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The American Express Membership Rewards program is one of the most versatile and valuable rewards programs in the industry. While most programs give you at least a few ways to redeem points like redeeming for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise, Membership Rewards (MR) points can be used in many ways from using points against charges to shopping at Amazon, redeeming for free Uber rides, and redeeming for travel with dozens of partners.
One of the newest ways to use your AmEx MR points is booking a stay on Airbnb, a website that lets people find, list, and rent accommodations in more than 190 countries. Here's how to book a room or vacation rental through Airbnb with your AmEx Membership Rewards points.
About the American Express and Airbnb Partnership
In November 2015, American Express and Airbnb announced their new partnership. American Express cardholders can now integrate their MR account with an Airbnb account, log into Airbnb with American Express login credentials, and redeem MR points for stays through Airbnb.
The program allows you to:
- Sign Up with AmEx. If you do not have an Airbnb account, you can sign up quickly using your American Express login credentials.
- Verify with AmEx. You can identify yourself as an AmEx cardholder on your Airbnb profile to verify yourself to guests or hosts.
- AmEx Express Checkout. Complete the checkout process faster using your American Express login information.
- Pay with Membership Rewards Points. Use MR points directly through Airbnb for all or a portion of a booking.
Are Airbnb Stays a Good Way to Use Membership Rewards Points?
While the partnership makes it easy to redeem MR points for Airbnb stays, you definitely won't get the best value for your points. When you redeem points through Airbnb, the redemption value is a low 183 MR points for every $1, or 0.7 cents per point.
If you really want to use your Membership Rewards points for an Airbnb stay, a better option is buying an Airbnb gift card through the Membership Rewards portal. A $100 gift card costs 10,000 points for a standard 1 cent per point value. You will receive the e-gift card almost immediately and save more than $40.
It's also a good idea to watch for Amex Offers. After the partnership was announced, American Express offered cardholders a deal to get $50 back after spending at least $100 on Airbnb stays. While that deal expired at the end of December, there's a good chance a similar offer will be back.