British Airways Executive Club members can now earn 3 Avios per USD/EUR/GBP spent on Airbnb stays. Is this the most rewarding frequent flyer partnership with the accommodation service?
In this guide
Most travellers are familiar with the accommodation service Airbnb. It offers the option to bypass traditional lodging options like hotels for a more ‘local’ experience staying in an apartment or house (or treehouse).
What a lot of people don’t know is that just by clicking through a dedicated link, you can earn frequent flyer points on every dollar spent on Airbnb stays.
Airbnb doesn’t have its own dedicated loyalty program but instead has generally chosen to team up with other partners to offer loyalty perks.
How to earn frequent flyer points with Airbnb
Here are the frequent flyer program partners and earn rates:
|Frequent flyer program||Earn rate|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1 Qantas Point per AUD spent|
|British Airways Avios||3 Avios per USD/EUR/GBP spent|
|Delta SkyMiles||1 SkyMile per USD spent|
Based on our points valuations and the AUD:USD exchange rate at time of writing (June 2019), I would value the Avios earn opportunity at more than triple the others (4.5% cashback). Qantas would give you an effective cashback of 1.4% and Delta 1.2%.
Dedicated Airbnb portal links
In detail: how to earn Qantas Points with Airbnb stays
The regular earn rate doesn’t compare well when looking at the base return for booking via Qantas Hotels, which starts at 3 Qantas Points per $ and is often increased during promotional periods.
However, this isn’t comparing apples to apples. Airbnb is a totally different product and experience to booking a hotel, and you usually would know which you’d prefer to get the most from your travels.
- Start your Airbnb accommodation search and booking via the Qantas-Airbnb portal, ensuring you are logged in with your frequent flyer number or log in when prompted
- You’ll pick up 1 Qantas Point per AUD spent on the final value of the guest fees of your booking after credits or discounts
- The points will be credited to your account up to eight weeks after your stay
- You won’t earn points on cancelled bookings
- The name on the booking must match the name on your Qantas Frequent Flyer account
- If booking an overseas property where the price is not quoted in AUD, then the points earned will be calculated on an AUD exchange rate used by Airbnb
Given you are booking directly with Airbnb after clicking through from Qantas, you should find that pricing is the same. If you find this is not the case, please let us know in the comments.
Airbnb is an alternative to hotels for sure but, generally, you can decide whether the benefits and trade-offs of staying in an Airbnb are suitable, and would usually be more of a sway to your decision than whether you can earn points or not.
In 2018, I spent almost AU$6,000 with Airbnb, earning me about 6,000 Qantas Points. That means I got about $120 worth of points just by clicking through the dedicated portal every time I booked (which I forgot sometimes).
Alternative (but more difficult option): how to earn United MileagePlus miles on Airbnb stays
This process is the most convoluted of all. You’ll collect 0.5-2 United MileagePlus miles per US$1 spent on Airbnb gift cards (this earn rate changes periodically).
Do note that this online store regularly changes which retailers it partners with, so this option may not always be available.
Here are the steps:
- Make sure you have a MileagePlus account (sign up for one for free here).
- Download the MileagePlus X app for iOS or Android:
- Click on Airbnb:
- Buy an Airbnb gift card to use for your Airbnb purchase. Note that the gift card will be in US Dollars, so you may want to do your search on the Airbnb website or app in USD too so you can get the exact amount right.
With a simple click through a dedicated frequent flyer program-Airbnb portal rather than the Airbnb website, you can earn frequent flyer points on your stays.
Hopefully we will see more loyalty programs partnering with the accommodation service moving forward!
Supplementary images courtesy Airbnb and respective frequent flyer programs.