Is the Bilt Mastercard Worth Getting?

The Bilt Mastercard is unique in that it allows you to earn rewards from paying rent.
Peter Rothbart
By Peter Rothbart 
Published
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Until recently, earning credit card rewards for rent was generally a losing proposition. Payment processors such as Plastiq and Venmo have long allowed credit card holders to charge rental payments, but only while tacking on fees of around 3% for the privilege. Those transaction fees largely offset the value of any rewards earned, curbing the benefit of paying rent by card in the first place.

That changed in June 2021 when the Bilt Rewards Alliance launched the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, an innovative product that rewards cardholders without charging fees for rental transactions.

The card, which has no annual fee, isn’t a one-trick pony, as it also features competitive earning rates, useful benefits and a high-end roster of airline and hotel transfer partners.

However, with such a unique focus on renters, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card isn’t for everyone. Learn more about what the card does (and doesn’t) offer and see whether it’s a good fit for you.

Paying rent with the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card stands out for offering the ability to pay rent and earn rewards on a credit card with no additional fees.

Cardholders earn 1 point per dollar on rental payments made through the Bilt app, with a minimum of 250 points earned for each payment (even if it’s under $250). For example, if you pay $2,000 each month in rent, you could earn 24,000 points annually by making those payments with the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card.

Several key restrictions apply: You’re limited to one rental payment to a single property each month, and rewards for rental payments are capped at 100,000 points per calendar year.

Additionally, you must use your Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card to make five transactions to earn rewards in a given statement period. If you don’t hit that threshold, you’ll earn a flat 250 points on rental payments and won’t earn rewards on other purchases.

Despite those restrictions, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card provides unique opportunities to renters. Using the card for rental payments allows you to earn rewards for an expense that would otherwise yield no return.

Unlike paying by check or direct deposit, paying by card also gets you the benefit of a grace period for repayment (which could be useful if your monthly finances are tight) and the convenience of scheduling payments through the Bilt app.

Finally, using the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card can help you build credit through payments that might otherwise not be reported to credit bureaus.

Earning and redeeming points with the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

Earn bonus points on dining, travel and Lyft rides

On top of points from rental payments, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card earns 3 points per dollar on dining purchases and 2 points per dollar on travel purchases (including airlines, hotels, motels, resorts, cruise lines and car rental agencies).

Cardholders can also earn up to 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides after linking their Lyft and Bilt accounts. That reward structure is competitive with other credit cards that have no annual fee.

Other purchases generally earn at the base rate of 1 point per dollar.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Bilt’s “Rent Day” promotion doubles rewards for all purchases (excluding rental payments) charged on the first day of each month. That puts earning rates in the range of 2 to 6 points per dollar, with a maximum of 10,000 Rent Day bonus points awarded monthly. Rent Day also typically includes several in-app games cardholders can play to earn up to a few hundred bonus points each month.

Redeem Bilt points for travel

Bilt Rewards points can be redeemed through the Bilt Travel Portal for flights, hotels, rental cars and activities at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point.

Bilt points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners like Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Hyatt and Marriott, and Bilt offers occasional bonuses that make transfers to select programs temporarily more rewarding. Other redemption options (like credits toward rental payments or merchandise) provide significantly less value.

Other Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card benefits

Travel insurance and cellphone protection benefits

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card comes with assorted travel benefits like trip cancellation and interruption protection, trip delay reimbursement and a car rental collision damage waiver. It also offers 90 days of theft and damage protection for purchases and up to $800 of cellphone protection when you use the card to pay your monthly cellphone bill.

No foreign transaction fees

Cardholders also get other World Elite Mastercard benefits and pay no foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside the U.S.

Referral bonuses

Bilt doesn’t offer a typical welcome bonus for the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, though Bilt members can earn 2,500 points for referring new cardholders, with an additional 10,000 points awarded for every fifth successful referral.

Earn interest on your points

Finally, Bilt Rewards elite members can earn interest on their points balance (based on the published national savings rate from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.). Once you earn 25,000 points or more in a calendar year, you'll begin accruing interest. The interest comes in the form of bonus points based on your average daily points balance for each 30-day period.

Who should (and shouldn’t) get the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

For renters who are otherwise unable to earn rewards from rental payments, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card is an easy win. As a conservative example, consider a cardholder who puts $1,000 of rent and $50 of dining purchases (in five or more transactions) on the card each month.

Those charges would earn 13,800 points annually, which are worth $172.50 of travel booked through the Bilt Travel Portal or significantly more when transferred to airline and hotel partners. Without Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, the bulk of that value would be left on the table.

The card is also a good fit for those who spend a lot on dining. While the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card isn’t the best credit card for restaurant spending, the 3x rewards rate is good enough to put it in the conversation, especially since many cards that offer a superior return for dining also charge an annual fee.

Contrarily, if you’re not a renter and you don’t spend much on dining, then the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card is a poor fit. You can get a better return on spending and roughly comparable benefits from cards like the Chase Freedom Flex® or the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, both of which charge no annual fee and offer a welcome bonus.

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card is also less than ideal if you’re an infrequent traveler or have a strong preference for cash back rewards. Bilt Rewards points have a solid floor of value and immense upside when redeemed for travel, but they offer pedestrian value as statement credits or other cash equivalents.

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

on Bilt's website

Rates & Fees
Chase Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom Flex®
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Annual fee

None.

$0.

$0.

Welcome offer

None.

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Earn rates

• 3 points per $1 on dining.

• 2 points per $1 on travel.

• 1 point per $1 on rent payments up to 100,000 points per calendar year.

Note: You must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points. If you do not make at least 5 transactions in a statement period you’ll earn a flat 250 points when you use your Bilt Mastercard to pay rent through the Bilt App or Website.

• 5% cash back on rotating categories and travel purchased through Chase.

• 8% back on Capital One Entertainment purchases.

• 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

• 3% back on dining, eligible streaming services, grocery stores and entertainment.

• 1% cash back on all other purchases.

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The bottom line

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card offers compelling benefits for a card with no annual fee, though it’s ultimately a niche product. If you pay monthly rent and travel at least occasionally, then the card is likely to be a valuable addition to your wallet.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

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Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

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Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Miles

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Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

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