Many businesses in America offer discounts to veterans and active-duty soldiers as a way of thanking them for their military service. Some businesses even extend these discounts to members of the National Guard. But military discounts are not standard across the board. Some businesses offer them while others do not. Discount availability usually depends on the personal beliefs and values of the business owner.
But Airbnb doesn’t offer a military discount. It’s not a case of bias or insufficient patriotism. It’s just that the nature of Airbnb’s business does not allow it to offer any discounts whatsoever. “Why?” you may ask.
The biggest reason is that Airbnb as a platform has zero pricing power. Airbnb does not set the prices of its rentals. All Airbnb does is connect people with vacant rooms or entire properties to people who are seeking short-term accommodation.
Property owners own their properties and are free to set prices plus any other additional conditions as they see fit. Airbnb simply takes a commission for connecting these property owners to travelers and vacationers. The platform cannot tell property owners what to charge or how much to discount. Whether or not to offer a discount is entirely up to the people who list their properties on Airbnb.
How much is the military discount on Airbnb?
0%. Airbnb does not have a platform-wide military discount or any discount of any sort for that matter. Discounts are entirely up to the discretion of the property owner. Airbnb also doesn’t provide a way to search for properties that offer discounts so bargain hunting can be quite tedious.
You can get weekly discounts (on 7-day stays) or monthly discounts (on 28-day stays) but this is still up to the property owner. While Airbnb encourages property owners to offer such discounts on their listings, owners still make the final decision on whether to offer such discounts or not. And you never really know if an owner is offering discounts on long-term stays until you get to the booking stage.
Can Airbnb give you a discount?
No. Airbnb can’t give you a discount. Every property owner with a unit listed on Airbnb is free to charge as much or as little as he wants. Airbnb does not dictate prices. If you want a discount, you will have to negotiate with the individual property owner.
Even when Airbnb used to offer 40-dollar coupons to new customers, it technically still wasn’t a discount in the purest sense. You would pay $40 less for your stay but Airbnb would ultimately pay that $40 back to the property owner. Part of the reason the company discontinued this discount program for new customers is that it got too expensive.
Because of how Airbnb works, finding a discount before you actually make a booking can be hard because you can’t message property owners before you confirm your booking. And Airbnb charges you the full price of your stay once you make a booking.
The best way to get a discount would be either to find properties that offer discounts on long-term stays or by partial booking. If you want to stay somewhere for a month, for example, you can pay for a week or two, then negotiate with the property owner for a discount on the rest of your stay.
This tactic is not guaranteed to work all the time. First, it depends on the individual property owner. Some will give you a discount. Others will not. It all depends on the occupancy rate.
If the unit in question gets occupied 20 days a month, then the owner would be more likely to give you a discount on a 30-day stay because he knows he will be making zero dollars if the unit is empty anyway. If the unit is always booked, then the owner doesn’t have to bother with discounting it and is more likely to refuse.
But since you don’t have access to a rental unit’s occupancy data, it will be hard to know just how in demand it is and thus any discount hunting will be a shot in the dark.
How to get military discounts on Airbnb
You cannot get platform-wide discounts of any kind on Airbnb. The decision on whether to offer discounts or not is ultimately up to individual property owners, not Airbnb. If you want a discount at a property that does not explicitly offer it, you have to discuss it with the owner of the property you’re staying at. This is usually only possible if you want a long-term stay.
It’s a lot easier to get military discounts at traditional hotels— Airbnb’s biggest competitors. All of the following hotel chains offer military discounts: