Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points for Airbnb Gift Cards?

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Did you know you can redeem AMEX Membership Rewards points for gift cards to use on Airbnb?

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

You Can Redeem Your AMEX Membership Rewards Points for $100 or $250 Airbnb Gift Cards. But Should You?

I’ll show you how it works.  And help you decide if it’s a good idea!

About Airbnb

Link:   Sign-Up for Airbnb ($25 Off Your 1st Booking of $75+) 

Airbnb is a service that allows you to book a stay with individual hosts.

You can book a private or shared room, or an entire home.  There are some unique places to stay all over the world.  Including igloos, castles, and treehouses!

I’ve also written about how to negotiate a better price on Airbnb.

The benefits of booking on Airbnb are:

  • Breakfast and snacks are often included in the price
  • You can arrange an early check-in or late check-out, space permitting, for NO extra charge
  • Many Airbnb places have a washer, full kitchen, and free internet
  • Travel with friends or family and stay together in 1 home
  • Stay in any part of town, NOT just where the chain hotels are located
  • Visit a unique destination where there are NO hotels
  • Meets lots of interesting people along the way!

How to Get Airbnb Gift Cards With AMEX Membership Rewards

Link:   Airbnb Gift Cards on AMEX Membership Rewards

AMEX had a 25% bonus on Airbnb gift cards earlier this year.  But you can still redeem 10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points for a $100 e-gift card or 25,000 points for a $250 e-gift card.

Your points are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them this way.  You get the same rate when you book travel directly through American Express.

(I’ll remind you which cards earn American Express Membership Rewards points later on!)

To get started, log into your AMEX account and click, “Membership Rewards” and then “Gift Cards.”

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

Click “Gift Cards” to Access Your Options

On the next screen, you can search for gift cards.  Click “All Brands” to access the dropdown menu.  Then select “Airbnb” and click “Browse.”

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

Click “All Brands” on the Dropdown Menu. Airbnb Is the 1st Option

On the next screen, you’ll have the option to redeem 10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points for a $100 e-gift card, or 25,000 points for a $250 e-gift card.

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

You Can Buy Airbnb E-Gift Cards in $100 or $250 Increments

Select your choice, and click “Add To Cart.”

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

Confirm Your Selection on the Checkout Screen. Then AMEX Will Email Your Airbnb Gift Card Within a Day!

Check your cart and proceed to checkout.  After you’re done, AMEX will email your Airbnb gift card in the amount you selected within 1 business day, but usually in a few hours.

Is It a Good Idea?

This can be a good option if you:

  • Want an easy redemption option
  • Want to avoid the hassle of finding award flights or hotel stays
  • Have a lot of AMEX Membership Rewards points
  • Want to try out Airbnb
  • Like Airbnb and want to offset your costs
  • Want to stay in an area with NO chain hotels
  • Send the gift card as a present to a friend or loved one

Note: The option to redeem AMEX Membership Rewards points for Airbnb gift cards is only available to users registered in the US.

I prefer to transfer my AMEX Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners.  That’s because you can get much more value from your points!

For example, you could transfer your AMEX Membership Rewards points to an airline partner like Air Canada, Air France, or British Airways for an award flight.

You can get a short-haul round-trip coach award flight on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines or US Airways for 9,000 British Airways Avios points.

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

Chicago to Indianapolis Round-Trip in Coach Costs 9,000 British Airways Avios points + $11

The same flights would cost ~$284 if you paid cash!

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

Save ~$284 by Transferring Your AMEX Membership Rewards Points to British Airways

For 10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points, you could get a $100 Airbnb e-gift card.  Or you could get a round-trip coach flight award that retails for ~$284 for 9,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points.

Note:   AMEX is changing the ratio of British Airways points redemptions beginning October 1, 2015.  Starting then, you’ll need to transfer 12,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points to get 9,600 British Airways Avios points, which can still be a good deal in certain situations.  As always, check to make sure it’s worth it before you make the transfer.

AMEX also has the following hotel transfer partners:

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

AMEX Membership Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners

I wrote about how to get more award nights at Hilton Category 1 and 2 hotels. 

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

Hilton Award Nights Start at 5,000 Hilton Points

Because AMEX Membership Rewards points transfer to Hilton at a 2:3 ratio, you’ll get 15,000 Hilton points when you transfer 10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points.

That’s enough for 3 nights in a Hilton Category 1 hotel, like the Hampton by Hilton Krakow.

Nights there typically cost ~$60.  So your 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points will save you ~$180, plus you get free internet and breakfast because it’s a Hampton Inn.

Those same 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points are worth a $100 Airbnb gift card.

And for 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards points, you’d get 37,500 Hilton points, which is more than enough for 3 nights a Hilton Category 2 hotel, like the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Beijing.

Nights there are ~$200.  So 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards points are worth ~$600.  Or $250 if you redeem the points for an Airbnb gift card.

The downside is you can only get airline award flights or hotel stays when there is space available.

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

You Won’t Have to Think About Blackout Dates When You Use Gift Cards

Airbnb gift cards are easy and flexible to use.  And there are NO blackout dates!

So it depends if you prefer to save more money with points.  Or if you want flexibility.  As always, do what’s best for you!

Before you make the transfer, check to see if you can use points at 1 of the AMEX hotel partners in the city you want to visit.  You may find that your points will get you more free nights at a hotel partner than if you redeem for gift cards to use on Airbnb.

But because Airbnb is generally cheaper than hotels, it might end up being close.

Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points For Airbnb Gift Cards

If You Want to Stay in Northern Iceland, You Won’t Have Many Hotel Options. But There Are Lots of Airbnb Places!

Airbnb is also a very different experience than hotels, and you can find them in places where there are NOT any other hotel options.  Like this place in northern Iceland.

So it’s worth checking what’s available in the city where you want to stay.  Because how much you can get from your points will vary from place to place.

About the Airbnb Gift Cards

You can use 1 gift card per booking on Airbnb.  And the gift cards do NOT expire.

But what happens if you don’t use the whole amount of your gift card in 1 booking?

AMEX says:

You are encouraged to use the value of your Airbnb eGift Card code in a single transaction.  However, you will be issued a new Airbnb eGift Card code for any unused residual value via email within 5 business days from the date of your booking using the original Airbnb eGift Card code.

So if you don’t use the entire amount, you’ll get a new gift card emailed within 5 business days.  And you can use it toward another booking.

Ways to Earn American Express Membership Rewards Points

As a reminder, you can collect American Express Membership Rewards points when you use these cards:

Personal CardsBusiness Cards
Premier Rewards Gold Card From American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
American Express® Mercedes-Benz PlatinumThe Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Green Card
Blue from American Express® Note: These are the ONLY AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points that can NOT be transferred to airline & hotel programs. But you can use these points on the Membership Rewards website for other redemptions. Includes personal AND small business versions of the card.

Use the Right Card to Pay for Airbnb Stays!

If you decide to pay for your stays on Airbnb, or if your gift card won’t cover the entire amount, remember to use a card that will earn bonus points on travel expenses:

Bottom Line

You can redeem 10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points for a $100 e-gift card or 25,000 points for a $250 e-gift card to use for your stays on Airbnb.

I’d rather transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners to get Big Travel, but using them for Airbnb gift cards can make sense in certain situations.

Airbnbs are sometimes plentiful in places where there aren’t hotels.  Or you may find that you get more award nights by transferring your AMEX Membership Rewards points to a hotel partner instead of redeeming them for Airbnb gift cards.

Check to be sure you’re getting the best value before you redeem your points.  If you want to redeem for Big Travel on First Class flights, for example, you should save them and NOT get Airbnb gift cards.

But some folks might like the flexibility of gift cards instead of trying to find available award flights or hotels.  As always, do what’s best for your situation.

And before using your gift card, keep in mind my top 5 tips for negotiating the best price on Airbnb!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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One response to “Should You Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points for Airbnb Gift Cards?

  1. I’m not a fan of the 1 ‘gift card’ per booking rule..