What: FlipKey, a Trip Advisor company, offers to list your home for rent for a modest 3% booking fee, but heavily penalizes cancellations.

Expected pay: you set it

Husl $core: $$$

Commissions & Fees: 3%, plus fees charged to renters

Where: National

Requirements: Real estate to rent


Flipkey, a Trip Advisor company, offers to list your home for rent in exchange for a modest 3% booking fee, much like Airbnb. Also like Airbnb, they’ll charge your renters considerably more on each booking.

However, FlipKey gets a fraction of the site traffic of Airbnb. And if a homeowner needs to change a booking or communicate directly with a renter, they’re largely out of luck.  

Changes can trigger a cancellation fee of $150 to $200 paid by the homeowner. And the site makes it all but impossible to communicate directly with your renters, which can create a variety of problems.

To be sure, other sites that charge a percentage of the rental amount, also discourage direct communication between renter and homeowner. That’s simply because they don’t want homeowners and renters striking a side deal to cut the site out of its commission. But here the no-communication rule appears to be taken to extremes — as is the site’s cancellation policy. These problems can cost both renters and homeowners big bucks.

Homeowners also complain that Flipkey’s customer support is also largely AWOL.

You can still make money renting your home through FlipKey, but given the homeowner reviews below, it’s not our top choice.


Airbnb gets more web customers and functions relatively smoothly. If you want to rent your home for long stretches, such as months at a time, also check out SabbaticalHomes.

What their homeowners say: (From Trust Pilot)

We own a lake house at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. We have a zero cancellation policy, because we only have 12 weeks during summer to generate rental income. A guy rented our Lake home during Memorial Day Weekend 2021. He was unhappy because the weather did not cooperate. He claimed he was unhappy because we have 2.5 baths and not three baths as listed. He never even reached out to us with a problem when he was at our house. Flip Key nevertheless just gave this guy a full refund, over $3,000, over our objection. Over lack of a toilet at our Lake house! This should tell you how they stand behind their hosts.

I have been a ‘landlord’ with Flipkey for a couple of years now and managed to survive with their ancient and backward customer care until now. Recently had a booking from a guest who asked for details of how to get from the airport to my home town. I sent links of the train company and bus company. Flipkey decided that links to train companies and bus companies are unacceptable. They have informed me I will be removed from their website if I continue to help a guest with their inquiries of how a guest is expected to get to my house. There is no way to contact a human being on Flipkey. 

Cancel fees

Recently I got a request to book for July of next year. After I accepted the booking, I realized that the rates on Flipkey did not match our holiday rates. The rate shown to potential guest was about $800 less per week than it should have been. I updated the price and explained to guest the error, and that I cannot honor the rate that is $800 less. Guest did not accept the alteration – understandable. So I said they can cancel. THIS IS A YEAR AWAY. Got a call from customer service stating that they will penalize me and change me $150 to cancel. This is outrageous. CS is non existent when you have a problem, when calendars do not sync, but they jump right in when they can change you some outrageous penalty. 

“A few days later after accepting a rental, we realized we would need to move the check-in by one day. Tried emailing the tenant multiple times. No reply. We finally tracked down a number to FlipKey online and asked if they could give us the renters’ contact info. No. They conferenced a call with the tenant who said she didn’t receive any emails after booking. She asked to cancel the reservation. We said OK, apologized, and said we would cancel. We then find out flipkey will charge us $150 to cancel. The reservation isn’t for another three months!”

Calendar problem leads to cancel fee

“Guest booked for a date on my calendar that was showing open but the calendar hadn’t been syncing correctly. Twelve hours after booking, I notify the guest that the date is actually not available. Another 16 hours go by (28 hrs since booking) and the guest agrees to cancel. Well apparently, she’ll lose all of her deposit ($206) by cancelling, even though Trip Advisor has the funds and if I cancel, I have to pay Trip Advisor $150. So, here we have two parties in agreement to cancelling the reservation and the Trip Advisor will not cancel the reservation without someone paying them beyond their normal processing fee.