Don’t Buy or Rely on Airbnb Gift Cards

I planned my honeymoon six months in advance and decided on staying in an Airbnb. I booked the house and selected the pay later option. Basically Airbnb allows you to pay some upfront and then the rest later in installments.

A week went buy and there was a deal on Airbnb gift cards. I purchased hundreds of dollars to use on my second installment/payment. Airbnb said that they were having trouble letting me use the gift cards on the payment. They sent me to a specialist who told me they would get back to me in less than 24 hours.

Three days went by with no response. I contacted them again and was told they would contact me in 24 hrs. Two days went by with no response. I contacted them a third time and they told me that their policies didn’t allow Airbnb credit (through the gift card) to be used on a payment. I asked for my money back and they said they couldn’t refund my gift cards either. So now I’m out $600. I’m thinking about leaving a Federal Trade Commission complaint because they are literally not letting me use money or get my money back.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. I use gift cards regularly, you just can’t use them on a reservation you already booked. You add the gift card to your account and when you book the reservation it takes the gift card balance before it charges your card. In your case, you made this impossible by booking first. Air sucks but this was user error because it’s on the website. Just read. Definitely your fault although they should have told you that on the first call. The solution would have been to cancel the reservation and book it again right away so the gift card balance got used. It’s easier to complain than think your way through your own mistakes I suppose.

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