It seems like every year I find myself in a conversation with my fellow miles and points nerds about how someone scored an incredible deal on Black Friday by stacking cash back portals and other bonuses with ridiculously low prices. Sometimes there’s FOMO, other times just appreciation from a fellow deal junkie.
This year was a mostly quiet Black Friday for me. As the day wound down I texted in a group chat with some good friends who share my love for all things travel. One of the folks in the group chat was Richard Kerr. While his primary role may be to serve as my podcast co-host he also has a day job with the folks at Bilt Rewards. They cooked up a really solid promotion for Black Friday. Essentially, all of your spending on Black Friday (except rent) would earn five points per dollar, up to a maximum of 50,000 points.
In anticipation of Friday I built myself a nerdy spreadsheet of all the things I needed to purchase, both for Christmas and other activities coming up. The day got away from me and I wasn’t able to get through my whole list while I tracked down various high-demand gifts for my kids and maximized using Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points for discounts on Amazon. As the clock got close to striking midnight and I started to turn into a pumpkin I texted the group that I’d manage to charge almost $2,000 on my Bilt card for close to 10,000 points. I didn’t figure I was the biggest spender. I’m sure some folks charged $10,000 in gift cards to hit the maximum. But, I didn’t expect that I was nowhere near the biggest.
Richard quickly informed me that someone managed to buy a fully loaded Jeep with a total price of over $60,000 and charge the entire thing on their Bilt Rewards Mastercard. That’s a pretty epic story as far as miles and points nerds go. But, the story gets better. Apparently, the gist of the story is that a son bought it for his father. His dad had always wanted a Jeep and the son, successful enough to be able to afford to buy his dad a new car, figured he would max out his bonus earning on Black Friday as well! Richard and I will be talking more about it on the podcast episode that drops this Wednesday, December 1st.
Purchasing a car wholly on a credit card is sort of the holy grail of points nerds. Nick from Frequent Miler is currently trying to achieve this unicorn. And, my co-host Richard actually managed to pull it off a number of years ago. Nowadays it’s pretty difficult because car dealerships don’t want to pay the fees associated with a credit card transaction. When I bought my pickup trucks last year I only managed to get the dealership to charge a few thousand dollars.
The Final Two Pennies
The Bilt 5X promo on Black Friday was a lot of fun for me. I held off buying anything on Thanksgiving even though online sales were popping up left and right. On Friday, I used the digital card at home while my wife hit the stores with the physical card. And yet, we came up way short of the guy who was savvy enough to pull off buying a $60,000 car on his credit card.
I’ve talked quite a bit about the Bilt Rewards Mastercard both on social media and the podcast. I don’t receive any affiliate commissions or referral credit if you sign up, so no heavy sell from me. However, the card makes a ton of sense for renters. Earn 1 point per dollar on rent as well as 2 points on travel and 3 points on dining. Those points transfer 1:1 to some of my favorite programs such as Hyatt and American Airlines. In fact, they are the only program transferring 1:1 to American Airlines right now. The card currently has a waitlist, but you can apply here and use my code PIM4BILT to skip the waitlist.
And, you can hope for another 5X promo!
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And, I hope you’ll check out my podcast, Miles To Go. We cover the latest travel news, tips and tricks every week so you can save money while you travel better. From Disney to Dubai, San Francisco to Sydney, American Airlines to WestJet, we’ve got you covered!