Bilt Mastercard Customers Can Now Earn Up to 5x on Lyft Rides
It feels as though, every few weeks, I find myself writing about Bilt again. In my defense, that’s simply because the company continues to do interesting things. That brings us to this week when it was announced that Bilt and Lyft had entered into a partnership that will now see Bilt Rewards Mastercard customers earn up to 5x points on Lyft rides. Pretty cool, right? well, as I dove into how this offer worked, I found that it’s actually more complicated than you might imagine.
Before I get into the complicating factors, let me explain the basics of this deal. First, Bilt Rewards customers can now link their Bilt account to Lyft and earn 2x points on rides. To be clear, this includes regular Bilt Rewards customers even if they don’t have the Bilt Mastercard. On top of that, though, Bilt Mastercard members can earn an additional 3x when they also pay using their card, giving them a total of 5x on rides.
Now that you know the setup, let’s talk about the downside first. The loyalty link structure — as in how members earn the 2x points — means that riders will need to choose between earning Bilt points and other options such as Delta SkyMiles, Hilton Honors points, and Hawaiian Mileage Plan. This is because, in 2021, Lyft made it so you can only choose one loyalty program at a time. So, you’ll need to choose wisely based on how you value these different currencies and which you need in the moment.
On the other hand, the structure of this offer does also offer some interesting upsides. Looking at the terms, it turns out that you don’t need to link your Bilt and Lyft accounts in order to earn the 3x portion of this benefit. This means that, if you prefer, you could continue to earn either Delta, Hilton, or Hawaiian miles as your loyalty option and earn Bilt rewards as well. Also interesting is that, while Lyft purchases will count toward the five transaction minimum cardholders need to hit in order to earn points each month, they are exempt from this rule — meaning that you’ll still get your Bilt point from Lyft purchases regardless.
On the other end of things, since you get 2x Bilt Rewards points on Lyft purchases by linking accounts, you could theoretically also forgo the 3x portion that comes by using your Bilt Mastercard if you wanted. Why would you do that? Well, through March 2024, select Chase cards including my Sapphire Preferred earn 5x or more on Lyft purchases — and, unlike the Bilt deal, these points are purely contingent on paying with the card, with no loyalty link element.
Therefore, in theory, I could now earn 2x Bilt points plus 5x Chase Ulitmate Rewards points by linking Bilt and paying with my Sapphire Preferred for Lyft rides. If you’re counting, that’s a total of 7x back from my purchases, which is pretty strong. Even better, if you have the ultra-popular Chase Sapphire Reserve, that card currently earns 10x on Lyft rides and you could seemingly top that off with 2x Bilt points.
With all of that said, while it’s pretty cool that there are some seeming “hacks” to be found here… there’s no way that I’ll be taking Lyfts nearly enough to really benefit much from this. Don’t get me wrong — I’m always glad to see a new perk pop up and love the chance to double dip — but, all things considered, I won’t be seeing much of a return from this offer no matter how I configure it (unless my lifestyle takes a drastic change that somehow requires a lot more ridesharing). Of course, there are plenty of people who do regularly take Lyft and could definitely make the most of this new Bilt benefit and other offers. So, in their cases, I hope that they can find the loyalty and credit card mix-and-max option for them.