Airbnb Launches Pay Less Up Front, a New Flexible Payment Option for Travelers

At Airbnb, we’re working to bring the world closer together through magical travel, powered by people. A big part of making travel magical is offering convenient and flexible ways to book trips.

In November, we became the first major accommodations provider to   make group travel seamless, allowing guests to easily split payments with friends or family. Now, we’re making paying for travel even more convenient with   Pay Less Up Front.

Before today, Airbnb guests paid for 100% of the trip at the time of booking. With   Pay Less Up Front, guests can pay for part of the trip at the time of booking – a 50% deposit in most cases – and pay the rest closer to the check-in date.

The new feature extends our commitment to providing flexible payment options to more guests, and greater opportunities for hosts. In our testing of Pay Less Up Front, we saw a clear demand for more convenient payments: Given the option of paying less up front, 40% of guests chose to do so, and opted for higher-value bookings on the whole.

Pay Less Up Front helps our hosts as well. Given the ability to pay in installments, hosts won’t lose out on bookings from cash flow-sensitive guests who prefer not to pay the entire amount up front. What’s more, we’ve found that Pay Less Up Front encourages bookings further in advance: Compared with ordinary bookings, the Pay Less Up Front payment option led to bookings with nearly double the lead time, helping hosts to secure and manage bookings more easily.

With Pay Less Up Front, hosts and guests alike can book travel with greater confidence, no matter a guest’s payment preferences or needs.

The new payment option is available today across all platforms: iOS, Android, mobile-web and desktop.

Announcement Highlights:

  • With Pay Less Up Front, guests can pay for part of their trip at the time of booking, and the rest closer to check-in.
  • The upfront payment will be a 50% deposit in most cases. The rest can be paid closer to the check-in date.
  • In our testing, we found that 40% of people who were given the option to Pay Less Up Front opted to do so, and that the feature led to higher-value bookings for hosts and nearly double the booking lead time.

To qualify for Pay Less Up Front, the total stay must be $250 or more, and be booked at least 14 days from the check-in date.