How to Redeem Bilt Points Toward a Down Payment, Closing Costs
When I first reviewed the Bilt Mastercard, I noted that the platform boasted an option to redeem points toward the purchase of a home. At the time, I couldn’t even find anywhere that stated the value of this option let alone how to actually do it. Thankfully, since then, Bilt has added features that emphasize this option. Yet, I’ve never actually heard from anyone who tried it.
Well, as someone set to close on a house next month, I took the opportunity to give Bilt’s homebuying point redemption option a try. So how exactly do you cash in your Bilt Points to help add to your down payment or offset your closing costs? Let’s take a look.
A Step by Step Guide to Redeeming Bilt Rewards Points for a Home Purchase
Value of Bilt points
Before we get into the how-to section of redeeming Bilt points toward the purchase of a home, I want to quickly talk about the value of Bilt points. Currently, the platform gives members and cardholders a number of redemption options ranging from statement credits to travel partner transfers — but each of these has a different value.
A newly-added statement credit option values Bilt points at a pretty paltry 0.55¢ each. Meanwhile, points can also be used directly on Amazon for purchases, in which case they’re valued at 0.7¢ each. A much better option is the Bilt Travel portal, which allows customers to cash in points at a value of 1.25¢ each. Alternatively, Bilt maintains a stable of airline and hotel transfer partners along with tools that users can tap to find award redemption deals. Admittedly, putting an exact value on that particular option is difficult, but the points can be quite strong if you know what you’re doing.
A lesser-discussed option is the ability to redeem Bilt points toward the purchase of a home. In this case, points are valued at 1.5¢ each. So, if you’re redeeming 100,000 Bilt Points, you’ll receive $1,500 toward your down payment or closing costs.
With this context out of the way, let me walk you through the process as I experienced it.
Redeeming Bilt Points Toward a Home Purchase: A How-To Guide
Visit the Bilt FAQ
A few months back, Bilt introduced a homebuying tool to its app. Alas, I couldn’t exactly figure out how to go beyond that and actually start a redemption. Luckily, I found a page on Bilt’s FAQ which also included a link to a form. So, to save you time, here’s a link to that FAQ entry.
Complete a redemption form (with proof of homebuying)
The process to redeem your Bilt Points toward a home purchase begins with members filling out a form (which, as I noted, is linked to on the Bilt FAQ site). This will ask for some very basic information, such as your name and the email address associated with your Bilt account. However, they’ll also need some details about your home purchase, including the date of your planned purchase.
You’ll also need to provide proof of your home purchase. For this, Bilt lists a few documents that will qualify:
- Sales contract
- Loan estimate
- Closing disclosure
In the event you don’t have or can’t locate these items, Bilt requests customers to contact them.
For my redemption, I decided to provide a mortgage payment estimate document since I had it readily available. This seemingly worked fine as I didn’t encounter any issues after submitting.
Finally, before sending in your request, you’ll be able to select how many points you’re looking to redeem. You can either elect to cash in all of your currently available points or select a certain number. There’s not a minimum or maximum redemption figure listed on Bilt’s site, so it seems there are not really any limitations here.
According to the form, you’ll receive “consideration” of your request within five business days of submitting your redemption.
Select payout option and transferring funds
Given that five business day timeline, I was a bit surprised to open my inbox the next day and find a payment sent from Bilt. I requested to redeem all 39,752 of my points and so I received $596.28.
Once payment is received, there are a couple of options for actually claiming these funds. The first is to simply print out the provided check so that you can deposit it into a bank account. Or, you can instead choose to directly deposit the check digitally. Naturally, this is the route I choose.
Actually, this direct deposit option comes with a couple of other choices to make. First, you can use Instant Verification — which, as you might expect, relies on the service Plaid. By logging into the bank account you want to link, you’ll be able to easily set up your payment for transfer. However, if you prefer or if your institution isn’t available on Plaid, you can manually verify the account you want to receive payment in by entering the account number and routing number.
Having used Plaid many times before, I decided to do the Instant Verification. Within a couple of days, the funds were available in my bank account. As for my Bilt account, I noticed that my point balance had been reduced to zero following a “manual points adjustment” on my account. Of course, I can keep earning points with my card going forward.
In the grand scheme of things, less than $600 toward the purchase of a home may not seem like much. Then again, these funds could directly cover some of my closing items, such as the inspection or appraisal. Plus, at a value of 1.5¢ each, this was one of the more lucrative Bilt Point redemption options (aside from possibly scoring a deal with transfer partners, but that’s another story). Therefore, I’m very glad that Bilt offers this option and was impressed with how easy the process proved to be.