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Wells Fargo, Bilt Rewards and Mastercard partner to reward consumers for paying rent

The three companies are teaming up to give consumers a little something back for their rent payments.
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Written by Evan Zimmer, Finance Writer on

Wells Fargo announced on Monday that the previously invite-only Bilt Mastercard now features open applications. The Bilt Mastercard has no annual fee and earns 1x point per dollar spent on rent payments, with no transaction fee.

The card's other rewards include 3x points for dining, 2x points per dollar for travel purchases, and 1x point for everything else. Rent rewards are capped at 50,000 points per calendar year, but the other bonus categories have no limit to the number of points cardholders can earn. 

Most rent payments made with credit cards incur a transaction fee, which more often than not makes paying rent with a credit card ill-advised, especially if the fee outweighs any potential rewards. However, with the Bilt Mastercard, cardholders no longer have to worry about any fees and can instead focus on earning rewards for a mandatory payment.

Also: Should you use Plastiq to pay your mortgage and other bills with a credit card?

The Bilt Mastercard supports rent payments to property managers in the Bilt Alliance. Currently, the alliance includes over 2 million property management companies. These include Veritas, Windsor Communities, and EquityResidential, among others

So the Bilt Mastercard won't reward consumers who have private landlords and focuses instead on consumers who live in an apartment complex managed by the companies listed above.

But for those whose renting company is on that list, the card presents an inexpensive way to earn rewards for a payment you have to make. It could even help your credit scores. If your landlord isn't already reporting rent payments to the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian – cardholders can have Bilt report it.

Additionally, if your property manager doesn't accept electronic payment for rent, cardholders can still make the payment via the Bilt app and the company will send a check to the recipient.

The Rewards

It's important to note that cardholders will only begin earning rewards after posting five transactions each statement period. Also, cardholders can only earn rewards on one rent payment each month. So if you pay rent for more than one property, you'll only be able to earn rewards for one of the payments.

According to the press release, rewards can be redeemed for airfare through Bilt's travel partners. Travel partners include American Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, IHG, and World of Hyatt, among others. Points can be redeemed for airfare at a 1:1 rate, or cardholders can transfer them to a travel partner where points could be worth more. Points can also be used to book fitness classes through Soulcycle, Rumble, and Y7 Studio.

Uniquely, cardholders could also save up their rewards to be used as a down payment on a property through Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration. Bilt aims to be the first company to both reward consumers for making rent payments and help them work toward owning their own property in the future. Or, cardholders can put their rewards toward their next rent payment.

"With the cost of rent at an all-time high, there is no better time than now to show the world that paying rent doesn't have to mean lighting your money on fire. Now, renting means your next vacation, your next workout class, or even savings on your next home," Bilt Rewards Founder and CEO Ankur Jain said in the release.

In addition, Bilt features four membership tiers for clients to progress through. Each one adds to the perks offered by the previous tier:

  • Blue: Starting tier. 1:1 transfer rate, plus Bilt will report rent payments to credit bureaus.
  • Silver: 25,000 points per year. 10% bonus on lease incentive points from participating properties, and rewards accrue interest.
  • Gold: 50,000 points per year. 25% bonus on lease incentive points, access to a homeownership concierge.
  • Platinum: 100,000 points per year. 50% bonus on lease incentive points, get a gift from Bilt's collection (a hand-curated collection of art, decor, and apparel).

The Benefits

If you're in the market for a no annual fee travel card, the Bilt Mastercard could fill that spot in your wallet. It earns an unlimited 2x points per dollar on travel purchases including airfare, bus fare, rideshares, and hotels, among other popular travel purchases. It has no foreign transaction fee and offers a nice collection of travel protections, including:

  • Trip cancelation/interruption protection: If your trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, you could be reimbursed by up to $5,000.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: If your trip is delayed for more than six hours by covered circumstances (like weather or mechanical issues), you could be reimbursed for necessary expenses like food and toiletries.
  • Rental car insurance: Decline the rental car provider's insurance offer and charge the full amount to your card. Your rental will be covered against damage and theft.

Other benefits include:

  • DoorDash membership: Get a 3-month DashPass membership ($0 delivery fees for orders of $12 or more). New and existing cardholders also get $5 off their first 2 orders each month.
  • Lyft credits: Pay for three rides in a month with the card, get a $5 credit.
  • World Elite Mastercard Concierge: Get 24/7 help with non-emergency tasks like finding gifts or making dinner reservations.
  • Cell phone protection: Pay your monthly phone bill with the card to get covered against damage and theft. Up to $800 of protection (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Purchase Security: New purchases are covered against damage and theft for 90 days. up to $10,000 per claim.
  • Fraud protection: You won't be held liable for unauthorized purchases made on your account.

Consumers interested in the card can apply on Bilt's website.

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