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My friend Meghan asked if I knew of any ways to save on an Airbnb booking. I gave the obvious one – get $40 off a $75+ stay with a new account.
Most everyone already has an Airbnb account by now. But if you don’t, here’s my link if you’d like to sign up (and I’ll get a $20 travel credit as well).
That’s honestly the biggest savings. Still, there are other ways to get a return on your Airbnb stay: earn points or miles for it. Depending how you like to redeem them, you can get big value by stacking a few of the methods I’ll tell you about.
Lezz begin, shall ve?
In This Post
- 1 5 ways to earn points and miles for Airbnb stays
- 2 3. 2X United miles through MileagePlus X
- 3 A few stack stack stacks 💸
- 4 Bottom line
5 ways to earn points and miles for Airbnb stays
These tricks are so easy that you’re literally leaving points on the table if you don’t use them. A couple of them require certain credit cards – but a couple are total freebies.
1. Get 3X Delta miles
- Link: Delta + Airbnb
Let’s clear the air here. Do I like Delta miles? Hell no. But I certainly won’t say no to them if it’s as simple as clicking a link.
All you have to do is start your booking at the link above. The terms say it’s for bookings made by October 31st, 2017 for stays completed by October 31st, 2018. But I have some hope this will be renewed.
Considering Delta miles never expire, there’s literally no reason not to scoop this up. A little here and there can add up over time. And Delta does have some flash sales now and again that are worth a look.
You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Delta instantly at a 1:1 ratio. But it’ll be nice if you already have some miles in there so you can save your points for other award flights. 😉
2. Buy gift cards through Amazon for 3X JetBlue points
You can earn 3X JetBlue points when you start your shopping at this link.
JetBlue points are worth ~1.4 cents each toward flights – and the points required are tied to the cash cost of the flight you want. So if you can book during a fare sale, you’ll use fewer points. And if you shop at Amazon a lot, you can really rack up the points.
If you bought a $300 Airbnb gift card, you’d earn 900 JetBlue points. That’s worth ~$13 toward JetBlue flights (900 X 1.4). Again, this is from the “it all adds up” school of thinking.
I have 5,617 JetBlue points right now – and I haven’t taken a single JetBlue flight. But if they’re free to collect for clicking a link, why not?
My points are worth ~$79 so far. Considering some of their one-way flights are sometimes $50 or $60, I may have enough to cash them in already. Another easy win.
(I keep accidentally typing wine instead of win. Interchangeable anyway, am I right?)
3. 2X United miles through MileagePlus X
I told y’all about MileagePlus X back in April 2016. Y’all been using it?
I sure hope so! You can purchase Airbnb gift cards through this app if you prefer 2X United miles over 3X JetBlue points. Even better, if you have the Chase United Explorer card, you get a 25% bonus for every one you buy – and NO, you don’t have to pay with the card to get the bonus.
That same $300 gift card from above would earn you 600 United miles. Or 750 miles if you have the Chase United Explorer card.
United miles do expire. But this is an easy, easy way to reset the activity on your account.
If you have a lot of Airbnb stays, you might end up with an award flight sooner than you think. Top off your account with instant 1:1 transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards. And again, save some points if you already have a stash of United miles!
4. Get 10% cashback with Discover it® Cashback Match™
This quarter, you can get 5% cashback at Amazon with the Discover it® Cashback Match™ card.
But keen Out and Out readers know the phenomenon known as The Dublin causes you to earn 10% cashback because everything you earn is matched after your 12th billing cycle.
So you can use the Amazon + JetBlue trick above and then get a further 10% cashback to boot. That’s a tidy little discount!
Play your “cards” right (SO punny!), and you’ll end up with $600 cash money in your pocket the 1st year you have this card. Seriously a worthwhile addition to your wallet: no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, excellent bonus categories, and a fantastic shopping portal.
This discount is icing on the cake.
5. 5X or 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points with Ink cards + a discount
When you purchase gift cards at GiftCardMart, you’ll typically get a discount.
Right now, you’ll pay $96 for a $100 Airbnb gift card. And you’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you have:
- Chase Ink Cash – more information here
- Chase Ink Bold (no longer available)
- Chase Ink Plus (no longer available)
And you’ll get 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Ink Business Preferred (more information available here).
For the same $300 Airbnb gift card, you’d pay $288 ($96 X 3) and earn 864 Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 3X ($288 X 3)or 1,440 Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 5X ($288 X 5).
On the 5X side, that’s a savings of $12. And 1,440 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are easily worth ~$29 if you value them for 2 cents per point (which I do). That represents a savings of ~$41 for buying these gift cards through GiftCardMart and applying them to your account. So it’s pretty easy to see how that could add up if you have a few Airbnb stays throughout the year.
A few stack stack stacks 💸
Obvi, your powers synergize when you can find a nice stack. Here are a few:
- 3X JetBlue points + 10% cashback with Discover it at Amazon + 3X Delta miles when you book
- 2X United miles from MileagePlus X + 3X Delta miles when you book
- 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points + $4 discount + 3X Delta miles when you book
For the 1st stack, JetBlue points are worth ~1.4 cents each and I’ll peg Delta miles at 2 cents each. 1.4 + 10 + 6 = a 17.4% return on your Airbnb stay. Your $300 stay would get you:
- 900 JetBlue points (~$13)
- $30 cashback
- 900 Delta miles ($18)
For a total of $61 back.
For the 2nd stack, United miles are worth 2 cents each and Delta miles are 2 cents each. That’s:
- 600 United miles ($12)
- 900 Delta miles ($18)
Or, $30 back for clicking a link and downloading an app. AKA 10% back.
For the 3rd stack:
- 1,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($30 @ 2 cents each)
- $4 discount
- 900 Delta miles ($18)
For a total of $52 back. Your personal return will vary based on how much you value your points/miles.
You can’t really lose whichever way you go. But you’ll clearly save more if you have certain credit cards. Although option 2 is completely free and makes it easy for anyone to save 10% off their next Airbnb stay.
Of course the best way to save is to get $40 off your first $75+ booking with a new account – but that’s not always feasible. But there’s really no reason not to get a discount of at least 10% on an Airbnb stay. And at the top end, you’re touching 20% back. You can get:
- 3X Delta miles (set to expire on October 31st, 2017 but I have hope they’ll renew it)
- 3X JetBlue points when you buy gift cards through Amazon
- 2X United miles via MileagePlus X (and a 25% bonus if you have the Chase United Explorer card)
- 5% cashback which is matched after the 12th billing cycle for a total of 10% cashback with the Discover it® Cashback Match™ card
- 5X or 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points + a 4% discount on gift cards at GiftCardMart
Some of these are freebies and some require you to have a certain credit card (and thanks as always for getting new cards with my links!). But any way you slice it, the savings are there. Especially when you do my favorite thing to save: stack stack stack. 😺
Booking with Airbnb is still practical in many ways: stay where they’re aren’t chain hotels, pay less, or get more space during a trip. And hey, even if you only save a few bucks, isn’t that still worth it?
Do you know of any other creative ways to save on Airbnb stays?
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