If you collect points or miles in an airline or hotel loyalty program, you’ve probably confronted a grim reality: The longer you hold on to them, the less they’re generally worth.
You’ve probably heard the term “devaluation” thrown around. A simpler way to think of it is as inflation. Inflation causes the price of gas to go up, and a different type of inflation causes the price of award travel to go up. Just like your grandparents may remember when a gallon of milk cost a dollar, aging road warriors will remember when 25,000 miles could get you a round-trip ticket to Hawaii on just about any date you picked.
Airline and hotel loyalty programs will inevitably increase the cost of awards, but the Bilt Rewards program pays its elite members “interest” on their unredeemed points balances. In a way, this may let you protect yourself from award inflation. Here’s how it works.
Earning interest on your Bilt Rewards points balance
You’ll need to earn at least Silver status with Bilt Rewards to earn interest on your points balance. If you have Silver status or higher, Bilt will deposit points into your account each month. The amount deposited will be calculated based on your average daily points balance for the previous 30 days and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation national savings rate.
Don’t expect a mountain of points, though. Unless the national savings rate drastically changes, even a Bilt Rewards elite member with 100,000 points in their account would earn fewer than 100 points monthly.
Still, something is better than nothing. And since Bilt Rewards points transfer quickly to partners (instantly in most cases), you can afford to leave your points in your Bilt account until you’re ready to redeem them for travel. With great partners like World of Hyatt and American Airlines AAdvantage, you’ll benefit from letting your balance grow. Plus, leaving your Bilt points in your account until you’re ready to redeem them helps protect against any individual program — besides the Bilt Rewards program — devaluing its points.
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How to earn Silver status with Bilt Rewards
At the start of 2024, Bilt changed its elite status program. One of the major aspects that changed was how you earn Bilt Rewards elite status. Now, you’ll need to accrue 50,000 qualifying points or $10,000 in qualifying spending per calendar year to achieve Silver status.
You likely already know how to earn Bilt points, but qualified spending for Bilt Rewards elite status includes:
Remember, though, that you won’t earn a significant amount of points as interest. So, you likely won’t want to strive for Bilt Rewards elite status solely to earn interest on your balance of Bilt points.
If history tells us anything, award tickets and hotel rooms will cost more points and miles over time. At TPG, we frequently recommend earning flexible rewards points as these let you redeem your points with the loyalty program where you can find the most value.
Bilt Rewards takes this further by adding interest to your points balance every month you maintain Silver status or higher. You likely won’t earn a ton of points in interest each month, but every little bit counts in the world of points and miles.