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Bilt Rewards, the loyalty program that allows you to earn points on rent, has been busy improving since it launched just over a year ago. Along with new transfer partners, debuting a new credit card, and an improved app, the program is now jumping into the online travel agency (OTA) space.
Let’s take a look at the details.
The Bilt Rewards Travel Portal is powered by Expedia and will allow you to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and activities. For Disney and Universal enthusiasts, even theme park tickets and on-property hotels are included!
The site is available via desktop but is also accessible through the Bilt Rewards app, where members can redeem Bilt Rewards points for these travel activities. Members can choose to both earn and redeem points via this portal. And when using the no-fee Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, members will earn 2x points per $1 spent.
Otherwise, Bilt Rewards points redeemed for travel will be worth 1.25 cents each, similar to the redemption offering from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Is It Worth It?
There are plenty of ways to go about answering this question, especially since there are so many factors at play here. The short of it is this: maybe, if you’re not concerned about maximizing points.
The long answer here is that Bilt Rewards is giving a fairly competitive ratio to those wanting to redeem points on its portal. In fact, the ability to earn points with a fee-free card and subsequently redeem them for 1.25 cents each is industry-leading. But there are 2 more questions here that need to be answered.
First, is using your Bilt card for purchases the best way to earn points? Unless you’re paying rent with the card, in which case you’ll earn 1x point per $1 spent (and pay no fees), there are cards out there that beat Bilt Rewards’ every time. The Citi Premier® Card, for example, will earn you 3x points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels, though you are on the hook for an annual fee.
Hot Tip: Bilt Rewards is the only major transferable point currency to partner with American Airlines.
Second, is redeeming your points for 1.25 cents each a good value? Although it’s comparable to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s redemption, there are still better rates you can find elsewhere. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® will give you 1.5 cents per point when redeeming points via the Chase travel portal.
We value Bilt Rewards at a rate of 1.8 cents each, which is well above the value you’ll receive when redeeming your points through the Bilt Rewards Travel Portal. This is due in part to its very strong transfer partners, which include Hyatt, American Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and United, among others.
With these transfer partners, it’s easy to redeem your points for outsized value — and certainly well above 1.25 cents each. So why would you choose to use them within the travel portal?
It’s always exciting when a program announces they are launching something new. In this case, Bilt Rewards has been working steadily to improve its offerings, and the inclusion of a travel portal is a logical next step when compared to other transferable point currencies. But earning and redeeming points via this portal won’t be worth it for most people, especially when there are better deals to be had.
However, if you’re a renter who never wants to pay an annual fee and can’t be fussed to learn about transfer partners, this is an excellent way to both earn and redeem points for travel.
Featured Image Credit: Bilt
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.