Airbnb CEO Suggests a Loyalty Program May Be Coming

Jan 17, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky posed an interesting and exciting question on Twitter on Tuesday. The world’s largest home-sharing site appears to be discussing the introduction of a membership loyalty program. Chesky tweeted on Sunday night a request for people to tell him what benefits they’d want to see from a “guest membership program.”

Interestingly enough, Chesky responded himself to some of the suggestions, giving us an idea of what may be included in a future rewards program:

Will Airbnb partner with local gyms to offer travelers (free?) access to fitness centers?

Some of the most popular Airbnbs are difficult to rent because of high demand, so having special access for elite members is an idea that Chesky seemed to like.

Of course, many said they would love to see Airbnb points redeemable for free nights. Chesky’s response didn’t seem very enthusiastic…

… and neither did the reply to a bunch of ideas floated by a follower named Matt Pointon:

A frustrating issue is that many properties require visitors to stay at a property for a minimum amount of nights, even if their desired stay is shorter. The CEO said it’d be a “good idea” and that it’s a “popular request” to make the minimum stay requirements more flexible.

An idea to make the Airbnb experience more seamless and similar to your home would be to sync your accounts to a property’s devices, i.e. you show up at your Airbnb in London and your favorite Spotify playlist is blasting on a Google Home when you walk in.

While all these ideas seem exciting, it’s still hard to tell if Airbnb will implement any of them, let alone a rewards or loyalty program at all. In September at the Skift Foru,Airbnb’s co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Blecharczyk said he was personally surprised that the company still didn’t have a loyalty program.

We solicited feedback from the TPG Lounge, asking what our readers would want to see in Airbnb guest membership program, and what it would take to shift their loyalty away from hotels. One of the most popular ideas, and probably obvious for a loyalty booking, would be a “fee-free booking” that you would receive after a certain amount of stays or nights. Airbnb would likely waive the booking and cleaning fees and all you’d have to pay for is the nights themselves.

Airbnb could team up with a credit card issuer and offer credits as a perk for a card, suggests Jack Vogt.

Kalis Kim expressed frustration at the the company’s cancellation policy and suggested it would be hard to provide the same level of service to an Airbnb “elite” as a VIP would receive at a hotel.

Although not everything will be included, David Miller listed a slew of requests like credit in partner programs and reduced fees — and if some of them were implemented it would push him to choose an Airbnb over a hotel.

Although there are no indications that we’ll see an Airbnb loyalty program in the immediate future, the prospect is exciting and would likely disrupt the hotel industry even more.

Featured image of Airbnb Founder & CEO Brian Chesky by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Airbnb

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.