Choosing a new credit card can be challenging – and this is especially true when the cards offer the same unique selling point – earning rewards towards anew home. The new Rocket Visa Signature Card from Deserve is being hailed as the first card for prospective homeowners, but this boast was previously made by Wells Fargo’s Bilt Mastercard – a credit card for rent (and more).
Before you apply for your next credit card, check out this helpful guide that breaks down both cards, their strengths, weaknesses, and the finer points that can help you make an informed decision.
Rocket Visa Signature or Bilt Mastercard: Which Is Right for You?
The Rocket Visa Signature and Bilt Mastercard provide a way for Americans to save towards a down payment on a new home – but which is best? Here is a discussion and comparison of the two cards over key credit categories:
How to Apply
Here is all the information you’ll need to apply for both cards:
What Do You Need to Apply for the Rocket Visa Signature Card?
Since the Rocket Visa Signature Card is issued through Celtic Bank/Deserve, the card follows a similar application process to the Deserve PRO and Edu credit cards. Expect to need the following information when applying:
- Rocket account
- Email address
- Phone number
- SSN (for identification/verification purposes)
- External bank account information
Deserve uses non-traditional cardholder screening to help make its credit card products more readily available to a wider proportion of eligible applicants. The Deserve application process includes linking your bank account to the application to provide additional factors to help improve application success odds.
Non-US citizens should have the following information before applying:
- Copy of passport
- US visa
- Most recent I-20 or DS-2019 form
- Latest U.S. bank account statements
What Do You Need to Apply for the Bilt Mastercard?
Here is what you’ll need to apply for the Bilt Mastercard, issued by Wells Fargo:
- Email address
- Phone number
- SSN (for identification/verification purposes)
- Monthly housing expenses
Like Deserve, Wells Fargo also allows non-citizens to apply for some of its credit card offerings. If you are not a US citizen but wish to apply for the Bilt Mastercard, you will need to provide your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Both credit cards are designed for applicants with good or excellent credit scores. Before applying for either reward card make sure to check your credit health to see if you qualify for the card.
Can You Pre-Qualify?
The Rocket Visa Signature offers an online preapproval page where you can check your suitability for the card prior to applying. This preapproval or pre-qualification process is not available from either Bilt or Wells Fargo.
Related Article: How to Pre-Qualify for a Credit Card
Both credit cards earn rewards on everyday purchases. Here are the two rewards structures:
How to Earn and Redeem Rewards with Rocket
The Rocket credit card operates differently than a traditional credit card. This curious rewards structure is based on how you plan to use your rewards – and not how you earn them.
There are three redemption options and each one provides a different point valuation:
- Get 5% cash back toward a new home
- Earn 2% cash back toward your mortgage balance
- Get 1.25% cash back as a statement credit
How to Earn Rewards with Bilt
The Bilt Mastercard is a popular rewards card for anyone that rents an apartment and dreams of buying a home. Like Rocket, Bilt has a unique rewards structure, with the “headline” bonus category only earning 1X points. Here are the bonus categories:
- Earn 1X points on rent payments (up to 50,000 points each calendar year)
- Earn 2X points on travel
- Earn 3X points on dining
Bilt cardholders also earn a bonus 5X points per $1 sent on purchases with the rideshare company.That 5X on Lyft rides is in addition to the Lyft statement credit the card provides. Cardholders earn a $5 Lyft statement credit each month they use the Bilt Mastercard to pay for Lyft rides.
How to Redeem Rewards with Bilt
There is an impressive assortment of redemption options through the Bilt Rewards program. Cardholders can use points towards membership and classes through Soul Cycle, Y7 Studio, or Rumble; art, home décor, and apparel through the Bilt Collection; statement credits; or transfers to several airline and hotel loyalty programs, including:
|AAdvantage||Aeroplan||Emirates Skywards||Flying Blue|
|IHG Rewards||World of Hyatt||Virgin Points|
Cardholders can also use their points to cover rent payments through Bilt, or towards a future down payment. This means the Bilt Mastercard acts in much the same way as the Rocket Visa.
Earning rewards is great, but not if the fees and charges offset those rewards. Here’s what it’s like to live with both cards every day:
Rocket Visa Fees
While the Rocket Visa voids many of the fees cardholders hate to pay – that’s only because Celtic Bank and Deserve do not allow them. The card does not offer either balance transfers or cash advances, for example. Fortunately, the card makes up for this with no foreign transaction fees, a great perk if you pan to travel.
The card does charge an annual fee of $95 but waives this charge if you have an existing Rocket Mortgage account. While this is understandable, it does a lot to undermine the credentials of the card as being ideal for first-time homebuyers.
Bilt, on the other hand, charges a $0 annual fee for all cardholders. Additionally, the card also offers both cash advances and balance transfers. Because of this, expect to pay a fee for each transaction, which is standard with most credit cards. The Bilt Card mirrors the Rocket Visa in also charging no foreign transaction fees.
The Bilt Mastercard operates on the Mastercard credit card network. Mastercard is the world’s largest issuer of credit cards based on the number of countries served. Currently, over 200 countries accept the Mastercard network – more than Visa.
Additionally, Mastercar5d cardholders enjoy a wide array of protections and benefits, with Bilt cardholders enjoying the pinnacle of these benefits: World Elite Mastercard benefits. These features include:
|Zero Liability Protection||Airport Concierge||Cell Phone Protection|
|Mastercard Global Services||Priceless Experiences||Lyft Credits|
|ID Theft Protection||Priceless Golf||DoorDash Offer|
|Mastercard Travel Services||ShopRunner Membership||Hello Fresh Savings|
|Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee||Fandango Savings|
The Rocket credit card is a Visa product. More merchants accept Visa than any other payment network in the world. The Rocket Card enjoys Visa Signature protections. This tier is the middle-level in the Visa hierarchy, with Rocket cardholders enjoying the following benefits:
|Zero Fraud Liability||Cardholder Inquiry Services||Emergency Card Replacement|
|Roadside Dispatch and Auto Collision Damage Waiver||Lost/Stolen Card Reporting||ID Navigator from Norton|
|Luxury Hotel Collection||Travel & Emergency Assistance||Extended Warranty Coverage|
|Visa Signature Concierge|
Other Card Features
Other notable features of both cards include:
The Rocket Visa prioritizes tools over credits. Instead of monthly savings on food delivery, Rocket provides access to the Rocket Money app – a one-stop way to manage all your finances. Cardholders also have access to different payment options, including SmartPay6, Autopay, or make payments manually.
Bilt provides cardholders with a selection of statement credits. These credits include $60 in Lyft statement credits each year ($5/month), $120 in DoorDash statement credits each year ($10/month), and cell phone protection.
Here is a quick recap of all the features of both cards:
Rocket Visa Signature
|Rewards||Earn rewards based on your redemption option: 5% back for a new home and 2% back towards interest on an existing Rocket mortgage||Earn 1X points on rent payments (up to 50,000 points each calendar year), 2X points on travel purchases booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise line., 3X points on dining.|
|Redemption options||Existing or new Rocket mortgage||Rent, future down payments, statement credits, merchandise, classes and memberships|
|Network||Visa Signature||World Elite Mastercard|
|Annual fee||$95 (none with Rocket mortgage)||None|
Featured image by Gam-Ol /PixaBay