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Why You Might Not Want To Sign Up For The United Status Challenge from Bilt

by joeheg

You’ve got to give it to the team at Bilt. They’ve found a way to continually keep their product on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

The travel blog community is driven by news cycles. We’re either talking about which card has a “never before seen” sign up bonus, a new spending category, or how a card is no longer at the top of the class because of cutting benefits or transfer partners.

Remember when people were talking about that new credit card for a week and then you never heard about it again?

Bilt Rewards and the Bilt Mastercard have constantly been rolling out new benefits. I can’t remember more than a month’s stretch when they didn’t announce a new travel transfer partner, a way to use points to pay for products or services, or a new bonus category for the credit card.

It was only August 25th when they suddenly offered 3X points for gas purchases (or EV charging fees) and that seems like forever ago (If you’ve forgotten, that promo sadly ends on Monday, October 31st).

Bilt introduced “Rent Day” in October, with promises of exclusive offers on the first of the month. The first month included double points across all categories on the Bilt Mastercard, bringing a friend for free to Soulcycle plus earning 10X points, and a 2-for-1 cruise with Virgin Voyages.

For November, Bilt announced a promotion for complimentary United MileagePlus® Premier® status that got the entire points world buzzing. Most important is that the offer is for all Bilt Rewards members, not just those with the Bilt Mastercard. Remember that you can sign up for a Bilt account for free, even if you don’t pay rent. This means that almost anyone is eligible for free United MileagePlus Premier status. Almost anyone.

While it’s being promoted as complementary, to be accurate this is a status challenge from United. Airlines run these challenge offers to get people to try out what it’s like to have status and provide a fast track to keep the status. The idea is that if you have status with the airline, you’re more likely to spend more of your travel dollars with them.

We took advantage of a similar targeted offer from American Airlines to get Platinum Pro status for a few months.

It’s notable that United doesn’t usually offer an open-ended status challenge, so Bilt opened a door for everyone that’s usually closed.

But not everyone should jump at the offer, and here’s why. One of the only exemptions for signing up for the status challenge is “Members who have registered and/or completed a status match or status challenge in the past 3 years are not eligible for this offer.”

So if you took part in a status challenge or status match from United in the past 3 years, you’re ineligible for this offer.

This would also imply that signing up for the status challenge would make you unable to take advantage of another offer from United for the next 3 years.

The complimentary status offer lasts for 120 days, so you’ll have either United Silver or Gold status (depending on your Bilt Rewards status) until March 1, 2023. If you complete the challenge of earning enough qualifying points and flights in that time, your status will extend until January 31, 2024.

If you have flights on United between now and next February and would like to see what entry-level status is like with access to Economy Plus seats and free checked bags, this is a great chance.

Even better if you’ll have enough flights to reach the challenge requirements to keep that status until the end of 2023. While only paid travel counts for the challenge, you’ll get the perks for all trips including award travel.

However, if you don’t have any travel planned with United during the 120-day period, I’d give this offer a pass. That’s because doing so would prevent you from signing up for another offer like this for 3 years and we don’t know if Bilt might bring this back again down the line (and I have NO IDEA what they have planned but I’m not leaving anything off the table).

You have to decide soon because applications for the complimentary United MileagePlus® Premier® status through the Bilt Rewards app end on November 1st. You can sign up for a free Bilt Rewards account at https://www.biltrewards.com/. If you’re looking to get the Bilt Rewards Mastercard, we have a referral link that gives us Bilt points for each person approved for the card.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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