What Does It Really Mean To Rent From A Superhost On Airbnb?

Accommodation is one of the biggest headaches when planning a trip. It's usually the priciest part, and it's where you'll be crashing after your adventures. When faced with the choice between a hotel and an Airbnb, many people go for the latter, especially if they're traveling with a group, need to do their own laundry, want to cook their own meals, or just want to feel like a local for a change. Airbnb is also generally more convenient, freeing you from expensive hotel fees and offering a wider range of options. But with the deluge of listings out there, picking the perfect Airbnb can be overwhelming. If staying in an Airbnb with no reviews feels too risky, your best bet is to opt for a property hosted by a "Superhost."


A Superhost on Airbnb is the crème de la crème. According to the platform, these hosts "go above and beyond to provide excellent hospitality." You can easily spot them among hundreds of listings, all thanks to a special Superhost badge stuck to their property, a sign they've been vetted by Airbnb and can actually deliver what they promise. If you're new to Airbnb, picking a Superhost listing can save you from potential horror stories. After all, to earn that coveted badge, hosts must meet some pretty stringent criteria, so if you book them, you'll know you're in good hands — usually.

Superhosts are usually trustworthy

Similar to how you tend to feel safer and more relaxed when you ride an Uber with a stellar 5-star rating, you ought to also trust Airbnbs managed by Superhosts. Airbnb goes all out in evaluating their hosts regularly, and those who consistently knock it out of the park earn the coveted Superhost badge. The best part? They normally won't cancel on you at the last minute. "You can generally trust Superhosts," Monica Eaton, founder of a fraud solutions company, told Reader's Digest. "About 99% of the time, they don't cancel bookings."


According to Airbnb, they put their hosts through the wringer every quarter, scrutinizing all the bookings that had been made and ratings they have received over that period. To earn the Superhost badge, hosts need a solid average rating of 4.8 stars, a 90% or higher response rate (meaning they actually reply to your queries in a timely manner), a cancelation rate of less than 1% (barring some "extenuating circumstances"), and a minimum of 10 completed trips or three reservations totaling 100 nights or more. 

Since the Superhost badge is based on hard stats, travelers can rest assured it's not given out like participation trophies. In return, their property pops up more when guests search on the platform, which could potentially result in more nights booked and, in turn, more revenue earned. If a Superhost slacks off for a quarter, though, they can kiss their badge goodbye and work to earn it back.


But not all Superhosts have quality properties and service

While a property managed by a Superhost usually indicates legitimacy, it's still worth digging deeper before hitting that book button. Airbnb claims to be thorough with its vetting, but some shady hosts can still slip through the cracks. Take, for example, a viral TikTok from user @livvoogus. She and her friends booked an Airbnb with a Superhost badge and glowing reviews, only to discover the owner had been evicted for illegally renting the place. They were clueless until the day they arrived, faced with red flags like different door codes and a host that had stopped responding. While Airbnb eventually refunded them, they were still incredibly inconvenienced.


What's more, a Reddit user said that there may be times when a Superhost's account can be hijacked by scammers. "Sometimes it's a scammer who tricked the host into 'logging in,' at which point they take over the account and wreak havoc. By the time the host retains control, the scammer has received enough personal data or payments to be worth their while," they said.

As always, be cautious when scrutinizing listings. Channel your inner detective: check the photos and reviews, look up the address online, and keep in regular contact with the host. Trust your gut, too. If something feels off, it's probably best to book elsewhere.