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You Can Use Your AmEx Points to Book Airbnb Stays Now

American Express has a new credit card perk likely to increase its appeal to travelers: a partnership with Airbnb.

People with eligible American Express credit cards can now use rewards points to pay for lodging through Airbnb, the company that lets travelers stay at local homes or in hosts’ spare rooms. Airbnb users will also be able to log into their accounts using their American Express credentials, as well as verify their identities with their American Express credit cards (you can also verify your identity with a government ID, phone number, email address or social network profile). If you don’t have an Airbnb account, you can now sign up through American Express.

Not all American Express credit cards accrue Membership Rewards points, so that’s something to check if you’re already a cardholder and want to know how you might be able to take advantage of the Airbnb partnership. Even if you don’t have a card enrolled in Membership Rewards, you may be able to take advantage of a promotion running through the end of the year where card members can get a $50 statement credit when they spend $100 or more on Airbnb (for holiday travel, perhaps?). This is sort of like American Express’s partnership with Uber, the ride-share company: Eligible card members can earn double reward when they pay for an Uber ride with their American Express, and they can also pay for rides using rewards.

Perks like this make credit cards an attractive payment option for consumers. Used wisely, rewards credit cards can help you save a lot of money, but they can also be dangerous if you overspend. Dangling points and freebies in front of people can tempt them to overspend for the sake of earning those rewards, and the cost of credit card debt can far outweigh the value of rewards. Rewards credit cards tend to carry higher interest rates than non-rewards cards, so you have to be careful to not spend more than you can afford to pay each month.

Before you get a new credit card, it’s wise to do your research. Check your credit score to see what kinds of cards you may qualify for (you can get two free credit scores on, and compare credit cards to see what features appeal to you most. Remember that applying for a new credit card may have a slightly negative (but temporary) effect on your credit score, as well.

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