I’m a huge Airbnb fan but unfortunately, there usually aren’t ways to get significant savings on stays at Airbnb. Despite having myriad apartments, villas, condos, boutique hotels, and other unique listings to choose from, opportunities to earn points or miles, let alone elite benefits like you could at a hotel chain, are limited. That’s why when there’s an Airbnb offer, you should take advantage.
But right now by using a targeted Amex Offer, stacked with other benefits, American Express cardholders can save over 30% on an Airbnb reservation for a night.
Here is step-by-step guide on how to stack the benefits and save on Airbnb.
Step 1: The Amex Offer
$10 Back on $40 or more at Staples
An awesome benefit of holding certain American Express cards, like the Platinum card that I have, are the offers that are available from select merchants.
These change often and yesterday, while I was checking my American Express card balance, I noticed a newly available offer offering $10 back on purchases of $40 or more at Staples (including Staples.com).
There’s also a version with 1,000 Membership Rewards points instead of $10, which is a better value (1,000 Membership Rewards points are probably worth between $17-20).
I don’t usually shop at Staples, but I immediately added the offer to my card and went to the website to see what I could use it for. The terms exclude bulk gift card purchases, but don’t mention individual gift cards.
Luckily, Airbnb gift cards are available from Staples in a wide variety of denominations.
Step 2: Use A Shopping Portal To Buy The Airbnb Gift Card
For American Airlines frequent fliers, AAdvantage eShopping currently is offering six miles per dollar spent at Staples (rather than the usual two).
If you’re a British Airways frequent flier, you can also use the British Airways Avios eStore to get 3 Avios per dollar at Staples. Cashback Monitor is a great site to compare which shopping portal to use to maximize your earnings.
Step 3: Verify The Amex Offer
Moments after submitting my Staples purchase, I received an emailed confirmation from American Express that the Amex Offer had been triggered.
The purchase also triggered another Amex Offer (that was previously targeted on my account) giving an extra Membership Rewards point per dollar spent at Staples.
The purchase also showed up in my AAdvantage eShopping purchase history confirming that I would be earning 6 AAdvantage miles for my $50 purchase.
Step 4: Adding The Gift Card To Airbnb
You should receive the gift card code almost instantaneously in an email from Staples. Once you receive it, go to Airbnb’s gift card redemption page to add the value to your account. It will automatically be applied to your next booking.
From here, the options are limitless! You can pick from Airbnb’s over six million listings in over 100,000 cities globally.
Pro-Tip: Maximize Your Earnings
But wait! Let’s make sure you maximize your earnings.
By using British Airways’ Avios Airbnb offer when you make your booking to get 3 Avios for every dollar spent at Airbnb while using your gift card as the payment method.
You can also earn miles with Delta SkyMiles at a rate of 1 mile per dollar or 1 Qantas Point per Australian Dollar with Qantas Frequent Flier.
- Earn more British Airways Avios with the British Airways Visa Signature Card
Last But Not Least: Credit Cards To Pay The Remaining Amount
If you’re booking an Airbnb that costs more than $50, put the remainder on a credit card offering a category bonus on Airbnb.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x Ultimate Rewards points) and the Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x Ultimate Rewards points) earn bonus points on travel, and are easy choices for this. Additionally, the Ink Business Preferred earns 3x on travel for small business owners.
If you have a credit card like Bank of America’s Premium Rewards card, you can earn an additional 5% cashback on Airbnb through a targeted BankAmeriDeals offer (in addition to up to 3.5% cashback on travel purchases).
Of course, if you haven’t already signed up for Airbnb, click here to get additional cashback when signing up for your account. (It’s my personal referral code for 15% off a stay and $15 off an Airbnb Experience.)
Finally, Let’s Do The Math
Let’s say you book an Airbnb apartment next year for your first night in Cairo taking advantage of Iberia’s new route to Egypt. Let’s say your Airbnb runs you $60.
- You would earn 6 AAdvantage miles for the $50 you spent at Staples for a total of 300 AAdvantage miles, a value of about 1.4 cents per mile.
- Miles Value: $4.20
- You would also earn Membership Rewards Points on your Staples.com purchase. On my Platinum card, thanks to another Amex Offer, I’m earning 2 Membership Rewards Points on Staples.com purchases for 100 MR points, a value of about 2 cents per MR point.
- Points Value: $2.00
- When you spend $60 at Airbnb by clicking through using British Airways’ Avios offer, you earn 180 Avios each valued at about 1.5 cents each.
- Miles Value: $2.70
- Amex Offer for $10 off at Staples
- Cash Value: $10
Summary: You would earn AAdvantage miles valued at $4.20, $2 in Membership Rewards points, Avios valued at $2.70, and the $10 Amex Offer giving you total cashback of $18.90 on $60 dollars of spend. That’s over 30% off!
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