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Last Updated on February 18, 2022 by Mary Emmer
Update – What Happened to the Airbnb Associate Program?
Airbnb discontinued the Airbnb associate program on March 31, 2021, and did not replace it with any type of program at all for affiliates.
So, if you have a site in the travel niche and are looking for an affiliate program for accommodations, or more specifically, for vacation rentals, there are a few alternatives that you can consider.
Airbnb Associate Program Alternatives
If you’re specifically looking for a vacation rental affiliate program (apartments, houses, condos, etc), then you can become an affiliate of VRBO instead. VRBO is a great platform for finding vacation rentals, and you can sign up as an affiliate via the Expedia Group affiliate platform. Besides the actual Expedia brand, Expedia owns VRBO, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity and Ebookers. You can sign up as affiliate for all of them on the Expedia Group affiliate platform.
Another option is Booking.com. Although they are not strictly vacation rentals, they do have some apartments on their platform. And of course they offer hotels, so that’s an added bonus in case your site visitors end up wanting a hotel instead of a vacation rental. You can sign up as a Booking.com affiliate via a travel affiliate network called TravelPayOuts.com. TravelPayOuts has over 100 different travel affiliate programs that you can sign up with, once you’re part of their network.
Airbnb Associate Program
If you’re looking for a travel affiliate program, or more specifically, a vacation rental affiliate program of some type, the Airbnb Associate program could be a good fit.
And whether you’re planning on starting a brand new travel-related blog or you’ve already been blogging in the travel niche, Airbnb just did you a huge favor in the last few months.
They launched an actual affiliate program vs. the simple referral program they had previously.
While most people are familiar with Airbnb these days, I’ll give you a quick overview just in case.
Airbnb is a site that connects people who want to rent out their homes (either in their entirety or just a single room within their home), with people who want to rent homes (or rooms in the homes) in different places around the world.
The Airbnb site currently has listings in over 80,000 cities in over 190 countries around the world, so it’s a great resource for niche travel sites regardless of what part of the world the travel blog covers.
While they started as mainly a home-sharing site, they now offer “Experiences”, or things to do, as well.
Airbnb Associate Program – 5 Reasons I Love It
Airbnb launched its new affiliate program a few months ago, and it has me excited!
I personally use Airbnb when I travel. I know it’s a great service. If you use Airbnb, you know it too!
Their previous “referral” program sort of sucked. OK well, it’s nice that they had a referral program at all. But seriously, they needed a re-do.
The previous program really wasn’t an affiliate program. The way it worked is that you could offer people a one time Airbnb credit (it ranged from $25-65 as I recall) towards the first booking they made with Airbnb. You as the referrer could then earn a small credit towards your own bookings. But there was never any money exchanging hands. In other words, you never actually received a payment of commission from Airbnb. It was only credit towards your own future bookings.
If you already have an Airbnb account, like I did because I actually use them, your new “associate account” is tied right to your own personal Airbnb account. This is really handy! No need to keep track of a different affiliate account.
They give associates a few awesome tools. More on that below, but let’s just say that I like the ease with which you can now add Airbnb to your niche travel blog.
The program is simple and using the tools to promote Airbnb is even simpler.
How the Airbnb Associate Program Works
Update: This program no longer exists. See our update at the beginning of this post with alternatives to the Airbnb Associate Program.
The registration is quite simple with no muss, no fuss. No long forms to fill out, no traffic requirements, no approval process. They just make it super easy to get registered.
Once you register, you can start using those awesome tools I mentioned above to share your favorite Airbnb properties.
When you access your Airbnb Associates dashboard, you’ll see a screen like this.
You can easily share Places To Stay, Nearby Experiences, Things Nearby, Your Personal Recent Stays, or Any Combination of Properties that you save into a List.
You can choose a format for how you want to share your information.
You can either use the widget to embed the information directly into your blog post or page or, you can create a custom landing page within the Airbnb system and link over to that landing page.
Here’s an example of a landing page that created for Top 10 Favorite Apartments in Girona, Spain.
These are all the different ways that you can share your information.
Here’s an example of how one of their widgets look after you embed it into your blog –
And one other great thing is the Airbnb Associate Program commission disclaimer that’s automatically appended to each widget.
How Much Can You Earn With the Airbnb Associates Program?
This is another reason why I like the new program. You have the opportunity to earn more than you would have with the old referral program.
As an Airbnb Associate, you would earn 30% of the service fee that Airbnb charges, for every completed reservation. A “completed reservation” is one in which the renters have already stayed at the property, and Airbnb will pay you after the trip is over.
Another plus is that Airbnb has a 28-day cookie length. So if someone clicks your link, you’ll be credited as long as they complete their booking within 28 days of their initial click.
So what’s the potential in terms of commission?
The service fee that Airbnb charges is usually between 6% and 14% of the Airbnb booking subtotal.
If you’ve personally used Airbnb for your own travel, then you’ll know what I mean by that service fee that gets added in after the subtotal. It’s that pesky additional amount that ups your total!
Now, you’ll be pleased to see big service fees, right?
How Does the Airbnb Associate Program Pay Commission?
The commission payment process is simple. Airbnb pays the commission in a variety of different ways.
- Bank Transfer
Is This Affiliate Program Recommended?
I think this affiliate program is a winner for anyone in the travel niche. It’s simple to sign up for, simple to use, and since Airbnb appears to keep getting more and more popular, the potential is huge.
If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing and not exactly sure how to proceed, this training is where I learned everything I know about starting a niche affiliate marketing business. You might want to consider checking it out.
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Hi, I’m Mary. Thanks for visiting me here at Affiliate Cents where I offer affiliate marketing training, tips & resources that will show you how to get started in the awesome world of affiliate marketing. You can read more about my story here.