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Quick Points: How to earn 'interest' on your rewards balance with Bilt

Dec. 31, 2021
4 min read
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Although we cover loyalty programs and credit cards in-depth on TPG every day, sometimes you want a snippet of helpful information that you can put into action on the fly. That’s why we launched the series Quick Points. Every week, we’ll highlight a new or easily forgotten tip that can help you travel more for less.


If you collect miles or points in an airline or hotel loyalty program, you've probably confronted a grim reality: The longer you hold on to those miles or points, the less they're generally worth.

You've probably heard the term "devaluation" thrown around. A simpler way to think of it is as inflation. Inflation causes the price of gas to go up, and a different type of inflation causes the price of award travel to go up as well. Just like your grandparents may remember when a gallon of milk cost $1, aging road warriors will remember when 25,000 miles round-trip could get you to Hawaii on a regular basis.

It's inevitable that airline and hotel loyalty programs will increase the cost of awards, but one program offers a way to protect yourself from "award inflation." Bilt Rewards, a program that launched in 2021, will pay you "interest" on your unredeemed points balance.

Editor’s note: TPG founder Brian Kelly is a Bilt advisor and investor.

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Earning interest on your points balance

You'll need to earn Silver status with Bilt Rewards, but once you do they'll deposit points into your account each month. The amount deposited will be calculated based on your average points balance that month and the "interest" amount will be based on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. national savings rate.

Don't expect a mountain of points, at least until interest rates start rising again. Under the current FDIC interest rate, a Bilt Rewards member with 100,000 points in their account would earn fewer than 100 points per month. Those amounts should only increase over time, though, as the federal reserve starts to raise rates.

(Screenshot courtesy of Bilt)

Since Bilt Rewards points transfer quickly to partners (instantly in most cases) you can afford to leave your points in your Bilt account until you're ready to redeem for travel. With great partners like World of Hyatt and American Airlines AAdvantage, you'll definitely benefit from letting your balance grow.

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Related: Pandemic-era devaluations: What’s happened to frequent flyer miles and what may come next

How to earn Silver status with Bilt Rewards

To earn interest on your points you'll need to earn Silver status or higher in the Bilt Rewards program. Earning status is pretty straightforward and requires you to earn a total of 25,000 points in a calendar year.

With the Bilt Mastercard's 1-2-3 earning structure, you can get to Silver status a lot quicker when you use your card to pay for travel and dining. That said, you can still earn points without having the cobranded credit card if your landlord is in the Bilt Rewards Alliance of partner properties and you pay your rent through the Bilt app.

Once you earn status you'll keep it for the rest of that year and the next calendar year. You'll also earn interest on your points that entire time.

Related: Should you pay your rent with this new credit card? We crunch the numbers

Bottom line

If history tells us anything, it's that award tickets and hotel rooms will cost more miles and points over time. At TPG we frequently recommend earning flexible currencies such as Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Capital One miles. This gives you more control to redeem your points where you can find the most value.

Bilt Rewards takes this a step further by adding to your points balance every month you maintain Silver status or higher. Over the course of a year, those points can add up. They might not get you that 25,000-mile round-trip award flight to Hawaii, but they can sure take the sting out of the new peak pricing World of Hyatt recently launched.

Featured image by BILT
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more