Bilt Has Seemingly Shut Down Rewards on Curve Transactions
Ya know, some weeks I really struggle to find a quick tip post to share. And then there are weeks like this that are so overflowing with news that I don’t even know where to start. So, since I trust you’ve already read about the big news regarding Delta SkyMiles and SkyClub access (among other stories), I thought I’d share something a bit more niche but that impacted me directly: The Bilt Mastercard nixing points on Curve transactions.
I should probably back up and explain what Curve is so you can better understand the situation. Curve is a credit card that allows you to link other credit and debit cards to it. So, the idea is that you can just use your Curve card for purchases and it will then send charges to your other cards using Smart Rules. For example, I can tell Curve to use my Capital One SavorOne for dining and it will automatically forward that charge to that card. To do this, it basically just makes a new charge, carrying over the original vendor’s name and merchant code — but does add CRV* to the front of it. There’s also a Curve feature that allows users to “go back in time” and reassign a transaction to a different card… but we’ll talk about that in a minute.
Anyway, as spotted by Frequent Miler — which is how I was first alerted — Bilt isn’t paying out points on purchases made using Curve. Sure enough, after reading Greg’s article, I went to the app to find that I hadn’t been awarded points from my purchases in nearly a month. Thankfully, they still counted towards the 5 transaction monthly minimum Bilt has, so I was still able to claim my rent points. But other than that, I’d missed out on hundreds of points. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’d made Bilt my default card in Curve.
Now, I can confirm that this wasn’t always the case. Looking at my point history, it seriously seems as though the update (at least for me) went into effect sometime last month. Specifically, my last CRV* charge to gain points was on August 7th. Prior to that, I was earning points on Curve transactions, no problem. Nevertheless, Greg does point out that Bilt’s terms state “Members may not earn Points by using third party wallets, cards or other products to switch the method of payment to or from their Bilt account following the completion of a purchase.” So there’s that.
Okay, so why the crackdown? My guess is that it’s due to what could be accomplished with that Go Back in Time Tool I mentioned. See, when that tool is used, what Curve actually does is refund the initial transaction and create a new one. Thus, the date that you use the feature is now the new transaction date… which could be bad for Bilt.
When I wrote my review of Curve, I alluded to some of the powers that the Go Back in Time feature could hold. Moving past transactions to Rent Day — when Bilt offers double points on all non-rent transactions — was among the concepts I had thought of when I decided to tip-toe around the topic. However, knowing that this would surely raise red flags and potentially lead to my card being closed, I never engaged in the practice. I’m also not saying that others did indeed try to exploit this loophole, but I can imagine Bilt wanted to close it before anyone did.
While this is disappointing news, I’m not yet convinced that this is definitely the beginning of the end for Curve. Instead, I happen to think that the people behind Bilt are just a bit more savvy than others. After all, they count The Points Guy Brian Kelly among their investors and advisors. In other words, I think they’re uniquely equipped to identify gameable opportunities and shut them down. Of course, I could also ways be wrong and, soon enough, any transaction with CRV* will be “pointsona non grata” on other cards as well.
Funny enough, this news came just as I was finishing my updated video review of Bilt, in which I basically concluded that the card is only getting better. Although I did consider adding this Curve update to the video at the last minute, I decided that wouldn’t be fair to Bilt. After all, they didn’t really do anything wrong — they just closed a large looming loophole. So, even though I’m a bit annoyed (mainly by myself for not noticing the change earlier), I really can’t fault Bilt. Thus, I’ll continue to be a fan of the card… I just won’t use it via Curve going forward.