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It’s always when you’re sipping wine or buttering croissants on the balcony of your own (actually affordable) pied-à-terre in Paris that you heart Airbnb the most. Still, with a couple of tricks up your sleeve, you can save (and love it) even more.

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You Can Negotiate the Nightly Rate

Don’t input your credit card number so fast. A simple email (written nicely) to your Airbnb host before you book is sometimes all it takes to score a reduced price for your stay. Just be honest about the details of your trip (you’re in town to see your sis-in-law) and don’t forget to sing your own praises (the host might like to know that you’re quiet as a mouse). Depending on demand, you may get as much as 25 percent off the regular rate.

RELATED: 6 Prices You Can (and Should) Always Negotiate

American Express

Or Pay for Your Stay Using Amex Points

American Express cardholders, rejoice. If you?re sitting on a ton of unused membership rewards points, take advantage of the recent partnership between Airbnb and Amex?meaning you can now put your points toward the cost of that rural yurt in Montana you?ve been dying to rent. All you have to do is input your Amex card at checkout, then choose the option to use some (or all) of your points.


You Can Refer Your Friends for Cash Back

Yep, when you invite your pals—the ones who haven’t yet used the service—to book their first Airbnb, you’re eligible for $35 in travel credit the moment they check in. (FYI, your friends also get $35 in credit.) Even cooler, if you refer a friend who becomes an Airbnb host, you’re eligible for a cool $75 when he or she welcomes the first guest. Not bad.


Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates

It’s sorta like when you rent a car: It may actually be cheaper to rent for longer. Seriously. Adjusting the length of your stay by a day (or more) can help lower the rate per night, sometimes by as much as 25 percent. (This trick seems to work best when you reserve an Airbnb for a full week.)

RELATED: 8 Sneaky Ways to Score a Better Deal on a Rental Car


Live on the Edge and Book a Listing Without a Ton of Feedback

No reviews doesn’t have to mean a rental is a no-go. New listings get added to the site almost daily, but it can take a while to rack up the gold stars. If you spot a listing you like—with gorgeous pics to boot—reach out to the host. If all seems to check out, book it. You’re more likely to get a cheaper rate if a rental isn’t über-popular. Plus, you can rest assured that Airbnb has your back should anything go awry. 

RELATED: 8 Ways to Save Big on Your Next Vacation

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