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Every day, more folks are falling in love with Airbnb. Because it’s often cheaper than a hotel and easier to stay off the beaten path. But most miles and points enthusiasts still love free flights too. So which cards are great for saving money on both airfare and Airbnb stays?
Million Mile Secret Agent Gina commented on Facebook:
We are a family of 5 who love to travel. We usually prefer to stay with Airbnb since we save money eating meals at “home.” Airfare is typically our biggest travel expense. And we’d love to save on that. We live in Arizona and travel to the East Coast yearly. Any suggestions?
Thanks for the question, Gina. I’d love to help!
Let’s take a look at some of the credit cards that could work for your situation.
Two Travel Goals With 1 Credit Card
Gina lives in Arizona. And Phoenix is a hub city for both American Airlines and Southwest.
She could get one of the Chase Southwest cards and work toward the best deal in travel. Or she could get an American Airlines credit card from Barclaycard or Citibank. But none of those cards will get you free Airbnb stays.
So let’s look at the rewards credit cards that are great for getting free airfare AND free Airbnb nights.
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
I love Chase Ultimate Rewards points because they offer lots of flexibility. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. And you can even fly with American Airlines by transferring points (at a 1:1 ratio) to British Airways!
If you can’t find award seats on the flights you want, you can use the Chase travel portal to book almost any flight with points. And you’ll still earn frequent flyer miles on your free flight!
You also have the option to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 1 cent each for cash back toward any expense, including Airbnb stays!
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card currently comes with a bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. That’s worth at least $500. You’ll earn 2 points per $1 on travel and dining purchases. And the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
2. Bank Of America Premium Rewards
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card comes with a 50,000 point (worth $500) sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
You can redeem the points for 1 cent each in these ways:
- Cash back (as a statement credit)
- Deposit to a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch account
- Travel purchases through the Bank of America Travel Center
- Gift cards
So it’s super easy to use the points for any flight or Airbnb stay!
You’ll earn 2 points per $1 on travel and dining purchases. And 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95.
But you’ll get a $100 airline incidental credit (baggage fees, in-flight food, etc.) per calendar year, not cardmember year. So you’ll be able to get the $100 credit twice before the 2nd annual fee is due!
3. Barclaycard Arrival Plus
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card comes with a 40,000 mile bonus (worth $400+ towards travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. You can redeem Barclaycard miles towards travel expenses, including Airbnb stays and airfare!
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus earns 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases. And you’ll get a 5% rebate on all redemptions. So you’ll earn 2.1% cash back (2 miles per $1 X 1.05 rebate = 2.1 miles per $1) toward your travel expenses on all purchases. Plus, the $89 annual fee is waived the first year.
Folks love using miles and points to save money on the big travel expenses, like airfare and accommodations. And there are lots of great cards for saving money on flights and hotels. But what about when you want to save on Airbnb stays too?
Being tied to one loyalty program will limit your options for free travel. So cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Bank of America Premium Rewards, and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus are great options when you need more flexibility. Because they all earn rewards that you can redeem for flights and Airbnb stays!
Thanks for the question, Gina. I hope this helps!