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Airbnb Affiliate Program: How It Works, Payment Details & More

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As an alternative to hotels and resorts for vacation planning, Airbnb has made a splash in the market by creating a platform for homeowners to list their residences for short-term rentals.

For those who want space for their whole family or an entire home to enjoy during their trip, Airbnb has made it all possible.

Moreover, it used to offer an Airbnb affiliate program, which unfortunately was terminated in March 2021.

Airbnb Affiliate Program at a Glance

As a way to introduce the Airbnb service to those who may not be familiar, the company has previously rolled out an incentive for those with a website or social media presence.

The Airbnb affiliate program allowed those who include custom links into their content to earn a commission back when someone successfully reserves a stay.

  • Cost Per Action (CPA): Yes
  • Commission Rate: 25% to 30% per stay or $40 per host referral
  • Cookie Duration: 28 days
  • Payment Payout Threshold: $100
  • Payment Options: PayPal, ACH, Payoneer

Does Airbnb Have an Affiliate Program?

As a company, Airbnb operated an affiliate program for publishers to provide passive income while marketing current listings and recruiting new hosts.

The program was successful while it lasted, but travel was negatively affected by the restrictions that came into effect in 2020.

As a response, the company decided to forego the Airbnb affiliate program in March of 2021.

What Is the Airbnb Affiliate Program?

While it is no longer, the Airbnb affiliate program formed partnerships between the company and publishers with a significant online presence and was a source of passive income for many.

Airbnb would provide both flat rate and percentage-based commissions when successful reservations completed their stay.

How Does the Airbnb Affiliate Program Work?

The Airbnb affiliate program chose to offer both flat rates and percentage commissions for members.

For those who chose to refer a host, a commission of no less than $40 upon check-out would occur.

If a specific listing was part of a promotion, the publisher could earn 25% to 30% of the Airbnb service fees.

Is the Airbnb Affiliate Program Free?

When the Airbnb affiliate program is in operation, it is free for publishers to join.

What Products Can You Promote for the Airbnb Affiliate Program?

As an affiliate for Airbnb, there is no shortage of products that you can promote.

While the program is no longer in operation, when it is open, members can plug anything the site offers to customers through its content.


For those affiliates who refer a new host to the Airbnb platform, the company will pay a minimum of $40 in commission upon completion of the first stay at the residence.

The host must sign up and be approved through the members’ affiliate link to qualify for the earnings.

Short-Term Stays

If an individual visits your website or sees your social media profile and decides to book an Airbnb that you are promoting, you will earn a 25% commission for the first 500 stays of any given month.

These stays do not come with limitations in duration.

Therefore, a one or two-night visit will net earnings for the publisher.

Long-Term Stays

While the first 500 stays in a given month are subject to a 25% commission rate, the amount rises to 30% once the affiliate reaches 500 visits in one month.

This commission comes from the Airbnb service fee, which is a more considerable amount the longer a guest stays.

Therefore, a publisher can earn more money with long-term stays that come as a result of their affiliate link.

Virtual Experiences

As a result of Covid, various virtual experiences occurred regarding travel.

Not only can you take unique location-based classes online, but you can also tour top destinations and see famous landmarks from your living room couch.

When you sell a virtual experience through your affiliate link, you will earn 25% of the service fee.

In-Person Experiences

While virtual experiences are a new trend, the preference will forever remain for in-person opportunities.

Individuals can book fun excursions directly through the Airbnb website when planning a vacation.

If a publisher promotes one of these on their content and it is secured, they are subject to a 25% commission.

Other Things You Can Promote with This Program

Due to the program phasing out in 2021, new additions to the Airbnb program are not privy to the commission plan.

What Products Are Excluded from the Airbnb Affiliate Program?

Throughout the Airbnb affiliate program, there weren’t available services subject to exclusion.

However, the company made the commission rate calculations based on the service fee that Airbnb charges, not the total reservation amount.

This fact became confusing for many, as the commission was much less than expected in many cases.

How Much Do Airbnb Affiliates Make?

Across the board, the earnings made per affiliate depend on several characteristics.

Primarily, the number of visitors their website experiences routinely will impact how many individuals click on their custom link.

Additionally, the quality of their content will have an impact.

Airbnb Affiliate Program Commission Rates

The amount of commission you earn through the Airbnb affiliate program depends on the referral you make through your custom links.

  • Host Referral – $40 minimum after the first stay
  • Completed Reservation – 25% to 30% upon check-out
  • Experiences – 25% commission

How Long Does the Airbnb Cookie Last?

As a member of the Airbnb affiliate program, the cookie duration that results from clicking on your custom link lasts 28 days.

However, your cookie is null and void if an individual clicks on your custom URL, navigates away from the page, and returns to the site through another member’s affiliate link.

How Do You Get Paid from Airbnb?

When the program is in operation, several payment methods are available.

While these routes are dependent on the country you reside in, they most commonly revolve around the following:

  • PayPal
  • ACH Transfer
  • Payoneer

If the Airbnb affiliate program returns in the future, the company or its management may replace these payment methods.

With most corporate affiliate programs undergoing operation by third-party affiliate networks, Airbnb will likely go that route as well.

When Does Airbnb Pay Affiliates?

When visitors click an affiliate link to view a property that Airbnb offers, the visit triggers the payment process.

If the guest books the lodging and completes the reservation, the affiliate will receive their earnings after check-out takes place.

As is the case with all affiliate programs, there is a period (typically around 30-60 days) that accounts for processing.

Once those steps finalize, you will see your commission available for withdrawal.

What Marketing Materials and Promotional Tools Are Available?

One of the most incredible things about the Airbnb affiliate program is that it provides ample materials and tools to help you establish yourself in the field.

Once you receive approval to be in the program, you get access to custom links, banners, and widgets.

Additionally, you can quickly learn more about successful marketing techniques through the educational resources the company offers to members.

As an affiliate program, Airbnb takes steps to set its publishers up for success.

Who Should Join the Airbnb Affiliate Program?

When the Airbnb affiliate program was in operation, one of the best attributes was the versatility of the niches that could participate.

Being that audiences of all types enjoy travel, there were a significant number of opportunities to promote the company.


As a blogger, there are many different directions that you can take your content.

For travel bloggers especially, incorporating the many Airbnb options in your articles and social media posts is a natural process.

However, even a niche that covers topics like cooking can find opportunities to include Airbnb links.

For example, linking to a series of Airbnbs in Italy along with a cooking class experience is a great way to interest readers.

Small Businesses

When you think about businesses that can easily integrate vacation lodging, you may think of travel agents.

While this is a viable option, you can also entertain the idea of a small boutique that sells beach and swim apparel.

Including a banner that shows a beautiful beach house can entice shoppers to book a vacation there while shopping.

Another thought is to include Airbnbs with gorgeous views or landscaping on a photography website.

Not only can you advertise having a session there, but you can encourage prospective customers to make a vacation out of the experience.


Traveling the world while still earning a solid income is becoming easier as time goes by.

Not only do you see individuals who live out of their vans and document their journeys online, but also groups of digital nomads who go from place to place as they see fit.

Having this ability is a dream for many, and including an affiliate link to the accommodations in the area of your travels can help your audience explore new places.

While they may not be able to do it full time, taking a trip to a site your content inspired can lead to many memories for them and passive income for you.

Is the Airbnb Affiliate Program Worth It?

When the Airbnb affiliate program was in operation, the number of perks strongly outweighed any disadvantages to the plan.

Below we outline some of the most famous attributes offered.

Pros of the Airbnb Affiliate Program

When publishers were part of the program, they had many positive reviews from the partnership created between themselves and the company.

Some of those perks include:

  • Lengthy Cookies: A cookie can last for a wide range of time, each of which depends on the specific affiliate program. The Airbnb affiliate program offered 28 days for its publishers.
  • High Commissions: While the amount for reservations was lower than average, the commission for host referrals was above average.
  • Marketing Tools: To help those in the program, Airbnb offered an extensive amount of marketing aids and resources.
  • Routine Payments: The system that Airbnb had in place gave publishers access to on-time payments that were consistent and routine.
  • Payment Methods: Affiliates participating in the Airbnb program appreciated the choices available for payment, including PayPal, ACH, and Payoneer.

Cons of the Airbnb Affiliate Program

While we wish it could have been, not everything about the Airbnb affiliate program was perfect.

There were a few disadvantages that publishers didn’t enjoy. We outline some of those below for your review.

  • Low Reservation Commission: While the referral commission for new hosts was a minimum of $40, the earnings for standard reservations were up to 30% of the Airbnb service fee.
  • Lack of Bonuses: Many high-paying affiliate programs offer sporadic incentives to boost sales, but the Airbnb plan didn’t account for any extra earnings.
  • No Dedicated Manager: Some of the more prominent companies will offer the use of a dedicated marketing manager to affiliates to help establish themselves in the program. However, Airbnb did not provide this option.
  • Direct Items: When affiliates input links to specific Airbnbs, they only earn a commission if a reader reserved that particular lodging. The affiliate didn’t make a commission if the visitor clicked on the link but then reserved a different Airbnb.
  • Minimal Operation Time: Unfortunately, the Airbnb affiliate program didn’t last long and was dissolved by the company in 2021.

Conclusion: Is the Airbnb Affiliate Program Worth It?

While in operation, many publishers found the Airbnb affiliate program to be worthwhile and found that they steadily earned passive income from the inclusion of their custom links in online content.

Overall, with there being a multitude of blog ideas for travel bloggers, the ability to insert Airbnb properties into content is relatively easy.

With that being said, some members felt the commission percentage was too low and the 500 stays per month required to earn an extra 5% pay were too hefty a feat to manage.

Therefore, they opted to join other programs where they could enjoy a more lucrative payout.

How To Join the Airbnb Affiliate Program

While the Airbnb affiliate program is no longer in operation, it was once a popular and lucrative option for those who had a significant online presence and were looking to earn passive income through affiliate marketing.

Additionally, the process of joining was easy to manage and straightforward.

Requirements To Join the Airbnb Affiliate Program

Those who wanted a place in the Airbnb affiliate program had to have a solid online presence that could drive traffic to the Airbnb website.

Additionally, all prospective members had to agree to the terms and conditions for participation in the program.

How To Apply [Step-by-Step Tutorial]

When visiting the Airbnb website to apply for the affiliate program, there were only a few steps that needed to undergo completion for your application.

  1. View the Application – On the affiliate program portion of the Airbnb website, there was an application with a series of questions.
  2. Enter Information – Once you reviewed the questions, you needed to fill them out truthfully and completely
  3. Double-Check – Reviewing the information you put in the questionnaire was vital, as simple mistakes would have your application reflected poorly upon for approval.
  4. Submit – Once everything is perfect, you will submit your application to the Airbnb program and await notification of approval or denial.

How Long Does It Take To Get Approved for the Airbnb Affiliate Program?

When the Airbnb affiliate program was in operation, those managing the company would often give a notification to prospective applicants within a few days.

During heavy application times, this duration may extend to a few weeks.

If you did not include the correct information in your application, you could stand to be instantly rejected by the company.

Additionally, if you falsified information and the company later uncovered it, you would be ejected from the program and may have had to forfeit your commissions.

Does Airbnb Support the Affiliate Program?

The company managed all operations when the Airbnb affiliate program was active.

At the time, they did not utilize a third-party network.

If the program were to restart in the future, it is unlikely that Airbnb would solely operate the daily management of the affiliate members due to the considerable membership size it would have.

How To Make Money with the Airbnb Affiliate Program

There are many ways to make money with affiliate marketing, no matter which program you participate in online.

However, some of the top ways that Airbnb affiliate program members earn commission are as follows.

Link Naturally

While you want to include a fair amount of affiliate links, doing too many in one piece of content is referred to as link stuffing.

Link stuffing increases the likelihood that search engines will tag your content and webpage as spam and you will get nothing for your hard work.

Use the Tools

When companies like Airbnb provide affiliate marketing tools to their members, it is critical to use them as it will heighten the chances of success.

Make sure you research and understand all the tools you can access.

Don’t Go Dark

When you have an online presence and take an extended break from posting, your SEO rankings tank.

Schedule content to routinely post if you are on vacation or take time off.

Offer Full Disclosure

 Legal requirements come with being an affiliate marketer. One of the most vital includes having an affiliate disclosure on your website.

Doing without can bring serious legal ramifications.

Alternatives to the Airbnb Affiliate Program

With the Airbnb affiliate program no longer in operation, those who utilized it are looking for alternatives.

Thankfully, there is no shortage of options in the affiliate marketing world.

Below we list a few travel affiliate programs that are currently in existence and that benefit the travel industry.

Expedia Affiliate Program

While the Expedia affiliate program doesn’t offer strictly home rentals, they center their company’s efforts around travel.

Affiliates can link to hotels, flights, excursions, and more to earn commission through the program.

Since Expedia partners with most travel companies, the possibilities to make passive income are endless for program members.

Disney Affiliate Program

A significant amount of families make the trek each year to visit the land of Mickey Mouse.

Therefore, if you have content that speaks to its services, being a member of the Disney affiliate program< can be quite lucrative in terms of passive income.

You immediately receive access to upcoming promotions and exclusive marketing tools as an affiliate.

Hotel Affiliate Programs

Another option for those with travel-style content is to join one of many hotel affiliate programs.

There are several to choose from, and all of them allow affiliates to earn solid commission from reservations made through their custom links.

Whether you have a favorite chain or are looking to include multiple options, exploring everything available is a good start.

Frequently Asked Questions

The affiliate marketing world can be confusing for many, especially if you are just starting.

Below are some of the top inquiries we receive on Airbnb affiliation and programs that are similar in style.

Can you get paid to stay in an Airbnb?

In some circumstances, the host of an Airbnb may offer an online creator or influencer the opportunity to stay in an Airbnb for free in exchange for promotion.

However, this isn’t an arrangement the Airbnb company coordinates itself; this is left to the property owners to administer.

Does VRBO have an affiliate program?

A direct competitor of Airbnb, the company VRBO does offer an affiliate program to publishers.

Through the plan, members can earn commission on completed and booked reservations through a custom link.

Wrapping Up

As one of the biggest names in travel, you would expect that there would be an Airbnb affiliate program in operation.

While there was one in existence, it shut down after only a few short years, with the last day of operation being March 31, 2021.

Unfortunately, a new option hasn’t come to fruition just yet. However, the perks that Airbnb offered to affiliate members came with high praises, and the loss of the program is strongly felt in the passive income industry.

Were you ever a member of the Airbnb affiliate program?

If so, what was your experience during that time?

Let us know in the comments.

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