Airbnb Guest Asking to Pay Cash? Here’s What to Do

Your rental is not reserved, and business is slow. You have a guest approach you with a cash offer for your rental, which may seem tempting, but what are the…

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Your rental is not reserved, and business is slow. You have a guest approach you with a cash offer for your rental, which may seem tempting, but what are the ramifications?

If you have an Airbnb guest asking to pay cash, the lure of cash might open you up to a host of potential consequences and could be a red flag for possible misconduct.

If your Airbnb Guests are asking to pay cash, here’s what to do: explain that cash payments violate the Airbnb Terms and Service and may result in the termination of both the guests and host’s membership. Cash offers may also be a smokescreen for fraud and criminal intentions.

Our guests are our lifeblood as Airbnb hosts, and it may be difficult to refuse a guest who has a seemingly genuine excuse why they need to pay cash. If you are new to Airbnb or an old hand and wonder if you should accept a cash offer for your rental, here are some things to consider before you accept.

What Does Airbnb Say About Cash Payments?

Cash payments offered outside of the Airbnb portal or their designated third party portals in specific regions are a contravention of Airbnb’s terms of service.

Failure to obey the no-cash policy may result in the termination of your Airbnb membership.

Not only does Airbnb not receive compensation for the services that they provide for their Airbnb members, but it opens up hosts and guests to potential fraud, and they will no longer fall under the protection provided by the Airbnb platform.

Paying outside of the Airbnb platform also makes it difficult for Airbnb to protect your information and pose security issues.

What Can Happen if I Accept Cash Payments?

Any cash payments accepted outside of Airbnb violate their Terms and Service, but that isn’t the only reason why you might want to avoid it.

Suppose a reservation is discovered using a third-party platform or cash payment. In that case, there are ramifications. Airbnb may legally cancel the said reservation and deactivate both your host account and the guest’s account from using the Airbnb service.

Other consequences of accepting cash payments are as follows:

  • Your guests may be a no show. Guests that wish to pay cash in person have no obligation to honor their reservation commitment. If you have blocked off your calendar from bookings and your cash buyer is a no show, you stand to lose on your reservation fee.
  • If your cash paying guest has theft in mind, you will no longer benefit from the Airbnb Host Protection and Host Guarantee. Your property may suffer damage, or your cash paying guest could suffer harm, and you will no longer have the $1,000,000 cover to protect yourself.
  • You will have no access to Airbnb’s refund and cancellation policy protection should a dispute arise out of non-payment. Since the reservation is done outside of the platform, you are on your own.
  • You could be stuck with a lawsuit. With no signed lease or disclaimer stipulating the guest’s length of stay, it opens up Airbnb hosts to potential lawsuits. Your guest could stop paying or refuse to leave, or worst-case scenario, they could fake an injury on your property and demand compensation.
  • You will be unable to report a bad guest. If your cash-paying guests overstay or refuse to pay, or even causes damage to your property, you’re on your own. With a verified Airbnb ID verification, the guests would then be banned from the Airbnb services and would not be able to continue their bad behavior.
  • Your guest may be using the Airbnb platform for theft. Without a track record of behavior within the Airbnb portal, you have no real idea of your guests’ behavior or potential ill intentions. With reliable guest reviews, you have some peace of mind regarding the conduct of your potential guests as well as the Airbnb identification verification to protect yourself.

What Payments Does Airbnb Accept?

Airbnb accepts most international credit cards and prepaid credit cards such as:

  • Amex
  • Discover
  • Apple Pay
  • Google pay
  • JCB
  • Paypal
  • Visa
  • Mastercard

Payment Options According to Specific Countries

There are various location-based currencies that Airbnb will accept, making it easy to make alternative payments without resorting to cash. These include:

  • Brazil: Elo, Aura, or Hipercard or Ebanks.
  • China: Alipay for mainland China, Wechat for mainland China
  • India: PayU for India
  • Italy: Postepay for Italy
  • Germany: Sofort Überweisung for Germany

When May I Accept Cash From My Guest?

Generally, your guest will pay the full cost of the reservation when they make their booking. There are some instances where cash might need to change hands between your guest and yourself, and Airbnb accepts:

  • Additional fees. Some Airbnb apartments offer additional fees to use specific facilities, much like in the hotel system. These may include security deposits and cleaning fees and would be listed in your Airbnb rental price breakdown. Generally, your guest would pay these sundry fees at check-in or within 48 hours of checkout.
  • Purchases. Sometimes guests may incur charges outside of the platform. If it’s a good guest you may be comfortable accepting cash for things like reimbursements of movie rentals.
  • Legal Occupancy Tax. Although the local occupancy tax is included in the reservation price, some local property laws require hosts to collect the tax in person. These extra costs should be communicated to the guest for booking to ensure agreement.

How Do I Refuse a Host Cash Payment Request?

You have two options when refusing a cash request. You may either politely decline and offer payment alternatives to keep in with Airbnb terms and service or report the guest’s request to Airbnb.

If the guest seems like they may be up to no good, reporting them might save your fellow Airbnb hosts from falling into a trap in the future.

The chances are that a guest who has no respect for the Airbnb platform’s terms and services is unlikely to have respect for your rental either.

It is highly doubtful that a guest cannot make a plan to provide accepted currency via the Airbnb platform despite the sometimes intricate explanations your guest may provide.

Report the Guest Activity

If you chose to report the behavior of your guest, you might follow this simple process:

  1. Go to your messages and click the conversation containing the message of a cash offer.
  2. Click the flag icon on the message.
  3. Click on the reason why you are reporting the message.
  4. You will then have the option to block communication with the suspicious guest via Yes, Block now.

Be Polite Yet Firm

There is no reason to be anxious about how your guest might react to your refusal.

In this day and age, the average person should have access to a bank account or the internet for PayPal transfer or the host of payment portals available today. It should be an automatic red flag if your potential guest has no means to provide payment except in cash.

A polite yet firm way to respond to a cash payment request would be something like this:

“Thank you for your interest in my Airbnb apartment! Unfortunately, it is a violation of Airbnbs terms of service to accept cash payments outside of their designated portal. If you have a credit card issue, may I suggest that you purchase a Visa gift card easily available at Walmart and most Gas stations in the USA? Alternatively, I have included a link to the Airbnb payment alternatives that you may choose to purchase your Airbnb stay with us. I hope to hear from you soon…


Airbnb provides so many of us a portal to reach as many guests as possible and protects us from guest misconduct.

To abuse the Airbnb platform to save on Airbnb fees may open you up to complications that you may end up regretting. Guests should be willing to obey the site rules and terms of service, and you should have no qualms about offering them a firm no.

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Welcome To Skyline STR!

We are Airbnb photographers who specialize in short term rental marketing.

Before that, we started off as Airbnb hosts and had to figure out how to stand out in a very (VERY) saturated market.

We learned a LOT, and made a lot of mistakes along the way too, but eventually figured out what works and what doesn't...

Skyline STR is the place where we share everything we've learned about Airbnb hosting and make it our mission to help hosts create better, more prosperous listings.

We're glad you're here, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

- Benjamin & Sheila

Affiliate Disclosure: is a participant in several affiliate programs, including the Amazon Associates program, and may be compensated for referring business to these companies at no additional cost to you. This post may contain affiliate links and/or links to our own products. We never recommend anything we don’t love or wouldn’t use ourselves.


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