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Airbnb now gives you the option to pay less up front

Your total bill needs to be at least $250, though.
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Rob LeFebvre/Engadget

Airbnb rentals present affordable, sometimes even unique, alternatives to hotels, but one of the downsides of using the platform is having to pay in full upon booking. Now, the company is finally -- thankfully! -- giving you an option to pay less up front. Starting today, you'll be able to reserve a rental by paying a deposit worth around 50 percent of the total amount in most cases. You'll still have to pay the rest off before you arrive unlike Expedia or Agoda, which sometimes allows you to pay at the hotel itself. But having the option means you can book places much earlier than usual, since you won't have to worry about paying the whole reservation months in advance.

Airbnb proved that to be the case when the new feature led to bookings with nearly double the lead time during its test period. According to the company, 40 percent of its test subjects chose to take advantage of its new offering. As a whole, they also went for higher-value bookings, since they didn't need to fork out the whole amount in one go. If you're planning a vacation, you can use Airbnb's new feature right now, whether you're booking on iOS, Android, mobile or desktop. Your total has to be at least $250, though, and you'll have to book at least 14 days in advance to be able to qualify.

In this article: airbnb, app, business, gear, travel
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