Warning to other hosts: Airbnb tried to charge my credit card without authorization

Hi everyone! I’ve been a lurker for months on this board and really appreciate the helpful information posted here. You’ve helped me avoid some common pitfalls of hosting, and I appreciate it so much. The purpose of my post today is to warn you to remove your credit card information from your travel profile if you’re hosting. Let me explain.

I began hosting last February. Made Superhost by July. But at that point decided that I didn’t enjoy hosting for numerous reasons, and so snoozed my account. My last guest checked out on August 15 and I thought I had seen the last of Airbnb. I opened my email tonight and saw a message from Air saying that my upcoming trip to (the same town where my own home is located) was about to be cancelled because the credit card that they had on file was expired. I became alarmed, thinking that someone had compromised my account, because there is no reason I would have booked a home in the same town as my home, and I was for sure asleep at the time the email came through.

I called support. Explained all of the above to the woman who answered. Was placed on hold for a very long time. She came back and said that I was being charged for a refund to a disgrunted guest that stayed in my home back in May. I informed the rep that I had already refunded the guest in full directly two days before she ever called Airbnb, because she was a huge pain in the butt and I didn’t want to deal with her. She put me on hold again, checked their records, confirmed that I was telling the truth, and told me I wouldn’t be charged again. Attempted to end the conversation as if everything was resolved.

But here is the issue: had Airbnb had a non-expired credit card on file for me they would have double charged me for this guest from 4 months ago, and it would have been on me to either contest the charges with my credit card company or attempt to get someone at Air to refund me. They had no problem attempting to take my money without reaching out to me or contacting me in any way.

As I stated, I had already decided that Airbnb hosting wasn’t for me. I feel that this is a very unethical business practice and I wanted to give other hosts a heads up to remove all credit card information from your profile, lest you find yourself in the same situation as I did tonight.


Thank you for this. I don’t have my credit card on file, but will now make sure I never do.

You’re welcome! I was hoping someone else could benefit from my misfortune, lol.

@vermiciousknid A BIG thank you since I do have a credit card on file for travel and will make sure I take it down. I had an experience in May 2018 where I was traveling to my oldest son’s graduation from Law School and I booked a house for the family. Airbnb gave me a opition to pay half and then the balance a month before our stay. Well about week before our stay I receieve a message from Airbnb stayiing our stay has been cancelled but not WHY. Well I contacted the host and he did not cancel so when I finally reached support it turned out the credit card I used had expired and Airbnb cancelled the stay because of non-payment. I think you are correct to not have a credit card on file since it allows this “high” tech company to kinda do what they want.

That’s terrible! I hope you were able to find somewhere else to stay or work with the host to renew the booking. That was probably more stress than you needed in your life a week before your trip : (

Thanks @vermiciousknid - so our trip was saved since I was able to contact the host and he had not booked the house so I updated my Credit Card information and paid for the balance of our stay. It was a scary 24 hours since since we had family visiting from outside the country for our son’s graduation! I really appreciate your concern and I am sorry I didn’t complete the story. Best.

The gal of Airbnb … you would want to think they contact you first letting you know that your card is about to expire and …bla bla you have an upcomung trip etc etc
So much for being guest and host friendly …