the Bilt World Elite Mastercard right for you?
This card is a fantastic choice for renters. On top of your ability to pay your rent and earn rewards, it comes with perks like fitness classes, accelerated Bilt rewards status, concierge services, and standard Mastercard protections — all without an annual fee.
If rent isn’t a part of your monthly budget or you want a card that offers higher rewards, it would be better to look into other rewards cards.
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