3 Ways to Pay for Airbnb With Credit Card Rewards

Points, cash back and travel credits are all ways your credit card rewards could cover your Airbnb stay.
Profile photo of Claire Tsosie
Written by Claire Tsosie
Assigning Editor
Profile photo of Meghan Coyle
Edited by Meghan Coyle
Assistant Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Profile photo of Sally French
Co-written by Sally French
Lead Writer/Spokesperson

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

These days, budget travelers don’t need to choose between scraping together enough points and miles for a brand-name hotel room or paying cash for a lower-cost option. Many banks now offer an appealing alternative that’s somewhere in the middle: You can redeem credit card rewards for Airbnb stays, often because of how payment networks code these purchases.

The home-sharing platform offers plenty of affordable lodging options — for example, you can choose to rent a private room in a house, or an apartment — which makes it easy to stretch rewards further. And landing a rental with a kitchen could also save plenty on dining out.

Here’s how you can cover that next Airbnb stay with credit card points.

How to pay for Airbnb with points

1. Cash in flexible travel rewards points

Co-branded hotel credit cards generally limit you to redeeming points within that particular hotel chain, while general travel credit cards offer more flexibility.

Take the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, or any of the cards in Capital One’s lineup of Venture cards (including the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card - Miles Boost and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card), for example. These cards allow you to redeem points or miles for credit that can be applied to a broad range of travel purchases made on your card, including Airbnb purchases. That’s because payment networks classify spending at Airbnb in the same way as hotel purchases, confirms Airbnb.

Certain other home-share company purchases are classified as spending on real estate agents, which, unlike hotel spending, typically aren’t considered travel purchases. (Airbnb notes that previously, Airbnb spending was sometimes classified under travel agency purchases, but that’s no longer the case.)

Ian Thomas of Birmingham, Alabama, says he used the miles accrued on his Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® to pay for a one-night Airbnb stay while traveling near Wanaka, New Zealand. He and his wife, Sarah, stayed in a house overlooking Lake Hawea.

With Airbnb, “you get to pick and choose what you want your experience to be like,” says Thomas, co-founder of the travel and lifestyle blog Simply Well Spent. One obstacle: On his card, miles cover travel purchases that cost more than $100, and his inexpensive Airbnb stays don’t always clear that bar. But because one night at the lakefront house cost $119, he was able to use his rewards to cover that stay.

Top cards for booking Airbnb stays
Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Bank of America's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card - Miles Boost
NerdWallet Rating
Annual fee





Earn rates
• 1.5 points per $1 spent.

• 5 miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

• 2 miles per $1 on all other purchases.

• 10 miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars through Capital One Travel.

• 5 miles per $1 on flights through Capital One Travel.

• 2 miles per $1 on everything else.

• 5 miles per $1 on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel.

• 1.25 miles per $1 on all purchases.

Horizontal scroll

2. Redeem rewards for Airbnb gift cards or cash back

Points and miles aren’t the only way to pay for Airbnb. You can also use cash-back rewards — say, the ones you earned on cards like the Citi Double Cash® Card or the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — to cover these expenses (or any other expenses, for that matter).

Another option: See if your issuer offers Airbnb gift cards as a redemption option. At the time of this writing, for example, Chase featured Airbnb gift cards in its travel booking portal. In the past, other issuers have also made these cards available. Keep in mind that Airbnb gift cards come with some restrictions. While they can be used to cover new reservations, they can’t be used for stays lasting longer than 28 days, changes to existing reservations or second payments (if you’re paying for a stay in two installments), according to Airbnb’s website.

Just be aware that redeeming rewards for cash back or gift cards (as opposed to booking travel) is sometimes a ho-hum redemption on some cards, especially certain travel cards. If you’re getting less than 1 cent per point or mile, try a different tactic.

But if you have expiring points and don’t have travel plans anytime soon, it can make sense to spend them on gift cards for future Airbnb stays — especially since Airbnb gift card balances do not expire.

3. Take advantage of travel statement credits

Carry a fancy credit card? Your annual travel credit might make your next Airbnb stay more affordable.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Such is the case for cardholders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, a travel card that carries an annual fee of $550.

The card comes with a travel statement credit of $300 that renews each account anniversary year. The benefit is applied automatically, and a broad range of travel expenses are eligible, including Airbnb, the issuer confirms.

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
NerdWallet rating 

Similarly, the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card — which carries a $400 annual fee — comes with a $325 annual travel credit that can be used for Airbnb stays, as long as the purchases are classified as hotel purchases, U.S. Bank confirms.

This credit is automatically applied to eligible purchases.

It also comes with a sign-up bonus: Earn an enrollment bonus of 50,000 points worth $750 on travel. Just spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

If you happen to have unused credit when you book using one of these cards, this perk might just cover your whole stay.

Make your own 'Airbnb credit card'

Though no official co-branded Airbnb credit card is on the market, booking your stays with certain travel rewards cards can help lessen the financial sting (let's be honest, those cleaning fees are a bummer).

In short: Spending on the cards recommended above can be a smart money move for Airbnb loyalists.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Airbnb from our Partners
Citi Custom Cash® Card

on Citibank's application

Citi Custom Cash® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases


Intro offer


Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Credit Card

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Plus earn 1X points on other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.

See more cards for Airbnb
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.