Airbnb’s New “Pay Less Up Front” Payments Make It Easier to Book in Advance

published Jan 29, 2018
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Airbnb just made it a lot easier to book a stay in advance by introducing a new flexible payment option that lets a person pay half the bill at the time of reservation, and the rest closer to the actual check-in date.

Airbnb has been introducing some great new payment choice options lately. Just a few months ago, Airbnb launched a group payment option that made it easier for people to split the Airbnb bill when traveling together. That was one of the biggest things Airbnb customers said they wanted. The ability to pay just part of the bill at the time of reservation is another thing they really wanted, so Airbnb just rolled out a plan it’s calling “Pay Less Up Front,” which lets people book a place with a 50-percent deposit, then pay the rest closer to their check-in date.

Previously, customers had to pay 100 percent of the Airbnb bill at the time of booking. That was a little inconvenient for people who wanted to book far in advance, but didn’t want to pay in one big lump sum that far ahead of the trip.

In most cases, Pay Less Up Front asks for a 50-percent deposit when a person makes a reservation. Then they can pay the other half of the fee later, but still before check-in. To qualify, the total bill must be at least $250, and it must be booked at least 14 days in advance.

Airbnb says it’s been testing this payment option for a while now, and it’s been pretty great. Apparently 40 percent of users opted to take advantage of Pay Less Up Front when it was available, and people who had that option started booking nicer, more expensive properties overall. On top of that, people started booking much further in advance.

According to Airbnb, on average people booked twice as far in advance when they could pay just 50 percent of the bill upfront. That makes a lot of sense from a customer’s perspective, but it also helps out hosts, because advance bookings help them plan, too. So far the new system seems really popular. I know I would definitely choose to use it if the option were available.

Would you ever use Airbnb’s new Pay Less Up Front option?