Flipkey vs Airbnb: Which Is Better For Hosts? [2024]

Are you a host struggling to choose between FlipKey and Airbnb? Discover which platform aligns perfectly with your hosting goals.

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Check out our guide for first time hosts!

Are you a host struggling to choose between FlipKey and Airbnb? This decision can make or break your success in the vacation rental market.

In this comprehensive guide, we dive deep into the FlipKey vs Airbnb debate. Discover which platform aligns perfectly with your hosting goals.

Let’s find out.

Can You List on Both Flipkey and Airbnb?

Yes, you can list your property on both FlipKey and Airbnb. This has its pros and cons. Listing on multiple sites can expand your reach and increase bookings. However, it may also lead to potential double bookings and the challenge of managing multiple platforms. To avoid these issues, consider using a channel manager.

Channel managers synchronize calendars, helping you avoid double bookings and maintaining a unified inbox.

What is FlipKey?

FlipKey, part of Tripadvisor Rentals since 2008, is an online vacation rental marketplace offering over 830,000 properties in 190 countries. Known for its affordability, diverse rental choices, and crowd-vetted experience through Tripadvisor traveler reviews, FlipKey is an excellent platform for hosts looking to reach a broad audience in various locations.

What is Airbnb?

Launched in 2007, Airbnb has grown to over 4 million hosts, hosting more than 1.5 billion guests globally. With a focus on unique stays and experiences, Airbnb allows hosts to connect guests with communities authentically, making it a great platform for hosts seeking a broad and diverse audience.

Flipkey vs Airbnb: An Overview

Let’s compare the key features of FlipKey and Airbnb to help you make an informed decision for youir vacation rental business.

Comparison PointFlipKeyAirbnb
Costs For Hosts▪︎ Free listing, charges guests 8-16% booking fee and 3% commission for hosts
▪︎ Guests can get a booking fee refund if they cancel within 24 hours
▪︎ Guest service fee (6-12%), hosts get the full listing price minus a 3% service fee
Reach and Getting Bookings▪︎ Focuses on vacation rentals, condos, and professionally managed properties, with a potential smaller user base▪︎ Offers diverse spaces, from shared rooms to entire places, appealing to a broad global audience
Host Insurance▪︎ No host insurance, recommends vacation rental insurance
▪︎ TripAdvisor Rentals doesn’t provide insurance
▪︎ Includes $1 million host liability coverage, but gets additional vacation rental insurance for comprehensive protection
Cancellation Policy▪︎ Policies not disclosed publicly.
▪︎ No refund for booking fee; cancellation policies vary for each owner
▪︎ 50% fee for reservations canceled 48 hours or less before check-in or after check-in
Customer Service▪︎ Mixed reviews for customer service
▪︎ FAQs available
▪︎ Room for improvement, indicated by lower ratings
▪︎ Mixed reviews for customer service
▪︎ FAQs available
▪︎ Room for improvement, indicated by lower ratings

FlipKey vs Airbnb: Costs For Hosts

Now, let’s break down the financial aspects. 

FlipKey Fees – It offers a free listing, charging guests a booking fee ranging from 8-16% of the total reservation, along with a 3% commission for hosts on all reservations. Guests are eligible for a booking fee refund if they cancel within 24 hours of booking.

Airbnb Fees – It operates with a guest service fee of 6-12%, directly tied to the listing price. Hosts receive the full accommodation listing price, with Airbnb deducting a 3% host service fee. Understanding these fee structures is crucial for hosts in deciding which platform aligns better with their financial goals.

Prefer affordability and a focus on vacation rentals? Go for FlipKey. If you want a variety of listing options and a larger global audience, choose Airbnb.

FlipKey vs Airbnb: Reach and Getting Bookings

FlipKey primarily emphasizes vacation rentals, condos, and professionally managed properties, with a focus on entire homes. While it remains significant, FlipKey may have a comparatively smaller user base in certain regions.

In contrast, Airbnb offers an extensive range of spaces, including shared rooms, private rooms, hotel rooms, and entire places, from houses to unique accommodations like private islands. Catering to a diverse audience, Airbnb is among the largest and most popular global vacation rental platforms, particularly appealing to young travelers. Its vast number of listings and users make it a good choice for hosts looking to maximize their reach and bookings.

FlipKey vs Airbnb: Host Protection Insurance

FlipKey Host Insurance – This platform does not offer host insurance, suggesting hosts and guests acquire their vacation rental insurance, including coverage for public liability, accidental damage, and loss of rent. Hosts are advised to check with their insurance carrier due to policy variations. It’s crucial to note that TripAdvisor Rentals does not provide any insurance for homeowners.

Airbnb Host Insurance This platform includes $1 million in host liability coverage as part of AirCover for Hosts. This covers injuries or damages caused by guests but doesn’t include intentional acts or damage to the host’s property, which is covered by host damage protection.

Hosting Tip! To ensure extra peace of mind, we highly recommend getting vacation rental insurance along with what the platform offers. Check our guide for the best insurance options, or ask Proper Insurance for a quote to make sure you’re well-covered.

FlipKey vs Airbnb: Cancellation Policies

FlipKey does not publicly disclose its cancellation policies for hosts. The information primarily centers around visitor cancellations, stating that there is no refund for the booking fee, and cancellation policies vary for each owner.

On Airbnb, if a reservation is canceled 48 hours or less before check-in or after check-in, a 50% fee applies to the reservation amount for the nights not stayed. Understanding these policies is crucial for hosts to manage potential cancellations effectively.

FlipKey vs Airbnb: Host Customer Support

Both platforms receive mixed reviews for their customer service, but each provides extensive FAQs to assist users before reaching out for support. However, there is room for improvement, as indicated by relatively low ratings on platforms like Trustpilot. 

Understanding the customer service landscape on FlipKey and Airbnb is essential if you’re seeking reliable support and assistance.


In weighing FlipKey and Airbnb, we’ve covered costs, reach, insurance, cancellation policies, and customer service. 

Your choice depends on your hosting priorities. Opt for Airbnb if you want diverse listings and a global audience. Choose FlipKey for traditional vacation rentals with trusted TripAdvisor reviews. These factors shape your hosting experience, so decide wisely.

Another option is to create a website for your rental and offer direct booking to avoid OTA fees. Market well with a direct plan, use SEO, and property management software to reduce reliance on these platforms.

Remember, you can list on multiple platforms with a channel manager for maximum exposure. You can also check out our take on the best listing sites if you are doing more research. Happy hosting!

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