Airbnb service fee: how much commission do guests pay?

In the vacation rental distribution business, low host commissions usually warrant a higher guest fee. Airbnb is one of the most cost-effective platforms for hosts to rent out their homes: while they only charge 3-5% of the booking subtotal to the host, the guest may end up paying a larger percentage. Here is everything you need to know about the Airbnb guest service fee and how much travelers need to pay on top of the booking price.


The Airbnb guest service fee

Airbnb’s guest service fee for vacation rentals can be anywhere between 0% and 20% of the booking subtotal. Airbnb takes into account a number of different factors when calculating it. The amount can depend on, for example, the length of the stay or the characteristics of the listing.

A general rule of thumb is that the higher the booking price, the lower the service fee.

Guests are presented with the total amount of the reservation on the checkout page before they finalize the booking.

Why does the service fee appear to be higher than 20%?

Sometimes, the service fee may appear to be higher than 20% on the checkout page. This is because in some countries, Airbnb is required to collect VAT on top of its fees. The service fee and the VAT calculated on top of it appear as a combined amount on the checkout page. This is why it may seem like the service fee exceeds 20% of the booking subtotal.

Airbnb charges VAT on its service fees for users from Albania, Belarus, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, the Bahamas, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates.

What is the Airbnb guest service fee for?

The service fee charged to guests is used to cover the costs of operating the Airbnb platform.

Service fees are also Airbnb’s primary source of revenue.