Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend. I had delicious clam chowder in Bodega Bay and then BBQ’d chicken and corn at home. Last week, I got an email from Airbnb about paying for the second half of an upcoming Airbnb stay in Tahiti. I don’t use Airbnb very often, but apparently you can split your Airbnb payments into 2 parts (pay half when you reserve your Airbnb and pay the other half a few weeks before you arrive at the Airbnb). I had a stash of FlexPoints from my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card and recently enrolled in Real-Time Rewards (for the 500 free FlexPoints). I was hoping I could redeem my US Bank FlexPoints for 1.5 cents each with Real-Time Rewards to cover the Airbnb payment. I clicked the Update Payment Details button at the bottom of the email and paid $804.69 with my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card.
As I mentioned earlier, (1) I signed up for Real-Time Rewards a few weeks ago. A few seconds after making the $804.69 payment to Airbnb with my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card, (2) I received a text notification from US Bank regarding the charge. Shortly after that, (3) I received the Real-Time Rewards text asking me if I wanted to redeem 53,646 FlexPoints (53,646 x 1.5 cents = $804.69) to cover the Airbnb payment. (4) I texted back “REDEEM” to redeem 53,646 FlexPoints. (5) My Real-Time Rewards redemption was successful! A few days later, (6) the Real-Time Rewards redemption posted as a statement credit to my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card.
I also received an email from US Bank regarding the Airbnb payment, but that came 30+ minutes after the text alerts and Real-Time Rewards texts arrived.
I then logged into my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card account and went to the
FlexPoints Travel Portal US Bank Altitude Rewards Center. I saw the 500 bonus FlexPoints for enrolling in Real-Time Rewards, the 50,000 FlexPoints sign up bonus, the 5,270 FlexPoints from credit card spend, and my 53,646 Real-Time Rewards redemption. I only have 2,124 FlexPoints left (worth $31.86).
This morning, I logged into my US Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card account and I saw that the $804.69 Airbnb payment is still pending, while the $804.69 Real-Time Rewards redemption statement credit posted a few days ago.
So why is this post about Airbnb and Real-Time Rewards so special? I was curious what other travel purchases triggered Real-Time Rewards, so I googled that question and found this Frequent Miler post (US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where?). Surprisingly, there were 2 data points about Airbnb and both said that Real-Time Rewards did not work. Unfortunately, they did not post many details about their Airbnb transactions.
So why did my Airbnb payment work? I’m not 100% sure, but I have some ideas. Even though my Airbnb is in Tahiti, I paid in US Dollars. I also split the total amount in 2 parts and only tried for the Real-Time Rewards for the second part. The amount that I paid for the second part was $804.69 and I had more than enough FlexPoints to cover the full amount. Some or all of those details might be important or might not be important.
If you have tried to trigger Real-Time Rewards on a recent Airbnb purchase, please share your data points, specifically the country of the Airbnb, the amount paid, the currency paid, and if you had more than enough FlexPoints to cover the entire Airbnb payment.
If you have any questions about using Real-Time Rewards, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!