vs. Airbnb for Hosts (2023)

Mike Renaldi

Are you an owner considering diving into the world of short-term rentals? Then you've probably compared Airbnb vs. Booking for owners. To help you find the perfect match, we'll explore the pros and cons of both platforms, so you can make an informed decision on which one suits your hosting style better.

We’ll also show you how Wise Business can help you get paid seamlessly on either platform. You can receive payments in up to 10 currencies, making Wise the perfect companion for your hosting journey.

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Table of Contents

Airbnb vs. Key Differences

If you're wondering about the key differences between Airbnb and, let's dive right in and look at what sets these two platforms apart for hosts like you.

Key Takeaways

Before we go into the specifics of each platform, such as fees, earnings, cancellation policies, and more, here are a few key takeaways about them both.

Target audience

Airbnb is known for its focus on unique, homey accommodations, making it popular among vacationers and short-term renters seeking an authentic, local experience., on the other hand, offers a variety of accommodation options, from hotels and hostels to apartments and vacation rentals. This attracts both leisure and business travelers, giving a broader audience.

Fees and commissions

Airbnb typically charges hosts a service fee of 3%.²'s commission fees are more complicated and are based on factors such as property type and location.³

Listing requirements

Airbnb encourages hosts to showcase their unique spaces and personal touches, allowing for creative and diverse listings., in contrast, requires more standardized information, including detailed property descriptions, amenities, and policies. This can be beneficial for hosts with multiple properties, as it ensures consistency and clear expectations for guests.

Booking policies

Airbnb allows hosts to set their own cancellation policies, offering flexibility in terms of refunds and cancellation timelines., however, generally enforces stricter cancellation rules, including non-refundable rates and tighter cancellation windows.

User experience

Airbnb emphasizes building a sense of community and fostering personal connections between hosts and guests. The platform encourages hosts to offer local tips and recommendations, creating memorable experiences for guests. focuses more on efficiency and convenience, providing users with streamlined search and booking processes. The platform is well-suited for hosts who prefer a more hands-off approach to guest interactions.

Market reach has a wider global presence, operating in 227 countries. This extensive reach can be advantageous for hosts looking to attract a diverse range of guests. Airbnb, while also available in many countries, has a stronger foothold in the vacation rental market, making it a popular choice for hosts with unique or niche properties.⁴


Airbnb processes payments 24 hours after guest check in, ensuring hosts receive their earnings promptly.⁵, on the other hand, typically pays hosts on a rolling basis or a day after guest check-in, depending on the host's selected payment method.⁶


Which is more popular?

When it comes to popularity, both and Airbnb have their fair share of the market. In March 2023, boasted 555 million visits to the site.⁷ In May 2022, Airbnb had approximately 99.4 million global visitors.⁸ has more listings overall and features a broader range of accommodations. Airbnb has made a name for itself in the vacation rental market, attracting guests who seek community experiences. So, while may have a larger market share, Airbnb holds a strong presence in its niche.

Types of guests on both platforms

As mentioned above, Airbnb primarily targets vacationers and short-term renters that are looking to stay in unique and personalized accommodations, providing a genuine taste of local life. Airbnb's "OMG Stays" section features some of the craziest and most extraordinary accommodations on Earth, letting adventurous travelers indulge in truly one-of-a-kind experiences.

In 2016, roughly 60% of guests who had ever booked on the site were millennials, emphasizing the platform's appeal to younger travelers.⁹ caters to a broader audience that includes both leisure and business travelers. In 2015, business travel took off on the site, where almost 1 in 5 bookings were made for business.¹⁰ This sparked the launch of for Business. Their wider range of accommodations, such as motels, hostels, and apartments, attract a more diverse range of guests.

How do you interact with guests on both platforms?

When it comes to host-guest interactions, Airbnb and have very different approaches.

On Airbnb, hosts are encouraged to interact with their guests in a personable way by sharing local tips, recommendations, and sometimes even personal stories. This creates a sense of community and fosters a personal connection between the host and guest. The platform's messaging system allows for easy communication, and many hosts go the extra mile to welcome their guests with warm hospitality and thoughtful touches. emphasizes convenience and efficiency for both hosts and guests. While communication between hosts and guests is still possible via the platform's messaging system, the overall focus leans more towards a hands-off, professional approach. Host-guest interactions on are usually less personal and more transactional, catering to guests who prefer privacy and independence.

How to create an account and listing on Airbnb and

Creating an account and listing your property on Airbnb and can open up a world of opportunities for hosts. In this section, we'll guide you through the process of setting up your account and listing on both platforms.

Getting started with Airbnb

1. Sign up: Visit the Airbnb website and click on "Become a Host" to start creating your account. You can sign up using your email address, Facebook, or Google account.

2. Create your listing: Once your account is set up, it's time to create your listing. You’ll get to classify your place under anything from a tiny home to a tree house and specify other criteria. Add a title, description, and high-quality photos of your space, highlighting its unique features and amenities.

3. Set your price: Determine your nightly rate, taking into consideration factors such as location, property type, and competition Airbnb will also give you an estimate). You can also set custom prices for weekends, holidays, or special events.

4. Choose your house rules and cancellation policy: Establish clear expectations for guests by setting house rules and selecting a cancellation policy that works for you.

5. Review and publish: Review your listing, then click "Publish" to make it live on the platform.

Getting started with

1. Sign up: Visit the website and sign up for a partner account.¹¹

2. Property details: Now, you’ll get to register your property. Click on your account and select Add new property. Choose your property type and then click on List your property. You’ll then provide detailed information about your property, including its type, location, and the number of rooms or units available for guests. requires more standardized information compared to Airbnb, so be prepared to share specifics about your property's amenities and policies.

3. Add photos and descriptions: Upload high-quality photos of your property and write compelling descriptions that highlight its features and what makes it stand out.

4. Set your pricing and availability: Determine your nightly rate and update your property's availability calendar. allows you to set different rates for various occupancy levels, promotions, or special deals.

5. Review and go live: Once you've completed all the required steps, will review your listing and, if it meets their requirements, make it live on the platform.


Airbnb vs. fees, earnings, commissions

But what about the financial aspects associated with Airbnb and

Airbnb fees, earnings, commissions

  • Host service fees: Airbnb charges hosts a service fee, which ranges from 3% to up to 16% of the booking subtotal, depending on the fee structure.¹²
  • Hosts with listings in Italy and those with strict cancellation policies will pay a higher percentage, for example.
  • Earnings: Hosts set their own nightly rates on Airbnb, and earnings are directly influenced by factors such as location, property type, competition, and seasonal demand. There are further customizations available, such as Smart Pricing which changes nightly based on demand), Weekend Pricing, and Rule-Set Pricing.¹³
  • Payouts: Airbnb processes payments to hosts 24 hours after the guest's check-in, ensuring prompt payment. fees and earnings, commissions

  • Commission fees: charges hosts a commission based on the total booking value, which is 15% on average but can range between 10% to 25%, according to many hosts.⁶
  • Earnings: Like Airbnb, hosts set their own nightly rates on To maximize earnings, consider your property's unique features, target audience, and the platform's broader user base.
  • Payouts: usually pays hosts on a monthly basis or after the guest's check-out, depending on the host's selected payment method and where they’re located. This may result in a longer wait for payment compared to Airbnb. For example, if you’re located in Brazil, payment is processed on the 15th of the month.

How do the cancellation policies differ?

Airbnb offers hosts a range of cancellation policy options, allowing for flexibility based on individual preferences.¹⁴ The main policies are:

  • Flexible: Guests can cancel up to 24 hours before check-in for a full refund.
  • Moderate: Guests can cancel up to 5 days before check-in for a full refund.
  • Strict: Guests can only receive a full refund if they cancel within 48 hours of booking. For cancellations 7 and 14 days before check-in, you’ll be paid 50% for all nights.

There are also other cancellation options, such as a Super Strict option, long-term options, special case options, and even a non-refundable option. is a little different. You can either choose a fully flexible policy where guests can cancel right up to check-in time for free, or go for a customized policy where you choose the number of days before check-in when guests can cancel. For example, your policy can say that guests can cancel 14 days before for a 100% refund and 7 days before for a 50% refund. There’s also a non-refundable rate available.¹⁵

Airbnb and Payouts

You’ll want to receive your hard-earned money as a host quickly and seamlessly. Since we’ve established when payouts are usually cashed, what sort of payment methods can you use?⁶

Payment methods

On Airbnb, hosts can choose from various payout methods, including bank transfers, PayPal, Western Union, and more. For, guests can pay in a range of methods, such as credit and debit cards and many international payment solutions. Hosts can only receive their money through virtual credit cards (VCC) or via bank transfer.¹⁶

Wise Business for and Airbnb
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Save on transfer and processing fees – pay a one-time fee for local account details: \ EUR, GBP, USD, CAD, AUD, and more.

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How does Instant Book Work on vs. Airbnb?

Instant Book is a feature available on both and Airbnb that allows guests to book a property without waiting for the host's approval.

On Airbnb, Instant Book lets guests book a property immediately as long as they meet the host's specified requirements.¹⁷ As a host, you can set certain criteria, such as verified government ID, positive reviews, or trip purpose, which guests must meet before they can instantly book your property.

Using Instant Book can help attract more bookings, as guests get the convenience of instantly securing their accommodation. But, of course, some hosts may prefer to review each booking request personally to make sure they're comfortable with their guests. operates on an instant booking model by default. Guests can book a property without waiting for the host's approval as long as the property is available for their selected dates. It’s more of a traditional model that means less time spent on managing booking requests, but it also means less control over who books their property.


How does ranking work on Airbnb and

Where your listing is placed in the search results can definitely have an impact on how many potential guests see it. That’s why it’s important to optimize your listing according to how the algorithms work.

On Airbnb, ranking is influenced by a combination of factors, including the relevance of your listing to the guest's search criteria, your overall listing quality, and your hosting history.¹⁸ The algorithm prioritizes the total price of a listing before taxes and the quality.

Quality is determined by things such as your listing's title, description, photos, and amenities, as well as your response rate, guest reviews, and booking acceptance rate. If you meet the requirements and go above and beyond, you can even become a Superhost. works similarly, where the results are uniquely determined by the preferences of the traveler doing the search. The results are based on the Guest Review score, Property page score, Cancellations, Average Daily Rate (ADR), and Conversion. The platform is a little more technical than Airbnb, as it offers a ranking dashboard that displays all your analytics.¹⁹

Policies for damage and rental protection

Both Airbnb and have measures in place to help hosts protect their properties from potential damages. Airbnb provides the host damage protection through AirCover for Hosts, offering up to $3 million in coverage for property damages caused by guests.²⁰ doesn't have a specific damage protection program but lets hosts request damage deposits or pre-authorize credit cards to cover possible damages.²¹ The site has a more DIY approach, where you’ll have to handle the situation yourself through an insurance policy.

Bottom line

When it comes to the grand showdown of Airbnb vs. Booking for owners, your ideal platform will depend on the type of property you own, your target audience, and your preferences as a host.

If you're after unique experiences and personal connections, Airbnb's community-driven approach might be your thing. But if catering to a diverse range of travelers and a more professional hosting experience appeals to you, could be your perfect match.

Getting Paid on Airbnb and with Wise

Navigating the world of payments on Airbnb and is a breeze with Wise Business. Say goodbye to hefty fees and hello to receiving payments at the mid-market rate! By linking your Wise Business account to your preferred platform, you can easily manage your finances, save on fees, and operate at a low cost.

And that's not all – Wise Business also offers seamless integration with popular accounting software, making your financial life as a host even more convenient. With Wise Business by your side, you can focus on providing unforgettable stays for your guests!

Looking to receive in your desired currency and save when transferring funds?

Learn more about the
Wise Business account >>

Trustpilot: 4.4/5 average - Excellent rating¹
No minimum balance required and no monthly fees

Learn more:

How Does PayPal Work With Airbnb? A Guide for Hosts and Guests
How to become an Airbnb Host
How to start an Airbnb business
How do Airbnb payments work?



This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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