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Back in June we reported on the news that a new venture from Kairos, called BILT, had hit the market with that aim at appealing to renters across the nation. After a few months, they have retooled the program, and it’s a big improvement. Let’s get into it the program updates
5 transactions to unlock bonus categories
The most notable change is in regards to earning points altogether. When the program first hit the market it revolved around hitting spend thresholds, and the more you spent the greater your earn rate would be on your rent. It was fairly complex and didn’t equate to market beating spend bonuses…for me personally it was pretty complex and didn’t equate to market best earn rates.
That has requirement has been removed, and in its place, is a far simpler system.
Make 5 or more purchases in a month and earn points at 1x, 2x, 3x
- 1x on rent
- 2x on travel ( booked direct with airlines, hotels, cruises, or car rentals )
- 3x on dining ( this includes delivery like Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc )
If this 5 or more system sounds familiar its probably because of the Amex Everyday Preferred which gives a 50% bonus on all purchases when you complete a whopping 30 transactions in a month. BILT is far fewer with only 5. HOWEVER…if you don’t hit that 5…you don’t earn anything.
BILT transfer partners – IHG has been added
BILT has a great list of transfer partners, and the IHG addition is nice, but honestly I’d never transfer to IHG from BILT. The partners like American or Hyatt are FAR, FAR, more valuable especially with IHG points often being on sale for 1/2 a penny a point.
BILT is establishing 3 tiers of status that is based off of how many points you earn in a year. Additionally, you’ll earn interest in the form of points, based on your point balance. This is akin to the Chase Sapphire Preferred giving out a 10% bonus on points earned each year, but this is based on your total balance and will yield a rate akin to the national savings rate. A very nominal rate of return, but something is better than nothing.
- Blue – anyone enrolled in Bilt Rewards with under 25,000 points
- Silver – 25,000 points earned
- Gold – 50,000 points earned
- Platinum – 100,000 points earned
Some additional benefits are live as well:
- Bilt’s Homeownership Concierge (Gold, Platinum)
This is a service that Gold and Platinum members can use when redeeming Bilt Rewards for a downpayment. A concierge will walk people through the process.
- Bonus Points on New Leases or Renewals (Silver, Gold, Platinum)
Depending on your member status, you can get up to 50% bonus when you sign a new lease or renew
- Complimentary Bilt Collection Gift (Platinum)
If you hit Platinum status Bilt will send you a piece of art, home decor, etc.
Does this make sense for me and you?
If you’re a renter…I think this could make quite a bit of sense. If you aren’t…perhaps it won’t be as intriguing a proposition if you’re already in the Chase, Amex, Citi, Cap1 ecosystem.
However…I just moved from LA where rent is astronomical and let’s just use it as an example. I know, it’s a high end market so the points will be inflated, but I think it shows how many points are being left on the table for big city renters.
- Los Angeles with $2000 a month rent, $1000 a month on food, and $1000 a year on travel with 5 transactions a month
- $2k x 12 = 24k points a year
- $1k x 12 x 3 = 36k points a year
- $1k x 2 = 2k points a year
- In total you’d be earning 62k points per year and paying no annual fee
You’d end the year with Gold status, meaning if you renewed or signed a lease you’d get a 25% bonus, or another 15k points, ending the year with somewhere around 77k points. Now…if you had a Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’d earn 3x on the dining and let’s just say you booked all your travel via Chase Travel you’d earn 5x on that $1k. You’d earn 41k Chase Ultimate Rewards vs 77k Bilt Rewards. Could you keep both cards? Of course, but for a renter in a big city, this could end up being a really powerful card to keep in your wallet for the rental earn alone.
Sign Up Bonus or Welcome Offer
Currently there isn’t one, and in fact, there is a wait list to join the program. One thing that I think would be interesting is if the program had a bonus tied to 12 year total spend or transactions. If you pay 12 straight months of rent on the card and rack up 100 transactions you’d earn a 100% bonus on your points, or 200%, or a 100k points. Whatever the value proposition is to BILT, to me, this would lure in a lot of new cardmembers that would then get used to using the card en lieu of using the ample amount of other cards in the marketplace.
If you gave a 200% bonus on points earned to someone living in NYC paying $4k a month on rent…that’s a massive incentive to use BILT
What do you think…would you use BILT?
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