Skip to Content
woman browsing airbnb on tablet
© Baloon111 |

Here are the cities with the highest Airbnb fees

Here’s one major problem with the rental platform Airbnb. You go online, find a property with a price that works for you and book it — only for the total cost to skyrocket. What gives? Here’s a trick to avoid getting hit with those hidden fees.

Speaking of Airbnb fees, they’ve been going up across the country. Everything from cleaning to taxes adds to the bottom line and could ruin your dream vacation. Here’s how the extras add up.

Here’s the backstory

A study by Forbes Advisor looked at over 32,000 listings in the 102 most popular Airbnb markets, including big and small cities. Researchers examined properties available for booking for four guests from July 14 to July 19, 2023 (five nights).

Here are some quick stats:

  • On average, fees added 36% to nightly rates.
  • The average fees break down like this: 11% for cleaning, 15% for service and 10% for taxes.
  • The average cleaning fee is $160.
  • Taxes range from 0-20%.

Cleaning and service fees let hosts advertise lower rates — the first price you see when searching listings.

RELATED: Staying in a hotel, Airbnb or rental? Bring this hidden camera detector with you

Watch out for this one

If you’re not careful, your cleaning fee could come out to more than the cost of your nightly stay.

  • The lowest average cleaning fee is $95 in Cleveland and $313 in Telluride, Colorado.
  • At 15%, Phoenix has the highest average cleaning fees as a percentage of the subtotal.
  • Only 15% of Airbnb properties don’t have cleaning fees.

What are service charges?

Airbnb charges a service fee to hosts and guests in exchange for the platform’s services. This cost is automatically applied as a percentage of the subtotal value of each booking.

The service fee is applied in two ways: A split-fee structure is divided between the hosts and guests, while the host pays the host-only fee.

Airbnb says most guest service fees are under 14.2% of the booking subtotal (nightly rate + cleaning fee + additional guest fee, if applicable — excluding Airbnb fees and taxes).

The top priciest markets

Airbnb prices reflect the cost you would pay to vacation at any given spot. If the hotels and other rentals are expensive, expect the same from Airbnb.

You also typically get more amenities and luxuries by booking a property on Airbnb over a hotel, such as a private pool, hot tub, fire pit and full-size kitchen.

  • At over $1,000, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Montauk, New York, have the highest nightly rate averages.
  • Daily rates average more than $500 in 18 markets.
  • Add on the fees and daily rates average more than $500 in 33 markets and over $1,000 in four markets.
  • At 20%, Chicago had the highest tax rate.

Rentals on a budget

The Midwest gives you a lot of bang for your buck, particularly Missouri and Ohio.

Florida also takes a chunk of the top 10 value markets. Want to stay by the beach without breaking the bank? Compare the reasonable prices at Panama City with the lofty ones at Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Top 5 cities with the highest total fees

These aren’t the most expensive places to stay, but you must decide if the high total fees are worth it.

MarketNightly rateCleaning feeService feeTaxesTotal fees
Atlanta, GA$19216%16%17%48%
Phoenix, AZ$20220%16%10%47%
Fort Myers Beach, FL$24819%17%10%46%
Davenport, FL$16619%16%10%45%
Memphis, TN$21511%15%19%45%

Top 5 cities with the lowest total fees

Some of these market fees total less than half those at the top of the list, but you must account for the nightly rate and other fees to get the total cost.

MarketNightly rateCleaning feeService feeTaxesTotal fees
New York, NY$3198%15%0%23%
Santa Barbara, CA$6747%15%2%24%
Newport Beach, CA$6617%15%2%25%
Montauk, NY$10195%15%5%25%
Hamptons, NY$6876%15%4%25%

Keep reading

Planning a trip? These things can get you BANNED from Airbnb

How to make money renting out your whole house, your kitchen or your backyard

Refer friends, earn rewards

Share your source of digital lifestyle news, tips and advice with friends and family, and you'll be on your way to earning awesome rewards!

Get started