New Credit Card Would Allow Renters to Use Rewards to Pay Rent, Home Down-Payments

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

A real-estate startup is partnering with a bank and Mastercard Inc. to launch a credit card that would allow cardholders to pay and build credit on their rent. From the Wall Street Journal:

Bilt Technologies Inc., a real-estate startup, is joining with Evolve Bank & Trust and Mastercard Inc. to launch a credit card designed for renters. Users can accumulate rewards points through rent and other spending, with no fees charged to the tenant or the landlord when paying rent on the card, according to Bilt.

Rewards points can then be put toward rent and other purchases, even toward a down payment on a house. “We believe paying rent should build your credit score because it’s your single largest liability,” said Ankur Jain, founder of Bilt.

Many landlords already accept credit cards, but they typically pass on processing fees to renters, often totaling about 3%. For landlords that don’t accept plastic, Bilt says it will mail landlords paper checks on behalf of the tenant, then charge the renter’s credit-card account, with no fee...

The Bilt card will allow rent payments to be made to any landlord, but several large apartment operators also plan to accept the card payments as part of existing loyalty programs.

These landlords include AvalonBay Communities, a publicly traded company that owns nearly 80,000 apartment units.