Yes, Chase Sapphire Reserve Airbnb purchases count as travel, which means you get 3 points / $1 spent. Chase is pretty liberal with their definition of travel, so a lot of things you might not think count actually do – including services like Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, Uber and Lyft. The only downside is that you won’t necessarily be able to redeem your rewards points to book those services, so you’ll have to spend them on other travel purchases.
Here’s how Chase Sapphire Reserve Airbnb rewards work:
- Airbnb stays count as travel so they get you 3 points / $1 spent. The same thing applies to its competitors such as HomeAway and VRBO. Other options may count, too. It depends on whether the merchant codes itself as "travel".
- You can’t book Airbnb stays through Chase Ultimate Rewards. So you’ll have to redeem the points you earn on such purchases for something else.
- You can use your Ultimate Rewards points to buy Airbnb gift cards (when available through the online portal), but it’s not a great deal. You only get 1 cent per point when redeeming for cash back or gift cards, while booking travel through Chase gets you 1.5 cents per point. That means Chase Sapphire Reserve’s 60,000 point initial bonus (received for spending $4,000 within the first 3 months) is worth more when redeemed for Chase travel options than Airbnb gift cards.
So the best option, if you’re a frequent Airbnb customer, is to pay for Airbnb reservations with Chase Sapphire Reserve, earn 3 points / $1 spent in the process, and then redeem those points for other types of travel accommodations that you can book through Chase Ultimate Rewards. They include flights, cruises, car rentals, etc., so there’s plenty of versatility. Another option worth considering for Airbnb purchases is Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. It earns you 2 miles per $1 on every purchase. And it offers 100,000 miles for spending $20,000 in the first 12 months or 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Each point is worth 1 cent when redeemed as travel statement credit for past travel purchases, including Airbnb.