AIRBNB AFFILIATE PROGRAM: Why It Ended & Alternatives

Airbnb affiliate program
Image Credit: Houst

As of the end of March 2021, the Airbnb Associates affiliate program became inactive. In other words, affiliates who rely on commissions from private accommodations like apartments will need to switch to a different affiliate program. So, to help you find a suitable alternative to the Airbnb service, we have compiled a list of the most viable alternatives to the Airbnb affiliate program.

But, to start with, we will go over some details of the Airbnb affiliate program before it came to an end and the reason why the program ended..

Does Airbnb Have an Affiliate Program?

Until March 31, 2021, Airbnb used to have an affiliate program for marketers who wanted to refer a new host to the Airbnb platform or stay and experience referrals. So, how did the Airbnb affiliate program work in practice?

Airbnb’s great commission percentages were a big perk for marketers, who earned 25% of the guest fee for the first 500 bookings monthly. You could earn up to 30% of the guest fee through the referral program as you referred more sales to the Airbnb service.

It doesn’t get much better than that for hotel and travel affiliate programs!

Unfortunately, Airbnb's associate's program came to an end on March 31, 2021.

Why Did Airbnb Discontinue Its Affiliate Program?

Many marketers were caught off guard when Airbnb’s affiliate program abruptly ended. They only gave Airbnb employees 30 days to adjust their income expectations and find new ways to earn more.

Given the company’s continued success, why did it discontinue the Airbnb affiliate program?

It was partly due to their emphasis on recruiting more new hosts for the service. They anticipated their new marketing campaign to attract more hosts would be much higher as a percentage of the company’s overall revenue.

Perhaps this is why they could no longer justify paying a hefty percentage to the Airbnb affiliate program’s bloggers and social media experts.

Many people believe that Airbnb launched its affiliate program in response to a drop in travel during the 2020 pandemic. As conditions improve and more people resume their travel plans, the brand may no longer require the referral program’s assistance to complete more bookings.

The decision to discontinue the Airbnb affiliate program was most likely made for various reasons. The bottom line for the company was influenced by a combination of all of these factors.

Alternatives to the Airbnb Affiliate Program

Airbnb Associates allows affiliates to earn money on:

  • Guests’ accommodation
  • New lodging options are listed below.

There aren’t many travel affiliate programs that pay for both of these actions simultaneously. As a result, some of the programs on our list of Airbnb Associates alternatives only pay for one of these actions.

However, earning on the same customer twice – both for accommodations and new listings – is uncommon, so this program segmentation should not negatively impact your income.

#1. Vrbo

While the commissions are not as generous as travel bloggers would have received through the Airbnb affiliate program, Vrbo is a solid alternative for a similar service.

Vrbo provides services that allow users to book a stay in a rental home anywhere in the world. As an affiliate, you can earn money in two ways:

  • Earn a 2% commission on traveler referrals who book a listing.
  • Earn $20 commission on new listings referred by owners who list on Vrbo.

Vrbo affiliate program benefits include front-end widgets for easily advertising listings and backend APIs.

Deep links can also be used to direct your readers to specific properties and pages on the Vrbo website.

#2. Homestay

Homestay, like Vrbo and Airbnb, is exactly what it sounds like: a website where you can book a stay in someone else’s home. Their affiliate marketing program aligns more with what you might expect from Airbnb, with generous commissions on the site’s more than 25,000 listings.

Homestay pays out lucrative commissions starting at 30%, with a tiered structure based on the number of bookings you secure and your overall performance.

They also have a 30-day cookie duration, giving your readers plenty of time to plan their next vacation.

#3. CruiseDirect is an online cruise travel company that provides excellent discounts on cruise vacations all over the world. Their Affiliate Program offers a 3% commission, which is lower than that of other programs. Still, it is essential to remember that the cost of their vacations is higher than that of different travel options.

One of CruiseDirect’s best features? They have a 45-day cookie, so any bookings made up to a month and a half after your user visited their page will be credited to you. Because there are no requirements or traffic minimums to qualify for their affiliate program, it is an excellent opportunity for new sites and apps.

#4. Expedia

As previously stated, Expedia and Vrbo are part of the same brand family, giving you access to every booking need your audience may have. However, Expedia is used for more than just lodging. It is also used for car rentals, cruises, flights, and packages, among other things.

Expedia, like Vrbo, is available through CJ Affiliate. This is very convenient for many affiliate marketers because it gives them access to more than just these two brands.

How much money can you make through Expedia’s affiliate program? Most affiliates see rates ranging from 2 to 6 percent, depending on the type of service your audience books. Hotel accommodations and car rentals have the lowest rates, while cruises have the highest.

#5. is a great alternative for affiliate marketers who previously relied on the Airbnb affiliate program (but is legit?). However, this is similar to Expedia in that it caters to people who want to book a hotel.

They generate approximately 7.12 billion euros in revenue each year. What does this imply for you? It demonstrates that they are a trustworthy global brand committed to expansion.

How much money can you make with the affiliate program? It is determined by where you sign up for the program. You can access it directly through, where you will earn a sizable 25 to 34 percent commission.

#6. Hotellook

Hotellook is a metasearch engine that compares the prices of various providers, including and Agoda.

If your target audience is looking for apartments or other private homes, Hotellook can completely replace Airbnb by providing thousands of options in most countries worldwide.

You can earn up to 50% of Hotellook’s earnings (4.92% on average of the accommodation price).

Affiliates also gain access to a broader range of tools, such as widgets and APIs.

The Hotellook affiliate program has a cookie lifetime of 30 days, which means you will earn on any bookings made as a result of your referral within the month you refer the customer.

Customers will benefit from Hotellook because it offers a variety of other lodging options. This variety of options will provide your audience with more options and may assist them in finding a more suitable accommodation option.

#7. Disney Partner Program

Every year, a large number of families travel to the land of Mickey Mouse.

As a result, if you have content that speaks to its services, joining the Disney affiliate program can be quite profitable in terms of passive income.

As an affiliate, you will have immediate access to upcoming promotions and exclusive marketing tools.

#8. Hotels

Joining one of the many hotel affiliate programs is another option for those with travel-related content.

There are several to choose from, and they all allow affiliates to earn a substantial commission on reservations made using their custom links.

Whether you have a favorite chain or want to include a variety of options, exploring everything available is a good place to start.

Make Money for Travel Agreements

There are still programs from travel companies for affiliate marketers to promote for those who are still looking for ways to monetize their travel blog site now that the Airbnb referral program is no longer available.

While the Airbnb associates program is no longer available, you can still make money with a travel blog. Some of these other travel affiliate programs allow you to earn a commission comparable to what Airbnb was offering.

Sign up for Homestay if you want to earn money for a similar service to Airbnb while earning a higher commission. On the other hand, if you want to provide your readers with access to various types of travel, then signing up for Expedia (and simultaneously Vrbo) may be the best option.

Even if Airbnb is no longer an option, you can still make money off of your audience’s wanderlust!


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