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According to Apartment Guide, on a national level, the average rental for a 1 bedroom apartment is $1,636 per month, close to $20,000 per year. Many of those who rent, their monthly payments are sent to their landlords, and they do not earn any type of rewards from diligently paying their rent.
Rent, rent, rent!
I’ve been a homeowner for over 24 years, and now that I have kids in college, they are now subject to housing expenses (dorm or apartment). It’s crazy enough to have one, but I have two in college….ouch.
To make this somewhat bearable
I had opened up a few credit cards with big sign up bonuses, and I used those cards to pay for their housing expenses and quite easily met the minimum spend. But I don’t plan on applying for a new card every month, so I can’t simply rely on new card sign up bonuses.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about Bilt, a new no annual fee Mastercard – you earn points for rent payment (with no fees), travel, and dining. Here are Bilt’s 0-1-2-3 positive changes:
$0 – no annual fee
1 – you earn 1x on rent payments with no fees (on up to $50,000 in rent payments every year) and all other purchases
2- earn 2x points on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company)
3 – earn 3x points on dining
In order to earn these rewards, you have to use the card at least 5x per month (seems pretty easy to me).
How it works
Once approved the Bilt Mastercard:
- Use Bilt app to pay rent
- Bilt will send a check to your landlord via USPS First Class Mail, take 2-3 days to receive the check
- Your landlord is happy
The suggested lead time for payments to be sent, give it 5-7 business days in order for your payments to make it to your landlord time. This is crucial. So in my mind, to play safe, if your rent is due every 1st of the month, I suggest using the Bilt app to pay your rent around the 20th of the month. That’s just me. I don’t want to request for a payment to be sent late.
Use your points with these travel partners
Lots of other BILT-in benefits and perks
Sample from a $1600 rent
In one year, if you used your Bilt credit card to pay for your rent, that’s $19,200 in rent. That’s equivalent to 19,200 Bilt points. So what? What could 19,200 points get you? Just a couple of examples:
– 15,000 points are transferable to Turkish Miles and Smiles, enough for 1 round trip ticket to Hawaii
– Use it for 2 to 3 nights at a Hyatt hotel that charges 5,000 to 8,000 points per night
Getting this card adds to your 5/24 status
If you are under 5/24, best to focus on Chase cards and take advantage of sign up bonus, once over 5/24, that would be a good time to consider this. There will always be exceptions. If a big chunk of your monthly expenses involves rent, this could be an exception where getting this card while under 5/24 would make sense.
To sign up and for more information
Simply go to Bilt Rewards.
There is a wait list for signing up. Use Bilt Invite code: MAXBILT
or you could also BILTVIP21
Given the current housing expenses that my kids have today, I am inclined to consider this. When Bilt payments are requested using the Bilt app, a payment will be mailed to the landlord. This could work in my kids’ situation – Bilt is asking 5-7 biz days before rent is due to mail the check out to the landlord. My daughter’s college accepts checks, and I can see this working out. I also learned that only ONE legitimate rental payment per month is allowed per account. So in our case, we would need to apply for 2 separate Bilt accounts if we plan on paying 2 different monthly rent payments. My only concern or wish is for this to be done electronically (where the landlord provides a routing number or an electronic path to get the payments submitted in a more secure manner.