How Taking One Extra (Easy!) Step Saved Me 12% On My Vacation Rental

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Earlier this year my family and I went to Portugal and visited Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, and the Azores (which are a hidden gem, by the way!).  I’m the deal-finder, so I was in charge of researching and booking flights and hotels.

Because we were a larger group of 5, I decided to book vacation rentals instead of hotel rooms so it would be easier to hang out together.  I searched Airbnb and found an amazing rental for our time in Sintra.  After getting a thumbs up from everyone, I decided to book.  Luckily, I took one extra step before making the reservation, because it ended up saving us 12% on our stay!

I’ll explain.

Wandering the Streets of Sintra With My Family

Whenever I make any purchase online I start by checking to see if I can earn bonus miles, points, or cash back.  And that’s exactly what I did before booking our vacation rental in Sintra!

TopCashBack (a reputable and popular cash back site) happened to be paying double their normal rate for bookings through Agoda, a site similar to and Airbnb.  So, I headed to Agoda to see if I could find the same listing I’d found on Airbnb.

To my surprise and delight, I found the same house listed for the same price!

TopCashBack was paying out 12% for Agoda at the time of my booking.  I’d made a reservation through Agoda before without issue, so I figured it was worth a try.  It’s hard to know for sure whether a cash back portal will payout when all is said and done.

The Views From Our Rental in Sintra Were Fantastic.  On a Clear Day, We Could See All the Way to Lisbon!

I was a little worried because the terms on TopCashBack state that cash back is paid on “tracked transactions completed immediately and wholly online,” and I knew the transaction wouldn’t be “complete” until we checked-in and my credit card was officially charged.

But again, it was worth a shot, and the reservation was eventually approved for cash back!  Our stay cost ~$1,167 so I earned ~$140 cash back on the booking!

That’s a pretty great return for the few minutes it took me to check and search for the rental on a different site.

Right now TopCashBack is paying 6% on Agoda bookings, while none of the portals are paying cash back for Airbnb bookings. 😉

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Meghan Hunter is an editor for Million Mile Secrets. She covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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