Mastercard has unveiled a new credit card it says will help renters make down payments on a future home.
The Bilt Mastercard — created in partnership with real estate startup Bilt Technologies — can be used at any rental unit or apartment with no fees, letting customers earn points for things like travel, rent credits and down payments on a home.
“Housing is the single largest expense for most Americans, and rent is one of the only expenses that you couldn’t earn points on without fees,” Bilt Rewards CEO and Founder Ankur Jain said in a Tuesday (June 22) press release.
“Together with Mastercard, we have created a product that turns renting into a path forward for this generation, enabling them to earn points, build their credit and even chart a path towards homeownership. Not to mention it’s 2021, and renters shouldn’t have to pay rent with a check.”
Among the benefits of the card is a system that lets renters make card payments at buildings that don’t accept credit cards. Cardholders will pay through the Bilt app and a check will go to their landlord on their behalf.
Tenants who rent through the Bilt Rewards Alliance network, made up of real estate owners around the country, will be the first invited to use the new card, which was due to roll out to more than 2 million rental units beginning Tuesday.
It’s been a tough time for renters, with many losing their jobs as businesses folded or closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As PYMNTS reported earlier this year, Congress approved $25 billion in aid for renters in December 2020, but that money was held up due to fears about the threat of fraud, as well the fact that no system existed for dispensing large amounts of rental assistance.