- Discover how to earn Qantas points when booking with Airbnb.
- Use a rewards or frequent flyer credit card to pay for your Airbnb booking, and earn points twice.
- Find out how to maximise points and benefits by using a rewards card for all your travel needs.
Airbnb. The now global company came into being when two flatmates, old school friends Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, were so broke they could no longer afford their rent. So, they threw down an air mattress in their living room, started renting it out to make extra money and voilà … a star is born.
Ah yes. The business idea that is so simple we all kick ourselves for not coming up with it first. And it’s OK if you feel you did come up with it first. Tell everyone. It won’t change anything, but it feels good to get these things off your chest.
Anyway, the company’s founders have never forgotten their humble beginnings and have a proud history of ground-breaking partnerships that offer exclusive deals to their customers.
And one of the easiest to take advantage of, yet surprisingly most underutilised, are frequent flyer or rewards points programs.
Since 2016, Airbnb and Qantas have been partners, offering Qantas Frequent Flyer members the chance to earn Qantas Points when they book their Airbnb accommodation through qantas.com.au.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn 1 Qantas Point for every $AU 1.00 spent on an Airbnb booking.
One QFF point per dollar is not too shabby when you consider there are now over six million Airbnb listings in 191 countries.
As Qantas CEO Alan Joyce stated, “It was a natural fit for two global brands with a track record of wanting customers to feel at home when they travel, as well as using technology to create great experiences for their customers”.
You have some sort of frequent flyer or rewards card, right? But do you know how to use it? I don’t mean whipping it out when you do your groceries or buying five tubes of toothpaste to get 250 bonus points. I mean really use that card to wring out the maximum amount of benefit for the least amount of effort.
Keen to hear more? Then step into my office…
The very first thing you can do to start earning those points is use your credit card to book your Airbnb accommodation. You can also save all that information on their website so it will be as easy as clicking a button when you make your next booking.
Why should I choose Airbnb when I can stay at a hotel?
If you are a diehard hotel person who enjoys the whole experience of staying in a room that is exactly the same as every other room in the hotel, except for a different-sized bed, then Airbnb might not be for you.
But everyone else who wants to make the most out of their holidays, plus business types who travel so regularly that a little taste of home is so welcome it can almost make them cry, should stay with me as I run through some of the best reasons why Airbnb rules (and hotels’ drool).
- Lots of filtering options: With filters ranging from the number of bedrooms to Netflix to linen and air conditioning, you can be as blasé or as picky as you want when it comes to your accommodation.
- Space: Do you want an entire space to yourself or do you want to be able to interact with your host? Do you want three bedrooms for six people or six bedrooms for six people? The choice is yours.
- Lots of info before you book: None of this cookie-cutter copy for Airbnb hosts. They all get to write their own blurbs. And let’s face it, some of those blurbs are so adorably hilarious, you want to book just so you can meet the person who penned such pleasing prose.
- You can talk directly to your host, not just whoever is on the desk (or in the call centre): You can ask about the linen, the rooms, the local public transport system, the shampoo and conditioner. I even had a host ask what type of milk I preferred during my overnight stay. A hotel has never done that. Just sayin’.
- Supporting local business: You are not only supporting your host by staying with them, you are also supporting their local economy. Airbnb accommodation can be located anywhere and so, when you are using your credit card to buy lunch or a magazine at a business that would otherwise never see the travel dollar, you are making a difference. Your host may also recommend businesses they genuinely use or prefer, rather than the generic (and paid for) recommendations in the plastic folder in a hotel room.
- Local insights: Whether you are after the best wine in the region, a great place for some lunch or ways to entertain the kids all day, your host will not only know all the touristy places, but also the hidden local gems.
- Washer/dryer: Nobody wants to take a day out of their travels once a week to do laundry. And nobody wants to spend £70 just to have a few pieces of clothing laundered by the hotel. (OK, granted it was sent back to me beautifully pressed and on coat hangers, but £70 for 2 pairs of jeans, a t-shirt and shirt was a bit much while holidaying in the UK.) If you stay at an Airbnb with a washer and/or dryer, you can do laundry while you shower, sleep or watch Netflix. Bonus – if you are on a short visit, you only need to take carry-on luggage because you can wash overnight! Yessss!
- Pets: If you are missing your own fur babies and your host has pets, some animal interaction, and maybe even cuddling (cuddling of the pets, not the host – totes awks), can tide you over until you get back home.
Earning Qantas points with Airbnb
Earning 1 Qantas Point for every $AU 1.00 spent on an Airbnb booking is quick and easy when you follow these four simple steps:
- Visit qantas.com.au/airbnb and select “Airbnb” (rather than “Hotels”)
- Filter your choices by your travel destination, check-in and check-out dates and number of guests.
- Select “Search Airbnb” and enter your Qantas Frequent Flyer number and surname.
- Book your Airbnb and enjoy your stay!
The points can take up to eight weeks to appear in your account once you’ve checked out from your Airbnb. If you cancel or request a refund for your Airbnb booking, you won’t earn any Qantas Points.
So where is this double dipping?
Using your Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card to book your Airbnb, you are effectively double dipping because you’ll earn points both on your Qantas credit card and through the Qantas partnership with Airbnb.
If you have a credit card that earns 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases, you can earn 2 points per $1 spent if you book through the Qantas website and use your Qantas credit card to pay for it.
Ta da! Double dipping!
Using your card for everything
While it’s great to double dip, using the same card for all your travel needs and purchases has many other benefits as well.
When travelling for business, your expenses are all in one place. Your bookkeeper, accountant and/or Dave the accounts guy at work will love you.
If travelling for pleasure, again, all your expenses are on the one card.
When you are travelling on a budget, it’s easy to keep track of your finances and make sure you don’t overspend. You want to come home with a tan, a funny story or a lame t-shirt that was a good idea at the time, not surprise credit card debt.
When travelling with your family, you can arrange to have all the cards linked with your own. Again, this allows you to track spending and budgets.
Depending on the type of card, you may be entitled to additional benefits such as:
- Bonus points
- No annual fee
- Complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations
- Complimentary travel insurance
- Bonus seasonal offers or special promotional offers (it’s always a good idea to sign up to the emails so you know when these are on offer)
- Interest-free days
- Additional card holders
I need a nap after that list. Phew!
Noice! How else can I earn points?
Now you’re thinking!
Booking accommodation is just one way to earn all those lovely points. Here are a few more:
- Flights: Using your credit card to book flights is a great way to start those points piling up. It’s always good to shop around because different airlines have different loyalty programs, and there may also be variations between domestic and international flights. And if your card has complimentary travel insurance, you may need to pay for flights with your card in order to activate the insurance.
- Shop with the airline's retail partners: Check out the website to see who else your credit card provider is affiliated with – travel goods, gyms, insurance, the coffee shop at the airport. You may be surprised just how many businesses can help you earn those points, even when on holidays at an Airbnb.
- Use the airlines' travel money cards: If you are travelling overseas, you need to get your cards organised, so why not use the ones that will offer you extra points?
- Car hire/rental: Use Hertz, Thrifty or Europcar and you’ve got some Virgin Velocity points. Avis or Budget will give you your Qantas points. It’s just too easy!
- Public transport: Most major cities have replaced traditional ticketing systems with a travel card, so if you will be using public transport during your stay, earn points when purchasing the travel card.
- Booking day trips: Pay with your card for those little day trips when you are on holiday or when you have some precious spare time during a business trip.
- Luxury goods: If luxury items are your thing, shopping duty-free or while you are overseas may not only save you money, as you may be able to claim back sales tax, but you are effectively double dipping again if you pay with your credit card.
The only question now is, why didn’t I come up with the Airbnb idea?
Or why not double dip and do both?