If you travel frequently for work or business purposes, you probably know that most airline companies have partnerships with the larger hotel brands. One example of this is that American Airlines will provide you 500 miles for each stay you have at a Hyatt. Well, now through November 1st, 2017, Virgin America will provide new Airbnb users a one-time bonus of 1,500 miles for their first stay and 20,000 miles for becoming a host. So let’s go into detail on what exactly you need to do to get the miles.
What 21,500 Virgin America Miles Can Get You
The first question that needs to be answered is, “What exactly does 21,500 Virgin America miles get me?” Virgin America is often regarded as the premiere airline for travel originating from the United States. With an all new, swanky fleet, amazing flight crews, and great meals, Virgin America stands alone at the top of the customer service food chain.
21,500 miles will get you ROUND TRIP virtually any destination within the United States. Maybe you’ll head down to New Orleans, take a weekend trip to the Big Apple, or you can get all the way to London and back from JFK (New York)! Fees do get a little high when you fly into London (upwards of $400/person); however, round trip domestic flights are only $11.20 (standard security fees). You can click this link to view estimated redemption values for all flights.
Detailed Steps on Earning Miles Through Airbnb
While the lure of 21,500 miles sounds fantastic, the reality of actually earning those rewards is not as easy as they make it appear to be. The good news for you is that I have already navigated through all the red tape and, unlike Virgin America, I can provide you a step by step guide on the exact requirements – no magnifying glass required.
1,500 Mile Bonus for First Time Bookers With Airbnb – So this one isn’t too tough, but here are, verbatim, the rules required in order to receive the one time bonus.
New Airbnb users may receive a one-time grant of 1,500 Elevate points and $20 Airbnb travel credit. The Airbnb travel credit will automatically appear in new user accounts upon checkout. You must sign up for a new Airbnb account and complete a reservation that begins on or prior to November 1, 2017, and that has a total booking value of $150 (USD). Reservations made for a listing of a friend, family member or any member of your household will not be eligible.
So the new user offer seems pretty straight forward:
- It must be a new Airbnb account (existing accounts are not eligible) created through the Virgin America Airbnb Portal.
- You must complete a reservation prior to November 1, 2017.
- The booking must have a value of at least $150.
- Reservations at a friends, family members, or other house hold members will not be eligible.
- Points will take 4-6 weeks to post after the stay is complete.
Easy enough. But you aren’t here for the 1,500 miles. You are here for the 20,000 miles. So let’s take a look at the steps required to get that bonus.
20,000 Mile Bonus for First Time Hosts With Airbnb – Unlike the first time user offer, this one has a little more red tape. So let’s stick to the same format here… first I will give you verbatim the rules, and then I will break it down into bullet points for readability.
Offer valid only for new Airbnb listings in the United States (a “New Listing”). You must (a) create a New Listing; (b) click “List Your Space” after navigating from the Virgin website to Airbnb; (c) complete the Verified ID process; and (d) accept and complete reservations for the New Listing for a total of at least five nights priced at $75 or more per night, excluding cleaning fees and taxes (a “Qualifying Reservation”). The Qualifying Reservation does not need to be a single reservation comprising of five nights, and may consist of multiple guest reservations that total five nights. The Qualifying Reservation must begin on or prior to November 1, 2017.
The New Listing must be new and not previously activated or duplicated from another Airbnb listing. Please allow 4-6 weeks from completion of the trip for posting of Elevate points. This offer cannot be combined with any other host offers or promotions. Reservations of your New Listing made by a friend, family member or any member of your household will not be counted as Qualifying Reservations and will not be eligible. The guest must also have completed the verified ID process.
Let’s break down that wall of text into something a little more legible (these steps must be completed in this order):
- Only valid for listings made in the United States
- You must create a new listing, but do not just click “List Your Space”
- FIRST, navigate to Airbnb from the Virgin America Airbnb Portal and click “List Your Space”
- Then you must complete the Verified ID Process
- Finally, you must accept and complete reservations from that listing for a total of at least five (5) nights priced at $75 or more per night before the cleaning and service fees.
- The five nights do not have to be one stay of five nights. You can have multiple reservations that total five nights.
The first question that comes to mind with this promotion after reading all the requirements for me was, “Is it worth it?” I say, “Yes, absolutely!” The biggest flaw of this promotion is that there is no way to track your progress. In fact, there is no way to even know if you are enrolled. Contacting Airbnb just results in them saying, “The promotion is through Virgin America so you need to contact them.” Contacting Virgin America will not get you much further.
Although the promotion could be run a little better, it is certainly worth the effort as long as the points post. Although friends and family are excluded in the rules, it is not clear how AirBNB intends to enforce this rule. Some people have reported success by having a friend book their house, but YMMV. The promotion also says nothing about an acquaintance you may know from work who may want to exchange a five night stay with you. Or maybe even get three people involved where Person A “stays” at B’s home, B “stays” at C’s home, and C “stays” at A’s Home. Just make sure nobody refers one another! Referrals would invalidate this deal, because AirBNB assumes you are “friends or family.”
With all that money you saved on the flight, you can buy your partner (or yourself) a few early Christmas gifts from our 20 Gifts Under $20 for the Frequent Traveler post. You may also be able save a bit more money if you have an Amex card with the $50 off $100 offer for AirBNB.
Will you be signing up for the Virgin America Airbnb promotion? Let us know by leaving a comment below!