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Bilt Rewards is adding 3 new airline transfer partners, which will give them 12 airline partners and 14 transfer partners overall. In addition to being able to transfer Bilt points to American, united, Air Canada, Turkish, Hyatt and more you can now transfer points to British Airways – and coming next month will be able to also transfer to Iberia and Aer Lingus.
Bilt Will Have 14 Transfer Partners
These 3 new transfer partners all share Avios as a currency. That means open, active accounts can move points back and forth. You only really need one of these as a transfer partner and that creates the possibility of taking advantage of the best of all of them – and also of Qatar Airways Privilege Club, which shares Avios as a currency so you can move points back and forth with their program too.
These additions will give Bilt Rewards 14 transfer partners:
- Star Alliance: Air Canada Aeroplan, Turkish Miles & Smiles, United Airlines MileagePlus
- oneworld: American AAdvantage, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus
- SkyTeam: Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Non-alliance: Emirates Skywards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, Aer Lingus Aer Club
- Hotels: Hyatt, IHG Rewards
Air Canada Business Class
Best Uses For BA, Iberia And Aer Lingus
British Airways is great for short haul awards, especially in Europe and Australia. It’s great to fly BA, Iberia and Qantas starting at just 4500 points each way.
Iberia is great for transatlantic business class flights on their own planes, starting at just 34,000 miles each way and without the big fuel surcharges redemptions on BA incurs.
Aer Lingus you will admittedly almost never have a use case for, though technically if you were looking to redeem miles to upgrade an Aer Lingus paid ticket this could make sense.
BA’s Executive Club has reduced the cost of Qatar Airways redemptions, given the ability to transfer points back and forth with Qatar. What that means is, transferred into Qatar or not, the ability to move Bilt Rewards points into Avios programs gives access Qatar Airways QSuites – one of the world’s best business class products, and one that’s frequently available booked around a year in advance. Qatar generally releases a couple of business class awards when loading their schedule, opens their inventory in waves, and serves a number of U.S. destinations – like Houston; Dallas; Atlanta; Miami; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Washington Dulles; New York; and Boston.
Of course AAdvantage redemptions on Qatar are available to Bilt members now – at generally lower cost. However if you’re looking to pool points from a variety of transferable sources, having the Avios option is useful since Bilt Rewards has American AAdvantage as a transfer partner exclusively in this space. Amex, Chase, Citi and Capital One do not transfer to American.
British Airways Airbus A350 Business Class
Their Existing Transfer Partners Are Higher Value
All in all I still prefer American AAdvantage, Air Canada Aeroplan, Turkish Miles & Smiles, and Hyatt as best value transfer partners. Then I find uses in Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Air France.
To me the Avios programs are a ‘nice to have’ and at least foreclose the argument for Bilt that other transferable points programs are better because Bilt lacks the ability to transfer to BA and Iberia.
More Transfer Partners Means More Free Points
Bilt Rewards gives you 100 points for each loyalty program you link in your account (and you do not need their credit card for this). The more programs they add, the more free points you can earn.
Sometimes they do offer premium points for linking an account. They’ve made 500 point offers for linking American and Hyatt accounts in the past.
Bear in mind that they require a minimum of 2000 points to make a transfer, so those premiums are especially helpful. Between a couple of 500 point offers and having so many transfer partners joining the program just makes sense.
Bilt Rewards Is Adding Value Quickly
Since launching only a year ago, Bilt has been adding value quickly. They’ve added a travel portal where points can be spent at 1.25 cents apiece and partnered with Amazon for non-travel redemptions. And their Bilt Mastercard remains the only way to earn miles for paying rent at no cost.
If you rent where you live and that rent is at all significant (it’s the biggest single expense for most), getting the Bilt Mastercard is an absolute no brainer for most. If you don’t live in a Bilt-affiliate building that’s fine, they charge your credit card and send your landlord a check.
You can earn up to 50,000 points a year this way, which would cost you $1425 if you used Plastiq to accomplish the same thing. And it’s a no annual fee card. If you’re currently missing out earning points on rent, the Bilt Mastercard is for you. It’s also a great starter card, which earns 3 points per dollar on dining and 2 points per dollar on travel.