Both hosts and guests on Airbnb are charged service fees. What exactly are those and what are they for?
Host service fees help cover the costs of processing guest payments. Airbnb charges a 3% service fee each time a reservation is completed. This is calculated on the reservation subtotal (before fees and taxes). Guests are also charged a guest service fee to cover the cost of running Airbnb.
Depending on the laws of the local jurisdiction, VAT may be charged on top of the service fee. The service fee will include VAT charges when applicable. Accommodation fees are charged to the guest directly by the host and may include local taxes such as VAT.
There is also a guest service fee, too, that is charged each time a reservation is confirmed. This fee varies and is based on a percentage of the reservation subtotal before fees and taxes. This amount is displayed when guests confirm a booking- typically 6-12% but can be higher or lower depending on the specific reservation. The more expensive the reservation, the lower the percentage. This allows guests booking expensive stays to save money.
If a reservation is retracted, expires, or is declines, Airbnb does not charge a service fee to the guest. If a guest cancels a reservation, the service fee that was charged to the guest is not refundable. If a guest chooses to be refunded after a host cancellation, the service fee that was charged when that reservation was completed will be refunded to the guest. If a reservation is changed, the service fee charged adjusts to the new subtotal.
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Image By Sam Schmiett – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51945091