The Bilt Rewards MasterCard has been gaining attention as one of the best no-annual-fee credit cards. Spearheaded by Richard Kerr, Bilt Rewards has swiftly established an impressive rewards network, boasting quality transfer partners such as World of Hyatt, Aeroplan, and Flying Blue. Notably, it’s the sole transferable points system that links to AAdvantage, a feat even Citi’s ThankYou points can’t boast about.
Kerr, renowned in the points and miles realm, was a pivotal figure in formerly esteemed website that we’re not gonna name here – one which, in his absence, has devolved into a collection of AI-generated cruise “top 10” lists (seriously, what’s “GPT” spelled backwards?).
While Bilt’s array of transfer partners is generally commendable, the recent addition of Marriott Bonvoy gives us some pause. Similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards, Bilt Reward points convert to Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio. However, unlike other partners, Marriott Bonvoy points traditionally carry a lesser value (significantly so). To help sorta-kinda mitigate this discrepancy, Bilt introduced an additional incentive: a 25% bonus with every 20,000 Bilt points transferred in a single transaction, yielding an extra 5,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
While this measure is a noble gesture on the part of Bilt, despite the bonus, transferring points to Marriott Bonvoy may not be the most prudent choice. My valuation typically places Bonvoy points within the range of 0.6 to 0.8 cents per point (cpp). In contrast, World of Hyatt’s point value frequently exceeds 2.0 cpp; a judicious redemption strategy might even reach 4-5 cpp, though 2 cpp is a reasonable baseline for most redemptions.
Should you just really need to use Bilt points for a Marriott property, utilizing the Bilt travel portal might still be your best bet here. Although you’ll forfeit any elite benefits or credits toward Bonvoy status, the fixed rate of 1.25 cpp might still make a lot more sense. If you are able to just pay cash and save your Bilt points for more valuable redemptions, that’s what I’d do.
I suppose it’s good to have options. More options are (generally) better than fewer options. If you stumble upon a Bonvoy redemption with significant outsize value, this may be beneficial. In general though, I’d think very carefully before transferring to Marriott.