Here’s how to cash in on the partnership — and which credit cards to use for even more rewards. Updated for summer 2017: Delta and Airbnb have made their partnership even more enticing.
How the program works
- All Airbnb users (new ones and those who already have accounts) can earn 3 SkyMile per dollar spent with Airbnb if they book via Deltaairbnb.com. Previously, you could earn only 1 point per dollar. You MUST book via this site to earn SkyMiles for your stay. This is a limited-time offer, good only for bookings made from Aug. 10, 2017 to Oct. 31, 2017. The stay must be completed by Oct. 31, 2018. After this promo ends, you’ll go back to earning 1 mile per dollar.
- New Airbnb users can get a little extra — (1) a $25 Airbnb credit (valid toward a first stay of at least $75) AND (2) 2,000 bonus SkyMiles when you book a first stay of $150 or 500 bonus SkyMiles when you book a first stay of $75. Again, booking must be made via Deltaairbnb.com. Plus, the first-stay booking must be made within 60 days of signing up for Airbnb. Only the booking must take place within 60 days — the actual stay can happen later.
- New Airbnb hosts can earn Delta SkyMiles in the following tiers: 2,500 miles after $250 in qualified Host Earnings; 7,500 bonus miles after $1,000 in qualifying Host Earnings; and 15,000 bonus miles after $2,500 Host Earnings.
How exciting is this offer?
If you don’t already have an Airbnb account and were thinking of trying it out, this offer may be compelling — $25 off your first stay, plus some SkyMiles.
For existing Airbnb users, it’s certainly something to consider if you need to top off your Delta SkyMiles account (you’re close to a rewards flight, for example). But booking your stay through the partnership’s site (rather than Airbnb’s site) is an extra step you may not want to go through.
For those who don’t aren’t already in the Delta SkyMiles program and don’t use Airbnb, this partnership probably shouldn’t compel you to sign up for either. You’d need to spend thousands of dollars through the site to get a free round-trip flight (assuming you can even find reward space).
In sum, this program is most useful at the intersection of those who spend (or plan to spend) a significant amount on Airbnb and those who already collect Delta SkyMiles.
How credit cards can sweeten the deal
This partnership is a prime double-dipping opportunity with the right cards, because you can earn Delta SkyMiles AND your card’s rewards currency simultaneously.
We suggest starting with a travel card that codes Airbnb as travel for its bonus “travel” category. There’s evidence that the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve do (meaning 2X and 3X Ultimate Rewards points, respectively).
There’s evidence that the Citi Prestige codes Airbnb as travel, too.
This isn’t an exact science, however, since card bonus categories (travel in this case) must match the merchant category code — and there’s no guarantee that Airbnb will continue to code as “hotels and lodging” for the aforementioned cards.
But, if you can harness this rewards sweet spot, you’ll be earning 2X or 3X on travel (due to your Airbnb purchase) and some Delta SkyMiles on the side.