Credit Cards

Understanding Airbnb Payments: When Does Your Credit Card Get Charged?

Airbnb’s payment system is designed to be seamless and secure for both guests and hosts. When booking a stay or an experience, it’s essential to understand when your credit card will be charged and the various fees that may apply. This article delves into the intricacies of Airbnb’s credit card charges, including the timing of…

Airbnb’s payment system is designed to be seamless and secure for both guests and hosts. When booking a stay or an experience, it’s essential to understand when your credit card will be charged and the various fees that may apply. This article delves into the intricacies of Airbnb’s credit card charges, including the timing of charges, accepted payment methods, and the financial implications of modifications and cancellations. We’ll also explore settlement and processing times, as well as alternative payment options, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of Airbnb payments.

Key Takeaways

  • Airbnb typically charges your credit card immediately upon reservation confirmation, but the timing can vary based on the host’s payment policy.
  • Accepted payment methods include major credit cards like VISA, MasterCard, and American Express, as well as debit cards with sufficient available credit.
  • Additional fees may include annual or monthly credit card fees, transaction-specific fees like interchange fees, and chargeback or batch fees.
  • Modifications to your reservation or cancellations can lead to payment adjustments, and understanding Airbnb’s cancellation policy is crucial for potential refunds.
  • Alternative payment options, such as debit cards and prepaid cards, are available post-rental, but they may come with different terms, such as overdraft fees or insurance verification requirements.

The Basics of Airbnb Credit Card Charges

The Basics of Airbnb Credit Card Charges

Understanding the Timing of Charges

When you make a reservation on Airbnb, the timing of when your credit card is charged can vary. Airbnb Payments generally charges the Total Price due after the Host accepts your booking request. This means that your card is not immediately charged at the time of making the reservation. Instead, there is a short waiting period during which the host reviews and accepts your stay request.

In some cases, Airbnb may perform a pre-authorization on your card to ensure that funds are available. This is not the actual charge but a temporary hold. The actual charge occurs once the host confirms the booking. It’s important to note that the pre-authorization hold will be released if the host does not accept the booking or if you cancel the reservation before it’s accepted.

The timing of the charge is a crucial aspect to consider, especially if you’re planning your finances around an upcoming trip. Always review the Payments Terms of Service for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Types of Accepted Credit Cards

Airbnb accepts a variety of credit card types to accommodate guests from around the globe. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Guests can choose the card that best suits their needs, whether they are looking for low transaction fees, rewards points, or cards with no foreign transaction fees.

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover

In addition to these major brands, Airbnb also supports several regional card networks, ensuring that travelers have ample payment options. It’s important for guests to check with their card issuer for any additional fees that may apply, such as international transaction fees when booking accommodations abroad.

Pre-Authorization vs. Actual Charge

When booking with Airbnb, it’s important to distinguish between pre-authorization and the actual charge on your credit card. Pre-authorization is a temporary hold on funds to ensure that your account has sufficient balance for the stay. This is not the final charge and will be released if the transaction doesn’t go through. The actual charge occurs when the booking is confirmed, and the funds are then transferred from your account to Airbnb.

  • Pre-authorization: Temporary hold; not a final charge.
  • Actual charge: Final transfer of funds upon booking confirmation.

Some Airbnb hosts may place a hold or pre-authorization on your credit card for the full amount of the stay as a security measure. This is to protect against cancellations or damages. Once the stay is completed without issues, the pre-authorization is lifted, and only the actual charge remains.

It’s essential for guests to be aware of the pre-authorization process to avoid confusion over the funds being held and to ensure that there are enough available funds for the actual charge.

Additional Fees and How They Apply

Additional Fees and How They Apply

Annual and Monthly Credit Card Fees

When selecting a credit card for your Airbnb transactions, it’s crucial to consider the annual and monthly fees that may apply. These fees can vary significantly between cards and can impact the overall cost of your transactions.

  • Annual fee: This is a fee charged by some credit cards once every 12 months. It’s essential to factor this into your budget, especially if you’re an Airbnb host looking to minimize expenses.
  • Monthly fee: Also known as a statement fee, this covers services like customer support and statement preparation, typically ranging from $5 to $15.

While some credit cards offer rewards and benefits that can offset these fees, it’s important to assess whether the rewards align with your spending patterns and hosting needs.

Keep in mind that fees are not static; for instance, major payment networks like Visa and Mastercard have been known to adjust their fee structures, potentially affecting the costs for merchants and, indirectly, for hosts.

Transaction-Specific Fees

When booking on Airbnb, both the host and guest may encounter transaction-specific fees that are applied to each booking. These fees are separate from the total cost of the stay and are often overlooked when considering the overall expense of an Airbnb rental.

For example, a common fee is the per-transaction fee, which is usually a fixed amount ranging from 10 to 30 cents. This fee is not universally applied by all payment processors, but when it is, it can add up over multiple transactions. Additionally, guests and hosts should be aware of potential nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees, which occur if there’s not enough money in the account to cover the transaction costs.

It’s important to understand the distinction between the percentage of each transaction paid to the payment processor and the fixed transaction fees. This knowledge can help Airbnb users make more informed decisions and possibly reduce costs.

Some payment processors offer the option to customize pricing based on transaction volume, which can be beneficial for frequent Airbnb hosts. Other fees to consider include voice authorization fees for anti-fraud measures and batch fees for closing out daily sales, both of which are typically in the same range as the per-transaction fee.

Understanding Interchange Fees

Interchange fees are a fundamental component of credit card transactions, charged by the card-issuing bank to the card-processing bank during each transaction. These fees are nonnegotiable and vary depending on the type of credit card used, the nature of the transaction (in-person or online), and the purchase amount. The risk associated with the payment method also influences the interchange fee, with higher-risk methods incurring higher fees.

Interchange-plus pricing is a transparent fee structure favored by many businesses, especially those with high credit card sales volumes. This model clearly separates the interchange rate, assessment fees, and the processor’s markup, which is the only negotiable part of the pricing. Businesses can compare the markup across different processors to find the most cost-effective option.

The interchange fee is a fixed cost that merchants must account for when setting prices for their goods and services. It’s an essential aspect of financial planning for businesses to avoid unexpected costs and manage their budget effectively.

The Impact of Modifications and Cancellations

The Impact of Modifications and Cancellations

Changes to Your Reservation and Payment Adjustments

When you modify your Airbnb reservation, the payment adjustments are automatically processed based on the new details of your stay. The estimated total amount for the rental may change and will be charged to the credit card provided at the time of booking. If additional charges apply due to the changes, they will be deducted from any deposit amount or charged to your card directly.

Modifications to your reservation can result in either an increase or decrease in the total cost. It’s essential to review the updated reservation details to understand the financial implications.

Here are common scenarios that may affect your payment:

  • No-show: Full payment may still be charged.
  • Invalid credit card: Reservation may be cancelled.
  • No deposit/prepayment received: Reservation may be subject to cancellation.
  • Overbooking: Contact customer service for assistance.

Remember, the deposit amount will not be available for use or refunded until after the vehicle has been returned. It’s crucial to use an accepted form of payment for the deposit to avoid any complications.

Cancellation Policy and Refunds

Airbnb’s cancellation policy is designed to protect both the host and the guest. It specifies the conditions under which a guest can cancel their reservation and the refunds they are eligible for. Cancellation policies vary from flexible to strict, with different refund amounts and timeframes for cancellation without penalty.

  • Flexible: Full refund within a set period before check-in, usually 24 hours.
  • Moderate: Full refund 5 days before check-in.
  • Strict: 50% refund until 1 week before check-in, no refund afterwards.

Guests should always review the specific cancellation policy for their reservation, as it will detail the refund process and any potential penalties. It’s important to budget wisely for rentals by setting aside a contingency fund, reviewing agreements, and staying informed. Understand credit card holds vs. security deposits for financial security and flexibility.

Refunds from Airbnb are typically processed within 10 business days after the cancellation. However, the exact timing can vary depending on the bank and the payment method used.

Dealing with Chargebacks and Disputes

When a chargeback occurs, it means that a customer has disputed a charge from Airbnb on their credit card statement. This can happen for various reasons, such as not recognizing the charge or being dissatisfied with the service. It’s important to understand that chargebacks are a mechanism for consumer protection, but they can also be a source of frustration for hosts and guests alike.

To handle chargebacks effectively, follow these steps:

  • Review the reason for the chargeback provided by the credit card company.
  • Gather all relevant information about the transaction, including communication with the guest and documentation of the service provided.
  • Respond promptly to the chargeback with the evidence collected to support your case.

Chargebacks should be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid additional fees and to maintain a good standing with payment processors.

In the case of disputes, communication is key. Reach out to the guest to understand their concerns and try to resolve the issue amicably. If a resolution cannot be reached, Airbnb’s resolution center can help mediate and find a fair outcome for both parties. Remember, maintaining a clear and transparent record of all transactions and interactions can significantly aid in resolving these matters.

Settlement and Processing Times for Payments

Settlement and Processing Times for Payments

How Long It Takes to Settle Credit Card Sales

When it comes to settling credit card sales, the process can vary in duration. Typically, it takes anywhere from 24 hours to three days for a credit card sale to settle. This timeframe is subject to the merchant account provider and the specifics of the merchant account in question. Advances in payment technology have expedited this process, offering quicker turnaround times than in the past.

For Airbnb hosts, receiving payments follows a similar pattern. Once a guest’s payment is processed, the funds are transferred to the host’s account. The method of payment chosen by the host, such as direct deposit or PayPal, influences the speed of this transfer. Generally, hosts can expect to receive their money within a few business days following the guest’s checkout. Airbnb provides a detailed payout schedule that hosts can consult to track their earnings.

It’s important to note that the speed of payment processing also depends on the type of transaction and the pricing model of the payment processor. For instance, flat-rate pricing models and the nature of the transaction—whether it’s in-person or card-not-present—can affect the per-transaction fees and ultimately the settlement time.

Batch Fees and Daily Closures

When processing credit card payments, merchants often incur a batch fee. This fee is charged when the merchant closes out the day’s sales, which is a routine part of daily payment processing. The batch fee is typically a fixed amount, ranging from 10 to 30 cents per transaction.

In addition to the batch fee, merchants must be aware of the daily closure process. This involves the settlement of all transactions processed during the day. It’s crucial for merchants to complete this process daily to ensure accurate financial records and timely deposits.

Here are some common fees associated with daily closures:

  • Monthly fee: Covers customer service and statement preparation, usually $5 to $15.
  • Payment gateway fee: For online payment processing, often similar to the monthly fee.

It’s important for merchants to understand the fee structure of their payment processor, as it can significantly impact the overall cost of transactions.

Impact of Payment Method on Settlement Time

The settlement time for credit card payments can vary significantly depending on the payment method used. The speed of transaction processing is a critical aspect of payment systems, especially for businesses that rely on cash flow. For instance, direct processors often provide faster settlement times compared to third-party processors.

  • Direct processors (e.g., Chase) may settle transactions within 24 hours.
  • Third-party processors could take up to three days for settlement.

Choosing the right payment method can influence how quickly funds become available. It’s important to consider the type of merchant account and the associated processing fees when selecting a payment processor.

The choice of processor and the pricing model, whether flat-rate or variable, can affect the settlement time and overall costs.

Understanding credit card processing fees is crucial for businesses. Factors like transaction fees, monthly fees, and early termination fees impact costs. Negotiating competitive rates is key for savings.

Using Debit Cards and Alternative Payments

Using Debit Cards and Alternative Payments

Differences Between Debit and Credit Card Payments

When using Airbnb, understanding the differences between debit and credit card payments is crucial for a smooth transaction experience. Credit cards offer the ability to borrow funds up to a set limit, providing flexibility and the potential for rewards. Debit cards, on the other hand, draw directly from your bank account, limiting spending to available funds, which can help in budgeting and avoiding debt.

While credit cards may offer more protection against unauthorized transactions, debit cards can be a more cost-effective choice if you’re cautious about overspending.

Here are some key distinctions:

  • Credit Cards: Borrowed funds, potential for rewards, spending limit set by credit limit, may improve credit score with responsible use.
  • Debit Cards: Direct spending of your own money, limited to account balance, typically no rewards, does not impact credit score.

Prepaid Cards, Money Orders, and Cash Payments

While Airbnb typically requires a credit card for securing a reservation, guests often inquire about alternative payment methods such as debit cards, prepaid cards, money orders, and cash payments. It’s important to note that Airbnb’s payment system is designed to provide security and ease of use for both guests and hosts, which is why certain payment methods may not be supported.

  • Debit Cards: When using a debit card, the funds are immediately deducted from your bank account. However, Airbnb does not allow the use of a debit card as a credit card for reservations.
  • Prepaid Cards: These cards are generally not accepted for the initial booking, but may be used for additional payments after the stay.
  • Money Orders: Airbnb does not accept money orders as a form of payment.
  • Cash Payments: Direct cash payments are not supported by Airbnb, as they can pose a risk and complicate the transaction process.

It is essential for guests to understand that the use of unsupported payment methods could lead to complications and potential inability to complete a reservation. Always ensure that you have a valid payment method that is accepted by Airbnb to avoid any issues.

Insurance Verification and Payment Policies

When renting a vehicle through services similar to Airbnb, insurance verification is a critical step. Renters must provide proof of a transferable auto insurance policy that covers collision, comprehensive, and liability for specific luxury and electric vehicle classes. This ensures that both the renter and the rental service are protected in case of any incidents.

For payments, a variety of options are accepted, including major credit cards like VISA, MasterCard, and American Express, as well as debit cards. It’s important to note that when using a debit card, the funds in the associated account will be held for the rental amount, which could affect your available balance and potentially lead to overdraft fees.

Ensure you understand the forms of payment policy and insurance requirements before completing a rental transaction to avoid any surprises or financial inconveniences.

Additionally, setting up payment guarantees and defining forms of payment are essential backend processes that rental services undertake to secure transactions. These procedures involve configuring payment card types and validation routines to ensure the integrity and security of the payment process.


Navigating the intricacies of Airbnb payments and credit card charges can be complex, but understanding when and how your card is charged is crucial for a smooth rental experience. From the moment you reserve your rental, various fees come into play, including potential annual or monthly credit card fees, interchange fees, and additional charges for specific services like chargebacks or address verification. Whether you’re using a credit card or debit card, it’s important to be aware of the timing of charges, the types of cards accepted, and the impact of modifications to your reservation. Remember, the estimated total shown at the time of reservation is typically what will be charged to your card, and any changes to the rental could alter this amount. By keeping these factors in mind, you can better manage your payments and avoid unexpected fees, ensuring a more enjoyable Airbnb experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does Airbnb charge my credit card for a reservation?

The Estimated Total for the rental on the Review & Reserve screen and/or in the email reservation confirmation will be charged to the form of payment provided by Renter at the time of reservation. If the rental is modified, the estimated total amount may change and would be charged accordingly.

What types of credit cards does Airbnb accept?

Airbnb accepts several forms of payment including VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and debit cards with sufficient available credit.

What is a pre-authorization charge and how is it different from the actual charge?

A pre-authorization is a temporary hold of a specific amount of the available credit limit on a credit card. It is not an actual charge and will be released if not converted into a charge. The actual charge is the final amount deducted from your credit card after the service is provided.

Are there any additional fees I should be aware of when using my credit card on Airbnb?

Yes, depending on your credit card, you may incur additional fees such as annual or monthly fees, late fees, interchange fees, chargeback fees for disputes, and batch fees for daily closures.

How long does it take for my payment to be processed and settled?

Credit card sales are typically settled within a few days, but the exact timing can vary depending on the payment method and the credit card processor’s policies.

Can I use a debit card, prepaid card, or money order to pay for my Airbnb reservation?

While you can use a debit card to pay for your Airbnb reservation, money orders and prepaid cards are not accepted at the time of rental. They may be used to pay any amounts due at the end of the rental after the vehicle has been returned. Cash is not accepted.

John DoeJ

Leo the Card Bonus Guy

Leo, known as "Leo the Card Bonus Guy," is an expert in finding the top credit card bonuses. With years of experience, he's become a master at uncovering the best deals and teaching others how to do the same. His simple and effective tips help readers maximize their rewards without the hassle. Leo's passion for sharing his knowledge has made him a go-to source for anyone looking to get the most out of their credit cards.Follow on Twitter/X