Best credit cards for Airbnb

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This page includes information about Discover products that are not currently available on Bankrate and may be out of date.

If you prefer Airbnbs or vacation rentals over hotels when you travel, you should think carefully about the rewards credit card you sign up for. Some definitely offer a higher rate of return on Airbnb, VRBO.com and other apartment rental bookings, and many also come with important travel insurance benefits that can help you minimize losses when your vacation doesn’t go quite as planned.

We’ve compared all the top options for Airbnbs in terms of their rewards and benefits, so you should start your search for a new travel credit card here.

Here are Bankrate’s top picks for credit cards for AirBnB in 2020:

Best credit cards for AirBnB 

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points, worth $200 in cash redemption value, when you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening
  • Earn 3x points on dining, gas stations, ridesharing, transit, flights, hotels, homestays (including Airbnb), car rentals and popular streaming services
  • Earn 1x points on other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% –25.99%

Why it’s one of the best credit cards for Airbnb

If you’re looking for an Airbnb credit card that offers bonus rewards in a ton of popular categories without an annual fee, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is the best option to consider. This card doles out 3x points in a range of popular categories that include Airbnb and VRBO.com rentals, and you’ll earn 1x points on everything else you buy as well.

Like other rewards credit cards, the Wells Fargo Propel lets you earn an initial bonus worth $200 in cash redemption when you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening. You’ll also qualify for cell phone protection when you pay your cell phone bill with your credit card (up to $600 and a $25 deductible applies), and you won’t pay foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 50,000 miles worth $500 when you spend $3,000 on your card within three months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2x miles for each purchase you make
  • Receive a credit up to $100 toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • $95 annual fee (waived the first year)

Why it’s one of the best credit cards for Airbnb

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a smart card option for Airbnbs for two reasons. First, you can use your card to pay for Airbnb rentals and all other purchases you make and you’ll earn a flat 2x miles for each dollar you spend. On the redemption side of the equation, you can redeem your rewards to cover Airbnb purchases at a rate of one cent per mile. With that redemption value, the signup bonus on this card alone is worth $500 in Airbnb bookings.

This card also comes with a generous credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck, both of which can save you time in security when you fly with a commercial airline. This card comes with no foreign transaction fees, and you won’t even pay an annual fee the first year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50,000 points worth $750 in travel when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening
  • Earn 3x points on travel (after earning the $300 travel credit) and dining and 10x points on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • $550 annual fee
  • Enjoy a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass™ Select membership, a credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck, a one year DashPass membership and DoorDash credits and a one year Lyft Pink membership, among other benefits

Why it’s one of the best credit cards for Airbnb

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is ideal for Airbnbs because you’ll earn 3x points on all travel purchases (after earning the $300 travel credit) and vacation rental purchases, including Airbnb rentals. This card also comes with a $300 travel credit each year, which is automatically applied to travel purchases including Airbnb rentals you pay for with your card. As a cardholder, you’ll also get important travel protections including trip cancellation/interruption insurance, which can come in handy when your trip is cancelled or delayed for covered reasons beyond your control.

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does come with a high annual fee, the annual travel credit, Priority Pass™ Select membership (valued at $429), DoorDash credit and other perks more than make up for it. Also note that you can easily use rewards for Airbnbs or other vacation rental stays too, either by redeeming your points for statement credits at a rate of one cent per point or by booking a vacation rental through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. When you choose the latter option, you’ll even get 50 percent more travel for your points, which is why 50,000 points are worth $750 in travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 points worth $750 in travel when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening
  • Earn 2x points on travel and dining and 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary DashPass membership for one year
  • $95 annual fee

Why it’s one of the best credit cards for Airbnb

If you want a credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points but you only travel occasionally, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card is ideal for Airbnbs since you earn 2x points on all travel and dining, and you can also redeem rewards for Airbnb stays by cashing in your points for statement credits or booking a vacation rental through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Unlike the Chase Sapphire Reserve card that gives you 50 percent more value for your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, however, you’ll only get 25 percent more value for your points when you book vacation rentals and other travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

This card doesn’t have a ton of perks, but you do get DashPass membership as well as trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance and other protections. This card’s $95 annual fee is also on the affordable side, and that’s especially true when you take the card’s first-year signup bonus into account.

Discover it® Miles

  • Earn an unlimited 1.5x miles for each dollar you spend
  • Discover will match all the miles you earn during the first year
  • No annual fee

Why it’s one of the best credit cards for Airbnb

We like the Discover it® Miles for Airbnbs for a few reasons. First, you will earn 1.5 miles on all purchases, including Airbnb stays, and Discover will match all your rewards earned after the first year. You can also redeem your rewards to cover Airbnb stays charged to your credit card at a rate of one cent per mile, which is extremely convenient if you planned to pay for your Airbnb contract with your credit card anyway.

This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and your miles will never expire. You’ll also enjoy no foreign transaction fees and no late fee on your first late payment, among other benefits.

How to choose the best credit card for AirBnB

A lot of factors should be considered before you sign up for a new credit card, and each of these factors can help you determine the right rewards or travel credit card for your needs. These tips can help you rule out inferior cards so you wind up with the best Airbnb credit card for your travel style and normal spending patterns.

Compare rewards programs

First, think for a moment about the type of rewards you want to earn. Do you prefer to earn cash back you can spend on Airbnb rentals? Or would it be better to rack up flexible rewards you can redeem in more than one way? Most credit cards for Airbnbs have some flexibility in their rewards programs, but it’s still smart to make sure you understand your redemption options and how they might work for Airbnbs and other vacation rentals.

See how fees stack up

Also compare cards in terms of their annual fees, keeping in mind that cards with higher fees generally offer travel perks that justify the out-of-pocket cost. However, you should also look at and compare ongoing variable interest rates you’ll have to pay if you have to carry a balance as well as late fees and other fees your credit card might charge.

Decide which other cardholder perks you want

If you are considering cards that charge an annual fee, make sure you’re getting all the perks you want the most. This could include annual travel credits, airport lounge access, a credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck every few years and any other benefits you crave.

Frequently asked questions about credit cards for AirBnB

What are some of the benefits of using a credit card to pay for an Airbnb or rental condo?

Using a credit card to pay for your Airbnb is smart for more than one reason. You’ll earn rewards on your spending for starters, but you’ll also qualify for zero liability for fraud — an important consideration if the Airbnb operator you rent from doesn’t live up to their end of the bargain. You can also qualify for travel insurance benefits that can help protect your travel investment.

Will Airbnb count as a travel purchase?

Airbnbs and other vacation rentals typically code as “travel” on your credit card statement, meaning they can trigger any bonus points or annual credits offered in the travel category.

Does Airbnb have a refund policy?

Airbnb’s refund terms vary depending on the owner of the property and the policy they select. Some Airbnbs come with a flexible cancellation policy that allows a full refund (minus the service fee) within 14 days of the trip, where others have strict cancellation policies that limit your refund to 50 percent when you cancel at any point up to 60 or 30 days out from your trip.

Can you earn rewards on Airbnb purchases while stacking with other offers?

You can double dip on rewards by signing up for Airbnb promotions through Chase Offers or Amex Offers then using your credit card to pay.

Can I pay for an Airbnb with points?

Many rewards credit cards let you cash in points for Airbnb stays or other vacation rentals, including the cards on this list. Really though, even a cash back credit card could be good for Airbnbs since you could redeem your rewards for cash back or statement credits used toward vacation rental properties.

Does Airbnb charge a credit processing fee when you pay with a credit card?

Airbnb does not charge any additional fees to pay the booking charge with a credit card. Their credit processing fees are built into their pricing upfront.