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A guide to Airbnb host payments methods

For most Airbnb hosts, getting paid is the best part of the process, but it can only stay that way if it’s free of hidden obstacles and approached with no frustration or confusion. So here’s a quick guide to Airbnb host payment methods to clarify exactly how the payout works. 

A Layout of the Payout

Your payout will be more or less the total booking fee that you’re charging guests. There’s a Host Service Fee of 3% that Airbnb deducts from your subtotal, but that small piece of the pie is only taken from your net total minus any security deposit you may have received, if that’s relevant to your Airbnb pricing strategy. The Host Service Fee will be recalculated should the host make any adjustments to the booking fee (and rounded to the nearest whole number). 

The 3% fee is meant to cover any of Airbnb’s expenses made in the name of your guests’ payments. Consider it the “shipping and handling” cost of home-sharing. Just keep in mind, Airbnb may not be the only one who wants in. You could be susceptible to an additional VAT, depending on where you are hosting or from where your guests are traveling.

If you want to predetermine the total booking amount from which all these services and VATs are being deducted, you can consult the rates (nightly, weekly, monthly, etc.) you have applied to the relevant listing and paint yourself a clearer picture of the finances involved in the transaction.

Airbnb and Taxes

On the subject of Service and VAT, your local taxes are another one of those things that vary based on where in the world you are from and where in the world you are running your business. But it’s good to get a heads up that at some point, you will probably have to pay some dues to the taxman. Luckily, Airbnb helps you straighten out these details by collecting your information and walking you through this process. Airbnb host help for the win, once again.

Guesty For Hosts

Adding an Airbnb Payment Method

The process of adding a payment method is pretty clear-cut, with instructions on your screen guiding you every step of the way. One thing to keep in mind is that every payment method has its own processing style, meaning it could take some time for the payout to go through, or it could take no time at all.

Airbnb Host Payments Methods: Cash, Credit, or Debit?

That being said, you may want to select your payment preference accordingly . Whatever your “type” may be, it’s always good to consider all your options before settling down. And hey, if your first choice comes with any unforeseen extra baggage, like a processing time that’s less than ideal or some sort of hidden fee, this sneak peek of all the payout options will help remind you that there are always other fish in the sea. 

ACH/ Direct Deposit

Choosing this method will grant Airbnb permission to deliver your host payment straight to your bank account. You will need to enter your routing number and account number to verify the delivery address, but you can find that easily on your checkbook, bank statement or bank app. Airbnb will initially perform a test-run direct deposit (of something amounting to less than $1) to confirm your account, so there will be a short waiting time (no more than 5 days) to set up this payment system. Good news: Airbnb will let you keep the money from the test deposit. Free money! The crowd goes wild!

International Wire

The requirements for arranging international wiring into your account vary based on where your bank is located. You may be asked for your account number or IBAN, or you may see certain restrictions on the total payment amount that can be deposited at one time. This option is a huge convenience – to say the least – for international hosts. If the shoe fits…

Payoneer Bank Transfer/ Debit Card

You will be asked to enter your name as it appears on your official ID, and Payoneer will require some time to approve your details to see that you are who you say you are. Payoneer may also apply some followup withdrawal or currency exchange charges, so that’s something to remember going in.


Not just a pal, an internet transactor’s best friend. All you have to do is be sure that your PayPal account is set up before you attach it to your Airbnb. Then, put it on my tab.

Western Union

Airbnb payouts through Western Union comes with all sorts of extra baggage, incluyding minimum and maximum payment amounts, deposit charges and processing and currency exchange fees. Our advice? Choose another, easier, less expensive route.

Options On Top Of Options

Setting a minimum payout amount is optional. If you opt-in for this rule, Airbnb will hold onto your host payments until they accumulate to the indicated minimum. In most cases, there’s a maximum minimum (wait a second…) of $8,000. This is more of a budgeting technique than anything else.

Similarly, payout routing rules are just another way to make Airbnb easier for you. You can manipulate these settings to split your payment among two or more payout methods that you have attached to your account. Easy as pie.

[Re]turn the Beat Around

The worst kind of payment: the kind you have to give back. But it happens to everyone at some point of business. In this case, Airbnb enforces hospitality standards to protect guests, and abiding by these standards will protect hosts, as well. Unfortunately, if a valid guest complaint is filed against a host, Airbnb will have to ask you to return the money to its rightful owner. Luckily, there are many strategies for avoiding complaints, and you can learn the ropes here.   

Keep in mind that if a guest does file a claim against you, you will have the option to pay a visit to Airbnb’s Resolution Center to plead your case. 

For The Books

Hosts can review completed transactions, future transactions, and gross earnings in the “Transaction History” section of “Account Settings”. So whatever your payment method, preferences, and so on – you can view everything in one place and easily stay on top all transactions. Not too shabby.

This guide is meant to be kept on hand, so you can manage your Airbnb payments with ease and master the payment process. Don’t let it intimidate you, the many options and if/then situations are only in play to streamline the payout process for you. If you’re into this kind of organized Airbnb host experience, Guesty will be right up your alley – with professional Airbnb booking and property management features that will help you glide through your hosting career. 

Ready to let Guesty transform your business?


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