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American Express Adds Airbnb to Rewards Lineup

[Monday, January 5th, 2015]

American Express cardholders have a new place to spend their Membership Rewards points. Airbnb, the increasingly popular option for travelers looking for a place to stay the night, has partnered with American Express to accept the company’s credit card rewards points.

Members can trade in their Membership Rewards points for Airbnb gift cards, available in $100 and $250 denominations. To redeem points, go online to membershiprewards.com and request at eGift cards. They will be delivered by email and can be used to book stays through Airbnb.

“Travel is the most popular way our cardmembers use Membership Rewards points,” said Michael Rouse, vice president and general manager for Membership Rewards & Loyalty Experiences at American Express. “Our relationship with Airbnb gives them a chance to use points in a way that’s truly one of a kind.”

Membership Rewards can be used for many things

Airbnb is only one of the many options American Express members have for using their rewards points. The credit card issuer also has agreements with hotels, car services, airlines, and retailers to provide members with a wealth of opportunities to use their credit card loyalty points.

Accruing Membership Points is as easy as spending money; the more folks charge to their American Express cards, the more points they earn. Depending on the type of American Express card they have, people earn more points for purchases in certain categories, such as gas, groceries, or dining.

Airbnb lets ordinary people play bed and breakfast host

With Airbnb, people can make a few bucks renting out their spare room or whole apartment, and travelers can have a unique experience. People open up their homes to travelers, offering a guest room, a sofa, or other sleeping arrangement for people who prefer not to stay in hotels. There are more than 34,000 hosts in 190 countries participating in the Airbnb model, in which hosts set their own prices and pay a cut of their profits to Airbnb.

Now rather than accruing credit card points to stay in a fancy hotel, American Express cardholders can choose the kind of experience they’d rather have, whether that’s staying on someone’s farm in the country or sleeping on a sofa in a high-rise. Either way, their Membership Rewards points will help pay for their unique travel experience.

People can also purchase Airbnb eGift cards as gifts for friends or family, using their Membership Rewards points. The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker recently showed that 62% of Americans would rather get a gift of travel than anything else.

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