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💳 Bilt revamps its elite program

Plus, we play a game where we book an EPIC trip using only $0 annual fee credit cards.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 15 seconds

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Good morning from an airport lounge somewhere in the world. I don’t know about you, but I REALLY missed Daily Drop these last four days…

Thankfully, I’ve got some fun travel hacks and interesting news to share with you before we finish off the year:

  • ✈️ How to book an amazing trip using $0 credit cards

  • 🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

  • 💳 Bilt Revamps their elite status tiers

✈️ How to book an amazing trip using $0 credit cards

We often talk about some premium credit cards and how we can leverage the points, bonuses, perks, credits, etc., to book amazing trips around the world.

Even aside from those, most cards we talk about (including our all-time favorite) still have at least some annual fee…

So, I thought it’d be fun to play a game:

Megan and I each sat down (without consulting one another) and picked three credit cards, each with no annual fee.

With the welcome offers on the cards, a prefixed amount of spending to earn points, and some other minor parameters, we each booked the most epic trip we could think of and recorded a podcast episode about it.

In the episode, we break down which cards we picked (and why), which types of rewards we earned, and how we planned our trips - all with ZERO dollars in annual fees.

Neither of us knew which cards the other person picked or what each other’s trip looked like, and somehow, we went COMPLETELY in different directions (and different continents… 😏).

It was actually a ton of fun.

To make things even more fun, we’ve decided to make it into a competition where YOU will vote on which trip you liked best.

So, after you’ve listened to the short podcast episode, come on over to the Daily Drop Lounge and vote on your favorite. 👇

🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

💳 Bilt Revamps their elite status tiers

We talk about Bilt fairly frequently. Their credit card is dope AF, their points are valuable, and they have amazing Rent Day promos every month.

But there’s a component of Bilt’s program that we never talk about: Bilt elite status.

That’s right. You may not have even known that Bilt members can earn elite status.

The reason you’ve probably never heard of it is because it’s… meh.

As things currently stand, the perks for having Bilt status include stuff like:

  • Bonus points on rent for new leases or lease renewals

  • Earning interest on your Bilt points

  • That’s pretty much it.

Yeah, it’s VERY underwhelming. The one major reason for people to earn Bilt status is Rent Day promos.

There have been a few Rent Day transfer bonuses that were based on Bilt status, including a recent transfer bonus to Emirates, where top-tier Bilt elites were offered a 150% transfer bonus… which makes up for ALL of the other drawbacks of the program.

But how do you earn Bilt status in the first place? It’s easy - simply earn a certain amount of Bilt points per year:

  • Silver elite status: 25,000 Bilt points

  • Gold elite status: 50,000 Bilt points

  • Platinum elite status: 100,000 Bilt points

Well… that is… until a few days from now.

You see, Bilt has announced that earning elite status will be harder beginning in 2024. In fact, it will be TWICE as hard. All of the requirements for earning status will double beginning on January 1st.

To (sort of) make up for this, Bilt will also be offering a “fast-track” for earning status based on spend. In the end, here is how you can earn elite status in 2024:

  • Silver: Earn 50,000 points or spend $10,000 through Bilt channels

  • Gold: Earn 100,000 points or spend $25,000 through Bilt channels

  • Platinum: Earn 200,000 points or spend $50,000 through Bilt channels

When I say “Bilt channels,” I mean spending money in the following ways:

  • Spending on the Bilt Mastercard (excluding rent)

  • Lyft rides

  • Bilt dining

  • Bilt’s travel portal

  • SoulCycle classes booked through the Bilt app

While there are many ways to accrue spend toward those thresholds, it’s still a pretty big ask. After all, if you’re spending that much on the Bilt card, you’re sacrificing spending on other, potentially more valuable cards.

So here’s the bottom line…

I was not expecting Bilt to take the most “meh” aspect of their program and suddenly devalue it. Unless Bilt adds some serious value to its elite benefits, it’s difficult to justify pursuing Bilt elite status.

Still, those Rent Day promos make me think twice… if they keep offering insane transfer bonuses, these elite requirements might look more appealing.

What are your thoughts about Bilt elite status?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Everyone loves a good New Year’s resolution, right? Preferably one that isn’t diet or fitness related 😉

And since I’m assuming one or two of you who read this newsletter like to travel, why not have a goal to learn a new language in the new year?

Maybe it’s mastering how to ask for gelato in Italian (mandatory), or a croissant in French (crucial), or even a tasty schnitzel in German (obligatory).

Whatever it is, Babbel can help you learn with just a bit of fun, daily practice!

Babbel has you covered, no matter what your goal is: 👇

  • Try 10-minute snippets of helpful real-world lessons

  • Employ podcasts, games, videos, and live online classes to keep it interesting

  • Join no matter if you’re a beginner or more advanced

  • Feel confident in having basic conversations after just a few weeks of daily practice

So make the most of the New Year not only by planning some awesome trips, but also by picking up a few friendly phrases to impress the locals 😎

There’s no better time to sign up for Babbel than right now… and that’s because they’re offering 60% off your subscription!

So yeah… get after it, my friends 🧡👇

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That’s all for today, friends! We’ve only got a couple more newsletters left this year, and I couldn’t be more excited for another jam-packed year of Daily Drop fun times.

In the meantime, however, take care, and I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow. ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W