Incase you are looking to book for accommodation around the world, then you have probably come across Agoda website and online travel agencies are on the rise.
Although Agoda is a popular place to book accommodation for travel, some people aren’t sure about Agoda’s safety; Is Agoda legit? and Is Agoda reliable?
With so many booking scams and fraudulent booking websites, it is very important to do your due diligence before making any purchases.
In this Agoda review, I am going to take you through what the online travel agency entails, its client history, if they are legit or not, the pros and cons of the company and with that information you will be able to make an informed decision about the company.
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What is Agoda?
Agoda is a reputable and well established website for booking travel services since 2005.
It offers hotel booking, flights, airport transfers, and more in destinations around the world
They pride themselves in providing a cheaper price/cheaper rates and having the best deals.
They also have free cancellation policy and a full refund policy.
Who is behind Agoda?
Agoda was established by Robert Rosenstein and Michael Kenny in 2005.
Agoda booking site is owned by Agoda Company Pte. Ltd. which is a subsidiary of Booking Holdings(the world’s leading provider of online travel services )
Booking Holdings ( Priceline.com Inc. from 1998-2014, The Priceline Group Inc. from 2014-18) owns booking.com, priceline.com, kayak.com, cheapflights.com and rentalcars.com, among others.
Since Agoda was established, it has grown tremendously and acquired many other travel companies in other countries. The Headquarter of the company is in Singapore and it has over 5000 worldwide employees.
By the time Agoda was launching in 2005, it had 7000 hotels in Asia and 33000 worldwide.
As the years have progressed, Agoda added money-saving features like Agoda Cash, Agoda VIP and Promo Codes to improve their customer’s experience and showcase its best deals.
What services does Agoda offer?
Hotels and accommodation booking
Agoda is one of the popular online travel agencies that enables people to book accommodation in hotels, resorts, guest houses, bed and breakfasts.
flight and car rentals booking
Most travelers are unaware they can book flights and car rentals on Agoda.com.
When renting a car through Agoda, you’ll be directed to Rentalcars.com.
Agoda, Kayak and Rental cars all make money as affiliate companies. This just means that they don’t actually own any hotels, planes or cars. Rather, they earn money as middlemen, receiving a commission when a customer books a room, flight or car through their platforms.
Agoda’s prices on flights and car rentals are the same as what’s displayed on Kayak and Rentalcars.com.
Agoda VIP is Agoda.com’s customer loyalty program.
The program promotes Agoda’s best listings to its best customers. It’s one of Agoda’s many money-saving features, along with Promo Codes and AgodaCash (Agoda’s points/rewards program).
Hosts who maintain high standards may display VIP discounts on their listings, which can lead to more exposure in Agoda’s search results.
All Agoda customer accounts are divided into four tiers:
- Member- you automatically get Member status when you create your Agoda account. As a new member, you aren’t yet eligible for any VIP discounts, but you’ll have access to other benefits, such as AgodaCash and Promo Codes.
- VIP Silver- After you complete 2 bookings within 24 months, while maintaining a low cancellation rate, your account will get upgraded to VIP Silver. VIP Silver status allows you to book VIP listings discounted up to 12%.
- VIP Gold- After you complete 5 bookings within 24 months, while maintaining a low cancellation rate, your account will get upgraded to VIP Gold. VIP Gold status allows you to book VIP listings discounted up to 18%.
- VIP Platinum- After you complete 10 bookings within 24 months, while maintaining a low cancellation rate, your account will be upgraded to VIP Platinum. VIP Platinum status allows you to book VIP listings discounted up to 25%.
VIP discounted listings are more visible to customers who’ve earned VIP status. These customers have established themselves as more likely to spend, less likely to cancel, and already familiar with Agoda’s platform.
How Agoda works
As an online travel booking platform, Agoda enables its users to find and book accommodations for their trips.
The platform offers a wide range of accommodations, including hotels, resorts, guest houses, and other unique properties in over 220 countries.
Hotels and accommodations can be booked through Agoda by going to their website search bar and based on your destination, your budget, dates of stay, and other preferences.
Once you find a property that you like, you can make direct bookings on the platform. Agoda will confirm room availability on your booking .
When you buy tickets or book hotel rooms on Agoda, you make the deal with Agoda and make the payment.
They then send you a confirmation email with booking information and details about your reservation.
The hotel won’t have access to any credit card details from the customer; only Agoda holds the information.
Though you don’t have to deal with the hotel directly since you have the booking details, you can do so by calling or by emailing them. (One can never be to sure)
Once you arrive at your destination, you can check in to your accommodations using the information provided in your booking confirmation email.
Agoda as a travel agency doesn’t sell its own tickets but instead, Agoda works as a middleman and sells tickets of other companies for a percentage.
Agoda will also provide you with a 24/7 customer support hotline in case you need any assistance during your trip.
How to join Agoda?
Get the Agoda app
To make direct bookings on the go even easier, be sure to download the Agoda app. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
The app offers all the same great features as the website, but the advantage is that you can keep all your booking confirmations in one place hence you won’t have to scroll through your email to find your reservation number or booking details.
Create an account
The process of creating an account is quick and easy
You can be able to use Facebook login if you prefer.
Once you’ve created an account, be sure to fill out your profile so that Agoda can provide you with personalized recommendations.
Search for hotels
To find a hotel, simply enter your travel destination and dates into the search bar.
You can also use the filters to narrow down your hotel room based on same price, location, amenities, and more.
Once you find a hotel you like, read the reviews about the same hotel to get a sense of what other travelers have to say about their stay.
Book your room
When you’re ready to book, click on the “Book Now” button and enter your preferred payment method.
You should double-check the dates you’ve chosen and the number of guests before you finalize booking online.
Agoda sometimes usually offer promotion codes and coupons that can save you a lot of money on your hotel booking. Be sure to check for coupon deals before you book.
Get the best price
Agoda offers a Best Price Guarantee that if you find a lower price for the same room on another website, they will refund you the difference.
How does Agoda make money?
Agoda obtains discounted rates for purchasing hotel rooms in bulk. Because Agoda is able to secure cheap wholesale prices for its hotel rooms, it is able to offer customers discounts that may not be available elsewhere.
The company then uses its own algorithms to determine the selling price of these rooms, with the goal of maximizing profits. This business model allows Agoda to offer competitive prices to its customers while still earning a profit.
In addition, Agoda operates on a commission-based model through partnerships with many bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and unique accommodations. This means that when a customer books a hotel through Agoda, the company earns a commission from the property owner for referring the customer. This commission is a percentage of the booking price, and it varies depending on the type of property and the location.
Agoda also generates revenue through advertising and by offering additional services through partnerships and affiliate programs with other companies in the travel industry such as car rental and airport transfer services.
So, Agoda basically sells the services of their hosts and earns a commission for each sale they make. Usually, the commission is around 15% to 20% of the profit and the rest of the percentage is going directly to the host. Then Agoda collects its commission and sends the rest of the payment to the seller’s account
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Agoda’s Refund Policy?
Agoda’s refund policy may vary depending on the hotel you are staying at and the specific dates of your trip.
Cancellations made before the cancellation due date will be refunded in full, while cancellations made after the due date may result in a penalty charge being deducted from the refund amount.
If you need to shorten your stay, it is best to notify Agoda as soon as possible to avoid any potential penalty charges and expedite the refund process.
If you use a card that charges international fees, you may see a discrepancy in the amount charged and the amount refunded, even if you’re entitled to a full refund from a free hotel cancellation!
How To Book A Flight Through Agoda
Kayak.com is Agoda’s flight booking partner. If you’re familiar with Kayak’s site layout, you’ll notice that Agoda’s flight search results page basically mirrors it.
To book a flight through Agoda, first click “Flights” in the upper left corner of the home page.
You’ll be directed to flights.agoda.com, where you’ll enter your departure and arrival destinations and dates.
As you see in the two screenshots below, Agoda and Kayak offer the same flights and prices. I cross-checked multiple destinations and dates across both sites, and consistently found the search results to be the same on both.
Should You Book Through Agoda?
If the price difference between booking directly and through Agoda is the same or slightly cheaper then you should always book directly.
If Agoda is offering you a much cheaper rate than direct bookings then it mostly comes down to personal comfort.
What is Agoda’s cancellation policy?
Most hotels allow guests to cancel their booking without penalty up to a certain number of days before the arrival date.ou should read the cancellation policy for your specific hotel and reservation when booking through Agoda. The information is available on the Agoda website or in the confirmation email you receive.
The policy outlines the conditions under which you can cancel or change your booking without receiving a penalty.
If you’re not sure about your travel dates, you should stick with the hotels that offer free cancellation, close to the check-in date as possible.
It is always a good idea to review the cancellation policy before making a booking, especially if you are planning to travel during peak season since this will help you avoid any unexpected charges or fees if you need to cancel or change your booking.
IS AGODA RELIABLE?
Planning vacations can be a very stressful experience. You don’t have to worry about finding the right flights or accommodations, but you have to be diligent in looking at many reviews and comparing prices.
Agoda has become one of the world’s leading travel websites but most reviews are negative hence I’m inclined to think they are not reliable.
WHY IS AGODA SO CHEAP?
Agoda is a subsidiary of Booking.com and both of the sites offer discounted rates.
The company has developed strong relationships with the hotels hence they have negotiating power because they send a lot of business to hotels. This is the reason as to why they can offer some of the lowest rates you can find.
Agoda can also afford to offer low prices because some of the commission they receive from bookings can be passed on to travelers in the form of cheaper rates.
There are a lot of positive reviews and negative reviews and we shall look at both.
They have a 1.7 out of 5 star rating on Trustpilot reviews which is bad. This is such a huge red flag since it reflects the customer experience.
Hotel Yash Residency -Varanasi and AGODA LEGIT CHEATERS AND FRAUDSTERI booked Hotel Yash
Residency -Varanasi through Agoda paid 100% in advance and was denied hotel room by the hotel manager saying that they do not have any communication from Agoda . I produced hard copies of my booking and payment receipts but all futile .I don’t recommend Agoda and their partner hotels are cheaters . I tried to contact their customer care they speak only Chinese English which is very difficult to understand . On corresponding them it was informed by their partner hotel booked through agoda that I stayed there and hence my stay was completed . Very shocking . I produced the bill of my alternate hotel stay also to them but they did not bother and have no intensions to do any thing for customer favour. Best thing to stay away from AGODA AND TELL ALL CONCERNED TO DO NOT BOOK ANY HOTEL , FLIGHT ETC FROM THEM AS THEY ARE CHEATER AND FRAUDSTER
Date of experience: December 24, 2022
Agoda has fantastic service. We booked a non-refundable hotel by accident, we only realized this close to the departure date, unfortunately, due to the COVID travel restrictions tightening the week we were meant to go this meant we couldn’t travel. Agoda helped contact the hotel to ask whether they would kindly change the dates. This was all under time constraints and Agoda constantly kept us to date with the outcome. They really helped us out, I cannot recommend it enough, I thought we would lose the money, and asking would be a long shot but it was all sorted and we have new dates, thank you Agoda!” – -Cleo
Very very bad experience, Dont ever book with this site, I booked the hotel from agoda and When i reached to the hotel after 500 km of Driving, the Hotel owner said we don’t have any bookings. I have been outside a hotel with my family for four hours, They did not gives any support, Event they do not have support in India, Worst experience, nobody take care, Worst service. Scam company. Is agoda legit. If possible don’t even open this site. They are very selfish people. Even they are not ready to return my money, I have convinced them for two days if you try to shout with this bad experience. They will say we can not do anything. it’s really horrible. Please ignore booking from this side, Pay some extra from MMT or other sites, But Please don’t ever booked through agoda, it’s just big fake and fraud
Date of experience: December 30, 2022
– I made a booking on Agoda legit for NYE in Bali that turned out to be a fraudulent listing (Somebody else was staying at the private home and had a valid booking confirmation from booking.com)
– As a result, I had to book an alternative hotel on NYE day itself after 2pm. I checked in a radius of 50 minutes and there was no alternative in the same price category and the cheapest alternative was 17 times more expensive than the fraudulent listing.
– A week after and after a lot of escalation emails Agoda compensated me with 1.5 times the original booking amount and I had to cover the rest myself
I have to pay for their fault. Exceptionally bad user experience and customer service.
Date of experience: January 06, 2023
DO NOT USE AGODA
I would not even give it 1 star! I had booked a hotel room for January 6th and I received a confirmation of this. Later that afternoon, I received a payment processing error email telling me my room was canceled. I did not see that the booking numbers were different. I called and the gentleman confirmed my room had been canceled. January 6th came and went and I still had the room charge on my paypal account. I called to find out why and they said I had been charged fake reviews for a no-show charge. Apparently, they had bookings 2 rooms for me. The only way to get my money back was for them to contact the hotel and ask if they would forgive the charge. If it had not been for the manager of the hotel, I would have been on the hook for the $200+ it cost to book with Agoda. All Agoda would tell me is we are at the mercy of the property directly. Do NOT use this site. I have learned my lesson. I’ll stick with the normal booking sites from now on.
Date of experience: January 09, 2023
Agoda overbooked our room and the hotel…
Agoda overbooked our room and the hotel was fully bookings so they could not provide us with a room at the check in. There were only 5 rooms left on the whole island at a way too high price. First agoda offered us $60 as a coupon. When I asked for a room because we were on the street with kids(common safety concerns), they offered us a room which was in the middle of the party (with kids!). After a very long wait, we booked one of the expensive rooms ourselves, which was just as expensive as the alternative that agoda offered. As a result, agoda paid us $40 as a voucher, which is only available for a limited time. I asked for more compensation as we paid over $250 more for the room. The fault was clearly Agoda’s and as a family it really was a torture standing in the hot sun with kids without a place to go. Agoda‘s mistake and the lack of help did not only cost us the very expensive room but we also lost a whole vacation day trying to find a place to stay.
Date of experience: January 05, 2023
Pros of Agoda
- It is a very popular service since it offers one of the best deal and convenience it provides to the users.
- Agoda uses encryption technology to protect your personal and financial information so you can be rest assured that your credit card details and information are safe.
- You can use Agoda as a metasearch engine for hotels, vacation rentals, flights, and airport transfers
- It has a diverse catalog of hotels and accommodation options to choose from. A global network of 2.7 million hotels, resorts, guest houses, bed and breakfasts
- This legitimate company was founded as an online travel agency in 2005 and has since grown to become one of the largest online travel booking platforms in the world.
- Agoda is owned by Booking Holdings which is a publicly traded company with a portfolio of well-known travel brands such as Booking.com, Priceline.
- The platform has more than 35 million verified guest reviews.
Cons of Agoda
- It is very difficult to contact Agoda customer service and resolve the problems one might have.
- It has a very low rating on trustpilot and most reviews there are negative.
- If things go wrong, it gets complicated to resolve any issues when you’re booked through Agoda since they are just middlemen in making the reservation especially in the booking of flights.
- It is not possible to specify a twin room instead of a double during the search
- In early 2019, Agoda was subject to an enforcement action from the UK Competition and Markets Authority. This was related to pressure selling; misleading information regarding discounts and hotel popularity; hidden charges; and withholding information regarding the impact of commission on search results.
Conclusion: Is Agoda legit?
Agoda is a legit company and has a reputable and well established website for booking travel.
I would recommend people using Agoda to be really cautious and those using should do so when Agoda is offering you a much cheaper price than booking directly with the hotel, If you’re considering booking a normal hotel for your stay, not an expensive luxury hotel and if you’re booking a hotel for short night stay.
Their customer service is very poor and there is a lot of controversy around the return policy so potential users should proceed with caution.
Before you leave
If you’re tired of scams and want a real solution for making money online check out my no.1 recommendation.
It’s helped me earn over $300,000 in the last 12 months alone:
(This is a 100% free training)