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A guide to the best credit cards for Airbnb stays

June 12, 2022
16 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


Many have started taking to the skies and roadways to popular getaway destinations as the world opens up. The inevitable question then arises — where to stay?

Home rentals are increasingly popular, and you may be considering an Airbnb for your next trip. While the topic of the best credit cards for hotel stays gets a lot of attention, it's a different matter for Airbnb stays. That's especially true when you consider that hotel chains have their own credit cards, yet Airbnb does not.

If you’ve decided to go the Airbnb route, which travel rewards credit card should you use to make the purchase? Let’s take a closer look at your best options.

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What is Airbnb?

(Photo courtesy of Airbnb)

If you’re not familiar with Airbnb, the site offers a wide variety of lodging options when you’re traveling. In many cases, Airbnb will provide you privately owned rooms, apartments, houses, boathouses, hotel rooms and more. All of them are available for both short- and long-term stays.

While prices are sometimes more affordable than equivalent hotel rooms, it should be noted that Airbnb is not exactly a hotel on-a-budget. There are tradeoffs: things such as room service, daily housekeeping and other full-service amenities aren’t usually found. However, if you are on the hunt for unique accommodations — or want the feeling of being in a home while away from home — Airbnb could be a good option. Groups and those traveling with others also tend to prefer Airbnb, since it’s easy to reserve multi-bedroom lodging.

Beyond stays, Airbnb offers experiences. These can include tours, outdoor activities like whale watching, cooking classes or even a great photographer to snap photos for your Instagram during your next vacation.

Airbnb doesn’t have a loyalty program, so the best way to make the most of these types of purchases is by using the right credit card.

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Related reading: How to find the best Airbnb

Which credit card is best for Airbnb stays and experiences?

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

You may see some familiar names among the cards listed above. That's because several of the best credit cards for Airbnb are on our list of the best credit cards for travel.

The information for the Amex Green Card and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card have been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Earning rates on the top cards for Airbnb

CardEarning rateEarning currency
American Express® Green Card3 points per dollar.Membership Rewards points.
Chase Sapphire Reserve3 points per dollar.Ultimate Rewards points.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card2 points per dollar.Ultimate Rewards points.
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card3 points per dollar.Ultimate Rewards points.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card2 miles per dollar.Capital One miles.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card2 miles per dollar.Capital One miles.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card5 points per dollar (if purchasing gift card through Amazon).Cash back.

A closer look at the best credit cards for Airbnb

Airbnb typically codes as “travel” on your credit card statement. This means it will trigger any bonus points or annual credits offered in the travel category. Here’s a deep dive into the best cards for Airbnb.

American Express® Green Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $150 (see rates and fees)

Welcome offer: Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchase in your first six months of card membership.

Earning rates: You’ll get 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar on restaurant purchases, 3 points per dollar on transit including ride shares, subway swipes, tolls — and most importantly for Airbnb — plus 3 points per dollar on the broad category of travel, which includes things from flights, car rentals, hotels and home shares (yes, including Airbnb). You’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Why we like it: Other cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express® Gold Card, both have more limited travel categories that don’t go beyond the scope of airfare and hotels. While the Platinum card has a higher bonus earning on airfare (5 points per dollar), it only applies to airfare booked directly with airlines or through the American Express Travel Portal (and the bonus earning potential is limited to the first $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year). In the Platinum’s case, you’ll also get 5 points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.

The Amex Green is the most flexible of the bunch when it comes to earning 3 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on Airbnb. Those 3 points equate to a 6% return based on TPG valuations. If you’re flying to get to your Airbnb, you can also take advantage of an up to $189 Clear annual statement credit and a $100 LoungeBuddy annual statement credit. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: Best cards for airport lounge access

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $550

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Earning rates: Besides getting a $300 annual travel credit (that can be used toward Airbnb), you’ll get 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel — after using the $300 credit — and 3 points per dollar on dining at restaurants worldwide. Other bonus categories include 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 5 points per dollar on flights booked in the portal. You can also earn 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Why we like it: First and foremost, you get to use the card’s $300 travel credit towards a broad range of travel purchases, including Airbnb. Earning 3 points per dollar on Airbnb makes this card is useful for earning maximum Ultimate Rewards on your purchases after exhausting your $300 travel credit. Those 3 points equate to a 6% return based on TPG valuations — the same as the Amex Green. Additionally, the 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus is worth $1,600 based on TPG valuations.

Related: 4 things to do once you get your Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Earning rates: You’ll earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel — which doesn't apply to the card's $50 hotel credit, though you must use this in the Chase travel portal, so Airbnb bookings aren't eligible — and also earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchases in the Chase travel portal. You can also earn 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). Through March 2025, you can also earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides. Cardmembers earn 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Why we like it: Firstly, the card has a low annual fee while still possessing strong earning categories. This includes a broad range of travel purchases, such as bonus points on bookings made directly with Chase or Lyft rides, as well as 2 points per dollar with Airbnb. Those 2 points provide a 4% return based on TPG valuations. Additionally, the 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus is worth $1,200 based on TPG valuations.

Related: Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is more than just a starter card

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

(Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)
(Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Earning rates: You’ll earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 of combined spend on the card each anniversary year in the following categories: shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; advertising with social media and search engines and — most importantly for this discussion — on travel.

Why we like it: This is another Chase card that earns a fantastic 3 Ultimate Rewards points on travel, including Airbnb stays. Although the huge 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus is a great perk, it’s important to note the card’s hefty initial spending requirement. While this isn’t a consumer card, getting approved for a business card may be easier than you think.

Related: Best business credit cards of 2022

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Earning rates: You’ll earn 2 Capital One miles per dollar spent on almost everything with no annual cap, which means you’re getting 3.7 cents (factoring in TPG’s latest valuation) in travel for every dollar in purchases.

Why we like it: The Venture card is an excellent choice for those who value a straightforward earning rate on all purchases, including vacation rental bookings and anything else you buy. In exchange for a $95 annual fee, this Capital One credit card earns you a flat 2x miles on every purchase you make, and you can even redeem your rewards to cover your Airbnb stay at a rate of 1 cent per mile. If you decide not to use your rewards for Airbnb bookings, you can use them to cover any travel purchases made with your card in the last 90 days or transfer them to its 17 airline and hotel transfer partners.

Plus, the card currently offers a 75,000-mile bonus offer worth $1,388, according to TPG valuations. Add in the fact that Capital One has made some exciting additions to its program, it’s no surprise that this card is still one of our favorites here at TPG.

Related: Capital One Venture Rewards credit card review

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $395

Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Earning rates: You’ll earn 2 Capital One miles per dollar spent on almost everything with no annual cap, which means you’re getting 3.7 cents (factoring in TPG’s latest valuation) in travel for every dollar in purchases. You can earn at higher rates when booking in the Capital One Travel portal, including 10 miles per dollar on hotel and rental car bookings and 5 miles per dollar on flights.

Why we like it: The Venture X card offers a straightforward 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases not booked in the travel portal, which includes a pack of gum or your next Airbnb booking. You can also redeem your rewards to cover your Airbnb stay at a rate of 1 cent per mile. If you decide not to use your rewards for Airbnb bookings, you can use them to cover any travel purchases made with your card in the last 90 days or transfer them to its 17 airline and hotel transfer partners. The card also provides numerous perks, such as a $300 annual travel credit, reimbursement for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee and rental car elite status.

Related: 6 things to do when you get the Capital One Venture X

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0, but you must have an Amazon Prime membership

Sign-up bonus: $200 Amazon gift card valid for purchases at Amazon that is available as soon as you are approved.

Earning rates: You’ll get 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases and 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores. You will earn 1% back on other purchases.

Why we like it: How does the Amazon card make our list of best cards for Airbnb? Two words: Gift cards. Airbnb gift cards are available on Amazon, and you can easily get 5% back this way. First, use this card to buy Airbnb gift cards; then, use those cards to pay for your upcoming stay. You can redeem your 5% back on cash back, gift cards or travel rewards, and it’s all worth the same. Note that Airbnb restricts, in fine print, using gift cards for long-term stays (28+ days).

Related: Best credit cards for Amazon purchases

Maximizing your purchase

Courtesy of Airbnb
(Photo courtesy of Airbnb)

One of the most important factors in making the most of your everyday spending is choosing the best travel rewards credit card for every purchase. This isn’t always an easy task, as some cards earn valuable transferable points while others give bonus points for certain categories of purchases. Deciding what is more important is a personal decision.

For any Airbnb stay though, be sure to see if you can double dip. For instance, Delta and British Airways have their own Airbnb portal where you can earn additional miles on every stay, regardless of what credit card you use to book. And watch for bonus opportunities to rack up additional miles on Airbnb stays, such as this 50% bonus Avios on Airbnb bookings from British Airways.

These cards are all great options for Airbnb, but there are many others out there. For instance, if your local grocery store also sells Airbnb gift cards, you can use a card that earns bonuses at grocery stores to maximize your purchase. The same applies at office supply stores.

Since several credit cards offer annual travel credits, consider these as well. Using these credits can be a way to offset your travel costs when staying at Airbnb, since you can't transfer your points to Airbnb for award bookings.

Bottom line

Airbnb is a great lodging option for trips, as the platform represents a nice alternative to traditional hotels. I’ve personally stayed in dozens of Airbnbs throughout my travels and usually favor it over a chain hotel.

In addition to the unique properties you can book, there are also some solid credit card options that allow you to earn a decent haul of points or cash back. Just remember to review each listing’s cancellation policy and reviews carefully before booking.

See also: 15 tips that will help you score the perfect Airbnb every time

Additional reporting by Juan Ruiz and Ryan Smith.

For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, please click here.

Featured image by Soak up the sun with this incredible pool located at the front of the house. (Photo courtesy of Airbnb)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

5X points
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 Points
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 80,000 Points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees