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Despite having just launched in 2008, it feels like Airbnb has been a household name for years. In just over a decade in business, this vacation rental platform recorded more than 500 million check-ins. In March 2019, the site had more than 6 million listings. That's more than the number of rooms at the six largest hotel groups combined.
As many travelers are turning to Airbnb to escape home while limiting their exposure to others, we at ValuePenguin are wondering: What are the best credit cards for Airbnb? In search of this answer, we scoured the top issuers’ sites and rounded up the most rewarding options for a variety of travelers. Here are our top picks:
Best Airbnb credit card 2021
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||$95||Excellent|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$550||Excellent|
|American Express® Green Card||$150||Excellent/Good||Read Review|
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card||$95||Excellent/Good||Read Review|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||$95||Excellent|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||$95||Excellent/Good|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®|
|American Express® Green Card||Read Review|
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card||Read Review|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||affiliate-lightrail id="1112" view="button" /]|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card**|
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Earn 2X points on travel purchases, including Airbnb.
If you're looking for a solid general travel card with a modest annual fee, it's hard to beat the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The $95 annual fee card earns 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The 2X earning rate does include Airbnb purchases.
While 2X points per dollar spent may not sound impressive, it's hard to beat the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These points can be transferred to 13 different airline and hotel partners at a ratio of 1:1. Partners include favorites such as Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt. That means you can effectively earn 2X Southwest or Hyatt points for every dollar spent on travel and dining.
Alternatively, you can book flights, hotels, cars and more through the Chase Travel Portal at a value of 1.25 cents per point. Unless a flight is especially cheap, you're usually going to get more value from Chase's Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.
In addition to earning valuable points on travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers excellent travel and shopping protection. From trip delay and baggage delay reimbursement to auto rental collision protection, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has you covered when you travel.
While earning 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent is solid, other cards offer higher earning rates — as you'll see below.
2. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
- With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Earn 3X points on travel, including Airbnb.
If you can get over the card's hefty $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns its place high on the list of travel cards. You'll earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. That 3X earning rate does apply to Airbnb purchases. Plus, cardholders get a $300 annual travel credit that covers a wide variety of travel purchases, including Airbnb, and offsets more than half the annual fee.
The broadly-defined travel credit is easy to use in a typical year, but this certainly isn't a normal year. An Airbnb stay may be the best way for grounded travelers to utilize this credit.
While the earning rate and travel credit are the card headlines, there's a lot to love about the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Cardholders get a Priority Pass Select membership as well as Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit and excellent shopping and travel protections.
As you can see, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is an excellent card. However, the only downside is a big one: a $550 annual fee. Even if you're able to utilize the $300 travel credit and the other valuable benefits of this card, the annual fee may be too large for some to stomach.
3. American Express® Green Card
Earn 3X Membership Rewards on travel purchases, including Airbnb.
Another excellent general travel card is the American Express® Green Card. Cardholders Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours. Even better, the card charges a reasonable $150 annual fee.
Being able to earn 3X points on Airbnb purchases is excellent for a card with an affordable annual fee. But, to get the most out of your American Express® Green Card earnings, you're going to need to get to know American Express Membership Rewards.
Like Ultimate Rewards points, Membership Rewards are a very valuable currency. You can transfer Membership Rewards points to 19 airlines and hotels — including familiar names like Delta SkyMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue and Marriott Bonvoy. That means you can effectively earn 3X Delta miles per dollar spent at Airbnb. Plus, you can link your Delta and Airbnb accounts to earn another 1X mile per dollar spent.
In addition to a solid earning rate on travel and restaurants, the American Express® Green Card enhances your travel with $100 per year in LoungeBuddy credits and $100 per year in CLEAR credits. Plus, you'll get travel protection, such as trip delay insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance.
Although transferring points to partners can provide a lot of value, there aren't many other valuable ways to use your Membership Rewards points. So, you'll want to know how to maximize your points through transfer partners.
For rates and fees of American Express® Green Card, please click here.
4. Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card earns 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Points can be redeemed for a statement credit at a base rate of 1 cent per point. That means you'll generally earn a 2% return on travel and dining purchases and a 1.5% return on all other purchases. That's not bad, but there are other cards — like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer — that offer a higher return on all purchases.
The real power of the card comes in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. Cardholders who have between $20,000 and $50,000 in assets in linked Bank of America or Merrill Lynch accounts earn a 25% bonus. That bonus increases to 50% for cardholders with assets between $50,000 and $100,000 and to 75% for cardholders with over $100,000 in assets.
After combining the 2X earning with the 75% bonus, "Platinum Honors" members earn 3.5X points on travel and dining purchases. That's an unbeatable return on these purchases.
For an already generous travel card with just a $95 annual fee, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has an incredible benefit: an annual $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit. You'll automatically be reimbursed up to $100 for bag fees, upgrades, lounge fees and more. By utilizing this credit, you'll get more than the cost of the annual fee back each year.
The card easily justifies its annual fee through the ancillary benefits. However, unless you have a significant amount in linked accounts, other cards beat the 2% return on travel and dining purchases.
5. Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.
If you own a small business, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is an excellent way to rack up points. Despite a modest $95 annual fee, cardholders Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn. That 3X rate on travel purchases applies to Airbnb.
The ability to transfer points to 13 different airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio makes Chase Ultimate Rewards points valuable. The ability to earn 3X points on travel purchases makes the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card the top small business option — and one of the top overall options — for Airbnb purchases.
As an alternative to transferring points, cardholders can redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel through Chase Travel at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. If you set this as the base valuation of Ultimate Rewards points, you're earning a 3.75% return on the card's broad bonus categories: travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
The only real downside to the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is the requirement to have a small business to get the card.
6. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
- Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
- No foreign transaction fees
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is great for those looking to save on travel who don't already have a stash of points and miles to utilize. You earn the same rate on every purchase: 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. You can use the Purchase Eraser tool to redeem Capital One miles to "erase" travel purchases anytime within 90 days of the purchase. That means travelers can use the card on a trip and then use the points earned from that trip to retroactively wipe out some of those travel expenses.
The beauty of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is its simplicity. You earn the same miles on all purchases. That means you don't have to worry about a particular purchase being in the right category.
Limited-time offer. Since April 2020, cardholders have been able to redeem their miles for recent, eligible restaurant delivery, takeout and streaming service purchases from thousands of merchants (through April 30, 2021).
Capital One miles can transfer to more than a dozen airline and hotel partners. The rate varies: some partners have a 1:1 transfer ratio while others have a lower transfer ratio (generally 2 Capital One miles to every 1.5 airline miles). That makes Capital One miles a little less valuable than other transferable bank points, which generally transfer at a 1:1 ratio and include more major airline partners.
The information related to American Express® Green Card, and Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.
How to choose the best credit card for Airbnb
As you saw in the card highlights above, the earning rate can vary widely from card to card. And the cost of some home rentals can add up. That means the earning rate is going to be a major factor in determining which card to use.
We are unaware of any cards that offer a category bonus specifically for Airbnb. So, you’ll want to look for a credit card that earns a solid return on travel expenses.
Home rentals aren't cheap. If you're looking to maximize your return on an expensive Airbnb purchase, you may want to sign up for a new credit card offering a lucrative sign-up bonus. You can use the reservation — and other trip-related expenses — to earn the sign-up bonus. By doing so, you can bank points, miles or cash back to help you toward your next getaway.
Generally, the highest earning rates are on cards with the highest annual fees. However, it's not always going to make the most sense for travelers to get a high annual fee card to maximize your earnings.
For example, if you don't spend much on travel and dining, it's not worth paying $550 each year for the Chase Sapphire Reserve's 3X earning rate. Instead, you may want to stick with the lower-fee Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Most credit card travel credits are limited to airline fees and other airline-related costs. However, some cards — like the Chase Sapphire Reserve's $300 travel credit — can be used to offset any travel purchase.
You’ll also want to look for redemption options that can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs for a home rental. For example, with the Capital One Venture Card's Purchase Eraser, you can use Capital One miles to wipe out Airbnb purchases.
Foreign transaction fees
Airbnb gives you the option to pay using any currency you wish. And sometimes paying in the host's local currency is the cheapest option. If you want to take advantage of this arbitrage, make sure to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
Tips for using a credit card on Airbnb
When you're ready to make a reservation, Airbnb will prompt you to enter a credit card or pay through a digital wallet such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal.
If you want to keep from having to enter your credit card information each time you book, Airbnb users have the option to store credit cards in their user profile. To get started, log in to your Airbnb account and browse to your Payments & Payouts page. Click "Add a Payment," enter your credit card details and click "Done" to save the card to your profile.
By saving one of the credit cards we recommend above, you can be sure to use the best credit card when booking an Airbnb stay. If you have multiple saved cards, you can select one option as your default payment method. To do so, click "…" (triple dots) next to the payment method and select "Set Default."
How do you change your credit card on Airbnb?
You can add or remove saved credit cards from your Airbnb profile on the Payments and Payouts page. To change the credit card for a particular reservation, go to your Trips page, select the reservation and select "Get receipts and manage payments" under Payment Details.
How do you remove your credit card from Airbnb?
To remove a credit card from Airbnb, browse to the Payments and Payouts page. Click the … (triple dots) next to the payment method and click "Remove."
When does Airbnb charge your credit card?
Airbnb charges your credit card as soon as the host accepts your request — or upon booking for Instant Book reservations. Alternatively, guests have the option of choosing a payment plan to avoid having to pay the entire balance at booking.
Do you need a credit card for Airbnb?
For most reservations, you'll need to pay using a credit card tied to a major payment processor (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Discover). However, guests from certain countries have additional payment options — such as Alipay or WeChat in China, PayU in India and Postepay in Italy.
Is Airbnb considered a travel purchase?
Yes, Airbnb purchases generally count as travel purchases. However, to be sure, you'll want to check the Merchant Category Code (MCC) for Airbnb if this is critical for your situation.
What credit cards does Airbnb accept?
Airbnb accepts most major credit cards — including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Additionally, Airbnb accepts certain digital wallets such as Apple Pay through the iOS app, Google Pay through the Android app while in the U.S. and PayPal in certain countries.
Can you book Airbnb with someone else's credit card?
Airbnb payment terms and conditions don't require the guest to use their own credit card to reserve a booking.
Can you pay for Airbnb with two credit cards?
No, you can't split the cost of a reservation across two credit cards. Generally, Airbnb guests must pay for a reservation using one payment type, unless you have Airbnb credits or a coupon. Note that Airbnb used to allow guests to split payments with other guests. However, Airbnb removed the Group Payment option in September 2018.
Does Airbnb charge a fee for using a credit card?
Airbnb doesn't charge a fee for paying by credit card. However, Airbnb charges guests a Guest Service Fee of up to 14.2%, which helps the platform cover credit card transaction costs.
Can you pay for Airbnb with cash?
Airbnb considers cash payments — or other offline payments — a violation of its Terms of Service. A host or guest may be removed from Airbnb for trying to make such a payment. Airbnb points to security and fraud concerns for forbidding offsite payments.
The information related to Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.