As I move away from hotel points and more towards vacation rentals I thought it would be handy to create an Airbnb miles and points guide. You can both earn miles on Airbnb purchases and redeem points for Airbnb stays, but the process is not quite as straightforward as using hotel points in some cases.
Earning Miles and Points on Airbnb
Earning airline miles with Airbnb is pretty simple. Just enter through their portal and you’ll get miles when you pay for a rental.
- Delta: 1 Skymile per dollar spent.
- Virgin America: 1 Elevate point per dollar spent plus an extra 1,500 elevate points on first booking.
- Qantas: 1 points per AU dollar (76 cents)
Objectively the Virgin America point is worth the most on travel but I’m using Delta due to ease of redemption and the fact that Delta Skymiles never expire.
If you’re a first timer on Airbnb and are not using the Virgin America deal feel free to sign up on my referral link. You’ll still get the $20 bonus (occasionally raised) and you’ll still get the miles if you purchase through the portal.
Earning on Gift Cards
You can double dip easily with Airbnb by buying gift cards first and using them towards your purchase. Category bonuses are your best friend here. You’ll also see sales from time to time, which can be good for stocking up.
By doing so, however, you’ll lose your travel insurance protection as you’re not using a credit card for actual purchase. Be sure to weigh those two carefully before proceeding. Here are my three favorite plays for airbnb gift cards:
- JetBlue on Amazon: 3 trueblue points per dollar
- Chase Ink at office supply stores: 5 points per dollar
- United Mileage Plus X App: 3 miles per dollar (varies)
Redeeming Miles and Points for Airbnb
The best value play here is the Barclay Arrival+ card. Arrival lets you redeem points for purchases over $100 and gives an extra 5% back if the purchase is on travel. Earning on this card is 2 points per dollar so it’s a solid use of your spending.
You can also redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for Airbnb, but the rate is only one percent for gift cards and less for stays. You’ll likely get better value using Membership Rewards on airline transfers.
However, I’m doing neither of those. I value the insurance on the Chase Sapphire Reserve more than I value the points spend so I’d rather charge the expenses there and have the peace of mind. Airbnb does count towards Chase’s $300 annual travel credit.
What are your favorite points strategies for Airbnb? Please share in the comments as we’re all learning here.
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