Bilt Mastercard vs. Wells Fargo Autograph: Bilt Wins For Renters

Bilt is a no-brainer for renters, while the Autograph shines in everyday spending. Here’s how to choose the best fit for your lifestyle.
Jaime Hanson
By Jaime Hanson 
Updated
Edited by Erin Hurd

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The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card is best known for its unique standout feature: the ability to earn rewards with no transaction fee when paying rent. Indeed, the Bilt credit card is a game-changer for renters. Beyond rent, though, how does Bilt compare with a more traditional general-purpose credit card like the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card?

Both cards carry no annual fee. They both earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining, offer cell phone protection and certain travel protections, plus charge no foreign transaction fees. But in most other respects, the benefits of these two cards couldn't be more different.

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card offers a compelling sign-up bonus and introductory APR, while the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card offers neither. But the Bilt credit card, along with its most obvious benefit for renters, earns points that can be transferred to various hotel and airline travel partners, giving the potential for outsize value. Currently, the Autograph offers no such transfers.

Let's dig into the specifics of each card so you can make the right pick for your lifestyle.

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How the cards compare
Bilt World Elite Mastercard Credit Card
Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card
Apply now

on Bilt's website

Rates & Fees
Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Credit Card
Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee

None.

$0.

Sign-up bonus

None.

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.

Rewards
  • 5 points per $1 spent on Lyft (when you link your accounts).

  • 3 points per $1 spent on dining.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on travel.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on rent (up to 100,000 points annually).

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on restaurants.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on travel, transit, gas stations and EV charging stations.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on popular streaming services and select phone plans.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

APR

See Terms.

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months from account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR .

Foreign transaction fee

None.

None.

Still not sure?

Why the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card is better for renters and travelers

Pay rent with a credit card

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card's standout feature is its ability to earn rewards on rent payments without any transaction fees. That’s a unicorn in the credit card world, as most cards can’t be used directly toward rent payments without such fees. Previously, renters looking to pile up credit card rewards relied on intermediary services like Plastiq, whose high fees cut into any rewards earned.

Though the benefit caps out at 100,000 points per year, this still makes the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card the obvious choice for renters looking to get more out of their biggest monthly expense. Even if you don't live in a property that's part of the Bilt network, you can still charge rent on the card (with no transaction fees) and they'll mail a check to your landlord.

Transfer to travel partners

Both cards earn points, but only points earned from the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card have the potential for higher value toward travel. Points earned from the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card are worth 1 cent each and can be redeemed for travel, gift cards or statement credits — or when checking out online with PayPal.

Bilt Points are also versatile and can be used toward rent, fitness classes, home decor and even a home downpayment, for varying value. But as a card with no annual fee, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card stands out for its ability to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to a wide range of travel partners. Travelers often find greater value than 1 cent each for their points when they transfer this way.

This is a rare perk among no-annual-fee cards, most of which require pairing with a higher-fee card to transfer points. For example, Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can transfer points to travel partners only if they also carry a higher fee card like the $95-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Plus, Bilt's list of travel partners is excellent, including American Airlines, United, Hyatt and IHG. In fact, despite American Airlines issuing co-branded credit cards with both Citibank and Barclays, neither issuer allows transfers of its points to the airline. Here's a look at the full list of available transfers:

  • Aer Lingus (1:1 ratio).

  • Air Canada (1:1 ratio).

  • Air France (1:1 ratio).

  • American Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • British Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Cathay Pacific (1:1 ratio).

  • Emirates (1:1 ratio).

  • Hawaiian Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • Hyatt (1:1 ratio).

  • Iberia Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • IHG (1:1 ratio).

  • Marriott (1:1 ratio).

  • Turkish Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • United (1:1 ratio).

  • Virgin Atlantic (1:1 ratio).

Bonus points in several categories, with an extra boost on "Rent Day"

Beyond rent payments, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card earns solid rewards on a variety of everyday expenses. That includes 5x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel and 1x on other purchases.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

But Bilt’s biggest benefit to cardholders comes on the first day of each month, when point values double for all nonrent categories, up to a cap of 10,000 bonus points per month. On that day, Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card holders earn 6x points on dining, 4x on travel purchases and 2x on other purchases.

Why you may prefer the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Snag a sign-up bonus

Like many more traditional rewards credit cards, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card greets new users with an attractive new cardholder bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, on the other hand, offers no bonus for new cardholders, meaning it will take longer to rack up the same level of rewards.

Pay over time with 0% introductory APR

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is also the better pick for cardholders who need to finance purchases over time. Currently, new cardholders will get 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months from account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR .

Since the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card doesn’t offer an introductory interest rate, it’s a less attractive choice for cardholders who need some breathing room on interest.

Earn higher rewards on travel, gas stations and streaming services

Both cards earn 3x points at restaurants, but the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card wins by a nose on travel purchases, earning 3x points per $1 spent compared with 2x with Bilt.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

The Autograph also earns 3x points on certain popular streaming services and phone plans. Bilt’s baseline earnings rate for these categories is just 1 point per $1 spent — but you can bump that up to 2x points per dollar by setting these recurring bills to be charged on the first of every month.

When it comes to fueling your vehicle, though, the Autograph really races ahead on rewards, earning 3x points at gas stations and EV charging stations. For comparison, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card earns a modest 1 point per dollar spent in these categories.

Potential tie-breakers

Still can’t decide which card is right for you? Here are a few minor points of distinction to consider.

Simplicity of earning rewards

A major downside of the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card is its transaction requirement. According to the card’s terms, you must complete five transactions per billing period to earn any rewards. That means if you only make four transactions on the card one month, you won't earn rewards on any of those purchases. There’s no minimum spend per transaction, but this does present an extra hoop to make sure you maximize your rewards.

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card won’t earn you rewards on rent, but it also doesn’t include any such complicated requirements.

Metal vs. plastic

If you have strong preferences about the feel of the card, it’s worth noting that the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card comes in a sleek metal design, adding some sophistication to your wallet. The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is plastic, making it a lighter weight to carry.

Which card should you get?

The distinction here is pretty clear. If you’re a renter, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card is the obvious choice. No other card offers comparable rewards on rent payments, and the card’s additional rewards plus travel partners make it a good value on everyday spending as well.

Not a renter? The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card will provide more overall value on everyday spending.

Then again, given that both cards carry no annual fee, renters with good credit may choose to pick up one of each. Use the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card for rent, Lyft rides and to pick up extra rewards on the first day of each month. For the rest of the month, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card will earn you higher rewards in most categories, along with a strong intro APR and sign-up bonus.

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on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

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Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Rewards rate

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Cashback

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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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2x-5x

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Miles

Intro offer

75,000

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Miles
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