Booking an Airbnb or VRBO stay? Both of these companies offer an online marketplace for vacation rentals as an alternative to hotel bookings. But in addition to short-term rentals, you can also book experiences or long-term rentals!
However you use Airbnb or VRBO, you’ll want to make sure you’re maximizing every dollar you’re spending. But since both of these don’t fall under traditional hotel categories, it can be a bit confusing to figure out whether or not your bookings would earn bonus points.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best credit cards for booking Airbnb or VRBO stays.
What To Look for in a Credit Card for Airbnb or VRBO Stays
Airbnb and VRBO (as well as other competing platforms) almost never count as hotels, so the traditional bonus category of hotels, unfortunately, wouldn’t allow for bonus earnings.
So the first thing we need to do when looking for the best credit card is to find a card that offers the highest rewards on general travel. The definition of general travel is very broad and can vary from bank to bank.
There aren’t a whole lot of credit cards that offer bonus categories for general travel — so after these categories are exhausted, we look for the best credit cards for non-bonused spending.
After looking at rewards accrual structures, you should turn your attention to the best travel benefits for your needs, including travel and purchase protections.
With all of that in mind, let’s get into our best credit cards for Airbnb or VRBO stays. We’ll start off with the best personal cards. Then, we’ll walk you through the best business credit cards to use for Airbnb or VRBO stays should your business necessitate travel.
The 6 Best Personal Cards for Airbnb or VRBO Stays
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
In our opinion, the best personal credit card to use for Airbnb or VRBO stays is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. The biggest reason why this specific card is the best choice for Airbnb or VRBO is that it earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and travel.
Chase defines travel very broadly, which means that your bookings on Airbnb and VRBO will count and earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers an awesome welcome bonus, a gigantic $300 travel credit (which can be used for Airbnb and VRBO stays), and numerous other benefits.
This credit card comes with a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, the ability to earn 10x points per dollar on Lyft purchases (through March 2025), a Priority Pass Select membership, access to The Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, and elite hotel benefits at sbe and Relais & Châteaux.
Also, you’ll enjoy a free subscription to DoorDash DashPass and and car rental privileges at Avis, National, and Silvercar.
It doesn’t end there because you’ll enjoy the best travel protections offered by a single credit card, consisting of primary auto rental collision damage coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, travel accident insurance, emergency medical and dental coverage, and emergency evacuation and transportation coverage.
As far as other card benefits, you can utilize roadside assistance, purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty coverage.
Why We Like Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
At Upgraded Points, we are huge fans of Chase Ultimate Rewards points because they can be used for a variety of different redemptions. This includes statement credits and cash-back, gift cards, merchandise, and booking travel through the Chase travel portal.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you will receive 50% more value for travel booked through the Chase travel portal, which will net you a 1.5 cents per point value.
But our favorite way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points is to transfer them to airlines and hotels for business or first class flights and luxury hotel stays. Indeed, transferring points to travel partners is one of the reasons why these points are some of the most valuable in the world, worth around 2 cents per point.
2. American Express® Green Card
The Amex Green card is one of our favorite cards because it offers rich rewards, unique travel perks, and more.
This premium card offers a great introductory welcome bonus to start your points accrual. The Amex Green card earns 3x Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide, transit, and on all eligible travel purchases.
This card is the only card from American Express that offers bonus points on travel as a broad category! It includes airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, and, of course, vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO.
It also boasts up to $100 in statement credits per year towards a CLEAR membership and up to $100 in statement credits per year on LoungeBuddy purchases.
If you’re looking for travel coverage, you’ll find tons of value in this card thanks to its trip delay insurance, secondary car rental coverage, and baggage insurance. Of course, you’ll find purchase protection and extended warranty coverage, which is common for these types of cards.
Why We Like Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points
The points you’ll earn on the Amex Green card are Amex Membership Rewards points.
Earning Amex Membership Rewards points is one of the most lucrative things you can do when it comes to rewards. In short, Amex has the most valuable transferable points, which can be used for incredible value when transferred to airline and hotel partners.
Other ways to redeem Amex points include travel booked through Amex Travel, gift cards, Amazon, cash-back, charitable donations, and more. However, we recommend transferring your points to airline and hotel partners.
3. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards in the world, and for good reason!
This card is one of the best “starter” rewards credit cards because of its incredible welcome bonus, access to Chase Ultimate Rewards partnerships, and of course, the ability to earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 2025), 3x points on dining, and 2x points on all other travel purchases (including Airbnb and VRBO, which is why this is one of our top choices).
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also offers a complimentary subscription to DoorDash DashPass and no foreign transaction fees.
For travel benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a card with better coverage. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has primary rental car insurance, complimentary travel delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, roadside dispatch, and travel and emergency assistance.
And as you’re making purchases on the card, you’ll rest easy with purchase protection and an extended warranty on all your purchases.
4. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The CapOne Venture X card is Capital One’s newly-minted ultra-premium credit card. It has a fantastic welcome bonus with a $300 statement credit for all bookings made through Capital One Travel.
Here is the earning structure on this card:
- 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
- 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
- 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
Every account anniversary, holders of this card will get 10,000 bonus Capital One miles, too!
The CapOne Venture X card offers benefits including a Priority Pass Select membership, Gravity Haus benefits, access to Capital One lounges, a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status, travel insurance and protections, primary car rental coverage, cell phone insurance, extended warranty, no foreign transaction fee, and free authorized users.
Why We Like Earning Capital One Miles
Capital One miles are one of the major transferable currencies, which means that you can transfer your Capital One miles to airline and hotel partners for amazing flights and hotel stays.
You can also redeem your miles for statement credits, travel purchases, gift cards, and much more. However, we believe that the best way to redeem your Capital One miles is for airline partner transfers.
5. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The CapOne Venture card is one of our favorite credit cards for simple transferable rewards. With the CapOne Venture card, you’ll earn unlimited 2x Capital One miles on your purchases with no caps!
Since you don’t have to worry about bonus categories, you can bet that Airbnb and VRBO stays will count!
This card also offers a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit and solid travel protections, including secondary car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, lost luggage coverage, roadside dispatch, and more.
Plus, you’ll enjoy cardholder benefits like zero fraud liability, purchase security, and extended warranty coverage.
6. Citi® Double Cash Card
The Double Cash card is one of our favorite credit cards because it earns 2x ThankYou points. Specifically, you’ll earn 1x back when you purchase and 1x when you pay it off, with no caps!
You can convert your points to cash-back, use them in the Citi Travel Portal, or transfer them to Choice, Wyndham, or JetBlue. If you also have a premium ThankYou Rewards credit card like the Citi Premier℠ Card, you can tap into the possibilities of amazing redemptions with Citi’s full list of transfer partners!
Other benefits include an enticing introductory APR offer, zero liability for unauthorized purchases, fraud protection, and more.
Why We Like Earning Citi ThankYou Rewards Points
Having the ability to earn 2x Citi ThankYou Points with no annual fee on Airbnb or VRBO is fantastic. And although you need to also have a ThankYou Rewards credit card to utilize the full catalog of transfer partners, it’s worthwhile to do so. That’s because Citi ThankYou Points are worth around 1.6 cents each, according to our valuations.
The 5 Best Business Cards for Airbnb or VRBO Stays
It’s easy to fall in love with any of the personal credit cards above and use them for Airbnb or VRBO stays.
But if you happen to be traveling for business, you’ll want to use a business credit card that can keep your personal and business expenses separate. So in this next section, we’ll show you our favorite business credit cards for Airbnb or VRBO stays.
1. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Without a doubt, our favorite business credit card for Airbnb and VRBO is the Ink Business Preferred card.
This card offers a huge welcome bonus to start, worth around $2,000. And as you look deeper, you’ll find that you will earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on up to $150,000 every cardmember year in these bonus categories:
- Advertising on social media and search engines
- Internet, cable, and phone
That means that you’ll experience the same exact earning structure for Airbnb and VRBO as you would with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. The main difference is that the Ink Business Preferred card has a cap of $150,000 in combined purchases, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve card doesn’t have a cap.
The other big difference is that this card’s annual fee is just $95, which is just a fraction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s annual fee.
The Ink Business Preferred card also offers cell phone insurance, primary rental car insurance, trip interruption and cancellation coverage, trip delay coverage, purchase protection, extended warranty, and no foreign transaction fees. You can also add employee cards for no fees.
Hot Tip: Between the huge welcome bonus, the best-in-class 3x earning categories on travel (up to $150,000 across all bonus categories), the travel benefits, and the modest annual fee, it’s easy to see why the Ink Business Preferred card is our favorite business credit card for Airbnb and VRBO stays.
2. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Amex Blue Business Plus card is our runner-up choice for Airbnb and VRBO stays. This superb credit card earns 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases, up to $50,000 spent every calendar year. Then, the card earns 1x thereafter.
This basically means that your first $50,000 in purchases every calendar year would earn 2x points, including Airbnb and VRBO.
This credit card has no annual fee and comes with benefits like purchase protection, extended warranty, and no-additional-cost employee cards (see rates and fees).
If you maxed out the $50,000 in bonus spending every year, you’d end up with 100,000 Amex points, worth around $2,200, according to our valuations. That’s equivalent to a 4.4% return on spend!
3. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
The Ink Business Unlimited card offers superb benefits with no annual fee. With this card, you’ll earn 1.5% cash-back with no caps on every purchase made for your business.
In addition, this credit card offers an awesome welcome bonus and a 0% introductory APR benefit.
If you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card, you can even convert your 1.5% cash-back to 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points.
The card also has purchase protection, zero liability fraud protection, extended warranty coverage, unlimited employee cards with no fees, primary rental car coverage when traveling for business, and more.
4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business
The CapOne Spark Miles card is a great business credit card that earns straightforward 2x Capital One miles with no cap for Airbnb and VRBO stays, which is similar to the CapOne Venture cards above.
You’ll encounter a nice welcome bonus, the ability to earn 5x miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel (does not include Airbnb or VRBO), and a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
The CapOne Spark Miles card also has zero fraud liability, purchase protection, extended warranty, no foreign transaction fees, free employee cards, and roadside assistance.
5. Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business
The CapOne Spark Miles Select card is the no annual fee variant of the CapOne Spark Miles card. Instead of earning 2x Capital One Miles with no cap, you’ll earn 1.5x Capital One miles with no cap.
The welcome bonus is usually lower than the CapOne Spark Miles card, but the card still offers zero fraud liability, transfer partnerships, 0% introductory APR, free employee cards, no foreign transaction fees, roadside assistance, extended warranty, purchase protection, and more.
There are plenty of credit cards out there. Finding the best credit card for Airbnb and VRBO stays isn’t as easy as it looks.
In fact, there aren’t a lot of credit cards that offer bonus points for general travel, which Airbnb and VRBO both fall under.
The best personal and business credit cards for these purposes belong to American Express and Chase, though Capital One and Citi both offer decent options.
We hope you’ve found this detailed guide useful to help you figure out the best credit cards for Airbnb and VRBO stays.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business, and Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.