Jazzed! The Art of Travel Deals: Airbnb Edition.

Jazzed. The feeling I get when successfully searching for coupons to apply towards travel. Coupon accepted. Money Saved. Fist pump in the air. Shoulder dance. Jazzed!

I first learned the fine art of a good deal and the value of a coupon from my mother, when I was fairly young. Growing up, we would take our slightly used clothes to the local consignment store in my hometown, in hopes of making money back on clothes that no longer filled us with joy. Every week, as I eagerly awaited the end of my mother’s second cup of coffee at the bakery, I dreamt of all the money waiting for me in my consignment account. We would meet at the bakery after school and piano lessons, after my mom’s long day of cutting hair, to enjoy a snack before running across the street to the consignment store. It thrilled me, along with the rogue buttons I would find lying in wait under clothing racks, to be told by the sales clerk that my old clothes had earned me money! Jazzed.

During my late 20’s, my mother and I would share joy in how much money we could save at a big box store that offered $10 off coupons with a minimum $10 purchase. How many coupons and discounts could we stack on top of eachother? We often came away with a total savings more than we spent. Then the game was to make my father guess just how much we had spent and saved! Jazzed.

Now pushing 40 pretty hard, I found myself jazzed once again, while looking for an Airbnb Experience to purchase for an upcoming trip to Iceland. My partner and I found the snorkeling experience and were eager to book, plotting that the best time frame would be the day after we are to pick-up our camper van. Credit card in hand, date picked, I hovered over the “purchase” button. I took a breath and that’s when my couponing, deal loving brain leap for a pause. Wait!

What follows is a small detailing of how I got jazzed looking for deals online when planning travel. In this case, using Airbnb.

My partner and I have shared a Delta card for the past few years, an American Express that allowed us to accumulate enough miles from when our sweet van broke down last summer to use those miles for flights to Iceland. Delta recently paired with Airbnb to offer 1 point for every $1 spent on Airbnb, when shopping Airbnb through Delta’s link. This only works on stays however, not experiences.

Recently, I had heard about the power of buying and using gift cards for yourself, so I checked first with our American Express card to see if they were offering any deals at locations that sell Airbnb gift cards. Not at this time.

This took me to checking Rakuten, the cash back website that offers deals from clothing stores to hotels. I searched to see if they offered gift cards for Airbnb.

(When shopping via Rakuten, please use our referral code, for $30 off your first purchase)

Rakuten did not have any Airbnb gift cards on their site, but directed me to yet another site, Raise. Shopping on Raise, via Rakuten, offered me 1% cash back on my purchase, which was credited to my Rakuten account. On Raise, they offered Airbnb gift cards for a 2.2% discount as well as offering a small amount of additional cash back, which is applied to your Raise account.

(When shopping via Raise, please use our referral code, for $5 off your purchase. New customers save an additional 10% off their first purchase.)

From Raise, I purchased $250 worth of Airbnb gift cards for $234.38. 2.20% off, plus the $10 discount my coupon scanning browser plug-in found, as well as earning the 1% cash back that Rakuten offered. I saved the $5 referral code I had for another time. I purchased the gift cards and within 24 hours, they were available to use digitally.

I logged into my Airbnb account and applied the gift card credit to my account, before booking! I returned to the booking page for my dream experience, applied the credit in my account to the reservation, and booked!


Savings: $250 worth of Airbnb gift cards purchased for $234.38, plus 1% credited to my Rakuten account as cash back and $1.75 to my Raise account.

These savings may seem small, affording a lunch while traveling or a few coffees, but they certainly add up over time. That’s worth it to me!

Exploring even before the travel adventure has begun, returning to my childhood enjoyment of searching for the art of the deal. A treasure hunt of sorts, afforded to those who have a little extra time to poke around online. Exploring what combination of coupons and referral codes can land them the best deal.

All to return to and arrive at that desired feeling; Jazzed!

Short-cut Notes to The Art of Travel Deals: Airbnb

*If you have an American Express card, check if they offer deals or discounts at stores that offer gift cards. Or any discounts and offers your credit cards may supply.

*Open a Rakuten account via our referral code: Check to see if they offer any gift cards that interest you.