Looking For An Airbnb Discount? Save 30% By Stacking Benefits

by Giovanni

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).

Amex Offer: $10 back on purchases of $40 or more from Staples (including Airbnb gift cards)

Amex Offer: $10 back on purchases of $40 or more from Staples (including gift cards)

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.

Staples.com offers Airbnb giftcards in many amounts.

Staples.com offers Airbnb gift cards in many amounts.

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).

So I started my purchase here and purchased a $50 Airbnb gift card using my American Express Platinum card to see if it would trigger the credit.

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.

Amex Offer for an extra Membership Rewards point per dollar spent at Staples.com

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 use the Avios you earn by booking through Airbnb to fly on British Airways, including their soon-to-launch Club Suites in Business Class

Avios earned by booking Airbnb can be used to fly on Executive Club Partners, including the soon-to-launch Club Suites on British Airways Business Class

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.

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

The Scenario:

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.

Screenshot: Airbnb Cairo booking screen

  • 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!

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.

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2 comments

Joachim July 17, 2019 - 11:43 am

Gift cards are not eligible in most shopping portals, here’s AA’s T&C from the page that you linked to:

“Not eligible on … third-party gift cards sold by Staples.com. Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents. “

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matty tailwinds July 17, 2019 - 2:28 pm

Chase personal cards (specifically my CSP and Freedom) have a 5% off Arbnb offer with max savings of $28.

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