Bilt Review 2023: Earn Rewards Paying Rent (No Surcharge!)

One of the biggest expenses in anyone’s budget is their housing.

Experts recommend keeping housing to a maximum of 30% of your income – 30% is a big chunk! And many times we pay rent with a check or draw on your checking account, a way that earns us nothing in terms of rewards (and many times, nothing in terms of building credit).

What if I told you there’s a way to earn rewards and build credit on one of the largest expenses in your budget?

There is and it’s called Bilt .

Table of Contents
  1. What is Bilt?
  2. How Bilt Builds Credit History
  3. What is Bilt “Rent Day?”
    1. August 2023 Promotional Offer – Virgin Red Transfer Bonus
  4. What If My Landlord Doesn’t Take Bilt?
  5. Other Bilt Travel Protections & Perks
    1. Bilt Dining Perks
    2. Other Bilt Perks
  6. Bilt Rewards Tiers
  7. Bilt Rewards Program
  8. Is the Bilt Card Worth it?

🔁Updated July 2023 with details of the August Rent Day promotio#ns.

What is Bilt?

Bilt is a no-annual fee World Elite Mastercard that offers a rare perk – you can earn 1X points on rent payments without a transaction fee (maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year). Normally, if you try to pay rent with a credit card, your landlord will add on a transaction fee that negates any rewards.

With Bilt, they will send your landlord a check or bank payment via ACH so your landlord doesn’t see a credit card transaction and charge you a fee.

The Bilt card has other perks too (once you make at least 5 posted transactions each statement period):

  • 3X points on dining
  • 2X points on travel
  • 1X points on everything else

(one little quirk, if your rent is under $250, you earn 250 points)

On “Rent Day,” which is the 1st of each month, you earn a higher rate (more on Rent Day below):

  • 6X points on dining
  • 4X points on travel
  • 2X points on everything else (excluding rent)

👉 Learn more about Bilt

How Bilt Builds Credit History

Not everyone who pays their rent with Bilt is able to build credit history because of how the system works. If your landlord is part of the Bilt Alliance, then your rent payment is eligible to be reported to the credit bureaus (all of them – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax).

If you aren’t, unfortunately Bilt won’t be able to help you with that aspect of the service – you are still earning rewards points though.

What is Bilt “Rent Day?”

The biggest perk of the Bilt card is their Rent Day offers.

Rent Day is the first day of every month and on this day you earn special rewards when you use their card (as we’ve mentioned before):

  • 6X points on dining
  • 4X points on travel
  • 2X points on everything else (excluding rent)

You earn double points on the special categories on up to 10,000 Bilt Points.

Other perks include:

  • SoulCycle Rides – You can book a SoulCycle class and receive a complimentary bike for a friend – rides start at 2,600 Bilt Points (or earn 10X points when you book through their app)
  • Point Quest game – Where you can earn bonus Bilt points
  • Rent Giveaway – If you solve the Rent Day Challenge puzzle, you have a chance to win a month of rent

August 2023 Promotional Offer – Virgin Red Transfer Bonus

In addition to all the regular monthly offers, Bilt will change up their monthly promotion. You have to log into your account and activate these – these promotions are not automatically turned on.

For August 2023, the promotion is a status-based (as of August 1st) transfer bonus for Virgin.

Bilt StatusTransfer Bonus
Blue75% (1,000 Bilt Points = 1,750 Virgin Points)
Silver100%  (1,000 Bilt Point = 2,000 Virgin Points)
Gold125%  (1,000 Bilt Point = 2,250 Virgin Points)
Platinum150% (1,000 Bilt Point = 2,500 Virgin Points)

These points are good for Virgin Atlantic flights and SkyTeam partners, Virgin Limited Edition resorts, Virgin Experiences, and more.

What If My Landlord Doesn’t Take Bilt?

That’s OK – you can still pay by setting up an ACH transfer or they will send a paper check to your landlord (or property manager) on your behalf. You don’t actually pay with a credit card (important, especially if your landlord charges a fee to use credit cards), but you use Bilt and they send payment for you.

Other Bilt Travel Protections & Perks

Bilt also offers travel protections that are extremely valuable (especially during the pandemic era):

  • Trip cancellation & interruption (protection) – Up to $5,000 reimbursement for a non-refundable passenger fare if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason when your passenger fare is booked with your Bilt Mastercard.
  • Trip delay reimbursement – reimbursed for expenses incurred, including meals, when your trip is delayed more than six hours due to reasons like inclement weather, mechanical breakdown of the common carrier or air traffic control delays.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver – Receive auto coverage for covered damages due to collision or theft for most rental cars.
  • No foreign currency conversion fees
  • Lyft Credits – Take 3 rides in one calendar month, get a $5 Lyft credit.

Bilt Dining Perks

Bilt offers this nice dining perk too:

  • World Elite Mastercard Concierge – Whether you need hard-to-find dinner reservations, the perfect last-minute gift or insider hotel recommendations, the World Elite Mastercard Concierge will work behind the scenes on your behalf – anywhere in the world.

Other Bilt Perks

Finally, there are a few other perks that don’t fall under dining and travel but are hugely important, including:

  • Cell phone protection – Pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Bilt Mastercard® you’ll get up to $800 of protection (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft.
  • Purchase security (Theft and damage protection) – Purchases made on the Bilt Mastercard® can be covered for theft or damage within 90 days of the date of purchase, up to $10,000 per claim.

Bilt Rewards Tiers

The Bilt Rewards program has tiers, based on how many points you accrue each year:

  • Bilt Blue – starting tier
  • Bilt Silver – 25,000 points per year
  • Bilt Gold – 50,000 points per year
  • Bilt Platinum – 100,000 points per year
PerkBilt BlueBilt SilverBilt GoldBilt Platinum
1:1 point transfers
with airlines & hotels
Access to the
Bilt Collection
Build credit history
with Bilt Alliance
10% bonus on lease incentive points
from participating properties
Interest earned on points
Homeownership Concierge
Exclusive gift from
The Bilt Collection

Bilt Rewards Program

What can you do with the Bilt rewards points?

  • TRAVEL: transfer Bilt Points to their airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio
  • BILT TRAVEL PORTAL: access to Expedia’s entire travel inventory
  • FITNESS: redeem Bilt Points for classes at Soul Cycle, Rumble Boxing, [solidcore] or, Y7 studios
  • SHOPPING: use your Bilt Points to cover all or part of your purchases with Amazon
  • LIFESTYLE: use your Bilt Points for home decor from the curated Bilt Collection
  • RENT: redeem your Bilt Points for all or a portion of your next month’s rent
  • HOMEOWNERSHIP: put your Bilt Points towards a portion of a future downpayment on a home purchase

Is the Bilt Card Worth it?

If you are paying rent, this seems like a great way to earn 1% (or 2% depending on when you pay rent) without much added effort. When I was renting, I had a monthly rent of $1,200 and that would’ve meant an additional $12 each month (or $144 a year) in rewards available to me.

This, on top of all the monthly promotions, makes this card very appealing especially since there’s no annual fee.

I have to pay rent anyway so I might as well earn rewards while I’m doing it

👉 Learn more about Bilt


No annual fee



  • Earn 1% paying rent
  • Potential to build credit history
  • Solid rewards structure
  • "Rent Day" promotions are great


  • Not all renters can build credit

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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