Bilt Continues to Expand Its Platform with Bilt Dining, Bilt Wallet
Remember when I joked that I basically write about Bilt on a monthly basis? Well, in actuality, it seems to be about every three weeks now. But it’s not my fault! The company continues to do interesting things — including launching a new program that not only allows customers to earn bonus points but also encourages them to link their other credit cards to the platform.
This week, Bilt Rewards introduced a new feature called Bilt Dining. With this program, cardholders can earn a bonus of 5 points per dollar spent when they dine at select locations. What’s more, you don’t need to actually use your Bilt Mastercard in order to earn these points. Instead, thanks to another new feature called Bilt Wallet, you can link your other Mastercard, Visa, or American Express cards (sorry, Discover) to Bilt in order to earn these points.
To be clear, this 5x comes on top of the 3x standard that Bilt Mastercard earns on dining, adding up to a total of 8x — or 11x on Rent Day (6x on dining plus the 5x bonus). Aside from Rent Day, though, those who have other cards such as the American Express Gold Card might better benefit from paying with their Gold card for 4x American Express Membership Rewards points while also earning 5x Bilt Rewards points from Bilt Dining. Incidentally, this structure is somewhat similar to the Lyft benefit Bilt rolled out last month where users earn 2x points by linking their Bilt and Lyft accounts with an additional 3x points coming from paying with the Bilt Mastercard, which leaves the door open for customers to use other more rewarding cards for the payment portion.
Now for the bad news: currently, Bilt Dining is only available for select locations in five cities: New York, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, and Chicago. Initially, I assumed that these were just some suggested cities that Bilt had prepared “Best of” guides for, but that’s not the case. This would seem to imply that the program is separate from the Rewards Network that powers the likes of T-Mobile Dining (which features several restaurants in my area) but it’s hard to say for sure. In any case, while I like the idea of this program, I can’t see myself getting much benefit from it yet.
Turning to the Bilt Wallet component, it seems as though this could come into play with future offerings. Why do I think that? Well, because Bilt seems keen on getting users to link their other cards and is offering them a bonus to do so. Currently, customers can earn 100 points when they link another card to their Bilt Wallet. This can be done up to three times for a total of 300 points. That equals $3.75 if you use your 300 points on the Bilt Travel portal, but free money is free money.
Incidentally, these rollouts also came with an update to Bilt’s app, including a new Earn Points tab. Here, cardholders can see how many points they’ve earned in various categories. On that note, one thing that caught my eye is that there’s a section displaying the total number of points customers have earned on groceries. That might not seem strange on its face but, considering that Bilt doesn’t offer elevated rewards on groceries at this time (just the standard 1x), it’s interesting that they’d call this out. Perhaps it’s just because this is a common shopping category for customers even if it’s not one included in Bilt’s multipliers — or maybe just maybe it’s a hint that something else new could be coming to the card. Of course, that’s purely wild speculation on my part so don’t quote me.
While I find these latest developments at Bilt fascinating, I don’t yet know what to make of them (except for the fact that I got free points, which are undoubtedly good). Since I don’t live in one of the five markets where Bilt Dining is currently operating, this update doesn’t really impact me. Meanwhile, although the potential of Bilt Wallet exists, it’s hard to predict exactly what will come of it. But, one thing is almost certain: I’ll be writing more about Bilt in the weeks and months to come.