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I recently shared how becoming an Airbnb host can help folks make extra money.
As a host, you can qualify for a small business credit card. This is a great way to separate your personal and business expenses and earn miles & points or cash back at the same time!
I’ll share the 5 best cards for Airbnb hosting expenses.
Most Airbnb Hosts Qualify for Small Business Cards
Keep in mind, you don’t have to rent your home every day to be considered a small business. Even if you only host a few weeks a year, you might be eligible. Because certain banks, like AMEX, don’t have strict income requirements for small business cards.
There are lots of Airbnb host expenses that can go on a small business card, like:
- Bedding and linens
- Cleaning products and supplies
- Snacks and drinks for guests, like coffee, tea, or wine
- Maid or turnover service
- Breakfast foods
- Key copies
- Cable, internet, and telephone service
- Kitchen appliances and dishes
- Rent or mortgage payments
- Shipping (in case your guests forget something)
Several Million Mile Secrets team members have Airbnb listings. And they use Plastiq to pay their rent or mortgage payments using a credit card.
Best Cards for Airbnb Hosting Expenses
For certain expenses, there are several cards that might be a good fit to earn you miles, points, or cash back. The best rewards to earn will depend on your travel goals.
1. Chase Ink Business Cash
- 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year
- 2% back back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
So you can earn bonus cash back just by paying your internet and cable TV bill for your Airbnb business. And consider purchasing cleaning supplies at office supply stores like Staples to also earn extra rewards.
The points you earn with this card can be worth much more if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred, Chase Ink Plus (no longer available), or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available).
Keep in mind, this card is impacted by Chase’s tougher application rules. If you’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards (from ANY bank) in the past 24 months, (excluding certain business cards) it’s unlikely you’ll get approved for the Ink Cash.
2. AMEX SimplyCash Plus
The no annual fee SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express is ideal for Airbnb hosts who want to earn cash back.
With this card, you earn:
- 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and US office supply stores
- 3% cash back on one category of your choice (like airfare, gas stations, restaurants, and computer hardware & software)
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Similar to the Ink Cash, you can earn 5% cash back making purchases for your Airbnb at office supply stores where you might find good deals on furniture or computer equipment like wireless routers.
For a limited time, you can earn $200 cash back after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of card membership. Plus, earn an additional $200 cash back after you spend an additional $10,000 on purchases within the first year of card membership.
The regular offer does NOT include the additional $200 cash back after spending $10,000.
3. AMEX Business Platinum
To get the benefit of the bonus points on large purchases, you might consider using Plastiq to pay bills that don’t normally accept a credit card like:
- Income taxes
- Property taxes
Keep in mind, you’ll pay a fee to use Plastiq. So do the math to see if earning the extra points makes sense.
The card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of up to 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.
You’ll earn 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. And an extra 25,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the same timeframe.
That’s a substantial amount! So don’t forget to check out my post about ways to meet high spending requirements.
With the AMEX Business Platinum Card, you also get:
- A points rebate for ALL First Class or Business Class flights booked through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points
- A points rebate for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points
- 5X AMEX Membership Rewards points when you book airfare or hotels through the AMEX travel portal
- $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food & drink, etc.)
- Access to airport lounges (Delta, Priority Pass, Airspace, and American Express Centurion Lounges)
- Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Free Hilton HHonors Gold elite status (free breakfast and upgrades when available)
The card has a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived.
Note: Check out this post explaining important changes to the Pay With Points rebate.
4. AMEX Starwood Business Card
You don’t earn a bonus on everyday purchases with the AMEX Starwood small business card. But the points you earn are extremely valuable! So putting all of your Airbnb host expenses on this card can make it easier to boost your Starwood points balance.
Then, redeem Starwood points for:
- Free stays at 5,700+ Starwood AND Marriott hotels around the world
- Inexpensive hotel stays using the Cash + Points perk
- Award flights with airline transfer partners like American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, and more
You might even use Starwood points to stay a hotel near your home while it’s being rented.
And sometimes, AMEX has targeted promotions to earn bonus Starwood points after meeting a spending requirement.
The current sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood small business card is 25,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
And the card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
5. Capital One Spark Cash
If you want to earn cash back and don’t want to bother with bonus categories, you might consider the no annual fee Capital One Spark Cash Select card.
With this card, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with every purchase.
This card also has a $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
But the downside is that Capital One pulls your credit score from all 3 credit bureaus. Folks in the miles & points hobby don’t like this because the more credit inquiries you have on your report, the more difficult it is to be approved for other credit cards.
The top 5 cards I recommend for Airbnb hosts are:
- Chase Ink Cash
- AMEX SimplyCash® Plus
- AMEX Business Platinum
- AMEX Starwood Business Card
- Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
If you’re an Airbnb host, which card do you use for business expenses?