A Hidden Cost to Airbnb and Elite Status After Just One Flight

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Airbnb used to have a way to avoid the 3% forex fee through various ways of displaying prices in local currency. That option is gone. I recently complained to them about this on my recent stay, and they insisted that I’m dumb and don’t remember things correctly…that all my previous stays had a 3% fee. Sure enough, they actually went back and converted the invoices for all my past stays where I distinctly remember not paying the fee, to show that I have. They’ve sunk to a new low. Unfortunately in most cities they’re a necessary evil since the hotels are an even bigger racket and grossly overpriced, so I’ll just factor that 3% into my price and offer the hosts less.

  2. Ritz-Carlton Boston? That prop has been the Taj Boston since January 2007.

    Gary your link is for the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common across the Common in the area formerly known as the combat zone, and has been there since 2001. Do you proofread anything before posting or linking them?

  3. Yes, I got stung by the Airbnb conversion almost 2 years ago. I had a conversation with them and they explained it off as a technical issue, that the website is set up to automatically bill you in the currency of your address (not the bank’s address, mind you; when I lived overseas I had my foreign address on my U.S. accounts). They made it sound like choice of billing currency is something they intend to resolve, “we always look for ways to make our customer experience better” blah blah blah. Nada. I learned to just accept this as part of the cost of doing business with them.

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