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- Bilt Rewards helps tenants avoid a surcharge when paying their rent with a credit card.
- The program also allows tenants to earn points that can be used towards a mortgage down payment or even towards their rent.
- Bilt allows tenants to have more cash on hand for other expenses like tenant insurance.
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One in four tenants spends half of their income on rent, according to a Harvard University study. With housing rental and selling prices on the rise, many millennials believe that homeownership is not achievable.
Enter Bilt Renters Rewards, an innovative new program that aims to give renters more for the money they pay each month, and it could even help renters save on homeownership.
With Bilt Rewards, tenants earn points by paying their rent with their credit card, free of charge. Points can be redeemed for travel, to pay rent or even to put down a mortgage down payment. Bilt is funded by Kairos, who are also behind Rhino Insurance (which allows tenants to bypass the cash security deposit requirement by paying a monthly fee).
What is Bilt Rewards?
Bilt Rewards is a startup that rewards tenants for paying rent. It has a two-pronged approach. The first is a partnership with rental property management companies, known as the Bilt Alliance Network, allowing tenants to pay their rent using their app at no cost. (Any property owner or manager who wishes to register should send an email to [email protected])
Most rent payment apps charge tenants a fee if they pay by credit card. With the Bilt program, tenants bypass the credit card surcharge and earn points that can be used as a down payment on your mortgage, rent relief, or for other rewards.
As reported by Insider’s Jasmin Baron, if you are a tenant of the Bilt Alliance network, you can earn a base of 250 points per month (without needing the Bilt Mastercard) simply by paying your rent through the Bilt Rewards app. .
For those who are not Bilt Alliance renters, the Bilt Mastercard offers a cost-free way to pay rent to any landlord in the United States. To avoid the credit card surcharge, Bilt sends a rent check to your landlord at no cost to you.
With the card, you can earn up to 2x points on rent payments of up to $ 2,000 per month, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
You’ll need to spend at least $ 250 per month on non-rent purchases on the Bilt Card to earn rewards. However, to get the most rewards from the program (2x points on rent), you will need to spend $ 3,500 on non-rent purchases on the card per month (to earn only 1x points).
Bilt frees up money for tenants to afford home insurance or down payment for the house
Only 37% of tenants have tenant insurance. Some renters assume that the landlord’s insurance will cover damage to their property, but the landlord’s insurance covers the building, not the personal belongings in your rental. If your belongings are stolen or damaged by a fire or storm, you’re out of luck without tenant insurance.
Plus, contrary to popular belief, tenant insurance is inexpensive – around $ 15 per month. At a basic level, tenant insurance covers your belongings against theft, damage and unforeseen events. It is an insurance policy that you pay on an annual or monthly basis.
The points you earn from Bilt can be used towards rent payment, and Bilt eliminates the surcharge that many other landlords charge to pay rent by credit card, freeing up funds to afford tenant insurance.
If you are ready to become a homeowner, Bilt will offer you the option of using points towards a down payment on a mortgage with points worth up to 1.5 cents each. This means that those years of rent will pay off for you.
Ronda Lee is Associate Insurance Editor at Personal Finance Insider and covers consumer life, auto, home and tenant insurance. She is also a certified lawyer and has practiced insurance litigation and defense.