Chapter 11

Airbnb Fees for Hosts

Airbnb is a great platform for an owner who has vacation rental property that they would like to promote online to get more bookings. It is really cost-effective, as a host only has to pay reasonable Airbnb host fees in order to do this.

Many travelers enjoy the opportunity of being able to make a reservation for a vacation property, rather than having to stick to conventional vacation accommodations like a hotel. Owners that are looking to make a business from their rental property tend to find that the charge to use the site is mostly acceptable, as they feel that the fee is low. That’s why putting a listing on Airbnb is usually hassle-free.

The host fee is charged by this platform to handle their administration costs. Part of the responsibility that Airbnb has is handling all guest payments. This takes time and resources, so a host fee helps to cover these fees.

Disclaimer: Lodgify is an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner. This guide, including any claims or statements within, is solely from Lodgify and is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Airbnb in any way.


If you’re a Lodgify customer and want to connect via API with Airbnb, please get in touch with our customer support team. For more information: Connect Lodgify to Airbnb

What are Airbnb fees for owners?

When you’re entering into the world of hosting, it can be sometimes confusing to know what fees are associated and what falls under the responsibility of the host or the guest. Anytime you list your vacation rental on an online travel agency site, you’re going to have some fees to pay.

Still, many owners are confused about what fees are expected of the owner. If you’ve ever been on the traveling end of Airbnb, you know that the platform adds a certain amount for the guest, but what about the host? Airbnb currently charges varying service fees that can be broken down into two categories.

Split-fee

Out of the two Airbnb owner fee options, this one is the most commonly selected. As the name implies, the service fee will be split between the host and the guest, so to offset the charge for the owner. Guests will be charged in addition to the price of the property and it will be visible to them before check-out. For the split-fee option, the host service fee will be deducted from the payout amount, which will be covered later in the guide.

Host-only fee

Some hosts prefer to have a more transparently-priced property. By choosing the Airbnb host-only fee, guests will not have an extra service fee tacked on to their total amount as the expense will fall fully on the host.

If your property already has a high VAT, tax, or cleaning fee it might be useful to opt for the host-only fee option so as to not scare off guests due to an excessive amount of additional expenses.

Keep in mind that the host-only fee is a mandatory selection under certain conditions, such as having a software-connected account or operating a hotel. In most cases, using channel management services like Lodgify means that the host-only fee is obligatory. 

Tip: offset this extra expenditure by raising your base rate. Guests won’t know that your rate is inflated to cover this. If anything, they’ll be happy to see less fees tacked on in the price breakdown!

How Much Does Airbnb Charge Hosts?

Hosts can expect to pay around a 3% fee for each booking service. This is based on the amount that the owner is going to charge the guest for being able to experience a stay at their rental property. Once the owner determines the price that is going to be charged for the rental, the booking or Airbnb host fee will be visible to the host but not the guest who is viewing the listing.

What fees does Airbnb charge hosts?

When you’re running an Airbnb business, it can feel like you need to give a piece of the pie to everyone. From your team members to HOA fees, there’s definitely some overhead that you’ll need to factor into your business. Your OTA’s are no exception! Don’t forget to consider the fees associated with listing on an OTA when you’re crunching your vacation rental numbers.

There is no standard fee that Airbnb charges. Fees vary largely depending on the host, and the type of Airbnb (for example Airbnb Luxe and Airbnb Plus are subject to different fees). It can be a bit unclear what fees exactly they charge which is why it’s important, as a host, to track the charges from your account. If your payout doesn’t look quite like you expected it to, take a look at the “fees breakdown” to see what was deducted. Airbnb charges hosts the host service fee, as explained above, but there shouldn’t be any other routine host fees deducted from your bookings.

How Airbnb Collects Service Fee Payments

Once a vacationer has finished their renting experience and checked out, Airbnb releases the payment. The payment will be everything you are owed minus the service fees. Airbnb deducts the amount owed for the service fee from the payment before issuing it to the owner.

Airbnb host service fee percentage breakdown

The average host pays about 3% as stated earlier, but what if you check your account and 15% is missing? Each host will pay a different host service fee percentage depending on the property and a number of other factors, but we can still assess the main factors that affect that percentage charged.

Location matters a lot. If you host your property in Mainland China, for example, the host service fee is 10%. If, like many hosts, your property is connected to software (such as Lodgify or other channel managers) you might also be expected to pay more as the split-fee isn’t always allowed for these types of listings (exceptions are sometimes made for properties located in the U.S., Canada, Bahamas, Mexico, Argentina, Taiwan, and/or Uruguay). 

Airbnb also takes your cancellation policy into consideration when calculating the host service fee amount. If you have a strict cancellation policy, you can expect it to be around two percent higher than more flexible policies. 

How does Airbnb calculate service fees?

Airbnb strives for transparency when it comes to their fees for both guests and hosts. While you won’t get a full receipt for where the service fee goes and how it’s exactly calculated, you can be clear about the amount before you start accepting reservations so as to adjust your prices accordingly.

The host service fee is calculated from the booking subtotal, which would be the nightly rate and the other fees (cleaning fee plus additional guests fees).

How to See the Host Service Fee

As a host, once you are logged into the website, you will be able to access your transaction history. Here you will see a list of guests and their reservations that each have a code assigned to them. You just need to click on the booking that you want to check. You will then see the payout amount, and here is where you will see the service fee that is owed for that reservation.

Hosts do not have to worry about making a separate payment for the money that is owed to Airbnb regardless of whether you opt for the split-payment or host-only option. Airbnb takes care of the calculations before sending you the payout, so you’ll never have to worry about filing this amount yourself.

What impact does this have for guests?

Remember that these fees aren’t limited to the host. Guests also have decisions to make and calculations to factor in when they’re booking a vacation rental. Like the host-only fee, the split payment varies for guests depending on the total amount of the fee. They’ll be able to see the total of the guest service fee before check out by selecting the reservation dates and looking at the price breakdown.

On the other hand, if you have the host-only fee structure, Airbnb rewards you in a sense by mentioning this to guests. In the price breakdown for properties without the split-payment structure, guests will see a message that says, “No service fee. [Your property name] covers the service fee for their guests.” 

Airbnb guest service fees

The fees for guests will vary depending on the property they’re planning to book. When a host chooses split payment, the guest fee can run anywhere from 0% to 20%. Guests do not have control over the service fee amount, as they don’t get the option to choose split payment or host-only, unlike the property owner.

Note that the VAT in some countries is calculated on top of the Airbnb fees, rather than excluding them, so if the guest service fee appears higher than 20% you can clarify this to your guests.

Guest Refunds

If the guest asks for a refund, it may get a little confusing with the Airbnb service fee. If the fee has already been applied to what the guest owes, then this has to be deducted from the refund amount. Airbnb can help any host who is having a problem determining what the refund amount should be for travelers.

How do I refund my guest on Airbnb

The guest service fee is not always refundable. It depends on what cancellation policy your property follows. If you use the Super Strict 30 or 60-day cancellation policies then the service fee will not be refunded to guests. As for the cancellation policy for long-term says, guests must meet four criteria: they must cancel within 28 hours of booking, they must cancel before the reservation’s free cancellation period ends (exceptions for Italy and South Korea where it can be anytime before check-in), the guest hasn’t received more than three service fee refunds within the last calendar year and if the reservation doesn’t overlap with another reservation that the guest has made.  Lastly, the flexible cancellation policies allow for guest service fees to be refunded under the same conditions as the long-term cancellation policy with the exception of the 48-hour criteria. 

In any case, hosts are not responsible for refunding or managing the return of the guest service fee. This refund is processed by Airbnb.

Carrying out a vacation property business on Airbnb can be hassle-free and profitable. It is a great way to rent out your vacation home by gaining lots of exposure for your property listings. Guests get the chance to choose from the many listings that are here. There are plenty of tools available to the owner to help them get their properties noticed. Even though there is a small price to pay for making use of the Airbnb platform, it is well worth it, as it is a proven way to make extra income through your property or spare room.