Airbnb Gift Card Issues, They are NOT Customer Friendly
My buddy ran into some issues with Airbnb gift cards which I covered a few days ago. His was a somewhat specific case that dealt with their split payments service for group bookings. I thought that was where Airbnb gift card issues ended until I received a few comments on the article and in our Facebook Group. The comments brought even more Airbnb gift card issues to light.
The Issues Go Deeper
If the shared booking gift card issue wasn’t bad enough they are also unusable for a few different scenarios:
- If you have a split booking only the person who set up the booking and makes the payment can use a gift card. Any subsequent payments by other guests will require a credit card payment.
- You can not use a gift card or account credit on an existing reservation with an outstanding balance.
- You must have the credit in your account before making the new booking, you can not add the gift card in later on once the process has started. This is my understanding from a Facebook comment.
- They do not work for longer bookings, beyond 28 days
This severely limits what is possible with their gift cards. It doesn’t really make sense…if you have an account balance/gift card you should be able to use it towards your booking. It should not matter if it is the initial booking or paying off the remaining balance.
TS commented on my article that the split payments were set up with those restrictions on purpose. Airbnb didn’t want people selling their credit. I am not sure if this is true but it does make sense. They are sticking people with balances that will force them into a new bookings. Pretty despicable practice if you ask me.
I wouldn’t recommend speculatively buying Airbnb gift cards because of these horrible restrictions. Only purchase Airbnb gift cards when you have a new booking coming up that you plan to pay for in full or use all of your gift cards during the first payment. Do not purchase for over the rental amount since the balance would be restricted in the future to these rules.
For the people that play it right these terms won’t be an issue. However, I think this will catch newer users with their pants down. I think it is a dishonest set up that is an attempt to lock people into a second booking. Why else would you stop people from using their account credit / gift card to pay for the remainder of their rental?
Capital One Venture X Business earns 2X miles on everyday purchases plus up to 10X in bonus categories. You also get access to Capital One lounges plus an annual travel credit & anniversary bonus. Right now you earn bonus_miles_full.
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.