Save 10% On AirBNB/VRBO Rentals

AirBNB and VRBO have changed the vacation landscape for the better. Hotel rooms are too small for our family when we travel, so we rely on nice people to open up their entire homes to us to for us to enjoy time away. Thankfully there are people who do this for reasonable prices. And AirBNB and VRBO have been great at facilitating this type of transaction despite the hotel lobby.

But, there’s just one thing: these websites are not cheap. They typically charge a 10% fee on top of the nightly fee that goes to the owner.

Now, we are advocates of capitalism and we’re glad to see companies who provide a good or service capitalize on that good or service. But 10% seems usurious.

Rental Recon reports that “AirBNB hosts pay a flat 3% fee per booking, while guests foot most of the bill by paying between 10-15% of the total price per stay.”

VRBO explains its service fee as, “This helps Vrbo provide a safer and more secure booking experience, coupled with 24/7 customer support throughout your trip.”

When I rented my condo out in Austin, I went along with it because it was the only way to get exposure for my single property.

But nowadays, companies that specialize in vacation rentals are popping up all over the place and they have their own online rental platforms. Instead of the steep 10-15% fees that AirBNB and VRBO charge, they will charge a nominal transaction fee (comparable to the credit card fees that other online retailers charge). This seems fair.

In a property’s listing, the owner’s profile will indicate whether it is a company or an individual. If it is a company, they likely will have their own website rental platform where you can rent the property for less:

The same rental quote from the rental company shows a $171 reduction in price. That’s 14.3% of the nightly rate and 9.4% of the company’s rate with fees.

Another rental company we looked at had slightly higher fees on their site so the difference was less dramatic. This shows that it greatly depends on the rental company.

If you use your rewards credit card for your purchase, you could be saving anywhere from 13-21% on your purchase!