Earn rewards on rent payments with Wells Fargo's new Bilt Mastercard
Earn rewards on rent payments with Wells Fargo’s new Bilt Mastercard

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There’s a new way for renters to save on one of their biggest monthly expenses.

The new Bilt World Elite Mastercard, issued by Wells Fargo, is open for applications after months of invitation-only access. Bilt is an online loyalty program that lets you earn rewards on rent payments, and its co-branded card offers more rent rewards options with no annual fee.

You’ll earn one point for every dollar spent paying rent with the card through the Bilt app, up to 50,000 points per calendar year.

And while the main selling point of this card is rewards on rent, it’s also a Mastercard that you can use to earn 3x points in restaurants, 2x points on travel (including airlines, hotels , cruise lines and car rentals), and one point per dollar spent on everything else.

Here’s what else you need to know about paying rent with Bilt, and how this card can help you maximize your monthly rent payments:

Can you use a credit card for rent payments?

Many landlords do not directly accept credit cards as a rental payment option, preferring cash or check.

Other properties may allow credit card payments – through an online payment portal, for example – but pass the fee on to you. Third parties like Plastiq and RentPad are also another option to facilitate credit card rent payments, but they often incur monthly fees.

And some experts warn that paying your rent with a credit card is risky, largely due to high fees and potential interest charges if you don’t pay the balance.

Bilt, which first launched in 2021, is different from many other options for paying rent with a credit card because it doesn’t charge a fee for its service. The only charges you will incur when paying rent with the Bilt Mastercard are standard credit card fees, including interest if you have a balance or late payment fees.

There are several ways to use Bilt, depending on your rental property. If your building manager is a member of the Bilt Rewards Alliance, you can find your property and pay your rent directly through the Bilt Rewards app. More than 2 million apartments are currently under property management in the alliance, according to Bill.

If you don’t live in a covenant property, you can still pay rent through the Bilt app using the Bilt Mastercard and Bilt will send a check to your landlord each month at no additional cost. If your property has an online payment portal, you can use a Bilt Rent Account to be paid through the usual gate of your property. You will use a single Bilt account and routing number in the portal, and Bilt will charge your Bilt Mastercard for the same amount, waiving any fees the portal may charge for card payments.

Editorial independence

As with all of our credit card reviewsour analysis is not influenced by any advertising partnership or relationship.

  • Introductory offer:
    Earn 1.5% Extra Cash Back
  • Annual subscription :

    $0

  • Regular APR:

    14.99% – 23.74% variable

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Apply now external link icon On Chase’s secure site
  • Introductory offer:

    N / A

  • Annual subscription :

    $0

  • Regular APR:

    14.24% – 24.24% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn more external link icon On the secure site of our partner

How to Use the Bilt Mastercard for Rent Rewards

When you use the Bilt Mastercard to pay your rent through the Bilt app, you earn 1 point per dollar, up to 50,000 points per calendar year. This means that if your rent is below around $4,166 per month, you can earn rewards on every dollar you spend on rent.

US renters spend an average of $1,096 on rent each month, according to the latest US Census data. Using the Bilt card, that’s worth over 13,000 points a year on rent payments alone.

Pro tip

To earn rewards with the Bilt Mastercard, you must charge at least five transactions to your card each billing cycle.

When it comes to redeeming the rewards you earn with Bilt, there are a few options, especially for future rent payments. Here are all the redemptions available:

  • Redeem for next month’s rent payment
  • Save points toward a down payment on a home purchase (when you fund a future mortgage through Bilt, a service the company plans to offer in the future)
  • Transfer 1:1 to travel partners including American Airlines AAdvantage, AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue, IHG Rewards, World of Hyatt, and more.
  • Redeem for fitness classes (from 1,600 points per class) with SoulCycle, Rumble Boxing and more
  • Shop for art, decor, and apparel from Bilt’s curated catalog

Bilt says cash values ​​can vary widely, depending on how you trade. Even the simplest option – using points for future rent – can vary depending on your management company, so Bilt does not publish standard point ratings.

Like many other rewards programs, you’ll likely get the best value by transferring your points to travel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.

As you accumulate points, you can also move up in status within Bilt’s rewards program. You’ll start as a Blue member, but the more you spend, the more benefits you’ll get with Silver, Gold and Platinum status, including the ability to earn interest on your points (in the form of extra points).

Risks of paying rent with a credit card

Although Bilt waives fees you may pay with other services that facilitate credit card rent payments, there are still risks you may incur when paying rent with a credit card.

Due to exorbitant credit card interest rates (the Bilt Mastercard carries a variable APR of 16.49% to 24.49%), piling up debt on your rent charges can quickly lead to lasting balances.

If you’re using the Bilt Mastercard – or any other credit card – to pay the rent, it’s essential that you treat the charge as cash and have the money in your account to pay it in full before your statement is due. You might even want to keep a month or two of your rent cost in a designated account, to make sure you have the money to pay off your card balance.

Another thing to keep in mind is your credit limit. The card agreement specifies that the minimum credit limit that can be assigned to you is $1,000. Depending on your rental cost, your monthly rent could make up a large portion of your line of credit, which determines your credit utilization rate (the second most influential factor in your credit score).

However, Bilt offers a service called BiltProtect, which you can use specifically to pay rent without affecting your line of credit. You’ll still earn points, but the funds will be taken directly from a bank account that you link to the Bilt app. If you turn off BiltProtect, your rent payment will be charged to your card as a transaction and will reduce your available credit.

Either way, remember to maintain good credit when using this card. Keep an eye on how far your spending is from your credit limit and always make sure to pay off your balance in full each month.

Conclusion

The new Bilt Mastercard offers a new way to increase your credit card savings. Especially in big cities and other areas where rent prices are skyrocketing and make up a big chunk of a tenant’s monthly budget, even small rewards on rent can make a big difference over time.

Like any rent payment option with a credit card, you may run the risk of paying very high interest if you have a balance on the card. And since your payments are reported to all three credit bureaus, missing a payment or not paying in full can hurt your credit score.

Before you apply, determine if Bilt’s rewards options are right for you and make sure you have a plan to make your payments in full and on time each month.

Editor’s note: NextAdvisor is owned by Red Ventures, which also owns The Points Guy. Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy, is a Bilt advisor and investor. Our story was published independently, with no connection to The Points Guy or Bilt.

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