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We recently returned from our trip to Europe which included stops in Venice, Prague, and Croatia.  If you’ve ever travel with a family to Europe you probably know how difficult it is to find hotel rooms that will fit 3 let alone 4 people.  We ended up with two rooms at both hotels in Venice and Prague.

For our two stops in Croatia, I booked our first ever Airbnb stays.  I wish I would have tried Airbnb sooner, we had two great experiences in Split and Dubrovnik.

I can’t wait to book another stay.  And yes, the photo above is the airbnb we stayed in Durbovnik.

But with my excitement in booking the stays, I made a few mistakes that I want to share with you so you don’t make the same mistakes.


Mistake #1 – Not Earning Delta Miles

I had no idea that I could earn Delta miles (which never expire) on Airbnb stays just by going through the website:

You earn 1 Delta mile per $1 spent on Airbnb stays – it couldn’t be easier.


Sure I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card which earns 2X points on travel, but I should have earned 5X points by using my Chase Freedom card to purchase Airbnb gift cards at the quarter’s 5X category (typically gas stations, grocery stores, or pharmacies).

I could have also bought discounted gift cards on ebay or ($10 off your first purchase).  You can also earn United miles by buying Airbnb gift cards through the MileagePlus X app.

Don’t forget to load gift cards to your Airbnb account before booking a stay or experience.


Chase Sapphire Preferred

This is arguably the best all-around card for beginners.  The 60,000 point welcome offer is worth at least $750 when used on the Chase Travel portal to book travel.  But I prefer to get even more value from the points by transferring them to Chase’s travel partners such as Hyatt, United, and Southwest.

The card also offers 2 points per dollar for all travel & dining purchases, no foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad, and includes primary rental car coverage so you can decline rental car companies insurance.

The card’s annual fee is only $95.  Learn more and apply here.

Chase Freedom

There is currently a $150 bonus (15,000 points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Earn 5X points on up to $1500 each quarter in rotating categories (Restaurants, Grocery Stores,, etc).

Points are worth 1¢ each (15,000 points = $150) unless you hold a Chase Premium Ultimate Rewards card (such as the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve) where you can transfer points to airlines and hotels.

No Annual Fee.  Learn more and apply here.


I could have saved $40 off my first stay and another $15 off my first Airbnb experience (cooking class, tour, etc) if I had used someone referral link, but didn’t.

Don’t have an Airbnb account yet?  Sign up with my referral link to get your $55 off your first stay.  And don’t worry if you aren’t booking a stay right away – you have a full year from account sign up before the credit expires.



  • Be sure to book through to earn Delta miles on Airbnb stays
  • Be sure to maximize points and miles earned when booking stays by buying gift cards where you can earn 3X, 4X, or 5X miles and points and/or purchase discounted gift cards
  • Use a referral link to save $55 off your first stay


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