Best Airbnb Credit Cards for January 2024     – CNET

Best Airbnb Credit Cards for January 2024 – CNET

If you prefer to stay in an Airbnb over a hotel when traveling, you can earn credit card rewards for each stay you book. While there aren’t any Airbnb-specific credit cards, like there are hotel credit cards, many general travel cards let you earn higher rewards rates for Airbnb stays.

Here are a few of the best travel credit cards that can help you optimize your Airbnb bookings.



CNET’S PICK

Best overall credit card for Airbnb stays

X1 Card


CNET Rating



CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards


X1 Card

Annual Fee

None

Rewards Rate


2x
– 10x



2X points on every purchase
regardless of category; 3X points every time you spend $1,000 in a month; 4X, 5X and even 10X points for every friend who gets a card; Up to 10X points at leading online stores such as Apple, Nike and Sephora when you shop in the X1 App


Rec. Credit



Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.


670 – 850

Good – Excellent

APR


15.50% – 27.75% Variable

The X1 Card has the highest potential rewards rate on Airbnb purchases, and it has no annual fee. The base rewards rate with this card is 2x points per dollar, but there are ways to earn more. You can earn 3x points on all your purchases if you spend at least $1,000 in a month, and you can earn 4x, 5x or 10x points for 30 days for every successful applicant you refer.

After you earn your points, if you redeem them for cash back, they’re only worth 0.7 cents per point. However, with Airbnb and a handful of other major brands, including United Airlines and Hotels.com, you can redeem them for 1 cent per point. This means you can earn up to 10% rewards on your spending to apply toward future Airbnb stays. If you don’t stay at Airbnbs often and can’t take advantage of these brand offers, a different card on this list may make more sense.

Check out the full list of redemption partners and other benefits in our X1 review.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
15.50% – 27.75% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee
2% of the amount of each transfer.

10x

Up to 10X points at leading online stores such as Apple, Nike and Sephora when you shop in the X1 App

4x

4X, 5X and even 10X points for every friend who gets a card

3x

3X points every time you spend $1,000 in a month

2x

2X points on every purchase
regardless of category



The X1 Card has the highest potential rewards rate on Airbnb purchases, and it has no annual fee. The base rewards rate with this card is 2x points per dollar, but there are ways to earn more. You can earn 3x points on all your purchases if you spend at least $1,000 in a month, and you can earn 4x, 5x or 10x points for 30 days for every successful applicant you refer.

After you earn your points, if you redeem them for cash back, they’re only worth 0.7 cents per point. However, with Airbnb and a handful of other major brands, including United Airlines and Hotels.com, you can redeem them for 1 cent per point. This means you can earn up to 10% rewards on your spending to apply toward future Airbnb stays. If you don’t stay at Airbnbs often and can’t take advantage of these brand offers, a different card on this list may make more sense.

Check out the full list of redemption partners and other benefits in our X1 review.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
15.50% – 27.75% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee
2% of the amount of each transfer.

10x

Up to 10X points at leading online stores such as Apple, Nike and Sephora when you shop in the X1 App

4x

4X, 5X and even 10X points for every friend who gets a card

3x

3X points every time you spend $1,000 in a month

2x

2X points on every purchase
regardless of category


CNET Rating



CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards


Intro Offer


60,000 bonus points



Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.


Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate


2x
– 5x



5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3x on dining.; 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.


Rec. Credit



Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.


670 – 850

Good – Excellent

APR


21.49% – 28.49% Variable

Airbnb stays can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. So if you use this card to book your next Airbnb, the total cost can help you meet the spending threshold ($4,000) to earn this card’s particularly good welcome bonus within the first three months from account opening. You can then use the welcome bonus, 60,000 bonus points, as a $600 statement credit toward your next Airbnb vacation — or as $750 to book supplementary trip accommodations through Chase Ultimate Rewards, Chase’s travel booking portal, for your daily excursions and car rentals.

Plus, you’ll get a 2x rewards rate on all your travel purchases with this card, and that includes Airbnb bookings.

For more information about this travel credit card, see our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
21.49% – 28.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

3x

3x on dining.

2x

2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.



Airbnb stays can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. So if you use this card to book your next Airbnb, the total cost can help you meet the spending threshold ($4,000) to earn this card’s particularly good welcome bonus within the first three months from account opening. You can then use the welcome bonus, 60,000 bonus points, as a $600 statement credit toward your next Airbnb vacation — or as $750 to book supplementary trip accommodations through Chase Ultimate Rewards, Chase’s travel booking portal, for your daily excursions and car rentals.

Plus, you’ll get a 2x rewards rate on all your travel purchases with this card, and that includes Airbnb bookings.

For more information about this travel credit card, see our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
21.49% – 28.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

3x

3x on dining.

2x

2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.


CNET Rating



CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards


Intro Offer


$200 cash rewards



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


Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate


2%



Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases


Rec. Credit



Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.


670 – 850

Good – Excellent

APR


20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is the only card on this list that offers an introductory APR, which gives you more time to pay for your trip over time without incurring interest charges. Just make sure you can cover the minimum payment on time each month and pay off the balance in full by the end of the promotional period.

The Active Cash is also best if you don’t want to think about rewards categories and strategizing around your Airbnb booking. You get a competitive flat rewards rate of 2% on Airbnb and other purchases, along with a decent welcome bonus — $200 cash rewards welcome bonus after spending $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. That’s pretty nice for a credit card with no annual fee.

For more details, check out our full Wells Fargo Active Cash review.

Read our Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Regular APR
20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee
up to 5%, min: $5

2%

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases



The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is the only card on this list that offers an introductory APR, which gives you more time to pay for your trip over time without incurring interest charges. Just make sure you can cover the minimum payment on time each month and pay off the balance in full by the end of the promotional period.

The Active Cash is also best if you don’t want to think about rewards categories and strategizing around your Airbnb booking. You get a competitive flat rewards rate of 2% on Airbnb and other purchases, along with a decent welcome bonus — $200 cash rewards welcome bonus after spending $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. That’s pretty nice for a credit card with no annual fee.

For more details, check out our full Wells Fargo Active Cash review.

Read our Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Regular APR
20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee
up to 5%, min: $5

2%

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases


CNET Rating



CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards


Intro Offer


Earn 40,000 points



Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your American Express® Green Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.


Annual Fee

$150

Rewards Rate


3x
– 3x



Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.; Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.; Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.


Rec. Credit



Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.


670 – 850

Good – Excellent

APR


See Pay Over Time APR

All information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Instead of earning rewards to front the cost of your Airbnb rental, you can also use a card to pay for your Airbnb stay that will net you the best rewards on airfare and other traveling costs to your Airbnb destination. The American Express® Green Card earns you 3x points on travel purchases — including vacation rentals such as Airbnbs — and can be redeemed at 1 cent per point when you book flights through American Express Travel.

This is essentially a 3% return on Airbnb purchases toward eligible flights, a rewards rate equivalent to general travel purchases with the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, yet without spending as much on the annual fee. If you prefer the wide applicability of a general statement credit, the Green Card’s 0.6 cents per point statement credit redemption rate isn’t worthwhile. Instead, try the Wells Fargo Active Cash card.

Read More: How Much Are Amex Membership Rewards Points Worth?

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A

3x

Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.

3x

Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.

3x

Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more



All information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Instead of earning rewards to front the cost of your Airbnb rental, you can also use a card to pay for your Airbnb stay that will net you the best rewards on airfare and other traveling costs to your Airbnb destination. The American Express® Green Card earns you 3x points on travel purchases — including vacation rentals such as Airbnbs — and can be redeemed at 1 cent per point when you book flights through American Express Travel.

This is essentially a 3% return on Airbnb purchases toward eligible flights, a rewards rate equivalent to general travel purchases with the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, yet without spending as much on the annual fee. If you prefer the wide applicability of a general statement credit, the Green Card’s 0.6 cents per point statement credit redemption rate isn’t worthwhile. Instead, try the Wells Fargo Active Cash card.

Read More: How Much Are Amex Membership Rewards Points Worth?

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A

3x

Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.

3x

Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.

3x

Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more


CNET Rating



CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards


Intro Offer


75,000 miles



Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel


Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate


2x
– 5x



Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options; Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.


Rec. Credit



Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.


670 – 850

Good – Excellent

APR


19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)

If you travel by plane often, you’ll save a lot of time using TSA PreCheck or Global Entry programs, which help you breeze through airport security lines. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card* includes up to a $100 credit for the associated fees for either of these programs. Plus, with this card, you still get a competitive flat rewards rate on Airbnb bookings and all other purchases.

For more information about this card’s perks, see our Capital One Venture Rewards review.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
$0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

5x

Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options

2x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.



If you travel by plane often, you’ll save a lot of time using TSA PreCheck or Global Entry programs, which help you breeze through airport security lines. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card* includes up to a $100 credit for the associated fees for either of these programs. Plus, with this card, you still get a competitive flat rewards rate on Airbnb bookings and all other purchases.

For more information about this card’s perks, see our Capital One Venture Rewards review.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
$0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

5x

Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options

2x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

How to choose the best credit card to book Airbnb stays

Pick the credit card that offers the best combination of benefits for your Airbnb stay and beyond. This may include rewards rates, welcome bonuses, redemption options and card perks like travel insurances, airport amenities or annual travel credits. For example, the X1 card offers a high base-rate that can be increased by spending more annually with the card, plus a higher redemption value for Airbnb purchases.

These common card features may help supplement your Airbnb stay:

Travel Insurance

Some travel credit cards offer travel insurance to help you mitigate financial pressure in case of some unfortunate and unexpected circumstances. Common coverage includes travel accident insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and rental car insurance.

Welcome bonuses

Travel cards tend to offer better welcome bonuses than general rewards cards, but also may charge higher annual fees. Still, a sizable welcome bonus could help compensate for a card’s annual fee for a time while also providing extra funds for travel. Just be sure you aren’t spending any differently than you normally would just to unlock a card’s bonus.

Redemption options

Travel credit cards allow cardholders to redeem rewards in many ways. Be sure you’re choosing the one that nets you the greatest value. Some cards will give you a better return for specific travel purchases rather than cash back.

You’ll earn rewards such as cash back, miles or points. The latter two types typically provide greater flexibility, allowing you to transfer your rewards to the card issuer’s travel partners. By taking the extra step of transferring your rewards, you’ll typically see a higher per-point or per-mile value.

Bonus categories

Some credit cards offer rotating bonus categories or special promotional rewards boosts. Other cards offer special rewards promotions if you shop with specific retailers and services through their app. If you choose one of these credit cards, stay on top of the rewards categories for Airbnb or related purchases. Using a travel credit card will classify dollars spent with Airbnb as travel, meaning you’ll earn the greatest rewards for your Airbnb purchases using a travel credit card.

Cash back vs points

Consider a card’s rewards currency when comparing offers. Cash back rewards can typically be redeemed as statement credits or deposited directly into your bank account, while points tend to offer more options when it comes time to redeem, with varying values depending on the route you take. Points may also have a minimum redemption amount.

Annual fee

While a higher annual fee will get you better rewards and perks, make sure you’re able to get enough value from the rewards and perks compared to the cost of the card. Compare your budget to the rewards program to see if you will earn enough to offset the cost of the card on an annual basis while still having rewards left over.

Tips for using a credit card to book an Airbnb

Follow these steps to book a property through Airbnb with your credit card. It’s quite simple.

  1. Create an Airbnb account.
  2. Choose the property you want to rent.
  3. Attach your credit card to your account.
  4. Pay your Airbnb bill with your attached credit card.

There are a number of different ways you’re able to pay, too. You can use Visa, Mastercard, Amex, JCB, Discover and debit cards that can be processed as credit cards, plus utilize payment plans if you don’t want to pick up the bill in its entirety right away. There are also digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can also pay via Paypal or with gift cards.

To qualify for payment plans, your stay will have to meet a few criteria. You’ll have to pay with a credit card, book at least 14 days in advance, cost more than $50 and not be staying for work or for more than 28 days. You’ll be charged a portion of the cost at check out and be charged the rest on a date or dates listed therein.

FAQs

Each Airbnb listing has its own designated cancellation policy ranging from “flexible” to “super strict.” More flexible policies allow for a risk-free cancellation closer to the reservation date. Moderate policies may only give you a partial refund as your reservation date gets closer, while the strictest policies require full payment upfront with no refunds. Airbnb cancellation policies are also listed on its website.

You have 24 hours to cancel your booking before your credit card is charged, regardless of the host’s chosen cancellation policy. How much you’ll be charged upfront depends on the listing’s cancellation policy and whether or not you opt for a payment plan. For moderate listings, you may be charged for some of the reservation cost after 24 hours, and the remaining balance will be charged as you get closer to your stay.

For some trips, Airbnb offers a payment plan. There are a few eligibility requirements, but the main ones are that your trip is at least 14 days in the future, is not longer than 28 days (longer reservations will require an upfront charge) and is not for work. You can choose the payment plan option at checkout, and choose between two and 12 equal monthly installments to pay off your booking cost beyond your trip date. Alternatively, the best 0% introductory APR credit cards may offer longer promotional financing terms.

Our approach to credit card evaluation

CNET reviews credit cards by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each major category of cards, including cash-back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We consider the typical spending behaviors of a range of consumer profiles with the understanding that everyone’s financial situation is different — as are the designated functions of different credit cards. 

*All information about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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Jaclyn DeJohn

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