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Bilt Rewards launches new travel portal, where cardmembers can redeem points at 1.25 cents apiece

June 30, 2022
6 min read
Bilt Card
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Editor’s note: TPG founder Brian Kelly is a Bilt advisor and investor.


On Thursday Bilt Rewards is launching its own travel booking site, dubbed the Bilt Travel Portal. This new feature allows Bilt Rewards members to redeem points toward paid travel bookings, including flights, hotels and activities. Likewise, it enables Bilt Rewards members without a Bilt Mastercard to earn points when booking travel through the portal.

But perhaps most importantly, it includes the ability to book Disney hotels and park tickets using your rewards.

Here's a closer look at the Bilt Travel Portal.

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Bilt Rewards launches the Bilt Travel Portal

(Screenshot courtesy of Bilt)

The Bilt Travel Portal is powered by Expedia, which previously ran the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

According to Bilt, members can book any flight, hotel room, rental car or activity available on Expedia.com through the Bilt portal. Unfortunately, this may mean that some flight options are unavailable. For example, when Expedia ran the Chase portal, members were often unable to book flights on some ultra-low-cost carriers.

Bilt Rewards members can redeem points at a rate of 1.25 cents each toward travel, so 10,000 Bilt points equal $125 in travel. This is the same rate at which points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are redeemed for paid travel through its travel portal.

(Screenshot courtesy of Bilt)

You can access the Bilt Travel Portal through the Bilt website or mobile app, but you may need to update your app to see it.

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Additionally, Bilt Rewards members without a Bilt Mastercard will earn 1 point per dollar on travel booked through the portal, while members with a Bilt Mastercard will earn 2 points per dollar. The Bilt Mastercard already earns 2 points per dollar on flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises booked directly with the travel provider.

However, cardholders do not earn bonus points when booking through another online travel agency.

Related: Should you use the Bilt Mastercard? Why it could be a game changer for renters

How does the Bilt Travel Portal compare?

(Image courtesy of Bilt)

In some ways, the Bilt Travel Portal isn't as strong as the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. It offers cardmembers the same redemption rate as the Chase Sapphire Preferred on travel purchases but doesn't offer the earning upside when you book flights (or other travel) through Chase. You earn 5 points per dollar when you book travel through Chase and pay with your Sapphire Preferred.

At the same time, the Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee while the Bilt Mastercard has no annual fee. Being able to redeem at 1.25 cents per point toward paid travel on a card with no annual fee is a great benefit for times when you can't find award space through Bilt's transfer partners. It's the first no-annual-fee card in the travel space to offer this, and since the Bilt Mastercard is one of the only ways to earn rewards on paying rent, it's a great option for those currently renting an apartment or condo.

The new portal even beats out most American Express cards, which only let you redeem at 1 cent per point on travel booked through Amex Travel. The only exceptions are The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Business Gold Card, which offer 35% and 25% rebates, respectively, on points redeemed through Amex Travel. However, you'll only get the rebate on first-class and business-class flights on all airlines and all tickets booked with your selected airline.

Citi is in the same boat, too. The Citi Premier® Card has its own travel portal, but you can only redeem at 1 cent per point.

Additionally, one big perk of the Bilt Travel Portal is the fact that you can use it to book Disneyland and Disney World hotels as well as park tickets. This isn't offered by most competing portals and is a huge benefit for families and theme park lovers that want to subsidize their next trip to the parks.

You can book park tickets in the "Things to do" tab, while Disney hotels can be booked the same as any other hotel.

(Screenshot courtesy of Bilt)

Of course, we still recommend that you redeem Bilt Rewards through its transfer partners like American AAdvantage and World of Hyatt. This lets you stretch the value of your points and book aspirational awards like luxury hotel rooms and business-class airfare.

That said, for times when you need to get from point A to point B and there's no award space available, redeeming at 1.25 cents apiece for a paid flight can come in handy. Plus, you'll earn airline miles and elite-qualifying credit like you would with any other paid airline ticket.

Just note that you most likely won't earn hotel points or be able to use elite status benefits on hotels booked through the portal, since most hotels require you to book directly for these benefits.

Bottom line

It's great to see Bilt launch its own travel portal. Its redemption rate of 1.25 cents per point is higher than other no-annual-fee cards, and makes the product even more appealing to those who want a card that earns valuable points without the annual fee.

Again, you'll typically find more value when redeeming Bilt points with transfer partners. But if there's no award space on the day you want to travel, having access to a travel portal gives you more flexibility.

This post has been updated from when it originally published. We removed a section about Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program that wasn't directly tied to the travel portal comparison.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of 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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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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

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
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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
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 80,000 Points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees