Last updated: 04:26 PM ET, Tue November 03 2015

American Express and Airbnb Join Forces For Seamless Integration

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | November 03, 2015

American Express and Airbnb Join Forces For Seamless Integration

Photo courtesy of Airbnb

American Express and Airbnb are teaming up, creating a symbiotic relationship that will alleviate some of the burden of finding comfortable accommodations on that next holiday or business trip.

Starting Tuesday, travelers can sign up for Airbnb and get authenticated thanks to their American Express login credentials.

The integration extends beyond that, allowing users to utilize membership rewards points for Airbnb stays and check out more efficiently thanks to the collaboration.

The joint venture brings together two entities that come to the forefront of consideration when traveling.

Leslie Berland, the executive vice president of global advertising, marketing & digital partnerships at American Express, and Lex Bayer, who serves as the head of global payments and business development for Airbnb, offered their thoughts on the news in a press release.

Berland states, “Our Card Members love one-of-a-kind and memorable travel experiences, and with this partnership, we're creating a frictionless and valuable way for them to take advantage of everything Airbnb has to offer.

The executive vice president continued, “Through our technology, we're bringing to life our unique assets on Airbnb, delivering the world-class service, experience and benefits Card Members expect from their Amex Membership.”

Membership, by the way, plays a big part in the integration. As for Airbnb’s part, Bayer states: “We welcome millions of Amex Card Members to belong anywhere with Airbnb. Whether staying at a bungalow in Bali with Membership Rewards points, or a business trip to London with your Amex Card, this partnership makes booking an Airbnb in over 190 countries seamless and allows Card Members to be verified with their American Express login within the trusted community of Airbnb.”

And it seems that the venture works splendidly for those who happen to have an American Express membership but have yet to utilize the community-listed comforts found on Airbnb.

As stated in the press release, the integration of Amex into Airbnb offers a few things that you might find useful.

For one, you can now get authenticated with your Amex credentials.

As those who have signed up for Airbnb know, there is a multi-step process that gives some measure of security for both renter and homeowner.

Now you can use your credentials, which offers a badge you can flaunt virtually on your profile: “Card Members who set up an Airbnb account with their Amex login will have a badge on their Airbnb profile that shows guests and hosts that they are an American Express Card Member. This exclusive feature will allow hosts and guests to build their identity and learn more about one another.”

As for Card Members, things have been molded seamlessly for your convenience. In fact, Card Members can use points to book as well as “check their points balance on the Airbnb site before they check out.”

And to celebrate the endeavor, there is a monetary incentive to using the service. The release states “Through Amex Offers, eligible U.S. Card Members can get $50 back when they spend $100 or more on Airbnb through 12/31/2015.”

The news comes during an intriguing moment, especially when you consider the polarizing Proposition F, which takes up ballot space in San Francisco.

As the LA Times reminds, the measure “would tighten restrictions on short-term housing rentals, taking aim most pointedly at Airbnb in the hometown of the sharing economy tech giant, valued at $25 billion.”

As noted, Prop F would restrict rental housing to just 75 days a year, which would greatly hinder those who fill residences for most of the year with curious travelers and road warrior types.

On the same day, however, Airbnb gets the kind of tremendous boost that comes with a brand like American Express, which brings with it immense brand recognition and loyalty.

For those who never leave home without it, booking a rare stay in a community setting just got easier.


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