San Francisco-based Airbnb, the lodging giant in the sharing economy, has been making some efforts this year to appeal to business travelers— e.g., enabling companies to incorporate Airbnb bookings into their internal reporting systems, developing a search capability to help travelers find properties with business-friendly amenities and so on. Earlier this week, it announced a new frequent flyer tie-in with Virgin America Airlines. And now it has a new partnership with the American Express Card.
Effective immediately, AmEx cardmembers can use their existing americanexpress.com user ID and password to open an Airbnb account; they can use Membership Rewards program points to book a stay directly on Airbnb’s site; and they can check out with Amex Express Checkout.
When a cardmember registers with Airbnb using his AmEx data, Airbnb hosts will be able to see a badge on the customer’s profile identifying him or her as a cardmember.
Cardmembers can use Membership Rewards points to book directly on Airbnb by entering their card at checkout and adding the dollar amount in points they’d like to apply to their stay — paying wither in full or in part with points.
The Airbnb payment screen will also show the Amex Express Checkout option in a dropdown menu; members who enter their login will be able to use it for a speedy completion of their transaction.
The new partnership is being promoted through Amex Offers with an offer of a $50 refund when cardmembers spend $100 or more on Airbnb through the end of December.
Meanwhile, Airbnb won a major victory in its hometown of San Francisco this week when voters there rejected a proposal to impose new restrictions on the business. The proposal would have limited owners of Airbnb properties to renting them out no more than 75 days a year, vs. a current limit of 90 days, and it would have imposed new registration and reporting requirements.
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