Our Airbnb rental in Phalaborwa, South Africa
In the Phalaborwa area, there are no properties accessible with hotel points. So we headed to the Airbnb platform to find a three nights rental.
Generally, when I make a reservation on Airbnb, I am first interested in “Superhosts,” i.e. trusted hosts who have received excellent feedback from other travellers.
Here, Desiree is one of the “Superhosts” of Phalaborwa, and so it is with all confidence that I rented her accommodation: Delightful cottage 4km from Kruger National Park.
Her accommodation was perfectly suited to our needs with five beds: travelling as a couple, with our two children and accompanied by my mother from France. In the photos, the accommodation looked very charming; and it was even better in reality!
Knowing that it is possible to redeem travel points on an Airbnb rental, our rental at the cost of CA$ 530 has been fully paid that way!
For this one, we used approximately 53,000 Scotia Rewards Points earned with our Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.
Desiree greeted us for our arrival. The communication was perfect through the Airbnb app – then later through Whatsapp – and she even allowed us to arrive at 11 am.
The Airbnb rental is a house adjacent to her property.
We had our secure parking space as well as our private entrance through a charming tree-covered path.
Inside the accommodation, everything looks new! The kitchen is fully equipped with all appliances (as well as a washing machine/dryer).
Two sofas-beds are in the living room as well as another single bed. The air conditioning is present throughout the house (but we didn’t use it).
A bathroom with a shower and toilet is adjacent.
Also, there is a closed room with a very comfortable double bed, with its bathroom with a bathtub and toilet.
Desiree had taken care to provide many hygiene products and towels. As well as high-quality bed linens.
As a welcome gift, Desiree had arranged:
- Local cookies
- A bottle of Amarula
- A fruit basket
- A very detailed guide to Kruger Park
And in the evening, accompanied by her husband, she brought us a hot dish for dinner! Just WoW!
She also introduced us to her son, who wants to become a guide for Kruger Park. He knows absolutely everything you need to know about the Park and has given us many indications, including the best roads to see as many animals as possible.
On our three days on-site, we decided to stay a day at home to enjoy the pool (after three days of rain and two days spent browsing the Kruger Park).
We didn’t take advantage of it, but you can use the Barbecue and terrace located on the other side of the pool.
There is a small garden at the back of the house where our children enjoyed playing hide and seek.
And a fully private terrace is facing the pool.
How to pay for an Airbnb rental with points
With three main loyalty programs, you can:
- get many travel points through credit cards
- apply these travel points to Airbnb rentals
These three loyalty programs are the simplest to use:
- you book your Airbnb rental with a credit card linked to the program
- you apply your loyalty points as a credit statement to the expense charged on your credit card account
- you get your rental for free (or at a significantly reduced price depending on the number of points used)!
Credit card offers
Each of these three loyalty programs issues one or more credit cards offering travel points.
Here’s our pick:
Scotia Rewards credit cards
The Scotia Rewards program has five cards earning travel points:
To book an Airbnb rental, our favourite Scotia Rewards cards will be:
These two cards have the main advantage of not charging any conversion fees for transactions made in foreign currency! That’s a saving of 2.5% on every purchase!
Besides, they offer benefits for travellers (6 free visits per year to airport lounges for the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite*, a tremendous concierge service for Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card)as well as excellent insurance.
It will be straightforward to use bonus points on an Airbnb rental!
Our favourite card is the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, earning 5 points per dollar in categories such as grocery stores, restaurants and bars, home food delivery services and entertainment purchases (cinema, theatres, shows).
American Express Membership Rewards Cards
American Express Membership Rewards program has six cards earning travel points
To book an Airbnb rental, our favourite American Express Membership Rewards cards will be:
Unlike the other four cards, these two cards allow you to earn Membership Rewards points that are not transferable in airline loyalty program miles(such as Aeroplan or British Airways Executive Club).
So it’s an excellent way to redeem your Membership Rewards points for travel bookings like an Airbnb rental!
Our favourite card is, of course, the American Express Cobalt™ Card as it earns 5 points per dollar in categories such as grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and bars, home food delivery services.
So it’s easy to earn many Membership Rewards points! Find out more in this article about the American Express Cobalt Card.
Cards offering HSBC Rewards points
The HSBC Rewards program has two cards earning travel points:
To book an Airbnb rental, our favourite HSBC Rewards card will be the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
This credit card does not charge any conversion fees for foreign currency transactions! That’s a saving of 2.5% on every purchase!
Besides, it offers many benefits such as a $100 annual travel credit, unlimited Wi-Fi access to Boingo, a 10% rebate for hotel bookings on Expedia and Agoda and excellent insurance.
To redeem HSBC Rewards points on an Airbnb rental, you will need to have at least 25,000 HSBC points (or $125 in travel credit).