Airbnb Affiliate Program ENDED: Best Alternatives (2023)
Interested in joining the Airbnb affiliate program, but want to learn more about it first? In this article, I'll be sharing my experience by reviewing this affiliate program. I will share info on how to sign up, what products and brands they offer, commission rates, and more.
Does Airbnb still have an affiliate program?
The Airbnb affiliate program officially ended on March 31, 2021. It was called "Airbnb associates" and now they recommend all affiliates to remove any active Airbnb associates links on their websites.
How much do Airbnb affiliates make?
When the program was still active, Airbnb offered a 25% commission rate per qualified booking. If you were able to get more than 500+ monthly bookings, your commission rate increased to 30% instead.
How does the Airbnb affiliate program work?
Before it shut down, you would have to apply for the affiliate program and get approved. In order to get approved, you would need a live, functioning website in the travel niche. After approval, you would gain access to tools like affiliate links, banner ads, and widgets that you can then add to your travel website. When a user clicks on one of these affiliate links, depending on the cookie period, you would be qualified for a commission on each successful sale within the cookie period. Typically, cookie periods can range anywhere from 7 to 30 days, which means that is the active window where you would be qualified for a sale if a visitor were to book later. For each sale, you'd earn a 25% commission on that sale price.
What are the best alternatives to the Airbnb affiliate program?
The best alternatives to the Airbnb affiliate program are the Expedia group affiliate program and the Booking.com affiliate program.
First, the Expedia group includes the following travel brands:
As you can see, this affiliate program contains many direct competitors to Airbnb including Vrbo for vacation rentals, the same market that Airbnb occupies.
Add in the popular Expedia.com and Hotels.com, and you have your bases covered for travel websites.
Second, Booking.com offers not only hotels, but many vacation rentals like apartments and condos that is very similar to Airbnb.
Both of these are valid replacements for Airbnb, and offer much of the same service.
If you'd like to read more about these Airbnb alternatives, I wrote about them in-depth here including commission rates and how to sign up:
My personal thoughts and experience with the Airbnb affiliate program
It's a shame that the Airbnb associates program is no longer active.
Airbnb is a very popular brand and makes a perfect fit for travel niche websites and influencers.
Also, their 25% commission rate was awesome.
If I had to guess why they shut down, it's possible that they were investing heavily into their affiliate program during growth mode as a startup, but recently have pivoted to focusing on profitability.
Giving away 25% on any sale is a huge chunk that will eat into your margins and bottomline.
Also, the added competition and pressure of the rest of the accommodations space, like hotels for example, have made Airbnb not as good of a value as in the earlier days.
Essentially, I think it's not as easy a decision to choose an Airbnb over a hotel these days.
Overall, the good news is that there are great alternatives like the Expedia group affiliate program, which is a direct replacement for Airbnb by including its top competitor Vrbo.
Also, there is more flexibility because it includes the brands Expedia and Hotels.com.
Final point I'd like to make, I think the large travel sites like Expedia and