How To Redeem Credit Card Rewards For Airbnb

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to put many Americans’ vacations and hotel stays on hold, road trips to a nearby Airbnb are becoming more popular.

Vacation rental marketplaces, like Airbnb, have gained traction as a home away from home for large group sizes, and even more so now as a covid-friendly option.

Airbnbs offer more room to social distance, and guests tend to have their own kitchen and dining areas. In light of the pandemic, Airbnb has also enhanced its cleaning protocols between stays and asks that hosts provide a no-contact check-in whenever possible.

If you’re looking for some time off this upcoming holiday season, a vacation rental may be the best choice. And the good news is that all those credit card rewards you’ve been stockpiling in quarantine this year can help cover the cost of your next stay.

Before diving in, you’ll first need to find out how your credit card issuer codes Airbnb transactions. Purchases that fall under the “travel’ category most often include timeshares and hotels. But there are also categories like homeshares, homestays and rentals.

Both Chase and Wells Fargo classify Airbnb as travel under the homeshare category, but not all card issuers will.

Here’s what falls under the travel category for five major issuers:

  • American Express: Hotel stays, timeshare rentals and vacation rentals (American Express® Green Card only); excludes purchases of timeshare properties
  • Bank of America: Hotels, motels, resorts, timeshares
  • Capital One: Hotel and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel
  • Chase: Hotels, motels, timeshares
  • Citi: Hotels, timeshares

Learn more: How credit card issuers classify purchases for bonus rewards

Now that you know where you stand, let’s take a look at the many ways you can apply your points and miles to cover vacation rentals and Airbnbs.

1. Use your travel credit card wisely

2. Look for a travel statement credit

3. Redeem your credit card rewards for an Airbnb gift card

4. Cash in on a cash-back card

Bottom line

Whether you carry a travel credit card or a cash-back credit card, there’s a way you can use your earned rewards to book vacation rentals.

While most of the travel credit cards have rewards programs where you can use your points to book lodging, check with yours first to see if vacation rentals fall under that category.

And for those that offer gift card redemption options, see if Airbnb is one of the merchants and what the redemption value would be if you used your points toward purchasing a gift card.

Information about the Capital One® cards and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve™ Visa Infinite® Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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