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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:
- 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 this. Only purchase them when you have a new booking coming up. Do not purchase for over the rental amount since the balance would be restricted.
For the people that play it right these terms won’t be an issue. 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?
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.