5 Ways to Earn Points for Airbnb Stays (10% Back at Least!)

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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.

save on airbnb

New to Airbnb? Save $40 off your first $75+ stay

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?

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

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.

Get 3X Delta miles with this easy, easy win

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.

Boom

And Amazon sells Airbnb gift cards.

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.

Freeee

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?

You need this app!

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.

Yasss

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!

If you don’t have a Discover it® Cashback Match™ card, I strongly urge you to take a closer look at it. I just got my 3rd one. I LOVE THIS CARD.

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.

4% discount + 5X Ultimate Rewards points is a good deal

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)

Yasss

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.

Bottom line

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:

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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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site.

Comments

  1. One more stack for you Harlan, for a $100 Airbnb GC:

    – Amex Plat —-> MPX/Amazon GC – 5x = 500 MR and 250 UA
    ————————————————-
    – Amazon via Jetblue—> Safeway or Meijer GC = 300 JetBlue Points

    Safeway/Meijer GC —->Amazon GC

    (You could rinse and repeat endlessly here for free JetBlue points)
    ————————————————-
    Or buy the Airbnb GC at Safeway/Meijer store to complete the cycle.

    Use GC for 3x Delta 300 Delta

    Enjoy 🙂

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