Many credit cards provide bonus rewards when booking travel. Traditionally, these cards gave you extra points, miles, or cash back when you booked a hotel or a flight. But in recent years, hotel alternatives such as Vrbo and Airbnb have become increasingly popular.
Vrbo allows you to book accommodations directly from property owners who rent out private vacation homes, condos, or other properties they own. Many travelers prefer these vacation rentals for reasons ranging from the chance to find a more affordable place to stay to the opportunity to stay somewhere more unique or quirky than a traditional hotel.
The only problem is, not all credit card companies give you bonus travel rewards when you book a Vrbo. Some do, though — so you need to be smart and make sure at least one of the cards in your wallet is on our list of the best rewards credit cards for Vrbo bookings.
How to choose the best credit card for you
Whenever you decide which credit card to use for a purchase, you want a card that will offer you the maximum bonus rewards for your transaction. Since you're booking accommodations for a trip, the natural assumption is that a travel card would be your best bet. But you need to make sure the travel card you use actually gives you credit for Vrbo.
Whether you'll get your bonus rewards for Vrbo accommodations all comes down to how the card issuer “codes” Vrbo purchases when recording the transaction. If the purchase is coded as a travel expense, then you'll get your bonus points, miles, or cash back. But if its coded as real estate, property management or professional services then you won't get your bonus rewards. This can sometimes happen with Vrbo, which was purchased by HomeAway in 2006, and then both were acquired by Expedia in 2015. This makes it important to research how your particular credit card issuer will treat your purchase.
One particular question comes up frequently: "Does Vrbo count as travel with Chase?" Reports from cardholders indicate that Vrbo does code as travel with Chase. Occasionally cardholders have had it not code as travel, but they have been able to call Chase customer service and have the charge corrected and the extra bonus points added to their account.
If you don't want to worry about your accommodations coding properly to score extra rewards, you could also opt to pay for your Vrbo transaction with a card that offers a good rewards rate for everyday purchases. With these types of credit cards, it doesn't matter how purchases are classified because you get the same generous rewards for everything you buy.
If you're getting a brand-new card to pay for your Vrbo purchase instead of choosing from among cards you already have, you'll also want to consider other criteria for your card besides just the rewards rate for your trip accommodations. The annual fee, the new cardmember welcome bonus, whether you'll face foreign transaction fees, and any cardholder perks are all important factors that can help you to pick the best credit card for your situation.
The best credit cards for Vrbo
|Card||Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and eligible online grocery purchases; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases||$95|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening||2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel||$95|
|Citi Double Cash® Card||Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back||2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24||$0|
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has one of the most generous bonus offers of any credit card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. When redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, this can be worth a whopping $750.
The card also offers plenty of other perks that you'll be happy to enjoy both when traveling and at home, including:
- 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and eligible online grocery purchases; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases
- Free DoorDash DashPass for a year
- A 25% bonus when you redeem your points for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards
- No foreign transaction fees
One of the biggest benefits of this card is that you can transfer your Chase points to airline and hotel rewards partners at 1-to-1 value. This makes the rewards on this card incredibly versatile.
The many perks of one of the best travel credit cards make it well worth the $95 annual fee — especially if you travel or dine out often and can rack up the extra Ultimate Rewards points for this type of spending.
Read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a generous welcome bonus of: Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
The Venture Rewards Card has a $95 annual fee, but the card also offers great benefits, including:
- 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- No foreign transaction fees
- Venture miles can be redeemed as statement credits for any travel expense and you can also transfer miles to travel partners
- Up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck if purchased with your Capital One Venture Rewards Card
The Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit alone covers your $95 annual fee for one year, making this card well worth the price.
Read our full Capital One Venture Rewards Card review.
Citi Double Cash® Card
The Citi Double Cash Card has plenty of benefits for cardmembers looking for an affordable card to use to pay for Vrbo accommodations.
Some of the advantages of this card include:
- Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24. This means every purchase, including Vrbo accommodations, can net you up to 2% cash back.
- $0 annual fee so the card won't cost you anything to sign up
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)), enabling you to reduce the interest on other high interest debt (note: the balance transfer fee is 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends)
- Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit or check or can be converted to points
This card does charge a foreign transaction fee of 3% though. So it's best for those looking for an affordable cashback card who do their traveling primarily or exclusively within the United States. If you're a frequent country-hopper, check out our list of credit cards with no foreign transaction fees for more options.
Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review.
The best business credit cards for Vrbo
|Card||Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card||Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that||$0 (Terms apply)|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||Earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase||$0|
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
The Amex Blue Business Cash Card has a $0 annual fee and the chance to earn generous rewards. Some of the perks of the card include:
- 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that
- Cash back is automatically credited to your statement
- 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months, then 18.49% to 26.49% (variable)
American Express promises no annual fee on this card ever. You also have the ability to use Expanded Buying Power to make purchases above your credit limit if your business has more substantial spending needs (although be aware that your expanded buying power is determined based on your history with American Express).
Read our full American Express Blue Business Cash review.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
When you apply for the Ink Business Unlimited, you'll earn a $900 new cardmember bonus if you spent $6,000 within your first 3 months of becoming a new card member. With employee credit cards available at no extra cost, hitting this spending requirement will be easier if you share cards with your staff.
Other benefits of the Ink Business Unlimited include:
- Unlimited Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase so you can get the maximum rewards for Vrbo without worrying about whether it is classified as a travel purchase
- A 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable), so you can take time to pay for your vacation accommodations
- Redeem for cash back or shop through Chase Ultimate Rewards
This card has a $0 annual fee, but does charge a 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars foreign transaction fee so it is also best for those who primarily travel within the United States.
Read our full Ink Business Unlimited review.
Why we chose these cards
We picked credit cards that either provided you with bonus rewards for Vrbo purchases or that provide a great everyday rewards rate on all purchases so you can get rewarded for spending on your vacation rental. We also looked for cards that were generally good for travelers and that offered generous signup bonuses so you could get rewarded for becoming a new cardmember.
The bottom line on the best credit card for Vrbo
Choosing the best credit card for Vrbo shouldn't just involve looking at which card will give you the most rewards for booking your vacation rental accommodations. You want a rewards card that you can use for the long-term for many purchases you make, both at home and while traveling. Check out our list to find the best rewards credit card for you.
Ultimately, you need to consider your lifestyle, the things you spend money on the most, and what's most important to you in order to pick a card that's right for your situation.
Great for Flexible Travel Rewards
FinanceBuzz writers and editors score cards based on a number of objective features as well as our expert editorial assessment. Our partners do not influence how we rate products.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and eligible online grocery purchases; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases