The Best Credit Cards for Airbnb

Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Are you loyal to Airbnb? The short-term vacation rental platform already has a name as big as Hilton or Marriott, but unlike the largest hotel groups in the world, Airbnb does not have a co-branded credit card. Instead, travelers are left to find the best cashback or general travel rewards card to maximize Airbnb bookings.

To make it even more confusing, Airbnb does not always fall under the category of “travel” for credit card companies, and you could be left signing up for a credit card that does not reward Airbnb purchases as you think it might.

That’s why the team at Trips to Discover scrutinized the fine print for over a dozen credit cards and directly clarified how Airbnb purchases behave with each card. We then used a proprietary ranking system utilizing 18 variables to find the best credit card for Airbnb. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details.

Here is a breakdown of everything you’ll learn on this page:


How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Airbnb

Since Airbnb does not have genuine loyalty partnerships with credit card companies, finding the best credit card for Airbnb bookings takes a flanking approach. You want a card that offers high rewards for “general travel” or “all purchases.” However, since you are unlikely to find a rewards rate as high as a co-branded card, you want to consider each card holistically.

While earning points with Airbnb can be an issue, so can spending those points. Many travel credit cards have “travel rewards” portals where you can redeem points for higher than average value. Since Airbnb does not have a co-branded partnership with any credit card company, you might have to redeem your points for less value when you choose a cash back, statement credit or gift card method to use on your next Airbnb booking.

Other essential issues to consider when choosing a credit card to use with Airbnb include the variable APR and if there are any foreign transaction fees. It is also crucial to see if the card contains an 0% introductory APR, what type of bonus you get and what the value of that bonus is when used on Airbnb. In addition, it’s essential to know what you have to do to use your hard-earned points on an Airbnb booking — essentially, how much of a hassle is the credit card reward system?

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The Best Airbnb Credit Cards of 2022

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The 12 Best Credit Cards for Airbnb

Look no further if you want to maximize your rewards with Airbnb while avoiding high-maintenance credit cards. Dive into our list of the best credit cards for Airbnb!

Although we rank these credit cards, that doesn’t mean the #1 card is for everyone. People build algorithms, so naturally, we prioritized credit card features that we found most important for Airbnb — emphasis on “that we found.” In other words, check out all twelve of these cards; a card lower on our list might be perfect for you!

It’s also worth noting that none of the cards on our list have reward-earning limits or caps or require card members to “opt-in” to any category related to Airbnb purchases. We also converted each card’s welcome bonus points into the dollar value used on an Airbnb purchase. See our methodology for a full explanation. To learn more about how we choose products and how we make money, see our Advertiser Disclosure.

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Methodology

Independent: Our research team operates independently to recommend the best credit cards for Airbnb using data analysis. Our top recommendations are based solely on primary research and a proprietary ranking algorithm that prioritizes Airbnb purchases.

Preliminary Research: All the credit cards on this list were selected based on secondary sources that frequently list these credit cards as the best for travel. Credit cards were selected purely at the author’s discretion with absolutely no outside influence, financial or otherwise. These cards were then ranked against each other using an algorithm that prioritizes card features the author found most fit for interactions with Airbnb.

Formula: We ranked credit cards using 18 variables. Card details, pricing, terms and conditions were quantified and placed into our ranking procedure. We normalized data points by maximizing and minimizing them dependent on the other cards’ values in the ranking pool and the “polarity” of the measurement (High rewards=good; high APR=bad). We calculated a weighted sum of our variables to prioritize attributes for Airbnb purchases.

Disclaimer: This flexible formula means a card can receive a different score when the card pool changes. In other words, we are ranking the best cards for Airbnb within our selection of cards and make no claims that these are the best credit cards for Airbnb out of every credit card in the world.

Rankings: Instead of separating primary and secondary ranking categories for each credit card, our ranking algorithm considers each card holistically with varying degrees of weight. That means a second-rate reward-earning card with stellar scores in 17 other categories could be the best card for Airbnb. Note: we rank credit cards, not credit card companies; you will find multiple cards from one issuer on our list, and we still rank those cards against each other.

Parameters: We focused solely on Airbnb to find the best card for Airbnb purchases. Our algorithm did not reward points for card bonuses ancillary to Airbnb, such as flights, car rentals, hotels, restaurants and other travel-related rewards. The importance of extra bonuses varies for each Airbnb customer; the cards presented here are strictly best for Airbnb.

Limits: Our ranking algorithm used each card’s highest reward rate and point value for Airbnb purchases. That means some cards have much higher reward rates and redemption values for other purchases.

Complexity: Our algorithm deducts cards requiring complex point management to earn higher returns. For example, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card has the highest reward rate for Airbnb purchases, 5% back. However, you must be an Amazon Prime member and use points to buy Airbnb gift cards through Amazon; this causes the card to lose some points in our algorithm.

Simplifying: Credit card companies use points, miles or cash rewards yielding varying real-world values. We converted these reward systems to dollars and reward earning rates into expenditure percentages for easier comparison. For example, 1.5X rewards become 1.5% dollars back in points when the point is worth 1 cent. We converted the value for points worth less than one cent; 3X rewards valued at .7 cents becomes 2.1% dollars back.

Timeline: This analysis was conducted between July 25 and August 24, 2022

Replicability: You can download CSV spreadsheets containing the information and scores of the 12 cards we analyzed here, but we have removed all formulas from the books. Our algorithm is proprietary, but if you want to build a similar project, please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected], and we can walk you through the process. Please feel free to use or share this data with whoever may find this helpful — we ask that your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page so its contributors can receive proper credit for their work.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Trips to Discover is an independent travel discovery website, not an investment advisor. Our research, data analysis, written material and other content are provided solely for informational purposes and are not investment advice. The relevance and precision of the information provided in our articles will vary under individual circumstances. We are not a substitute for qualified professional investment advice. Before applying, we encourage you to read all applicable credit card terms and conditions.

Our research is editorially independent, but we may earn commissions for purchases made through our links. Our opinions and recommendations are ours, and commissions do not influence our evaluations. Offers on this page contain terms and conditions. Credit card details on this page were collected independently by Trips to Discover and were not reviewed or endorsed by the issuers. Our research is based on the terms and conditions of the credit cards we examined at the time of publication and are subject to change.

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1. Discover it® Miles
Discover it® Miles card

1. Discover it® Miles

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $0

  • Annual Fee: $0

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 1.5%

  • Recommended Credit: Good (670+)

  • APR: 13.49%-24.49%

  • More Info or Apply Now

The Discover it® Miles card may surprise you as the best credit card for Airbnb. It doesn’t have the highest Airbnb earnings rate or any welcome bonus. It lands number one because it ranks high on the other 16 variables we examined. The Discover it® Miles card has the best APR, with a floor of 13.49%. In addition, you get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months.

Unlike many other travel cards, you can check online to see if you pre-qualify, and we recommend a “Good” credit score or better to be accepted. Taking that all into account means the it® Miles card is easily the most accessible travel card for Airbnb.

You will earn miles at a value of 1.5% back on everything you purchase, including Airbnb. You can spend those points for cash back, statement credits or travel credits — all are worth 1 cent per mile, and therefore, there is no penalty for using your points to get cash back to book your next Airbnb. There is also no minimum miles balance required to redeem for cash.

With this card, the biggest bonus comes at the end of your first year. Discover will match all the miles you earned in the first 12 months of ownership, essentially doubling the rewards rate for all your purchases in your first year to 3% — leveling the playing field with the high-reward earning cards on our list.

The it® Miles card also has no annual or foreign transaction fees. It is worth noting that while it is close, Discover is not as widely accepted outside the U.S. as Visa or Mastercard, so if you are traveling internationally, it is always a good idea to keep a backup Visa or Mastercard just in case.

More Info or Apply Now

2. Bank of America® Travel Rewards
Bank of America® Travel Rewards card

2. Bank of America® Travel Rewards

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $250

  • Annual Fee: $0

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 1.5%

  • Recommended Credit: Good (670+)

  • APR: 16.24%-26.24%

  • More Info or Apply Now

Unlike most travel rewards cards on our list, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card also has a 0% intro APR, good for 15 billing cycles.

In addition, every purchase (including Airbnb) earns points worth 1.5% of dollars spent. However, you must redeem these points as a statement credit, meaning you must cover your Airbnb charges after the fact.

Rewards with this card are worth 1 cent per point when redeeming as a statement credit or any other form available to this card. In other words, you are not penalized for choosing statement credit instead of something else. However, you must have a minimum of 2,500 ($25) points to redeem.

The Travel Rewards card has no annual fees, but the intro point bonus is slightly smaller. You will earn points worth $250 towards Airbnb bookings if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days — a smaller reward but a smaller spend requirement too!

You can check to see if you are pre-qualified, and we recommend at least a “Good” credit score. It’s also worth noting that this card has a bit of a lower bottom to its variable APR at 16.24%.

We did not find any other annual bonuses or unique perks directly related to Airbnb purchases, but there are no foreign transaction fees.

More Info or Apply Now

3. Wells Fargo Active Cash®
Wells Fargo Active Cash® card

3. Wells Fargo Active Cash®

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $200

  • Annual Fee: $0

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 2%

  • Recommended Credit: Good (670+)

  • APR: 17.24%-27.24%

  • More Info or Apply Now

This card is simple; 2% rewards on all purchases, period (yes, that includes Airbnb!). Each point is worth 1 cent, and you are best off redeeming those for cash back to use for your next Airbnb stay. However, you can utilize Wells Fargo’s statement credit method to recoup your costs after your trip! Either way, your points are worth the same, and you are not penalized for using your points with Airbnb instead of something else.

The Active Cash® card has no annual fee but comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee. You get a 0% intro APR for 15 months plus $200 cash when you spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening. Redeeming your cash rewards requires a minimum of $25 in points; however, the statement credit method only requires a minimum of $1 to redeem, but it must be able to cover the entire purchase.

You do not have a rewards cap with this card. The Active Cash® has a standard variable APR range but a slightly higher APR ceiling than most other cards on this list — 27.24%.

We did not find any additional bonuses or rewards you can use with Airbnb for this card. We recommend a “Good” or better credit score to apply.

More Info or Apply Now

4. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card

4. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $0

  • Annual Fee: $139*

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 5%

  • Recommended Credit: Good (670+)

  • APR: 16.49%-24.49%

  • More Info or Apply Now

It takes some work, but the Prime Rewards Visa card can earn you the highest rewards rate for Airbnb purchases out of any card on this list. You must be an Amazon Prime member to earn 5% back on Airbnb purchases. This card does not have an annual fee, so if you do not already have a Prime membership, you can consider the $139 yearly membership fee as a sort of annual fee for this card — we did.

Since you can only earn this rate on Amazon.com, you must use your Prime Rewards Visa card to buy Airbnb gift cards — this will get you your 5% back. Your points are worth 1 cent each, no matter how you use them, including purchasing Airbnb gift cards. Since this is not a travel card, it is worth noting that there are no foreign transaction fees.

This card does not have an intro point windfall or intro APR, but you get a $100 Amazon Gift Card immediately upon approval that you can use to — yep, buy an Airbnb gift card. One advantage of gift cards is you can use them at checkout, so you don’t have to go back and scrub purchases later with a statement credit. However, gift cards come with an inherent minimum point redemption; the smallest Airbnb gift card you can buy on Amazon is $25.

Another advantage of this card is its relatively lower variable APR, with a floor of 15.74%. You can’t check to see if you are pre-qualified, but we recommend applying with a “Good” or better credit score.

More Info or Apply Now

5. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve® card

5. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $600

  • Annual Fee: $550

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 3%

  • Recommended Credit: Very Good (740+)

  • APR: 19.24%-26.24%

  • More Info or Apply Now

Sapphire Reserve members must spend $300 in travel purchases before many of the card’s point benefits kick in. After this $300, you will earn 3% back on purchases with Airbnb plus other travel rewards, including 10% on airline tickets and 5% on car rentals booked through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal. The minimum spending requirement slightly offsets the premium points earning potential.

These points are worth 1 cent apiece after 9/30/22 when Airbnb will no longer qualify for Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program; until then, points are worth 1.5 cents each. After September, you must redeem for cash back for an Airbnb purchase. Doing this does result in a point penalty since your points are worth more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards and Pay Yourself Back programs.

This card has a massive annual fee of $550, offset by the annual $300 travel credit automatically applied to your account with any travel purchase in a year — no minimum spend amount required. The yearly bonus effectively makes the annual fee $250, which is much more reasonable.

The intro point bonus is higher than many cards; you will earn $600 in points you can use for cash back towards Airbnb after you charge $4,000 to the Sapphire Reserve within 90 days.

This card does not have a minimum point balance to redeem for cash back.

The APR is slightly higher than average, with a floor of 19.24%. As with most travel cards, there is no intro APR, and we recommend a “very good” credit score or better to apply. The Sapphire Reserve® has no foreign transaction fees.

More Info or Apply Now

6. X1 Card
X1 Visa Card

6. X1 Card

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $0

  • Annual Fee: $0

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 3%

  • Recommended Credit: Fair (580+) + High Income

  • APR: 15%-22%

  • More Info or Apply Now

The X1 is wildly different from most of this list’s credit cards. For starters, X1 looks at a combination of income and credit history when choosing to open a line of credit for you; even with a thin credit history, you can still snag an X1 based on your income. In addition, this is an unsecured line of credit, which makes it stand out even further from the crowd of “no-credit” approval cards. Therefore, we recommend this card to high-income earners with “fair” credit scores or better.

You will earn points worth 2% of all purchases throughout the year. If you spend $15,000 in any annual revolving cycle, you will get bonus windfall points worth 1% of all the purchases you made that cycle, plus you will then earn points at a rate of 3% on all spending for the rest of that cycle — this all includes Airbnb purchases.

In addition, unlike every other credit card on this list, the X1 is a rewards partner with Airbnb. You can use the X1 “Pay Off” feature to scrub Airbnb purchases from your account at a conversion of 1 cent per point. This point redemption is an after-the-fact method; however, you can take advantage of cashback redemption to use your points at checkout with Airbnb. Doing so does devalue your points by 70% — .7 cents per point value. Utilizing the “Pay Off” method is best and doing so for Airbnb purchases yields the highest redemption value.

This card also has no annual fees or foreign transaction fees. There are no intro bonuses, APR rates or other annual bonuses and perks directly related to Airbnb. The lack of additional extras is negligible considering this card’s unique appeal regarding qualifying, the only credit card-Airbnb partnership of any kind, no fees and reasonable rewards rates.

The major drawback to this card is it is still in “beta testing” and will be rolling out to the public in the coming weeks. You must request an “invite,” and the current waitlist has over half a million applicants. It’s uncertain how quickly these applications will be approved once X1 goes public.

However, the delay appears to be worth it; in addition to all the above features, this card has one of the lowest variable APRs on our list — 15%-22%. Another plus is requesting an invite does not produce a “hard inquiry” on your credit score — soft only, so you might as well apply!

More Info or Apply Now

7. Capital One® Venture®
Capital One® Venture® card

7. Capital One® Venture®

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $750

  • Annual Fee: $95

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 2%

  • Recommended Credit: Very Good (740+)

  • APR: 17.49%-25.49%

  • More Info or Apply Now

Earn unlimited miles worth 2% of every dollar spent on Airbnb or any other purchase with the Venture® card. When redeeming for a statement credit, these points have a redemption value of 1 cent per point. You must redeem a statement credit to use your rewards for Airbnb purchases. There is no redemption penalty for using your miles as a statement credit — other redemption methods do not yield higher returns.

The Venture® rewards card has a smaller annual fee of $95 and a more considerable intro miles windfall worth $750 towards Airbnb after you charge $4,000 on this card in the first 90 days. We did not find any other annual bonuses or perks you can use directly with Airbnb.

As with all cards utilizing a statement credit method, you must cover your Airbnb purchases after the fact. However, there is no minimum miles balance required to redeem.

This card has a standard variable APR with a slightly lower floor of 17.49% — no intro APR. Unlike the Venture X® card, you can check to see if you are pre-qualified before applying and receiving a hard credit check. We recommend a “very good” credit score or better before applying. There are no foreign transaction fees with the Venture® card.

More Info or Apply Now

8. Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Chase Sapphire Preferred® card

8. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $600

  • Annual Fee: $95

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 2%

  • Recommended Credit: Good (670+)

  • APR: 18.24%-25.24%

  • More Info or Apply Now

Use the cashback method to earn 2% rewards for Airbnb purchases with a 1 cent per point value. Until 9/30/22, members can use the Pay Yourself Back statement credit program to cover Airbnb purchases at 1.25 cents per point after the purchase clears.

After September, you can no longer do this for Airbnb and must use cashback if you want to cover Airbnb purchases. Cashback only has a 1 cent value which becomes a kind of reward penalty for redeeming your points on Airbnb instead of using Chase’s Ultimate Rewards or Pay Yourself Back programs.

This card comes with a point windfall worth $600 for Airbnb purchases after spending $4,000 within 90 days. However, unlike with statement credits, you can use your cashback at the point of sale for Airbnb. The Sapphire Preferred card has a standard variable APR but no intro APR offers. There are no foreign transaction fees.

The annual fee is reasonable at $95, and you even get a yearly point windfall worth 10% of every purchase you make through the year, which could easily cover your annual fee.

You can’t request pre-qualification for this card, but you could get a mailer saying you pre-qualify. Most secondary sources report a credit score requirement of “good” or better to get approval.

More Info or Apply Now

9. Bank of America® Premium Rewards®
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® card

9. Bank of America® Premium Rewards®

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $500

  • Annual Fee: $95

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 2%

  • Recommended Credit: Very Good (740+)

  • APR: 18.24%-25.24%

  • More Info or Apply Now

Airbnb purchases earn 2% back in points, the highest possible reward rate with this card. These points are worth 1 cent each, and you must have 2,500 ($25) points to redeem for a statement credit to cover Airbnb purchases after the fact.

You can earn an intro bonus point windfall (worth $500 if used as a statement credit to cover Airbnb purchases) if you spend $3,000 on the card within the first 90 days.

Redeeming your points as a statement credit does not come with a point penalty; in other words, you won’t miss out on a higher redemption value with this card.

The Premium Rewards® card has a standard variable APR that matches most other cards on our list. You can check to see if you are pre-qualified with this card and should have at least a “very good” credit score before applying.

The Premium Rewards card is a visa with no scope limitations, and there are no foreign transaction fees. We did not find any other annual bonuses or unique perks directly related to Airbnb purchases.

More Info or Apply Now

10. Capital One® Venture X®
Capital One® Venture X® card

10. Capital One® Venture X®

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $750

  • Annual Fee: $395

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 2%

  • Recommended Credit: Very Good (740+)

  • APR: 18.49%-25.49%

  • More Info or Apply Now

Airbnb purchases are on the lowest tier of point earning potential with Venture X, at a rate of 2% back. These points have an Airbnb redemption value of 1 cent per point when using the statement credit method.

This card comes with an intro point windfall of $750, which you can use on Airbnb after spending $4,000 in the first 90 days. However, you must cover Airbnb purchases after the charge clears as a statement credit which also requires manual execution.

The highest redemption value for your miles is 1:1, which you can use with Airbnb, so there is no point penalty for redeeming as a statement credit to use on Airbnb. In other words, redeeming your points through their Capital One Travel Program (which doesn’t include Airbnb) has the same value as a statement credit (which you must use for Airbnb).

There are no foreign transaction fees with the Venture X Rewards card. This card has a more significant annual fee set at $395, offset by a $100 yearly points bonus just for paying your annual fee, essentially bringing the cost down to $295 per year.

The Venture X card has a standard variable APR with no intro rate — no pre-qualifying either. Most secondary sources report that you need a “Very Good” credit score or better to get approval. Capital One says it requires an “Excellent” credit level, which appears ambiguous as many secondary sources report acceptance with only a “Very Good” credit rating.

More Info or Apply Now

11. Citi® Double Cash
citi.com
Citi® Double Cash card

11. Citi® Double Cash

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $200

  • Annual Fee: $0

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 2%

  • Recommended Credit: Very Good (740+)

  • APR: 16.24%-26.24%

  • More Info or Apply Now

The Double Cash card is a lean option for travelers that rewards paying off your balance. You will earn 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% when you pay those purchases off; that means you can earn 2% cash back for all your Airbnb purchases. Points are worth 1 cent each, no matter how you redeem, so we recommend taking advantage of the cashback system to use at your next Airbnb visit.

There are no point minimums to redeem your points for cash back or a statement credit, and there is no rewards cap for earning or spending points. The Double Cash card does not have an annual fee but does come with a pesky 3% foreign transaction fee.

You get a little more time to win your intro bonus — $200 cash back once you spend $1500 within six months. We could not find any other annual bonuses or rewards you can use on Airbnb.

This card has a standard APR with a broader range of 16.24%-26.24%. There is only an introductory APR for balance transfers. You can’t pre-qualify for this card, but you can see if you are pre-selected. We recommend at least a “Very Good” credit score.

More Info or Apply Now

12. American Express® Green Card
American Express® Green Card

12. American Express® Green Card

  • Airbnb Intro Bonus Value: $315

  • Annual Fee: $150

  • Airbnb Earning Rate: 2.1%

  • Recommended Credit: Good (670+)

  • APR: 18.24%-25.24%

  • More Info or Apply Now

The Green Card is a middle-of-the-road option with better reward earnings potential, a reasonable intro point bonus and a lower credit score requirement. Earn 3% back on travel, including Airbnb — the same rate as the Sapphire Reserve.

The downside is your points are only worth .7 cents each when you redeem them for Airbnb gift cards through the American Express rewards portal. This rate is your highest potential for Airbnb purchases; you can redeem these points for as much as 1 cent each with select merchants and book travel through the American Express portal, but .7 cents is the max for Airbnb.

The minimum points you need to redeem for an Airbnb gift card is $50, the smallest card you can buy. This card has an annual fee of $150 but no foreign transaction fees. You get 45,000 points after spending $2,000 on the card in a generous six months. If used for Airbnb, these points are worth $315.

We didn’t find any other Airbnb-applicable rewards or bonuses with the Green Card. However, there are advantages to using your points for gift cards, such as the ability to use those gift cards at checkout with Airbnb.

The Green Card has a standard variable APR but no intro APR. You can check to see if you are pre-qualified, and we recommend applying with at least a “Good” credit score.

It is also worth mentioning that American Express is a globally accepted payment method but still slightly behind Visa and Mastercard. Most travelers will not need to worry about this, but it is a good idea to carry a Visa or Mastercard just in case.

American Express® Green Card information was collected independently by Trips to Discover and was not reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. Find rates and fee details for the American Express® Green Card here.

More Info or Apply Now

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