How long do Bilt Rewards points take to transfer?

Dec 30, 2021

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Bilt is one of the newest players in the points and miles world. It gives you the unique ability to earn rewards for paying your rent without being subject to expensive service fees. Plus, you can use the Bilt Mastercard to earn bonus points on your everyday spending, thanks to its revamped earning rates.

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

That’s not the only highlight of Bilt; it also partners with nine airline and hotel programs — most of which are extremely useful. Among them, it’s even managed to persuade American Airlines into a partnership — making it the only current flexible credit card points program whose rewards convert to American Airlines miles at a 1:1 ratio.

But as with any transferable points program, you should know how long it takes to transfer points so that you can plan your redemptions accordingly. So, we tested each transfer partner and listed our findings here. Spoiler alert: Most transfers are processed super fast.

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In This Post

Bilt Rewards points transfer times

Bilt is the only transferable points program that partners with American AAdvantage. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Our test transfers show that Bilt points reach their destination accounts with partner programs almost instantly — except for American Airlines, which still tends to process the same day based on our findings, but can take up to 24 hours.

With other flexible points programs, transferring points can sometimes take several days with select travel partners. If you see a flight or hotel you want to book, award space may disappear before the points are deposited into your account. This shouldn’t be a problem with Bilt Rewards, though.

Program Ratio Transfer time
American Airlines AAdvantage 1:1 Usually instant, but up to 24 hours
Air Canada Aeroplan 1:1 Instant
Emirates Skywards 1:1 Instant
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 1:1 Instant
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 1:1 Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1:1 Instant
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 1:1 Instant
World of Hyatt 1:1 Instant
IHG Rewards Club 1:1 Instant

The transfer times listed above represent our personal experiences. Your results may vary — but we’ve consistently found that transfers with all programs except American Airlines are completed within 10 minutes. It appears that Bilt transfers points in batches that fire multiple times per hour, so it’s effectively instant for the purpose of booking award travel.

There is one important thing to note. When linking Bilt to your Virgin Atlantic account, input your Virgin Red ID — not your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club number. Your Virgin Red account effectively consolidates the Virgin points you’ve accumulated across all different Virgin companies into one account. Your Virgin Red ID is a string of words — for example “airline-toast-seltzer-tea” — instead of a string of numbers like you’d see with most airline programs.

You can find your Virgin Red ID on your account page with Flying Club. Note that you may have to link your Virgin Red and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club accounts in order to access this page.

Finding Virgin Red ID on the account page
(Screenshot courtesy of virgin.com)

Related: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles get a new name, no longer expire

Before transferring Bilt Rewards points

It’s important that you find award space before you transfer your Bilt Rewards points. (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

As stated above, there’s a bit of risk associated with transferring flexible points to an airline or hotel program. Once you initiate a transfer, you can’t get your Bilt points back. For example, if you transfer Bilt points to American Airlines and then decide you’d rather transfer your points to Air Canada Aeroplan later down the road, you can’t transfer your new American Airlines miles back to Bilt. Or, if your award seat has been booked by someone else while you were waiting for your points to post, you may be sitting atop a mountain of miles with no plan.

Here are a few tips to avoid transferer’s remorse.

Put your award reservation on hold before you transfer

Only a select few airline programs allow you to place award tickets on hold before booking. Among them are four Bilt partners, though:

  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue.
  • American Airlines AAdvantage.
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club/Virgin Red.

While Bilt points transfer instantly to (nearly) all partners, putting an award on hold can still be a good idea. This ensures that the last award seat isn’t sold while you’re waiting a few minutes for your points to post.

Choose flights that have more than one available award seat

To further avert misfortune, you can use ExpertFlyer (owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures) to view flights that have significant award availability. Simply make a search for three or four passengers. If you see available space, there’s less to worry about even if your transfer is delayed.

Consider uncommon routes

If you can find desirable flights that aren’t between super-popular hubs, you can improve your odds of locating award space. For example, if you’re using Turkish miles to book a United flight to Hawaii, consider its one-off route from Orange County, California (SNA), to Honolulu (HNL), where you might find award space if flights from Los Angeles (LAX) are booked up.

Let availability determine your destination

If the flight you wanted is no longer available, you may need to:

  • Reschedule your trip around dates for which your desired seats are available.
  • Choose another route or destination.

Peak seasons like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be tough for award travelers who don’t book well in advance. Award availability changes all the time, so check intermittently and be prepared to book when a seat you’re after pops up!

Related: Ultimate guide to searching award availability for the major airlines

Can you transfer Bilt Rewards points to someone else’s account?

Bilt has confirmed to TPG that you can only transfer points to your own airline and hotel loyalty accounts. There is no way to transfer Bilt Rewards points to another Bilt member at this time.

That said, you can transfer your Bilt points to World of Hyatt and then transfer those to another member. Likewise, you can transfer to Aeroplan and then add them to a family points pool.

Related: Give the gift of free points with these 5 loyalty programs

Is there a fee for transferring Bilt Rewards points?

Some rewards programs, such as American Express Membership Rewards, are liable to an excise fee of .06 cents per point (capped at $99 in fees) when transferring to U.S.-based airlines, such as Delta. Bilt does not incur this fee — but you should still expect to be charged taxes and fees by an airline when booking an award flight.

Related: Complete guide to taxes and fees on airline award tickets

Which cards earn Bilt Rewards points?

BILT CARD RENDER CROP
(Photo courtesy of Bilt)

Currently, there is only one card that earns Bilt Rewards points: the Bilt Mastercard. This no-annual-fee card ensures you won’t be charged fees when paying for rent with a credit card. It also earns:

  • 1 point per dollar for rent payments on up to $50,000 in rent annually.
  • 3 points per dollar on dining.
  • 2 points per dollar on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company).
  • 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

You’ll earn points by making at least five transactions in a statement period.

But remember, you can earn points without even holding the Bilt Mastercard. Simply paying for your rent through the Bilt app will earn you a minimum of 250 points per month — and likely significantly more, depending on how much your rent is. The big caveat here is that you can only use the Bilt app if your landlord is part of the Bilt Rewards Alliance of partner properties (of which there are millions). Those with a Bilt Mastercard can pay any landlord by having the app mail them a check, and earn points in the process.

Related: Paying rent and mortgages with a credit card

Bottom line

Bilt has carved itself a spot in the award travel game with valuable partners like World of Hyatt and Air Canada Aeroplan. It’s also currently the only points program that transfers to American Airlines at a rate of 1:1.

Bilt manages nearly instant transfer times to all partners — except American Airlines, which may take 24 hours to deposit. Again, transfer times may vary with each account, so your mileage may vary. But in most cases, you can expect to have an experience similar to ours.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.