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Airbnb Credit Cards: The Best Credit Cards for Airbnb

Airbnb Credit Cards: The Best Credit Cards for Airbnb

Disrupting the hotel industry with its new and interesting twist on accommodation, as well as its pocket-friendly prices, Airbnb has skyrocketed in popularity since its launch in 2008. Fortunately, some credit card issuers have taken note of this trend and are helping budget-conscious travelers stretch those precious dollars even further by classifying Airbnb purchases as “travel” expenses, triggering credits, bonus points, and other highly sought-after rewards in the travel category. But which credit cards are the best for Airbnb stays?

Rewards and features vary, but the most popular credit cards for Airbnb include:

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Although you’ll always want to evaluate offers based on things like Airbnb rewards, signup-bonuses, travel credits, annual fees, foreign transaction fees, and reward redemption options, this post will give you a head start in comparing some of the markets top choices available today. So let’s get started!

woman suitcase phone

The Best Credit Cards for Airbnb

Even though Airbnb has been around for some time, the company has yet to offer its own loyalty program. Fortunately, credit card companies are picking up the slack by dolling out rewards for Airbnb homestays and other travel-related expenses.

However, it’s crucial to note that some credit providers have more flexible definitions of what qualifies for travel rewards points compared to those with slightly stricter parameters. The cards covered below all code Airbnb bookings and related expenses as “travel.”

Here’s a quick overview of the best credit card options:

Card Sign-Up Bonus Credit Score Needed Annual Fee Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 60,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 30 days ($600 travel value) 670-850 $95 15.99%-23.99%
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ($750 travel value) 720-850 $550 16.99%-23.99%
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ($750 travel value) 720-850 $95 15.99%-22.99%
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card 50,000 online bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days ($500 value) 670-850 $95 15.99%-22.99%
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card 25,000 online bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days ($250 value) 670-850 $0 13.99%-23.99%

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

capital one venture visa

Perfect for frequent travelers who want to earn points toward all purchases while saving on travel, The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a generous flat-rate travel rewards card. You can easily pile up miles without needing to activate bonus categories or keep track of complicated rewards systems other cards offer.

Features:

  • Spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and earn 60,000 miles (worth $600)
  • Earn 2X rewards miles on every purchase (there is no cap)
  • Earn 5X rewards miles on all hotel and rental car bookings done through Capital One Travel
  • Get up to $100 reimbursement for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry every four years
  • Transfer miles to your choice of 15+ loyalty programs offered by participating partners
  • Regular APR is 15.99%-23.99%
  • Annual fee of $95
  • No foreign transaction fees

Pros:

  • The beauty of this credit card lies in its simplicity. Earn the same miles on all purchases without worrying about which purchases fall into the right category.
  • With flexible redemption options, Venture miles can be redeemed for a statement credit against eligible travel purchases, including Airbnb stays.
  • Your reward miles won’t expire as long as your account remains open.

Cons:

  • The transfer rate is 2 Venture miles to 1.5 airline miles, making it less favorable than the 1:1 ratio some other cards offer. In addition, Capital One doesn’t have a major U.S. airline among its group of transfer partners.
  • There’s no 0% or low-interest introductory APR offer.
  • The value of each mile is only 1 cent. This can be a major drawback when combined with the $95 annual fee and compared to 2% cash-back cards with no annual fee.

Based on its substantial welcome offer and the ability to earn double miles for every dollar spent on any purchase, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the highest-earning flat-rate rewards cards around today. If your focus is on travel redemptions, then this may be the card for you.

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More to learn: Self Credit Card: A Review

2. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

saphire reserve visa

Loaded with a variety of perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card is ideal for travel enthusiasts wanting a premium travel rewards card with exceptional flexibility. In fact, thanks to its robust benefits program, it has quickly become the go-to credit card for Airbnb travelers with excellent credit scores.

Features:

  • Get  50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months (worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®)
  • Get a $300 travel credit annually (which can be used for Airbnb stays)
  • Earn 10X points on hotel bookings, rental car bookings, Chase Dining purchases, and Lyft rides  through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 5X points on air travel when purchasing through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3X points per $1 spent on travel and dining (including eligible delivery services)
  • Earn 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® every four years
  • Transfer points on a 1:1 ratio to leading hotel and airline loyalty programs
  • Get complimentary Priority Pass™ Select access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide (retail value $429)
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions
  • Regular APR is 16.99%-23.99%
  • Annual fee of $550
  • No foreign transaction fees

Pros:

  • You get 50% more value by redeeming points for travel purposes through Chase or select purchases through Chase’s Pay Yourself BackSM feature. In addition, points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, or statement credits.
  • The card offers additional benefits and features like trip canceling or interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, primary car rental insurance, and more.
  • Chase offers an array of limited-time offers, making it even more compelling.

Cons:

  • The high annual fee can be a lot to stomach when compared with more affordable options. In addition, there’s no introductory promotion period with a low or no interest rate.
  • You need an excellent credit score to qualify, so this card may be out of your reach if you have little to no credit history or bad credit.

Even with its hefty annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card more than earns its spot on the list of best travel cards for Airbnb. The annual travel credit offsets more than half the yearly cost of the card, and those who make the most of the card and its bonuses will get their money’s worth and then some.

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Further reading: Does The Chase Sapphire Reserve Require Having A Good Credit Score?

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

saphire preferred visa signature

If the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card had a younger sibling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card would be it. This card earns the same points but comes with slightly fewer benefits. The upside is that the annual fee is less than a fifth of what the Reserve® Card costs, making it a strong contender for travelers who want something more balanced.

Features:

  • Enjoy a  60,000 point signup bonus when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months (worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®)
  • Get up to $50 in statement credits annually for hotel stays booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3X points on streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs)
  • Earn 5X points on travel when purchasing through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3X points per 1 spent on dining (including eligible delivery services)
  • Earn 2X points on all other travel purchases (including Airbnb) and 1X point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Get a 10% boost in points on your account anniversary for all qualified purchases throughout the year
  • Transfer points on a 1:1 ratio to participating loyalty program partners
  • Regular APR is 15.99%-22.99%
  • Annual fee of $95
  • No foreign transaction fees

Pros:

  • You get 25% more value when redeeming points for flights, hotels, and car rentals through Chase or for eligible categories using Chase’s Pay Yourself BackSM feature.
  • Like the Reserve® Card, the Preferred® Card offers a variety of consumer and travel protections, such as trip canceling or interruption insurance, lost luggage insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and more.
  • Take advantage of limited-time offers to earn additional points.

Cons:

  • Redeeming points for Airbnb gift cards or cashback is less valuable than redeeming points for travel. While points are worth 1.25 cents for travel, they’re only worth 1 cent for cashback and gift cards.
  • There’s no intro APR offer.

If you’re looking to obtain a travel card with a modest annual fee, solid features, and appealing bonuses, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a winner. It offers a comfortable way to accrue points for future trips and enough flexibility to make it worthwhile.

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4. Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card

bank of america signature visa

For those keen on travel, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card packs in enough premium perks to make it an enticing option. Although there are other cards that deliver greater value, those cards don’t provide the additional travel benefits that this one does.

Features:

  • Spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and earn 50,000 online bonus points (worth $500)
  • Earn 2X points for every $1 spent on travel and dining and 1.5X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases (unlimited)
  • Qualify for up to $100 in airline incidental statement credits (includes upgrades, bag fees, lounge fees, and more)
  • Get up to $100 reimbursement  for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry every four years
  • Earn 25%-75% more on every purchase if you’re a Preferred Rewards member (that’s 3.5 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining and up to 2.62 points per $1 spent on all other purchases)
  • Get coverage for trip delays, trip cancelations, baggage loss, auto rental damage, and more
  • Contactless card with security chip for convenient tapping
  • No blackout dates or restrictions
  • Points don’t expire
  • Regular APR is 15.99%-22.99%
  • Annual fee of $95
  • No foreign transaction fees

Pros:

  • You can redeem rewards points for a statement credit at a base rate of 1 cent per point, which means you’ll typically earn 2% on travel and dining purchases and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • Points don’t expire, and there are no restrictions on how many you can earn.
  • With flexible redemption options, you can choose between a cashback deposit, statement credit to your card, gift cards, or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center.
  • Cardholders with $20,000-$50,000 in linked Merrill Lynch or Bank of America accounts can earn a 25% bonus. That increases to 50% for cardholders with $50,000-$100,000 in assets and 75% for cardholders with $100,000 or more.

rent airbnb card

Cons:

  • This card has no participating transfer partners.
  • There’s no 0% or low-interest introductory APR offer.

Even though this card has less flexibility with respect to what qualifies as a credit, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card has become known as a solid travel rewards card, so it’s definitely one to consider. Even more so if you’re already a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, as that designation automatically boosts your return.

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Learn More: Major Types of Credit Cards: Top 8 And Which Type is Right for You?

5. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

bank of america visa

Best suited to occasional travelers, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Card is perfect for anyone who wants a simple rewards system and doesn’t want to pay an annual fee.

Features:

  • Spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and earn 25,000 online bonus points (worth $250)
  • Earn 1.5X points per $1 spent on all purchases (not capped)
  • Contactless card with security chip for convenient tapping
  • No blackout dates or restrictions
  • Points don’t expire
  • Regular APR is 13.99%-23.99%
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Pros:

  • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles.
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-35% more points (i.e., up to 2.62 points per $1 spent).
  • You can redeem points as a statement credit toward travel and dining purchases, including flights, Airbnb stays, car rentals, baggage fees, and more.

Cons:

  • Like the Premium Rewards® Card, this card has no participating transfer partners.
  • Higher reward rates are only available through the Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Program, which is only available to qualifying customers.

While most rewards cards with no annual fee tend to skimp on the signup bonus, this one doesn’t. Combine that with the card’s %0 intro APR offer, unlimited rewards on purchases, and other pocket-friendly perks, and it’s not hard to see why the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Card makes it onto our list.

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Final Thoughts

Although there are other travel rewards cards on the market, the five outlined above are some of the best you’re going to get for Airbnb stays. If your credit score isn’t quite where it needs to be to qualify, consider taking steps to build your score or search for a travel rewards card that accepts lower scores. You can always upgrade later. Be sure to opt for a card that meets your needs and—as always—don’t forget to read the fine print.

Related Post: How to Build Credit without a Credit Card