Hooked on Agoda Rewards

I am sharing my personal experience as a seasoned traveller in Thailand and Southeast Asia. For close to 10 years now I have traveled in Thailand and Southeast Asia. For many years I used Latestays (AsiaWebDirect) for booking hotels. In 2010 I first used www.agoda.com and have not looked back. Here is my Agoda Rewards Review.

Rewards Points, Agoda Rewards Review, Travel in Southeast Asia

Loyalty Program, Agoda Rewards Review, Travel in Southeast Asia

Agoda Rewards 

When booking through Agoda you earn points for each booking (4-7% of booking). These points are converted to cash value and used towards future hotel bookings e.g. 12,500 Agoda Rewards Points = 768 baht or $25 (as above). Many points were gained from quick hotel reviews after a stay. In the above example I cut three quarters from my hotel price at Clark Imperial Hotel, Philippines. I used accumulated Agoda Rewards points from previous hotel bookings. My current redeemable Agoda Rewards points are 40,842 worth $80.

Payments

Many hotels ask for booking fee up front and final payment at the hotel. Agoda ask for full payment up front when booking online. While many would prefer two installments – I prefer full payment up front. Two installments is confusing and screws with my budgeting. Agoda also allows payment through Paypal which is handy on the go. Filling in Credit Card details when travelling is time consuming and potentially risky. With Paypal all you need is internet, email and password. Losing my credit cards abroad is less frightening now.


Cancellations

Many Agoda rooms come with free cancellation (depending on the hotel). I have only the one experience with this. In Sri Lanka I was forced to abandon the hotel during a tsunami evacuation (April 2012). The hotel first refused to refund. After a bit of back and forth through email the hotel agree to the refund. They clear the refund with Agoda and Agoda refund the payment to my account (as below). Agoda work as the middleman. Cancellation Refund, Agoda Rewards Review, Travel in Southeast Asia


Affiliates

In Bangkok alone Agoda offer bookings for over 1,000 hotels. This is a lot. For those new to the city it is guaranteed to be overwhelming. For this reason I consider Agoda more as a bed bank for affiliates. As an affiliate partner I whittled down 1000 to a niche 30. My website Boutique Bangkok shows the Top ten budget, Top ten mid-priced and Top ten luxury hotels. My list focuses on boutique and design hotels in central locations with best value for money. Agoda bookings directed from my website gets me a percentage of Agoda’s booking fee. Agoda continue to grow and dominate in Thailand. They recently agreed terms with Starwood Hotels and the list keeps growing. I recently tried booking PP Insula Hotel (Koh Phi-Phi) by phone and was told to book online through Agoda.


Price Comparison

Agoda are normally cheaper than competitors (although I have stopped comparing). When not there is a tiny difference in price. Below is an example of a Bangkok hotel booking. I chose the S31 Hotel Bangkok for the date one week from today (Sunday 21st October 2012). The four chosen booking websites are Agoda.com, Small and Luxury Hotels (my niche), Asia Web Direct (Asian Competitors) and Booking.com (world’s leading online hotel reservations agency). They all offer “Best Price Guaranteed”. Agoda (2,522 + 446) = THB 2,968 Small and Luxury Hotels = THB 3,440 Asia Web Direct = THB 3,390 Booking.com = THB 2,968 In this example the two cheapest booking websites are Agoda.com and Booking.com. With Agoda you benefit from the Agoda Rewards scheme. Agoda wins.

Price Comparison, Agoda Rewards Review, Travel in Southeast Asia


Walk-In vs. Internet Rates

I often test walk-in rates in Bangkok and Thailand. Internet rates are always cheaper. On occasions I have booked online while in the hotel. It makes sense that internet is cheaper than walk-in. Do you prefer trekking between hotels with luggage or clicking between 1000+ hotels online? Online is a lot more competitive. Example: Checking walk-in rates at S31 Hotel I booked the room an hour later on Agoda.com for $15 cheaper. On check-in I was upgraded to the Junior Suite with Panoramic Views.

Regular Upgrades with Agoda Rewards Review. Best Hotel Booking Site in Asia? Hotel Upgrade. Best Hotel Booking Site in Asia? Agoda Rewards Review

8 Comments

  • Agoda cheat and trick!!! beware of it …..this is my first time use agoda service to booking the room. the rate was shown in 840 THB(after discount) but left beside the picture of room type was shown that tax and service 10+7.4% but calculate = 400 THB>>first i think maybe something wrong….but it’s real and super real……total price will not show until you sign in with credit card……. i lose 1,400 THB after credit card sign-in that up to 60% of room rate show…after that i ask agoda’s customer service and wait for their reply….for 3 days ago but no any respond.so i decide to share some of my bad experence to not let someone got cheating like me.

    NOTE. my hotel that booking from agoda is “The blue house guesthouse ” in Jodhpur,India ..you can check it by yourself at website

  • Beware! Bait and Switch, I had used Agoda quite a few times before and was satisfied with the bookings. This time, I choose one of their specials for a 5 star hotel in Bangkok. I went through the ordering process and when I got the email confirmation I found I had been charged twice the “special rate” they had listed. When I contacted them to fix this, they claimed I should have read the final booking page more carefully, that their ‘special rate” was an average not the final rate. I requested that they either cancel the booking or change for a less expensive room but they kept repeating that the “special rate” was an average. In fact they were exceedingly rude on the phone, repeating the same information over and over to what ever I asked, as if I was stupid. For example, when i asked the person on the phone, if they intended to do anything to help me, she repeated that that was the average rate listed. She actually repeated that to almost every question I asked. It was worse than a recorded message.

  • Hi Allan, maybe you can enlighten us on how you were able get your refund from the Sri Lanka hotel. Im actually experiencing the same plight; the place ill be visiting has been declared a state of calamity, Bohol in the Philippines to be exact. I’ve been searching around to find angry comments on refund terms and conditions, and would love to know your experience. Agoda has only extended a 50% refund fee for this, as opposed to full refund from other sites like booking.com and asianrooms.com.

    Would love to hear from you.
    Thanks!
    -avid reader

    • I think this is the main issue with Agoda but they are (slowly) offering free cancellations and refunds on individual hotels. When I managed to force a refund before it was through agreement with the hotel. More or less there was a Tsunami evacuation where the manager disappeared leaving us stranded on the resort. A kitchen porter told us to climb a pole which wasn’t really feasible with my mum in the group. We managed to escape but with aftershocks etc it was impossible to stay longer at a hotel with no safety or evacuation procedures. The guy at the reception actually said a refund was no problem then the manager (who scarpered) rescinded this. Ended up a back and forth on email with myself, the hotel and Agoda and the hotel finally agreed to it and agoda refunded the money. Horrible situation you are in. What about your travel insurance? A lot of my Filipino friends are posting about the disaster, things may not be safe for a week or longer. I hope things work out for you. Best of luck.
      A

  • Avoid Agoda altogether. What a horrible company; horrible customer service. Well, I exaggerate, customer service is not horrible, it’s non-existent!

  • This is the latest experience from Agoda. They sent me an email that the resort I booked will be shut down thus it will not be able to accomodate me. I went to booking and booked the same place at the same date — the place was available.. seems like I will just stick with booking dot com.

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