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Bilt Mastercard Referral Issue

Myself, and my wife, recently grabbed a Bilt Mastercard. We are well above 5/24 and it was about time we got our hands on the most valuable points out there. Plus, with all of these Rent Day transfer bonuses etc. we were getting some major FOMO. I signed up for the Bilt Rewards card first, but we waited a bit for to have my wife grab one. I wanted to line her application up with tax season, and another larger bill we needed to pay. That was our plan in case she was targeted for the 5x earning for your first 5 days offer some new Bilt Rewards cardholders received, which she was. I had sent her my personal referral link to apply for the card and then patiently awaited my skimpy 2,500 refer a friend bonus. The problem was it never came. That is because there is a Bilt Mastercard referral issue.

What Is The Bilt Mastercard Referral Issue?

I guess you could say it is more of a terrible policy than issue per se. But, I take issue with the policy, and I don't think it is properly disclosed / conveyed to the consumer. The Bilt Mastercard referral issue is the fact that it isn't really a credit card refer a friend program at all, since that alone won't earn you referral points. That is correct, an approved card application via your referral link earns you absolutely nothing. Why? Because the person must also be a new Bilt app / Bilt Rewards user AND get approved for the card. So you essentially need to refer the Bilt program and the credit card at the same time.

The problem is that many people already have the app because of the other point earning possibilities that have nothing to do with the credit card. According to this Bilt Rewards policy, they are now all referral lepers.

I was completely dumbfounded when I was told this by Bilt customer service. I should say my wife was actually told this, but more on that in a bit. For any other credit card ecosystem you refer a person for a credit card and you get bonus points when they are approved. Imagine if Amex said you don't get your 25,000 referral points because the person you referred already has an Amex login?!

Never mind that you were the program's white knight selling your friend / spouse / family member on why that card was a perfect fit for them. Nope, they need to be a completely new address for it to count. Absolutely wild. I should take a second to remind you that we are talking about 2,500 points here, and not 25,000, which probably makes me all the more befuddled.

Bilt Mastercard Referral Issue

My Experience With Bilt Customer Service Was … Strange

Before we get into the terms of all of this I wanted to back up with my situation, since the interaction with Bilt customer service was a bit amiss as well.

After a week or so I didn't see my referral tracking and decided to reach out to Bilt customer service. I started with chat, but asked to be emailed a response going forward. At that point, I informed them that I was missing my 2,500 referral points and just wanted to make sure it was a tracking issue. I assumed the interaction would go the same way it went with every other referral program. The assumption was that they would ask for my referral's persons name and then would verify that they in fact were approved. Bile would then check and see if there was a glitch in the Matrix so to speak. I figured that would take a day or so and then the points would be manually added to my account.

What happened next was not that though. Two different Bilt customer service reps told me that I would need the person I referred (my wife) to reach out. That made no sense to me. Why would the person that was referred have to reach out? It wasn't her points that were missing. When I asked that very question this was the response I received:

Due to company policies and security measures, we are unable to provide or share any information about another member's account if they are not the main account holder.

I am not asking about her account or anything though. All I want is you to confirm I sent a referral, and that the person was approved, then give me my points. I told myself that them being overly cautious wasn't a bad thing, even if the process made no logical sense.

My thinking was she would confirm that I sent the link, they would investigate and then would come back and deal with me. That assumption was wrong as well. A common theme here.

They Go Back And Forth With My Wife Instead Of…Me?

My wife reached out and said that I referred her, and I thought that would be the end of that. They instead continued to go back and forth with her … about my missing referral points! How was that not going against the security measures they spouted off about above? Anyway, that is when they told her that I would not receive my points because she signed up for a Bilt Rewards account minutes before applying.

I will admit I did tell her to do that because that is how I always go about signing up for stuff. Sign up for the loyalty account, get your loyalty number and then apply for the card. It just seems to go more smoothly when you do it that way.

The weird thing is that Bilt never came back to tell me any of this. What if she wasn't my wife though? Is it up to my friend to tell me that I wouldn't be getting my points for referring them? Once again, how was all of this not sharing information about my account? Why would the person that signed up be worried about the referrers points? It all defies logic.

What Do The Terms Say?

Hopefully you get a sense for the state of mind I am in at this point. I am not getting my measly 2,500 points because of some weird gotcha in the Bilt Mastercard referral process. Next up, I decide to pull up the terms and see what the heck is actually going on here.

I will admit that I didn't dig through them much before applying, or having my wife apply, since I went with some assumptions on how it would work. The page I did look at said nothing about the requirement for the referee to be a new Bilt Rewards member too though. Here is the landing page for the referral offer:

Bilt Mastercard Referral Issue

As you can see here, there are only mentions of referring the credit card. Nothing about the requirement for the app user to be new as well. It makes it seem like if you refer someone to the credit card you will get points. Easy peasy. Buried in the terms, via the link at the bottom, is where they “gotcha” though. Well, kind of…

Terms & Conditions

Here are what the terms and conditions say. Although, they kind of contradict themselves from point one to point two. Bilt may want to clean that up, because it leaves them open to CFPB complaints in my opinion.

A Successful Referral must meet the following criteria to qualify:
  • Not have previously created a Bilt Rewards account or opened a Bilt Mastercard issued by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • Create their Bilt Rewards account and apply through the unique URL with your referral code (provided by Bilt to you)
  • Be an individual that you know
  • Submit application before the Offer ends, which may be:
    • 12/31/2024; or
    • An earlier date determined by us in our discretion, and with notice of such deadline provided to you at least two weeks in advance. Notice will be provided to you through email.

To be fair, it is there in the terms. Although, that second point seems to tell you to do it exactly the way my wife did it. Sign up for a rewards account and then apply for the card using the referral link.

Bilt Mastercard Referral Issue: ToP Thoughts

In my opinion, this policy is the epitome of walking over a dollar to pick up a dime. It is by far the most punitive referral program policy I have seen, even without the terms being confusingly written. The funny thing is it is all for what, like $25 – $30 of liability on their books? Is it worth alienating a new customer and the person that went to bat for you to get them to sign up. You are telling me that $25 – $30 in savings is worth that?!

I still think the Bilt Rewards program offers the most valuable points out there. I also think their card is a worthwhile option for many people, at least when over 5/24 . This referral program needs some work though. If they want to stand firm on this policy, then they need to clean up the terms so they don't contradict each other. They also need to put the bit about current Bilt Rewards users not being eligible on the main landing page, and not buried in the terms.

However, I hope they take this criticism to heart and adjust this policy. They have proven to be nimble and open to changing things quickly when they don't work. At least it has been that way in the past. Hopefully that rings true here as well.

Let me know what you think of the Bilt Mastercard referral policy over in the ToP Facebook Group.


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