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I usually love staying in Airbnbs, but more and more I’m getting a little frustrated with the added fees for little benefit. This has me questioning how frequently I’ll use Airbnb and has me thinking about other options I can use, such as hotels, timeshares, and websites like VRBO and HomeAway.
I’d love to see Airbnb partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards and introduce a loyalty program to encourage bookings. Airbnb has NOT announced a loyalty program. This post is just a few ideas on what an Airbnb loyalty program might look like.
And be sure to check out our guide for how to easily book Airbnb apartments for free with travel miles and points using great credit cards like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
Here’s What I’d Like to See in an Airbnb Loyalty Program
Partner with Chase or American Express
Ideally, I’d love it if Airbnb would partner with Chase to give me even more options for how to use my Chase Ultimate Rewards points. I can already transfer to hotels like Hyatt, so Airbnb would be another great option. But Chase already has a very strong travel rewards program, so American Express might be a more realistic option.
I have American Express points, and have used them mainly for flights I book using Aeroplan and Delta. If American Express added Airbnb as a transfer partner, then I would be MUCH more interested in the American Express Membership Rewards program!
Introduce a Co-Branded Credit Card
Airbnb could partner with Chase or American Express for a co-branded credit card. New applicants could earn 100,000 “Airpoints” or Airbnb points that could be used towards any Airbnb. Because each Airpoint would be worth 1 cent each, the bonus could be worth $1,000 in travel! The minimum spending required would be ~$4,000 in the first 3 months.
Airbnb Points Would Be Used as Credits
Since Airbnbs differ so much in room type — there are shared spaces, private rooms, or entire places that you don’t share with anyone else — it would be difficult to standardize properties for a standard rewards program. They also differ a lot in quality, with some Airbnbs receiving 1 to 2 stars for lack of cleanliness or poor host communication, and some receiving 5 stars for outstanding amenities, location, and cleanliness.
I see Airbnb having points that can be then used towards a credit for Airbnbs. For example:
- 5,000 points = $50 credit
- 10,000 points = $100 credit
- 15,000 points = $150 credit
- 20,000 points = $200 credit
- 25,000 points = $250 credit
- 30,000 points = $300 credit
Any remaining funds not used towards the Airbnb would be forfeited. For example, if the price of an Airbnb is $37, and you use a $50 credit, then you would lose the remaining $13 ($50 – $37 = $13).
You could earn points from an Airbnb credit card sign-on bonus and through each Airbnb stay. For example, each stay booked with cash could earn you ~1,000 points. Stays booked with credits would be ineligible to receive the points bonus.
Include Hosts in the Rewards Program
To incentivize more hosts to frequently list their properties, the hosts should get bonuses for the more nights they book. For example, if the host books 10 nights, then they would earn an additional 5% or 10% of the total revenue earned. Or, Airbnb hosts could be issued bonus points that they can then transfer to credits that they can use towards free/reduced priced Airbnbs in the future.
Stay 10 Nights, Get 1 Free
Airbnb could introduce a rewards program similar to Hotels.com. At Hotels.com, if you stay 10 nights, you get one free night at the average price of your previous 10 nights. I rarely book hotels via Hotels.com, so I’d want more an incentive than 1 free night to make it a more worthwhile program.
These are just a few ideas for a potential Airbnb loyalty program. I don’t see Airbnb coming out with a loyalty program any time soon because of the complexity and costs involved.
What would you like to see? Share your comments below!